Wednesday, November 30, 2005

It's about the bike....

As a bike commuter during the months when I can go both directions in daylight, and an avid cyclist, I have gained a reputation as having a few screws loose among some friends at the office. Looks like I'm just a trendsetter.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

I thought things could not get any stranger with the Eagles. I was wrong.

It seems Christopher Noteboom thought it would be a good idea to run onto the Lincoln Financial Field holding a plastic bag, leaving a cloud of fine powder behind. The contents? The ashes of his dead mother. Apparently, you can't run into a crowded stadium and out on the field trailing white powder (I know there's a Michael Irvin joke in there somewhere, if you want to look for it).

If you're considering tossing your loved one's ashes around the Linc, consider this...
Eagles spokeswoman Bonnie Grant said the team has declined requests to spread ashes on the field..."unless it's Terrell Owens," she muttered under her breath.

I think I'd be a quercus rubra...

One of the dumber articles I have seen in a while came from CNN. I don't write about my political views often, because I think most people know where I stand on most issues, and what many people call debate is just two people screaming at each other to see who can shout the loudest, as an expression of how they are correct.

Still, Peter Goss, head of the CIA, comes out with this gem:

Al Qaeda leaders bin Laden and al-Zarqawi haven't been found "primarily because they don't want us to find them and they're going to great lengths to make sure we don't find them," Goss said in the interview broadcast Tuesday on ABC's "Good Morning America."

You're right. They sure would be easier to find if they wanted to be found. Brilliant!

I liked this quote as well:

Even with the CIA's mistakes, Goss said, the agency is "the gold standard by any measure" in terms of human intelligence.
"We don't get it right every time," he said, "but I don't think there's anybody who could even come close."

I'm no expert (I'll leave that to my friend Eric), but I would say the Israeli Secret Service is pretty close on more than one point. A country whose internal security service (allegedly) assassinated Palestinian bomb-maker Yahya Ayyash, aka "The Engineer", with an exploding cell phone in 1996...

This was interesting, too:
"What we do does not come close to torture," Goss said, though he declined to elaborate on the agency's interrogation techniques.

If it doesn't "come close to torture", why can't/won't they say what it is? Again, I'm no expert (Again, I'll leave that to my friend Eric), but I don't think we get to call ourselves the good guys if we're tortuing people. And, I don't think we get to call ourselves the good guys if we condone or advocate this, either.

The thing that gets me about discussions like this one, is the recent focus on torture and its effectiveness. McCain and his group say torture should be outlawed because it's not effective. Rush and his people argue that it is effective, saying But the American left with the avid support of the American media is placing those constraints, and the fact that more and more people seem to be willing to have those constraints placed is really troubling.

Effective? Not effective? What's missing from the discussion, in my mind, is whether or not it is right.

Respectfully submitted with my friend Eric (USAF), and his brothers and sisters who serve in the Armed Forces to defend my right to print things like this, in mind.

Monday, November 28, 2005

to too much

Two of the funnier things I've read on the whole "to" debacle I saw here. Outstanding...rack him.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Crime and Punishment...or not.

Something caught my eye as I read the headlines today: this story, about a cyclist who was hit by a teenager who was text-messaging. The thing that really got me was this:

The driver could face a charge of careless driving resulting in death, Stanton said. Under Colorado law, the teen could face up to a year in prison.

Call me crazy, but a year seems awfully light for killing someone. Even more amazing was the response of the victim's wife, who said:

"I feel sorry for the teenager. It was a stupid mistake," she told the Rocky Mountain News.

I was quite humbled, realizing my compassion might not extend so far, the commandment of God to forgive those who trespass against us notwithstanding...

Monday, November 21, 2005

How will I get my croissants?

As if things aren't bad enough for the French with all of the recent rioting, now comes news of a rail strike. And, it seems the rail workers have them stuck between Scylla and Charybdis: the primary target of the ritoers--people's cars! That's a lot of burned Lemons.

Perhaps they should just surrender...

Dyin' for a smoke...

I think I've finally found someone dumber than this woman. It's this woman.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Toughen up!

...this humbles me.

Isaiah 40: 28-31
28 Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.

29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.

30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;

31 but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

One for the birds....

Actually, 23,000 for the birds. That's the number of dominoes a renegade sparrow knocked down when it decided to savagely attack a formation of dominoes being put up in an attempt to break a world record.

Following the vicious domino attack, the people setting up the the dominoes responded in the only way you can to such a heinous event. They cornered the bird and shot it.

Endemol spokesman Jeroen van Waardenberg defended the killing of the bird.

"That bird was flying around and knocking over a lot of dominoes," van Waardenberg said. "More than 100 people from 12 countries had worked for more than a month setting them up."


The problem is that the bird was an endangered species, protected under law in the Netherlands. So, the people who have pledged themselves to protecting animals and seeing that no harm comes to a single feather of a single bird, have responded with a solution of their own:

Death threats have reportedly been made against the man who killed the bird. A Dutch disc jockey has offered a reward of 3,000 euros ($3,500 US) to anyone who topples the dominoes before the official start.

Ummmmm...hey fellas. It's dominoes!

This trade just HAS to be done...

With all of the talk about "to" and where he is heading, I found this article more than just little amusing. Randy Moss is already taking shots at to, and they aren't even teammates...yet. As I see it, the REAL fun and games will start when they are both enthroned on the dais of Raider Nation.

"You know, T.O. is his own player; I'm my own player," Moss said. "We have no similarities whatsoever. I'm a playmaker, he's a playmaker. It's just who makes the most plays is what separates me and him."

Moss also said NFL is taking "the fun away from the game" by restricting how players can celebrate their achievements on the field.

Moss was fined $10,000 for pretending to pull down his pants and moon the Green Bay crowd during Minnesota's playoff win last season and also drew criticism for leaving the field with 2 seconds left in a regular-season loss against Washington.

Let the games begin....

Monday, November 14, 2005

The Future of NFL showboating?

As an advertising guy, and a football fan, I have found quite a bit of amusement in the breakout season of the Burger King guy. The spectacular diving catch in the endzone just further cements his stratus, in my mind, as a Pro Bowl caliber receiver in this, his Rookie Season.

Now comes word that Dan Snyder wants to buy Six Flags, the theme park company that owns Great Adventure, among others. On the surface, it looks like just another attempt for Dan to grow his empire…unless you’ve seen the “moves” by their advertising spokesperson. This guy has dance moves that would humble to (as hard as it is to picture a humble to....). When it happens, and the Six Flags guy is returning kickoffs for TDs, remember you saw it here first…

Friday, November 11, 2005

I need someone to show me the things in life that I can’t find...

Apparently, there are a lot of scary things out there on the web. My friend Eric, who is very savvy about computers and websites, had this to say about my Blue Ball post:

You said you wished you had the time to build the blue ball machine. It kind of makes you wonder why someone would devote hours of their time to build something that intricate doesn't it? It could be that they are just an artist that takes great pride in their work. It could be that they were just really bored. Or perhaps they wanted to create something that was so compelling it would lure folks to the web site to do malicious thing to them. All are equally possible.

There are indications some pride is involved because of the author's comments in the green highlighted section. Is he a hacker trying to earn some respect? Clearly he is bragging because you, as well as countless others, have been lured into directing traffic to his site.

Given my line of work, I am naturally cautious about the motives of an unknown entity on the web. They may be benign, or then again, maybe they aren't.. So, I checked out the source code for this web page. It is cut and pasted below. I want to draw your attention to the yellow highlighted section below.

That section creates an inline frame or IFRAME
( and the frame contains a hidden image size 1pixel by 1 pixel-most probably white. Why would the author do that?

Hidden images can be used for a variety of purposes, but the author gives us a hint what his is used for-voting. See the blue highlighted section. Now the question is: voting on what?

That is a question I have no answer to. Why? The pink highlighted section downloads and runs some unknown JavaScript. Although I am exceedingly curious at this point, without going through additional work I don't have the time to undertake, I cannot get to that source code and analyze it.

The most interesting part of this is: some of the JavaScript this page runs is written in plain text right here in the source code for the page-see the teal highlighted section. Why would the author feel the need to hide some of his code when the rest of it is out there for all the world to see? Is he hiding the code because it is up to no good? Did it scan my machine for vulnerabilities, did it drop some unknown form of malware on my machine, or was the author simply using the code to keep a count of how many folks hit his or her site so more bragging right can be amassed?

I simply won't know without additional analysis I cannot invest at this time; I've already wasted too much time.

But, as I said at the outset, I am paranoid, and we paranoid people love to spread our paranoia. My recommendation: always consider the motivation behind the creation of every web page. Your machine will thank you, and your privacy and security will be better protected.

Paranoia central signing off for now. :-)

All that to say, be careful out there. You never know what surprise might be waiting for you...

btw: Extra credit if you know the reference from the title of this entry.


Apparently, there's a new sport out called Shoot the Cyclist with a Pellet Gun or Paintball Gun. A couple of things to keep in mind if this is your sport of choice, though (from a friend at RBR)...

I just wanted to let you all know about an incident I was involved in a week ago today.

Recently, I equipped my old mountain bike with a set of street/trail
Conti's and a rear rack to minimize the use of my 11 mpg gas hog
pickup truck. Three bucks a gallon in that thing makes going to the
grocery store more expensive than the groceries themselves. Now that my time in the saddle seems to be increasing, I am also seeing a proportionate increase in the hostility against cyclists that we are all painfully familiar with.

Last Tuesday, while I was commuting from my house in Arden to the YMCA in Biltmore Park, I was shot in the back with what is known as an Airsoft BB (or pellet) gun. The passenger of a passing car on Hendersonville Highway fired one off and, as the car kept heading north, laughed as he looked at me in the rear view mirror. I am reminded of a few rules in life that were violated here:

Rule One: Don't shoot bicyclists with guns of any kind.

Rule Two: If you opt to violate Rule One, make sure the cyclist is
not a State Trooper.

Rule Three: If you violate Rule One without regard to Rule Two, make sure it's a fat State Trooper and not one who has just come back from a national track competition and still has kick in his legs.

Details of what followed will not be posted here because of the
pending criminal charges and I don't want to say anything that could provide any excuse for a defense attorney to make a fuss over during any upcoming trial. (I've probably said more than I should already.)

But the long story short is that, because of heavy traffic and a set
of highly motivated legs, I was able to overtake the suspect(s) and
gather enough information to follow up with an arrest warrant for
simple assault.

Simple assault is not a serious charge, but it sure gets the
attention of a set of students from a local high school who never
expected much to come from their mid-morning truancy and risky
antics. I have also discovered that high school principals are not
amused with the prospect of their students bringing weapons of any sort onto the school grounds. This, too, occasionally results in
arrest warrants and expulsion proceedings.

As a closing note, let me advise all of you who may experience
similar assaults that the key to making such a case is not just
getting the license plate number, but also being able to identify the
assailant (and/or driver). I still could have made this arrest
without seeing the driver and his passenger simply because of at
least one set of parents and school personnel that took the matter
seriously. If, like me, you are able to overtake anyone who assails
you or commits some other criminal offense against you, do not lose your temper and commit the assaults that many have told me I should have done. To be sure, what I wanted to do would have resulted in MY arrest and the probable loss of my job. You could also be further injured yourself if things go bad and, ultimately, the criminal charges against your assailant would have to be negotiated to the point of dismissal.

I love this bike....

Just something about it...

Veteran's Day

On the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month, remember our veterans. Here's one way you can do it.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Oh snap!

This is just plain crazy...but it sure looks like FUN!

The doctor is "OUT"...

For when you go on vacation and you're not sure what to put on your "Out of the Office Auto Reply"...

1. I am currently out at a job interview and will reply to you if I fail to get the position. Be prepared for my mood.

2. You are receiving this automatic notification because I am out of the office. If I was in, chances are you wouldn't have received anything at all.

3. I will be unable to delete all the unread, worthless emails you send me until I return from holiday on 4 April. Please be patient and your mail will be deleted in the order it was received.

4. Thank you for your email. Your credit card has been charged $5.99 for the first ten words and $1.99 for each additional word in your message.

5. The e-mail server is unable to verify your server connection and is unable to deliver this message. Please restart your computer and try sending again. (The beauty of this is that when you return, you can see how many in-duh-viduals did this over and over).

6. Thank you for your message, which has been added to a queuing system.. You are currently in 352nd place, and can expect to receive a reply in approximately 19 weeks.

7. I will be out of the office for the next 2 weeks for medical reasons.. When I return, please refer to me as ' Margaret ' instead of 'Frank'

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

What the...?

It's not that I wish I had invented THIS, so much as I wish I had the time to invent something like this....

Monday, November 07, 2005

Sooooo close....

So I'm watching the New York City Marathon yesterday. After 26 miles and 365 yards, the race comes down to a sprint finish, or what could pass for a sprint after running that kind of distance. In the end, Paul Tergat won, ahead of a stumbling Hendrick Ramaala, by one second. One second. It's the slimmest margin ever for the NYC Marathon.

As I was looking over the page, I also saw the finish times for the wheelchair division. Yes, the wheelchair division. Men and women who do the 26 miles and change with their arms. I REALLY need to get back in shape...

Friday, November 04, 2005

Separated at Birth?

So I was looking at my friend Brad's Blog and I came across this picture of Belarusian Dictator Aleksander Lukaschenko. I couldn't figure out what Dr. Phil had to do with Belarus...then I began to wonder if they were one and the same person?

Think about it. Have you ever seen them together? Me either....