Saturday, November 27, 2010

(Winter) Wonderland of Northern Wisconsin

I just got back from celebrating Thanksgiving in the northern woods of Wisconsin. I had a great time with family and friends! Musta gained about 20 pounds on the turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, sweet corn, the casseroles, stuffing, chairs, ice cream and I'm stuffed!

The weather? It was blustery cold when I arrived at my folks place just south of Crandon. Temperatures hovered around seven degrees. There was about two inches of snow that covered the ground. The lakes and rivers were starting to freeze up there giving it a more of a surreal landscape.

It was rather pretty up there...

Arbutus Lake

Lily River

Grass Lake

The Wolf River

So how was your Thanksgiving?

Friday, November 26, 2010

I think it's done snowing for now..

My first attempt of publishing photos

After 4½ days of constant snow fall this is what it looks outside our door.. Yuck, it's going to be a terribly long winter.
Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Open Blog - Weekend

It's Black Friday. Why aren't you shopping?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Buy Nothing Day

Yep, Adbusters promotes the day after Thanksgiving as Buy Nothing Day. In this, the biggest day of conspicuous consumption, a small band tries to get us to stop and think about our overconsuming lifestyles on a day when consumers go off the deep end.

I have not really celebrated a traditional Christmas in a long time. My family treats it the same way as the rest of the year: if we see something that inspires a gift to be given, great. If not, no big deal. As a result, there are not always presents given on Christmas but you might get something randomly on June 18th if I happen to see something that makes me think of a person on that day. What about Christmas? Well, we know we love each other and show it all year long so we just don't worry about stressing ourselves out during an arbitrarily selected season.

Now I don't expect large numbers of people to suddenly skip Christmas shopping due to this campaign...but if it can get some people to think about our lifestyles and/or how we celebrate that season, more power to 'em!

Happy Thanksgiving

Feast You Happy & Rest You Merry!

Latest post from the molders of public thinking

If Sarah Palin did not exist, we would invent her. She is a product of our media culture. Crass, superficial, ignorant and proud of her ignorance, unaware and unconcerned about the existence of real people, Sarah Palin floats on a media cloud that does not at any time touch the ground. She is the type of politician who can't name a Supreme Court decision, or explain how the legislative process works, or knows anything about the Constitution (but she totally loves it). Palin is the perfect Twitter user. Her mind was made for Twitter. Anything she thinks or says usually can't survive beyond 140 characters. Don't be annoyed by her. She is simply the evolutionary product of our culture.. Vickie, It's easier now than you think to get a job. Many employers go online now to list good paying jobs so you don't have to waste gas and money driving around. You can see all the available jobs in your city and what they pay. Go to

Notice how they.lead you along with you going yes, yea, yes, then BAM they smack you? An experiment in psychology had a large cage with monkeys in it. A banana was placed on top of a ladder for any monkey to grab that wanted it. BUT if a monkey did go after it, ALL monkeys got sprayed with water. After awhile they started swapping out the monkeys. When a new monkey started for the banana, all the rest pounded on it. Eventually there were no original monkeys left. The researchers found that the most ruthless monkeys were not the originals but later additions. None of the later monkeys knew why they weren't allowed the banana, just that they weren't and they would leave it alone.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

"Patent Office Agrees To Facebook’s 'Face' Trademark"

"Facebook is just a payment away from trademarking the word 'Face.' As of today the U.S. Patent And Trademark Office has sent the social networking site a Notice of Allowance, which means they have agreed to grant the 'Face' trademark to Facebook.

"All Facebook needs to do is pay the issue fee within three months of today and the 'Face' trademark will be issued and be published in the official USPTO gazette and everything."

That's right, they'll own the word "Face." I don't know if it has to be capitalized. I have a difficult time understanding things like this. I think I have some grasp of intellectual property, but I don't comprehend how someone can trademark a common word. Are they going to trademark "book" next? Can I trademark "the" and make a gajillion dollars? Why am I posting such a great idea online?

Dear Madame Zoltar

Hello, my tornado survivors! How are you? Oh dear, oh my, oh dear. What an awful thing to happen, again. Tornadoes for Thanksgiving? Well, I never. I am very grateful that no one was seriously injured in the recent storms. We should count our blessings and help those who have suffered from the weather. That is the best way to give thanks.

Our illustrious Green Bay Packers once again vanquished the Minnesota Vikings and their cur quarterback, Brett Favre. That’s the second time that we’ve beaten a team so badly that their head coach was fired. If this continues, perhaps the Packers will literally destroy their division. The next opponent is the Atlanta Falcons, this Sunday. May you clip their wings, o mighty Packers!

Like many of you, I am busy getting ready for the big holiday tomorrow. Rush, rush, push, push, hurry, hurry. There is no way I would join the throngs going out on Black Friday to spend and consume, but I still feel a sense of urgency about Thanksgiving. I feel the same about Christmas, and that’s over a month away. Maybe it’s the result of the commercialization of the holidays. Maybe the hype just works me up. I don’t know, my dears, but I get anxious. I have found that the right music can calm me down, and even set a nice mental tone. As Christmas approaches, I start playing some of the holiday music that I like, not that jingly, nerve-fraying muzak they blare in the stores. So I looked for some appropriate Thanksgiving music and found the video below. It is a slideshow done to George Winston performing “Thanksgiving.” It is short and soothing.

And here’s the late, great Johnny Cash singing a “Thanksgiving Prayer” on an episode of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman:

I’m thanking the Lord for the JT Irregulars and all my other friends here. Thank you for being you and thank you for sharing some time with me today. I truly am grateful for such wonderful friends. Happy Thanksgiving to each and every one of you!

Don’t forget to send your leftovers to:

The weatherman is saying it might get a little slippery for Thanksgiving, my dears. Please be careful in your holiday travels, long or short. We have to re-learn every year how to drive on snow and ice. Enjoy a delectable day with family and/or friends. Pleniloqent!

Talk To Your Kids About Star Wars

The More You Know...

Open Blog - Wednesday

Enjoy Thanksgiving tomorrow. Gobble till you wobble.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Something to occupy your time

It's about time for us to do our words that sound alike, are spelled differently and mean different things (homophones).

I'll start with the usual:

two, to and too

Have fun, guys.

New TSA Bumper Stickers

Monday, November 22, 2010

Wiping Out Your Phone...

Okay, so you are chatting on your cell phone, maybe sending a text and the phone goes dead. You turn it on and everything is gone...your contacts, pics, everything. Chalk it up to bad luck...a faulty circuit board perhaps.

Or maybe your employer zapped your phone. Yep, they can do that even if its your phone and you pay all the bills. If you use your phone to access your work email over a Microsoft Exchange server, they can send commands to your phone to do everything from disabling the camera to totally wiping your phone. They had a nice piece on it on NPR today.

Now this feature might be nice if your phone is lost or stolen, but having it done to you involuntarily by your employer is another story. If you don't want this to happen, the solution is simple...don't access your email through an exchange server. If your employer expects you to stay in touch using your phone to access email, well, that's tricky. Many people don't know their employers have this control over their personal phones (one company in the NPR story makes employees sign a form outlining their company policies...not all do).

Now if this was an employer owned and paid for cell phone, this wouldn't be an issue. If it's my cell phone and someone else tries to wipe it remotely, then I have a huge issues with that (for the record, my employer does not use Microsoft Exchange so the couldn't do that to my phone if they wanted).

The legality of this is not clear (although companies that make you sign a contract might have a advice, don't sign and make them supply a cell phone if they want the ability to do that). Cell phones are one of those devices that have mixed personal and business uses. We pay for them, yet some employers expect us to use them for business...and can assert total control over them at will.

So be careful out there how you use your phone, especially if you access email through Exchange.

November 22, 1963 this day in History

Do you remember where you were at when President John F. Kennedy was shot?

Open Blog - Monday

Let it all out.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Jennifer Lynn, Christine Wu & Meytal Cohen cover System of a Down's "Toxicity"

This is just amazing to me. I never even considered the configuration of two violins and drums. Very well done. Here's the original by System of a Down:

The young women in the video have grown. Jennifer Lynn and Meytal Cohen each have their own YouTube page: and

I didn't find a page for Christine Wu, but there is this interview:
Edit, May 7, 2013: Christine Wu has her own webpage and a Facebook page: