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Sunday, September 30, 2001

I put up a bunch of buttons on eBay, you can see them all here.

I put up The Police Stewart Copeland, The Jam - New Wave MINT!, Star Trek, Princess Diana: Don't Do It Di!, Ferris Bueller's Day Off Leisure Rules, VW Beetle Advertising Buttons, IBM PC Computer Advertising Buttons (6)! , National Ski Patrol Button.
Sex and the city.
For those firemen who have come from rural corners of America to help out, the experience beats seeing the lights in Times Square. After their shifts, they pour into the bars around Greenwich Village and SoHo to drink and wait to be picked up. They do not need to wait long. The busiest pick-up times are from five to six p.m. during happy hour and 12 midnight to one a.m. when everyone is feeling tired and emotional.
My heros.
Jolene Blalock, science officer T’Pol on the UPN’s Star Trek series Enterprise, is a Maxim girl.
“I love when I sort of come to and I’m on the other side of the room, sweaty and breathing heavy, with bottles and ashtrays tipped over everywhere. I’m like, ‘What just happened? Oh yeah, I got laid. Gotcha.’”
Jeri Ryan, remember seven of nine?; was a Maxim girl too. Now she's on Boston Public starting Monday.
I was one of the Taliban's torturers: I crucified people.
...bin Laden joined Mullah Omar for a bird shoot on his estate. "They seemed to get on well," he said. "They would go fishing together, too - with hand grenades."
Horrible.

Saturday, September 29, 2001

DEBKAfile - Hot Middle East news, before the networks get it!.

Jingoism - Maybe reading this will help me understand jingoism? A term derived from the expression `by jingo', used in a music-hall song written in support of Disraeli's stand against Russia.

Internal Documents - Obtained legally.

Barry Crimmins: Quips 9-29-01
If it gets any worse, the government will start doing cavity searches of flags before they are allowed to fly.

For those of you who don't know what the claims that political satire is dead really mean, let me explain. They mean that now that our airways, newspapers and websites are rife with some of the lamest and most hypocritical jingoism in memory, political satirists are supposed to self-censor themselves from commenting or risk being labeled as disloyal to their country and disrespectful to the victims. The victim part, in particular, is hooey. The only way to disrespect victims is to collaborate in silence with any effort that might take more innocent lives. And the only loyalty worth respecting is loyalty to the truth.


If Osama bin Laden and President Bush had a conversation on AIM.

It's #10 with a bullet on the Daypop Top 40.
gagpipe.com. Headline satire from around the world.
via [ parallax view ]
America's Mad As Hell Humor Page has Osama bin Laden Games like the Osama bin Laden Target Practice Game, Music like that Day-O song, 5-day weather forecast for Afghanistan, Jokes like First Annual Kabul Air Show Scheduled , Captions like the Proposed New World Trade Center, and Political Cartoons.

Friday, September 28, 2001

Chris Young wanted to be a millionaire. aka: What's Lt. Colombo's first name?
[ bush_taliban.jpg ]
Ashleigh Banfield, on MSNBC, interviewed a Muslim Mullah yesterday. He said that Bush supports the killing of Palestinians by Israel so that makes him a terrorist. When Bush says, join me or the terrorists, it makes no sense because he is a terrorist himself. It's a different world view.

The whole thing is disturbing, especially Ashleigh's new black hair color. I liked her better as a blonde.
Wil Wheaton:
The best thing about the new Enterprise.

Two words:

Detox. Gel.

Thursday, September 27, 2001

Eulogy in Honor of Mark Bingham
Delivered by Senator John McCain
San Francisco, CA
September 22, 2001
"I love my country, and I take pride in serving her. But I cannot say that I love her more or as well as Mark Bingham did, or the other heroes on United Flight 93 who gave their lives to prevent our enemies from inflicting an even greater injury on our country. It has been my fate to witness great courage and sacrifice for America's sake, but none greater than the selfless sacrifice of Mark Bingham and those good men who grasped the gravity of the moment, understood the threat, and decided to fight back at the cost of their lives.
I'm listening to Cindy Bullens' new CD Neverland. She rocks.
Barry Crimmins has new quips about the Taliban, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Air Line Pilots Association, the Federal Aviation Administration, Rudy Giuliani, George W. Bush, the House Judiciary Committee, John Ashcroft, Republicans, The Anti-Terrorist bill, American Airlines, Cantor Fitzgerald chairman Howard W. Lutnic, and Michael R. Bloomberg.
If you really want to annoy the Taliban, airdrop elementary school teachers into Afghanistan and have them teach science -- to girls.
These are more than just jokes about Osama bin Laden, it's political satire.
The Banned Books Project wants to ban the banning of books.
I put a couple of items up on eBay you might be interested in:

WILLY WONKA Autograph - signed by 5 kids and a MACINTOSH - ENAMEL PIN - RARE! (in original sealed bag).

Wednesday, September 26, 2001

Last night we made a donation to the American Red Cross and the United Way September 11th Fund by going to see Hardball at General Cinema. Keanu Reeves did a nice job. I was waiting for him to say 'Whoa'; he didn't, but there were a couple of points in the movie where he thought it in his mind.

I was told that Hardball was just an updated version of Bad News Bears. Riiiight. It wasn't even the typical boy gets girl, boy looses girl, boy gets girl plot. Overall I liked it, no wonder why it's the top movie from the past two weekends.

Since I wasn't home I taped undeclared, it rocked. It was nicely done. If you liked Freaks and Geeks you'll love undeclared. Best line: "Hey, there's a scrunchie on the door and I'm not in there."
Priorities
In my efforts to make myself accessible to people who I've never even met, I have made myself inaccessible to the people who love and need me the most: my family.
Wil Wheaton's been spending a lot of time on the Internet.
On TV Tonight.

Tuesday, September 25, 2001

Al Qaeda to cut at least 5,000 jobs
KABUL (Voice of Sharia) -- Citing worldwide reaction to last week's terrorist attacks, multi-national terror network Al Qaeda announced Thursday that it would lay off 5,000 or more holy warriors.
Do I have a twin?

Monday, September 24, 2001

The Monkey is the Message.
For those looking for Osama bin Laden jokes, I've updated my Humor in the News weblog.

Polls today showed that President Bush has the highest rating for a U.S. president ever recorded.

ABC wants to sign him for the timeslot against CBS' Survivor.
Don't believe everything you read.
via [ What's New Pussycat? and a site for sore eyes, who also has some black humor which I found funny, but didn't want to link directly to. ]

Sunday, September 23, 2001

What's Going On?
Fred Durst:
Somebody tell me what's going on
(what's going on)
We got human beings using humans for a bomb
But everyone wanna live
Don't nobody really want to die
You feeling me right
I can't be watching people die
(die)
And watching people cry
Let me break it down for a minute
If there's enough room here for you and me
There's plenty of room for some humanity

Saturday, September 22, 2001

Tears Down the West Side Highway
Frankly, I don't want to be on anybody's TV show no matter where they are from, but I cannot help but feel this sinking feeling in my gut that the rest of the world wants to hear what I have to say, yet in my own country, I am to have no voice in the media (other than through these letters on the Web).

This is MY country. I love MY country. Every channel and it's the same damn repetitive drumbeat WAR WAR WAR WAR WAR...
Michael Moore made it back to New York after driving cross country and has something to say.
For those of you looking for Osama bin Laden jokes and spoofs, Barry Crimmins has a slew of timely Osama bin Laden quips here.
If the reports that bin Laden left Afghanistan five days ago are true, now that Bush has issued an ultimatum it's likely the Taliban will coax him to return just so they can not turn him over.
Roger Avary's Journal
If you're an aspiring young girl who wants to get naked in a real Hollywood production, email me your picture. You must have natural breasts, look like you're in college, have a positive attitude, and be available to work in Los Angeles on Wednesday, October 3rd.
This could be your big break!
metacritic is your one-stop website to find a summary of movie reviews. Warning to Mariah Carey: Do not follow this link!
Glitter: Reviewed

Miami Herald / Rene Rodriguez:
Glitter, the kind of movie only 11-year-old girls who dot their i's with hearts would find bearable.


USA Today / Claudia Puig:
Even the soundtrack doesn't rescue the movie from its tedious banality.


TV Guide / Steve Simels:
A butt-numbing exercise in tedium, sporadically redeemed by moments of unintentional hilarity.


Mr. Showbiz / Kevin Maynard:
Take the G out of Glitter and it's litter.
via [ a fire inside ]

Friday, September 21, 2001

This is your captain speaking.
Sometimes a potential hijacker will announce that he has a bomb. There are no bombs on this aircraft and if someone were to get up and make that claim, don't believe him.
Our world has changed.
via [ scripting news ]

Thursday, September 20, 2001

FEDERAL FLAG CODE
It is the universal custom to display the Flag only from sunrise to sunset on buildings and on stationary flagstaffs in the open. However, when a patriotic effect is desired, the Flag may be displayed twenty-four hours a day, IF properly illuminated during the hours of darkness.

When displayed either horizontally or vertically against a wall, the Union should be uppermost and to the Flag's own right; that is, to the observer's left.
I felt that it was a good time to fly the US Flag, I got at my father's funeral, off our second floor porch.

The blue field of stars is on the top left, if you are looking at the flag from the street. I also have the flag lit up at night. I got an outdoor spotlight at Home Depot.

Flying the flag makes me feel better.
Random Stuff
Jim Gilliam has a weblog that's worth taking a look at. Find breaking news about TV at TV Barn.

I was watching Star Trek: The Voyage Home yesterday and thought I saw Jeremy Piven at the helm of a starship, why didn't he get a credit? I enjoyed watching it, especially after having seen Galaxy Quest and reading Wil Wheaton's Weblog, the movie's even more comical now.

The Morning News is still publishing even though most of their computers were stolen.

Watched Cast Away last night on Pay Per View. Why isn't it called Castaway? Tom Hanks was amazing.

Wednesday, September 19, 2001

Barry Crimmins: Political Satirist.
Parade Rout.
In the coming days as the rubble is cleared and the bodies are counted Americans will be offered simple solutions to complex problems. To accept these easy answers will mean there will be more carnage inflicted upon innocents. Without thoughtfulness, outrage will ferment into madness.


Quips.
Bush is calling this "the first war of the 21st Century." It's reassuring to know we have another century of wars to look forward to.

Osama bin Laden aced the collateral damage section of his CIA training.


Replica of World Trade Center wall built at MIT as place for reflections, flowers.
All The Kings Horses
Our friends, our families have been blown to bits. Our friends, our families now pick up the bits.
Back in 1984 when the Macintosh first came out, I was one of the founding members of the Boston Computer Society's Macintosh Users Group. It was a very exciting time. Steve Jobs unveiled the Mac to our users group. We were in an auditorium that held over 500 people.

The first to speak was the Macintosh itself. "Hello, I am Macintosh," it said. That was sooo cool. We all cheered. That meeting was the best compter presentation I have ever been to. It was like a revival meeting. Steve Jobs rocked the house.

Everything was so new back then. You could actually see the fonts on the screen, you could paint pictures, you could even copy and paste a picture in to a letter. Wow!

Here's a story that reminds me of the excitement of the early days of the Mac.
via [ a fire inside ]

Monday, September 17, 2001

Share your words of hope on the ABC News Times Square ticker.
UPDATE: 9/28/2001 Dan Kennedy from the Boston Phoenix looked into this story and found out that Scheer drew the wrong conclusion. Proves that you can't beleive everything you read!
Bush's Faustian Deal With the Taliban
By Robert Scheer
Published May 22, 2001 in the Los Angeles Times
Enslave your girls and women, harbor anti-U.S. terrorists, destroy every vestige of civilization in your homeland, and the Bush administration will embrace you. All that matters is that you line up as an ally in the drug war, the only international cause that this nation still takes seriously.

That's the message sent with the recent gift of $43 million to the Taliban rulers of Afghanistan, the most virulent anti-American violators of human rights in the world today. The gift, announced last Thursday by Secretary of State Colin Powell, in addition to other recent aid, makes the U.S. the main sponsor of the Taliban and rewards that "rogue regime" for declaring that opium growing is against the will of God. So, too, by the Taliban's estimation, are most human activities, but it's the ban on drugs that catches this administration's attention.
It's probably too late to put a stop on this check. Bummer. Maybe we can make a withdrawal?

Saturday, September 15, 2001

Too Much God?
Should there be so much God in these public expressions of loss and remembrance? Should a secular country gather its political leaders in the National Cathedral to pray?
How come there wasn't a Humanist up there?
How to defeat bin Laden
The deliberate murder of innocents is a crime and an abomination in all societies -- Islamic ones no less than any others.


Across America Tonight
GET A GRIP, man. "Declare war?" War against whom? One guy in the desert whom we can never seem to find?


A Letter
The Taliban are a cult of ignorant psychotics who captured Afghanistan in 1997 and have been holding the country in bondage ever since. Bin Laden is a political criminal with a master plan. When you think Taliban, think Nazis. When you think Bin Laden, think Hitler. And when you think "the people of Afghanistan" think "the Jews in the concentration camps."

I wonder what Colin Powell and the Generals are planning?

Friday, September 14, 2001

Thursday, September 13, 2001

Dave Winer thinks this picture of firemen raising the American flag is destined for the history books.

It looks like war.
I wasn't aware that Boston was a hotbed of terrorist activity until this week. I guess that's the way they like to keep it. Quiet.

I subscribe to the theory that 'worry is a worthless emotion', but after seeing the World Trade Center tradegy in New York on TV and the recent activity in the Boston area, I feel that being cautious is a good thing.

I drove my wife to work in downtown Boston yesterday. When I looked up at the John Hancock Tower and the Prudential Center Tower, my mind saw an image of a Boeing 747 flying into them. Strange, it wasn't a concious thought, but it was there.

On my way home, I stopped in Kenmore Square to workout at my health club. After getting out of my car, two fire engines, two ambulances and a few police cars drove up to a nearby building with sirens blaring. Normally I wouldn't think anything of it, but yesterday I did. It made me pause.

After returning home, I saw that the Westin hotel, right in downtown Boston, was being surrounded by SWAT teams and Bomb Squads. My wife was working just a few blocks from there.

I called her to tell her that I'd be picking her up, she had planned to take the bus.

When I picked her up, I asked her if she had looked at the Hancock or Prudential towers during the day.

"Yes" she replied, "and in my mind, I saw a plane crash into them ."

Wednesday, September 12, 2001

Not being able to sleep this morning, I decided to post the highlights from our trip to Rome.

Capri
Our trip from Rome to Carpri took us on a taxi, train, boat and funiculare.

Eurostar - 10:45
Rome Termini to Naples (Napoli Centrale)

When making reservations, make sure you ask for non-smoking if you want it. There is plenty of room to take your luggage with you. Sometimes the trains are really crowded, sometimes they aren't. Make a reservation prior to the day you want to travel to make sure you get a seat.

Our taxi ride from Naples to the port could have been filmed and made into a video game. You know how if you're playing a video game, people walk out in front of you and you aren't supposed to hit them? Well our cab driver got a good score, he didn't hit any people, or other cars!

The cab driver put a finger to his eye, pulled down on the eyelid and pinted to his watch. At first we thought he meant to watch the time so we didn't miss our boat, but later we figured out he meant to watch out for pick pockets who might steal our watch off our arms. We took off all watches and jewlery and put them in our pockets.

We took the LN - Navigazione Libera Del Golfo hydrofoil, $10.00, from Naples to Capri. It was a nice ride with open air seating up top.

After landing in Capri, you need to take the Funicolare from the port, up to the main part of Capri.

The Funicolare is a little train that climbs up the island at a 45 degree angle. The cars are built at an angle to go up to Capri. There is room to take your luggage in the car too. Here's a picture of the Funiculare that I took for you, because prior to going to Capri, I had no clue as to what it was and what it looked like..

We stayed at what I feel is the best hotel on Capri, the Hotel Luna, 011-39-81-837-0433. We had an amzing room with an ocean view.

Ristorante Pizzaria Aurora
Via Fuorlovado
Tel 837-0181

Down a narrow street this restaurant wasn't too busy at 7:00, but by 8:00 all the tables were full. Make a reservation if you plan to eat late. Grilled vegetables to start $8, eggplant and pasta $15, Amorone Wine costs 10 times more than the meal, but was a nice Italian wine. It seemed like a local clientele until we founds our those eating next to us were from Belgium and Russia. The people from Belgium told us they checked out of the Quissisana because it was too impersonal and large. We are used to impersonal and large, but could get used to personal and small.

La Capannia
Via Le Botteghe 12 B

Many rooms make up this authentic restaurant. We enjoyed the veal with a light oil and vegetables.

Ristorante "da Paolino"
di De Martino Michele
Via Palazzo a Mare
Tel 081 837 61 02

One of the highlights of Capri, this reatuarant is in the middle of a lemon grove. YOu dine at a table with lemons hanging over your head.

Take the Funicular down to Marina Grande. After getting off the Funicular, tkae a left and follow the street until you start to see signs for da Paolino.

Before you order, take a look at the Antipasto salad bar and desert bar. You might want to make that your meal.

Start with a Bomba. It's a homemade pasta ball with a brown crust filled with cheese. It seemed more like bread than pasta. Awesome!

Linguini with Large Scampi. Wow! The shrimp were the size of Twin Lobsters!

At the end of the meal they served a local drink called Limonella. Lemony...

Grotta Azzura
There are boat tours of the island which take you to the big tourist attraction, Grotto Azzura. We think a better way to get to Grotto Azzura, also known as Blue Grotto, is to take the bus. Get a 24 hour bus pass that also includes two trips on the Funiculare.

Here's my step by step instructions for you take the bus to the Blue Grotto.
1. Take the bus from Capri to Anacapri
2. Walk down Via DeTommaso to the bus stop on the left.
3. Get on a bus to G. Azzura
4. Once there, take the staircase down, where a rowboat will pick you up.
5. A small rowboat will pull up and take four people at a time.
6. The row boat will pull up to a floating cashier where you pay a fee.
7. After you pay, you'll lie flat down and prepare to enter the grotto.
8. Once inside you'll float around and experience the amazing clear blue water inside the cave lit up by the reflected outside sunlight.
9. After you leave, you'll be pulled back to the same staircase you entered on. Make sure you are careful leaving the boat by placing you foot firmly on the dock.


SNAV hydrofoil - 11:10 AM
Capri to Napoli
$10.00

Here are my step by step instructions for getting from the SNAV dock to the Mergellina Train station.

1, After getting off the boat, go straight up the hill to the train station.
2. Once in the station, watch the monitors for your track number. There's only about four tracks, so it won't be hard for you to get to your track.

This is both a local train station and a high speed rail stop. Don't be concerned when a local train shows up where you Eurostar high speed train should be. The trains run on time, so make sure you are on time.

Eurostar - 1:06 PM
Napoli Mergellina to Rome Termini

Once you get on the train, luggage can be stored at the rnd of hte train car if it won't fit on top. You might also be able to fit the luggage between two back to back seats.

Florence
The Leather School is inside the Convento di Santa Croce.

coin is a department store in the middle of town.

Galleria dell'Academy is the museum where David is.

Rome
St. Regis Grand
Via V.E. Orlando 3
011-39-06-47091

www.easyeverything.com is on
Via Barberini. It has over 200 internet terminals for hourly use at a great price.

Changing money in Rome is easy. Depending where you change it you might pay a service charge and/or a commission.

Little change booths charge both a sevice charge and a percentage commission. Thier exchage rates might look good at first but you need to figure out the service charge.

Banks only charge a flat service charge when you get in an go to a teller. I did this a couple of times. Here's how you do it:

1. Remove metal objects and put htem in a keyed safe outside the front door.
2. Push button to enter a tube. The tube is a person sized test tube that opens after you press the button.
3. Once inside the tube, the opposite side will open if your scan for metal objects is clean, otherwise the rear door will open and you'll need to remove metal objects.
4. You to the teller and say Bojourno, change US?
5. After taking a puff of his cigarette, he'll change your money for you and give you a reciept.

ATM's don't charge a service charge or a commission. Your bank might charge you though for using a really foreign ATM.

Eating In Rome
Eating in Rome is a done at a leisurely pace. You order a bottle of water as aqua con gas which means water with bubbles. If you don't want bubble you can get water without gas.

The portions are smaller than American size. I'd say just enough for a typical eater. It's great because you can have an appetizer and also the meal without getting full.

Dolce Vita is a nice open air restaurant on the Piazza Navona.

The Spanish Steps neighborbood is a maze of twisty little streets all looking alike. This is a nice area for walking around, seeing adn being seens. The most popular street in Rome from 6-8 PM for walking.

La Fontanella
Via Fontanella di Borghese
Tel - 687-1582 Call first for reservations

You eat outside just off Via del Corso. Homemade fresh pasta was a highlight.

In Trastevere, Birreria della Scala On Piazza Santa Maria della Scala is a great place for a beer. They have Leffe Blonde on tap, a nice Belgian beer.
Report: Five Suspects Identified in NYC Attack
Authorities in Massachusetts have identified five Arab men as suspects in Tuesday's attack on New York City and have seized a rental car containing Arabic-language flight training manuals at Logan International Airport.
This started very close to home.

Tuesday, September 11, 2001

Whew! I'm back from a vacation to Rome. Got in last night from an 11 hour, multiple connection flight back. I have lots to tell you about, so I'll start with a small post and add more later.

We took a bus tour to Florence and saw Michaelangelo's David. It's a statue of David who slew Goliath. Funny... the things you learn on vacation. Michaelangelo didn't represent David as circumsised. It seems that he only used Catholics as models. An old lady in our tour pointed this out. She was all embarrased about it, but she did have a sharp eye.

Our tour guide in Florence was amazing. She went to Florence as a college student, met someone, and got married and stayed. She really made it a great experience. Her name is Cynthia Black and her number is (055) 641625. She says it's best to book ahead.

The bus tour also took us to Orvieto, It's little small town on a hill in the middle of wine and olive country. This is the kind of town you think about when you think, 'little Italian town'. We had a great little dinner at Ristorante Maurizio.

We toured the Colosseum and The Forum, where we got the true story of the vestal virgins, they had the life. No really. They did. Most of them didn't get burrried alive either.

They showed a movie at the Colosseum of how modern day fighting in sports resembles that which was going on in Rome years ago, I was wondering why Terry O'Reilly from the big bad Boston Bruins wasn't included. I'll have to write a letter. While on the tour it started raining so we had to seek shelter. Too bad it wasn't Roman times. Back then they'd close the retractable roof in case of bad weather, actually it was a velarium.

We went to Trastevere, a little quaint part of Rome, like Cambridge is to Boston. We saw a small little bakery where it looked like they made cookie for restuarants. We went in and a little old lady sold us a delicious assortment of cookies. She looked at us and asked, 'Boston', ha ha. We said yes and she told us her family was from Boston. Well, she didn't actually 'tell' us, she said, "Family, Boston, Disney", we got the idea. She started making hand motions like planes flying back and forth to and from Italy and Boston. I think she took non-stop flights. But I can't be sure because of the language differences.

I could have used this half baked post about how to communicate in foreign countries on the trip.

Saturday, September 01, 2001

While I take a short break from blogging, I'll leave you with a detailed list of the sites I visit daily. Enjoy!

A Fire Inside usually has a few top stories of the day with insightful commentary. You'll also get a peak into another person's life.

Roger Avary is making a movie and talking about all the behind the scenes stuff. It's really cool if you're interested in movie making.

Evhead is Blogger's daddy and has quality links.

The Web Today features Outrage, Pop and What.

gleanings comes to me in the mail, you can get it too. Everything's also in the weblog. I usually like the random bits at the end.

NetWatch has tech stuff from a Boston Globe reporter.

parallaxview let's you look into the life of someone from England. They like beer and girls too.

Scripting News has writings of David Winer. Lots of techie XMLweblogs stuff here with some fun links thrown in.

Signal vs. Noise features quality postings with space for comments.

The Ultimate Insult is a great place to visit if you want to waste some time looking at weird websites.

WFT is What's Funny Today. Funny always comes in threes over there.

Wil Wheaton is my new hero.