Friday, April 16, 2004


Happened to watch Himalaya last night on DVD. Great flick - highly recommended for rental. (I'd purchase this one). Was Oscar nominated for Foreign Film of Year in 2000. Yaks/Caravans/Nepal/Winter storms - great story, beautiful scenery,beautiful people and wonderful music - all in a spectacular mountain setting, often at 17,000+ feet. Watch the movie and then watch how they made the movie under Special Features - that will blow you away. I'd tell you, but that would spoil it. Enjoy the movie first, then be surprised when you watch what they did to film this. Family entertainment - 5 stars. You miss, you lose. :) (I'd adopt the little kid in this movie in a heartbeat)

It pays to file electronically - couldn't have been more than a few days and already my VA return is sitting in my check book. Impressive. Speaking ot taxes and the working poor (yep, that's me! - well, close, anyway. :) - did anyone catch Nightline last night? They were doing a 3 part series on the "Working Poor in America". David Shipler, the author of Arab and Jew: Broken Spirits in a Troubled Land, which I listened to earlier this year via, sat down with Ted and 3 families were profiled. Would be curious to know what you thought of it - unfortunately, I missed it. Tonite's show asks the question of what the hell is happening in Iraq?

Digital Photography
Another positive review of the D70 over at Imaging Resources. It's a tremendously capable d-SLR that noticeably advances the state of the art for cameras anywhere close to its price point. The lens it ships with is first-rate, with a wider focal-length range and faster maximum aperture than the Canon equivalent, and the camera itself just feels good in the hand. It's also remarkably responsive, with true instant-on availability, a responsive shutter, and truly exceptional continuous-shooting ability. Naturally, none of this would mean anything if the D70's images weren't up to snuff, but image quality is absolutely first rate as well. All in all, the D70 is an excellent camera, with features and performance well beyond what one might expect from an attractively priced d-SLR. Highly recommended!

Word of the Day
adj. Not straightforward or candid; insincere or calculating: “an ambitious, disingenuous, philistine, and hypocritical operator, who... exemplified... the most disagreeable traits of his time” (David Cannadine).
Pretending to be unaware or unsophisticated; faux-naïf.
Usage: "It is disingenuous to say when a driver or passenger who fails to buckle up gets hurt or killed, it is their right and no one else gets hurt. ... " or " But the most disingenuous part of the plan is that Mr Sharon has cloaked this aggression in a withdrawal from some Palestinian areas. ... "

Quote of the Day
"I have enjoyed greatly the second blooming that comes when you finish the life of the emotions and of personal relations; and suddenly find - at the age of fifty, say - that a whole new life has opened before you, filled with things you can think about, study, or read about...It is as if a fresh sap of ideas and thoughts was rising in you."
Agatha Christie (You rock Agatha! - says this 50+ curmudgeon!)

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

MacDonald's Wireless Plan

MacDonald's is bringing wi-fi to the masses. Another way to sell a burger. "McDonald's plans to charge customers $2.95 for a two-hour wireless Internet connection, with other pricing options available from Wayport, including a $29.95 monthly plan that will give subscribers unlimited use of all locations in the Wayport network. Service options available via roaming partners will be announced soon. "

I guess I wonder if someone really wants to sit in a MacDonald's for 2 hours? Hardly the ambiance of a nice coffeehouse. And if I just spent $3 to sign on, I'm not going to want to just grab my email and leave. Personally, I think it should just be a free ad-on, like a number of Schlotsky stores offers. I wonder if MacDonald's will also be offering some sort of wet-wipes so that you can clean the grease off your keyboard when you're done? Lord knows, there will be enough on there.

Krispy Kremes RULE!
Who's worrying about trans-fats? Not Hawaiians! The folks in Hawaii are on their own personal suicide mission. Either the planes will crash from too many donuts, or they'll die from clogged arteries. Suspect it would be a better death going down in the plane with 2 or 3 of the sugar bombs tucked away in each cheek.


Hawaii residents love Krispy Kreme Doughnuts so much that they often stock up at a new store in Maui before boarding inter-island flights back home, overloading airline luggage bins along the way.
"The locals bring so many boxes of doughnuts on board that we can't always fit them on our flights. Some people will put five or six boxes in an overhead bin," says Mark Dunkerley, president of Hawaiian Airlines .
Hawaii's first Krispy Kreme store opened on Jan. 27 in Maui, less than a mile from Kahului Airport.
Doughnut shops are sprinkled liberally across the Hawaiian islands. But the novelty of a major chain, combined with the widespread custom of "omiage," a Japanese word that refers to the custom of bringing gifts home to family and friends, have given rise to the commuter doughnut.
On the day the Maui store opened, a Kauai police officer bought doughnuts for his entire department, then hopped on a plane for the short flight home, Krispy Kreme spokeswoman Tina McNealey said.

I thought it was interesting to hear the pundits talk about GW's press conference last night. Can't believe how nice some of these guys are. One former Reagan person on Charlie Rose, thought he hit a "home run". Somehow, this guy must have never played baseball. It's called "3 Strikes and you're OUT, bubba" !!

You might want to take a look at Fareed Zakariah's recent article in Newsweek. At least somebody has some concrete suggestions! "The date, June 30, is less important than the entity to which power is transferred. If that new government is seen as an American puppet, then challenges to it will persist, and America will find itself propping up an unpopular local regime that is doomed to fail. And that dilemma reminds one not of the British in Iraq, but of the United States in Vietnam. "

Tuesday, April 13, 2004


Press Conference
Do you sometimes (often) wonder why the President's advisors ever let the Pres out for a Press Conference? I hate to say it, but this is the best person we can find to represent this country? The man can hardly put together a cogent sentence. I'm sorry, but if you vote for this guy come November, you need to reevaluate the value of the education you have received, because it can't be worth much.

Did you catch the glimpse of Condi and Card and Rove? They looked like they were suffering, especially Condi. I find it interesting that in all the photos of her you see, where she is unaware the camera is on her, she looks like she has been run over by a Mack truck. Perhaps she is just deep in thought trying to decipher what the Pres has just said - that would pop a blood vessel or two in the ol' noggin. Somehow I think the word of the day (see below) describes this Presidency. Wish I had something of a more profound nature to say, but after I suffer through an hour of such lucidity, I generally have a brain fart myself.

You would have almost thought the markets had heard the Pres speak and then collapsed . Let's hope they weren't listening to closely, a vain hope, I'm sure. I expect the markets to tumble further tomorrow after that reassuring little chat. Looks like robust retail sales has led folks to think an interest rate hike might be coming - that is always bad news. Was nowhere to hide today - Gold went down, stocks went down, bonds went down. A few more days of this and we can rejoice - another buying opportunity! :)

Word of the Day
idiosyncratic adjective: Deviating from the customary: bizarre, cranky, curious, eccentric, erratic, freakish, odd, outlandish, peculiar Usage: "DiMarco, who putts with an idiosyncratic grip known as "the Claw", shot a bogey-free four-under-par 68.." or "As carmakers have used idiosyncratic design to drill into various niches — think of everything from the Mini Cooper to the Hummer — the task of teasing ... "

Quote of the Day
"The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools."
Herbert Spencer

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Phil breaks the Jinx!

You saw a great sporting event if you caught the Masters today. An incredible putt for birdie on the final hole gives Phil Mickelson a 1 shot victory over Ernie Els and breaks a career jinx of having never won a major tour event. It was one of the best Masters I've seen. For an interview with the champ, check out this page.