Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Bill Maher and George Carlin

Got a chuckle out of Bill Maher's show again, as usual. If you don't have satellite or cable, Maher is reason alone to get it - he's a hoot (assuming you have liberal leanings). I think it was Carlin who commented last night that we don't want "Joe Average" to be our President, as Bush is often made out to be - we want our President to be "Exceptional". I couldn't agree more. For those folks who seem to find Bush likeable because he is an your everday "average joe", well that only speaks to the intelligence of those average dimwits in this country who like their messages very plain and simple with a good thump on the Bible for effect. (I want even go into Carlin's thoughts on organized religion in this country - that might get me death threats from the religious right!)

I stil find the thought of flip-flopping amusing. The problem with GW is that he only flops and never has learned to flip. I was reminded of how many times Thomas Edison "flopped" before he invented the light bulb. The difference with Thomas was that when he "flopped", he flipped till he got it right and finally "flipped" on the light bulb. Anyone who can't gather new insights from their mistakes, is not someone I want as our President. GW has amply demonstrated that once he heads down a path, he can't be diverted. That's a dangerous person.

Computers and GPS and City Guides
Just wanted to comment that Microsoft's Streets and Trips 2005 with their GPS unit worked like a champ on our vacation. It updates your location every second on the map, so it is virtually "real-time". Made it a cinch to navigate in big cities that you are unfamiliar with and takes away the tension of trying to read maps in the darkness of your car. Of course, it helps if you have a navigator in the passenger seat who can follow the process on the laptop (thank you Janet!). It has a neat feature that will reorient the map to always point like you are looking out the front window of the car. This makes it exceedingly easy to know whether to turn right or left (for those who are challenged when driving southbound and having to think about which way to turn). The GPS unit is about an inch square and has a little suction cup on the cord, so that you can attach it to your windshield and then the cord plugs into your laptop via USB. It will even tell you your speed ( a good way to check the accuracy of your car's speedometer), as well as current altitude (helpful I guess, if you suddenly make a wrong turn and find yourself driving up the side of Mt.Everest). You can plot out your route, even electing to avoid toll roads, if you so choose and it will then draw the route out on your map and as you start driving, you can see the little car traveling along your route. If you go off the route, you will see it in a flash - and it's easy (assuming you didn't just drive into the ocean), to get yourself back on to the route. Additonal nice features are all the restaurants and services that it will locate for you on the map - makes it nice when traveling down the interstate and wishing to find something other than the normal Dairy Queen, McDonald's, etc.

Also enjoyed using Vindigo on my Palm Pilot. Extremely helpful little device. Includes most major cities in the US. When you're on foot and looking for a place to eat, you just type in your current location, click on restaurants within a 1/2 mile, 1 mile, or 2 miles (or any distance), and it will show you al the restaurants in that area, many of which have reviews. Once you select one, you click on GO and it will figure out how to get you from where you currently are to the restaurant. Dead-on accurate and we used it constantly. Wish that all the restaurants had reviews, but you can't have it all. :) It does rate them by cost, by cuisine,etc. I also downloaded a copy of Zagat for the Palm. Zagat is a famous restaurant review tool and when Vindigo didn't have a review of a restaurant we thought about visiting, then I would look for it on Zagat and they had almost every restaurant reviewed. So between the two, you have it covered. Only suggestion I would have - include the business hours of the locations and what days of the week they are open. Avoids you hoofing a 1/2 mile to find the place closed. It does list phone numbers, so you could aways call before you started your trek.