Saturday, July 09, 2005

Image hosted by Photobucket.comIf you get the chance sometime, tune in on Saturday mornings (9 a.m. Eastern) to CNN's Turnaround Show with Ali Velshi . He stops in for a few days with different folks who are starting up small businesses or have been established for a short time and want to turnaround their stores or businesses to achieve better results. He generally brings in an expert from outside to suggest ideas and to formulate a plan. Today's show was an interesting one with a guy who ran a Pet Supply store catering to the "elite". Quite interesting to see all the little factors you have to take into account to make yourself successful. I've alway enjoyed reading about business (probably why I subscribe to Fortune, Forbes, Kiplinger, Smart Money and god knows how many others) and sometimes think life would have been a lot more fun (and challenging), had I gone the small business route rather than plowing away at corporate America. It's never too late, eh? :)

Image hosted by Photobucket.comAnother show that used to be on CNNfn on a daily basis was the Dolans , which has now moved to CNN, since CNNfn folded (a shame, as it was my #1 financial show in the morning). The Dolans are now on only once a week on Saturday mornings at 10 a.m. A husband and wife team (she seems to be the one with the most sense and he seems more the buffoon), they offer some excellent advice on all kinds of consumer matters and do it in a way that the average consumer knows what they heck they are talking about. They've been doing this kind of consumer/money shows a long, long time. Worth a listen. You almost always pick up something you can use .

Factoid of the Day

Image hosted by Photobucket.comThe patent for the Corncob pipe was granted today in 1878.

"Corncob" pipes made from maize cobs are cheap and effective, even if some regard them as inelegant. The cobs are first dried for two years. Then they are hollowed out to make a bowl shape. The bowls are dipped in a plaster-based mixture and varnished or laquered on the outside. Shanks made from Pine wood are then inserted into the bowls. The first and largest manufacturer of corncob pipes is Missouri Meerschaum, located in Washington, Missouri in the USA [1] ( ). Missouri Meerschaum has produced the pipes since 1869. General Douglas MacArthur was perhaps the most famous smoker of this type of pipe, along with the cartoon character Popeye.

Corncob pipes remain popular today because they are inexpensive and require no "break-in" period like briar pipes. For these two reasons, corncob pipes are often recommended as a "Beginners pipe." But, their enjoyment is by no means limited to beginners. Corncob pipes are equally valued by both learners, and experienced smokers who simply desire a cool, clean smoke.

Photo of the Day

I was recently in Asheville, NC and saw this decorative molding around a store window. Liked the spirals, the texture, the colors. Click on the picture for full sized image.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Wie Misses the Cut

A real bummer. I watched practically her whole round and at -4 with the cut line at -3, I was sure she had it made, but then with 4 holes left, she double bogied and it was like watching a pin pop a balloon. You could see the 15 year old then, although I'm sure anyone under those circumstances would have been really disappointed. She finished at -1, 2 strokes away from making the cut. It was great theater though and I'm sure she will be back - she is absolutely awesome for a girl her age.

I found it interesting to watch Tony Blair in his news conference today. You could see how he was trying to put a good spin on the G8 (and there were some good things to come out of it), but it was tough, because the big boys didn't really have the guts to pull it all off. They should have all been made to sit down and watch "The Girl in the Cafe". In regards to climate change, he remarked that without the USA, China, and India putting their support behind a plan, nothing was ever going to come of climate change. GW of course, refuses it for fear it will damage the economy of the US. It might hurt it some, but then I'd rather have a slightly ailing ecoonomy and still have a bit of air to breathe too, not to mentioin a tidal wave swamping me someday when all the icecaps finish melting.

Firefox Tips
Want to see larger text on a page? Just hit Ctrl and the plus sign to zoom in. Hit Ctrl and the minus sign to zoom out. Or hit Ctrl+0 to return to the orignal size.

Opening Tabs - If you click a link using the scroll wheel on your mouse, it opens a new tab. Don't have a scroll wheel? Hold down Ctrl and left click on a link to pen a URL in a new tab (or hit Shift and left click to open a new window, although why you would want a new window when you could have a tab, I'm not sure).

Wie off to hot start in round 2

Michelle has birdied the first 2 of 3 holes in her quest to make the cut on the Men's Tour. Tune in to the USA network this afternoon at 4 Eastern to watch her live.

Will Wie make the Cut?

CNBC will provide continuing coverage of the John Deere Classic at 6:00 p.m. ET Friday following USA Network’s live second-round coverage from 4-6 p.m. ET in order to show the completion of Michelle Wie’s round. The 15-year-old Wie tees off Friday at 2:48 p.m. ET with her round expected to finish at approximately 7:45 p.m. ET.

Wifi Theft
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Police have arrested a man for using someone else's wireless Internet network in one of the first criminal cases involving this fairly common practice.

Benjamin Smith III, 41, faces a pretrial hearing this month following his April arrest on charges of unauthorized access to a computer network, a third-degree felony.

Police say Smith admitted using the Wi-Fi signal from the home of Richard Dinon, who had noticed Smith sitting in an SUV outside Dinon's house using a laptop computer.

Guess this will teach folks to protect their systems won't it?

Today's Factoid
On this date in 1835, the Liberty Bell cracked while tolling the death of Chief Justice John Marshal, who had died two days before. The bell was hung in Independence Hall in Philadelphia in 1753, and was rung when the Declaration of Independence was proclaimed in 1776. First cast in England in the 1750s, the bell bears the inscription from Leviticus 25:10, "Proclaim Liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof."

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Michelle Wie at the John Deere Classic

Image hosted by Michelle Wie , the 15 year old female "Wunderkind" is making her first attempt at the Men's PGA tour in the US today. She is currently 1 over through 9, having just birdied the 9th hole and is in a tie for 52nd. Top 70 scores make the cut at the end of the day Friday. You can follow her progress through this real time scoring site . You can watch play later today on the USA channel from 4-6 p.m. This really sparks some interest in Golf - she's an amazing talent with one of the best swings in all of golf. " Fred Couples has also praised her, saying, "when you see her hit a golf ball ... there's nothing that prepares you for it. It's just the scariest thing you've ever seen."

*Update - Michelle finished round 1 at -1 with 4 bogies and 5 birdies on the day. Her -1 put her in a tie for 57th, but players are still on the course. A pretty decent day for round 1, I'd say, considering the pressure.

Web Site of the Day
Hyper History OnLine

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

New to Digital Cameras?

Canon has a nice site for those new to digital cameras (or cameras in general). If you've just bought a digital camera, it's worth a look through this site. Canon's Discover the Real Joy of Photography (Site temporarily down).

Today's little known factoid
Sylvester Graham - inventor of the graham cracker - celebrates his birthday today. (1794-1851). The graham cracker originated in the United States by Rev. Sylvester Graham, a Presbyterian minister, in the early 1800s as a "health food". Originally made solely with graham flour, many modern imitation Graham crackers contain no graham flour at all, and are based on bleached, refined white flour, which the Rev. Graham implacably opposed.

His original "Graham bread" was the centerpiece of a vegetarian diet created with the intent of suppressing carnal urges, which he believed were the source of many maladies. He also warned that ketchup and mustard caused insanity. However, at the time he gained many followers who set up boardinghouses, in cities like New York and Boston, where his vegetarian diet was observed.

Graham crackers have long since ceased to be considered a health food, but they have remained popular as a snack food. Today, graham crackers are made with much greater amounts of sugar and other sweeteners than used in the original recipe. Cinnamon is also commonly added to graham cracker mix to enhance the flavor.

Graham crackers are essential ingredients for various popular snack foods, including moon pies and s'mores.

Fortunately, I don't eat many graham crackers so still possess a full quota of carnal urges! I suspect many older ladies will be secretly feeding their Viagra taking ol' geezer husbands this tasty treat after reading this. I do like ketchup and mustard, however, which does explain this blog.

Web Site of the Day

Mini Putt
(I had a 49 on the first try - good luck!) P.S - Watch out for #14 - it's a bugger!

Monday, July 04, 2005

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Happy 4th of July!

Been busy with my wife's family reunion for the past 3 or 4 days, so little chance to post. I could post all the family reunion pics, but somehow I think that might cause a glazing over of the ol' eyeballs, so.....

Every now and then I see a little gem of a movie and the other day I was reading an article in Newsweek about an HBO produced film called The Girl in the Cafe . This was a splendid film - the acting was fabulous, especially the performance by Bill Nighy. It ranks right up there with the best movies I've seen in a long time. It sends a message about poverty, the G8 conferences, etc, but it is not just a message movie, and not just a character movie, it is more a melding of the two into a wonderfully crafted little movie. Loved it - watch this. You can catch it July 5th at 6:15 and 9:15 p.m. Eastern time. For a full schedule of showings, head to this schedule page . This movie is a good reason to have HBO - they do some of the finest work in television, not to mention film.

Picture of the Day
Two expert flat-footers in action at the recent Wayne C Henderson Music Festival at Grayson Highlands State Park in Grayson County, Virginia. Click on the picture for the original view and some more background on the picture. This fella even had a Michael Jackson "moon-walk" move.

Fact of the Day
Adams and Jefferson died on July 4, 1826, the fiftieth anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. It was an anniversary that both founders were determined to live long enough to see. Death took Jefferson at 12:50 in the afternoon. Near noon, close to the time of Jefferson's death, Adams awakened from a deep sleep and with great effort proclaimed, "Thomas Jefferson survives." These were his last words, after which he fell into a coma. At about six o'clock in the evening, as the warm day turned cool, John Adams died. He was ninety-one years old.