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Ontario Empoblog

Ontario Emperor Blog
("yup, its random!")
This blog has been superseded by the mrontemp blog


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Sunday, November 30, 2003

According to mappoint.msn.com, the Barstow Station at 1611 E Main St is west of Interstate 15. Only problem is, it's actually east of Interstate 15. Don't know if this is an underlying problem with multiple maps, or whether this is just a Microanomaly. mapquest.com shows correct data.

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Thursday, November 27, 2003

Taking a trip
Going to Lake Havasu City. If all goes well, we'll also get to Barstow Station and the Kingman Cracker Barrel. See you later...

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Surfin' Safari
Stan Ridgway's links include a link to "friend" Mark Mothersbaugh, "Brillant Composer and Devo mainstay."

If you go on to the Mutato Muzika "Personnel" link, you can get to Greenspan Artist Management.

The list of recording artists includes a woman named Jorane, a classically trained musician from Quebec City.

That's as far as I got.

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More on Switzerland charts
swisscharts.com has a wealth of information stashed away in its archives. For example, here are the charts for all of the Depeche Mode singles that have ever charted in Switzerland. The song title, date of entry into the chart, highest position, and weeks on chart are all listed. As you can see, dM hasn't have a top 10 hit since "I Feel You" (although "In Yoor Room," "Only When I Lose Myself," and "Dream On" made the top 20 since then).

Everything Counts 16.10.1983 8 14
People Are People 15.04.1984 4 13
Master And Servant 23.09.1984 8 9
Blasphemous Rumours 23.12.1984 19 7
Shake The Disease 02.06.1985 6 12
It's Called A Heart 06.10.1985 7 7
Stripped 02.03.1986 8 10
A Question Of Lust 18.05.1986 12 7
A Question Of Time 07.09.1986 9 7
Strangelove 10.05.1987 3 13
Never Let Me Down Again 06.09.1987 7 13
Behind The Wheel 24.01.1988 6 7
Little 15 12.06.1988 18 8
Personal Jesus 24.09.1989 5 15
Enjoy The Silence 18.02.1990 2 17
Policy Of Truth 10.06.1990 12 9
World In My Eyes 21.10.1990 5 9
I Feel You 14.03.1993 4 12
Walking In My Shoes 16.05.1993 26 7
Condemnation 17.10.1993 38 1
In Your Room 06.02.1994 14 6
Barrel Of A Gun 16.02.1997 30 6
It's No Good 04.05.1997 30 10
Home 27.07.1997 47 1
Only When I Lose Myself 20.09.1998 16 8
Dream On 06.05.2001 13 15
I Feel Loved 05.08.2001 64 9
Freelove 18.11.2001 67 11
Goodnight Lovers 24.02.2002 69 2

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Selected Singles Charts
Here are a couple of on-line singles charts from:

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Where Are They Now at laradio.com
laradio.com includes an excellent "Where Are They Now?" section. Here are some excerpts:

Baka Boyz: KPWR, 1993-99; KKBT, 1999-2000. Eric and Nick Vidal moved to Miami in early 2003.

Blade, Richard: KNAC; KROQ, 1982-2000. Richard left KROQ in April 2000 and moved to St. Thomas Island to teach scuba diving. He returned to the Southland in 2003.

Burton, Michael: KROQ, 1990-95. Michael "the maintenance man" left the Kevin & Bean morning show in the fall of 1995 and filed a wrongful-termination suit charging the station with racial and religious discrimination. The suite was settled in late 1996 with both parties prohibited from revealing financial details.

Furillo, Bud: KABC, 1973-75; KIIS, 1975-79; KABC, 1979-87; KFOX, 1988-90. Bud is working at KPSI-Palm Springs.

Jackson, Michael: KHJ, 1963-65; KNX, 1965; KABC, 1966-98; KRLA, 1999-2000; KLAC, 2001-02. Michael left KLAC in late 2002 following a format change from Talk to Adult Standards.

Poorman: KROQ, 1982-93; KIIS, 1995; KPWR, 1995; KACD, 1996-97; KIIS, 2001-03. Jim Trenton, aka the Poorman, is a feature reporter on the Rick Dees Show.

Stevens, Shadoe: KHJ, 1970; KRLA, 1970-73; KROQ, 1973; KMET, 1974-75; KROQ, 1977-78; KTWV, 2003. Shadoe works weekends at "The WAVE."

[UPDATE NOVEMBER 7, 2006 - Nearly three years later, and much has changed. If you've arrived here from Wikipedia, you may want to check you my del.icio.us tags for Kevin and Bean and Richard Blade.]

More on Madonna
Back in the mid 1980s, I was convinced that Madonna was a flash in the pan, and that Cyndi Lauper was going to build on the excellence of "Time After Time" and "True Colors" and have a huge, long-term popular career. I guess I was wrong, although I'm of the opinion (again possibly wrong) that Madonna reached her creative peak in the late 1980s through the late 1990s.

The allmadonna site includes singles chart listings for Madonna singles in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Sweden (the webmaster is Swedish). I'd like to use this as a jumping-off point to vent my long-awaited opinions on various Madonna singles. The list is partial. Note that in most cases (with a few exceptions), I am commenting on the music itself, rather than the lyrics, the videos, the books (adult or children's), or the MTV performances.

Holiday #16 Dec 1983
I first heard this on a CBS promotional album that was received at Reed College's KRRC radio station (the album also included a flute-based version of "Uncertain Smile" by The The. Seemed like an OK song at the time from some post-disco singer. Voice was OK, but nothing to write home about.

Borderline #10 Apr 1984
More good stuff from what's-her-name.

Lucky Star #4 Sep 1984
You know, this Madonna has this dance music thing down pat.

Like A Virgin #1 Nov 1984
I quit subscribing to cable when I moved to California, so I didn't see the infamous performance of this song at the MTV Video Music Awards. My view at the time was that Madonna continued to prove that she was good at dance music, but didn't have the depth of, say, Cyndi Lauper.

Material Girl #2 Feb 1985
This is probably the first time I took notice of Madonna as anything other than a dance singer. The song was widely popular at the time - I remember seeing a comedienne at a Claremont comedy club singing a parody called "Bacterial Girl."

Crazy For You #1 Mar 1985
Hey! This isn't a dance song! Voice is still pretty weak.

Live To Tell #1 Apr 1986
After a couple of other dance numbers ("Angel," "Dress You Up"), Madonna displayed the lower register of her voice. Now she has two voices.

Papa Don't Preach #1 Jul 1986
Yes, I know disco and violins have been associated since Van McCoy, but the first few seconds of this song caused my ears to perk up. This is one Madonna video I remember as a mixed bag; the scenes with her father were good, but what was up with the kicks and dancing during the chorus? One of the first Madonna songs with lyrics that could possibly appearl to conservatives (an anti-abortion argument could be implied).

La Isla Bonita #4 Mar 1987
Madonna continues to branch out beyond dance numbers with this Latin-influenced number.

Like A Prayer #1 Mar 1989
Ignore the video for a moment (which I hadn't seen at the time anyway). This song, with a similar name to her first number one hit, is light-years away musically, even down to the chorus in the chorus.

Vogue #1 Apr 1990
Madonna is now doing some very interesting things musically.

This Used To Be My Playground #1 Jul 1992
In my view, a beautiful song. Incidentally, this is the point where I noticed that her singing voice has improved. (Aside: although the song refers to women's baseball, I always imagined Madonna walking through the vomit-strewn club neighborhoods of lower Manhattan, singing "This used to be my playground...." She had come a long way.)

Erotica #3 Oct 1992
Again, I'll just comment on the music. Madonna masters minimalism.

I'll Remember #2 Mar 1994
After sex, Madonna returned to music. Nice fade.

Secret #3 Sep 1994
Tasty song. This song reminded me that Madonna had (by this time) tried about every music form other than straight out arena rock. This is one of the few Madonna songs in which I could even recall hearing a guitar.

Don't Cry For Me Argentina #8 Dec 1996
Yes, Madonna has mastered multiple music forms. I'm not a movie fan, but isn't this the one Madonna movie that actually did well?

Frozen #2 Mar 1998
In my view, Madonna's best song ever, and the only one I own (on a two-song CD single). Frankly, my ideal Madonna release would be a double-A side of "Frozen" and "Material Girl," the better to emphasize the frequent perspective changes that rival those of David Bowie. (All publicity, of course, ably abetted by Liz Rosenberg, who Madonna name-dropped in a Linda Richman appearance on Saturday night Live.)

Beautiful Stranger * #19 June 1999
Remember how I've been talking about how Madonna has been issuing good songs which (in my view) have pushed the boundaries of pop? Well, here is a good song that is very retro. Of course there are reasons for it being retro - it's from an Austin Powers soundtrack - but still...

Music #1 Aug 2000
Here I'm starting to get less interested again. Run-of-the-mill dance song for the new millennium.

Die Another Day #8 Oct 2002
I think I previously mentioned that I'm not a movie fan, so I had no idea where this song came from. In fact, when I first heard this song on KDL, I didn't even know who was singing it. When I first heard the "shut my body down" lyrics, I thought it was some anonymous songwriter's ditty about post-rape trauma. Didn't realize it was a new movie theme from Madonna.

One additional comment - back when I was writing a zine called Shuffleboard! in the late 1980s, I ran across some dance music publication (you know, the one where they state the bpm's for every song). Unfortunately, this was a very poorly written dance music publication, and the editor let the spelling "Moadonna" slip through in the publication!

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Empoblog, Reformatted
Just added a "links" column to the blog, listing some of the best (?) Ontario Emperor links, some links to other blogs, and a few additional links. Not that I'm about to put Backflip ouf of business...

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Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Wckr Spgt
Here's the website. Long story...

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Scooter Charging?
From the 10/22/2003 Gresham Outlook. Emphasis mine.

To scoot, or dart off speedily, the choice of wheels these days may be the scooter, a vehicle consisting of a long footboard between two small end wheels, powered by battery or gas with the forward wheel controlled by an upright steering handle.

Already a smash in Asia and now California (where restaurants and convenience stores have scooter battery chargers installed on the premises for their customers’ convenience), a local family is betting once Oregonians have an avenue to get their hands on them, they’ll scoot on over to the brand-new business Scootin’ Along Scooters at 18200 N.E. Halsey St.

My comment: huh?

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Selected Googlisms for November 26
Here's the link to see all of the entries.

november 26 is the feast of christ and king and is traditionally the sunday that children receive first
november 26 is republic day in chad
november 26 is the target date for those penguins who have enrolled in the "marathon" to shed 26 pounds
november 26 is observed by baha'is as the day of covenant
november 26 is international buy nothing day
november 26 is the jubilee day for lay ministers
november 26 is payroll benefits coordinator jennifer demare?s first day
november 26 is a tentative date for the arbitration concerning the dismissal of a high school teacher
november 26 is the eighth annual international buy nothing day
november 26 is the fire festival in tibet

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Social Networking Links

Oracle of Bacon
Spoke Software
Visible Path
Friendster Beta

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Join the U.S. Hacker Corps, See The World
From a 10/20/2003 article by Roger Harris in the Ventura County Star:

Money and effort now spent tracking down hackers and throwing them in prison with bank robbers and drug peddlers would be better spent recruiting hackers for national security work, said [John] Arquilla, co-director of the Center on Terrorism & Irregular Warfare at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey....

Skeptics contend hackers are untrustworthy lot who, among other things, have broken into Pentagon computers and sent damaging computer viruses swirling through government and business computer systems.

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This entry proves the point of the cited study
Lyman, Peter and Hal R. Varian, "How Much Information", 2003. Retrieved from http://www.sims.berkeley.edu/how-much-info-2003. Excerpts from the executive summary:

1. Print, film, magnetic, and optical storage media produced about 5 exabytes of new information in 2002. Ninety-two percent of the new information was stored on magnetic media, mostly in hard disks.

2. We estimate that the amount of new information stored on paper, film, magnetic, and optical media has about doubled in the last three years.

3. Information flows through electronic channels -- telephone, radio, TV, and the Internet -- contained almost 18 exabytes of new information in 2002, three and a half times more than is recorded in storage media. Ninety eight percent of this total is the information sent and received in telephone calls - including both voice and data on both fixed lines and wireless.

The following excerpts are from Chapter 8, Section III, Blogs (web logs):

Blogcount.com addresses the “blogosphere,” asking “What is its size, shape, color, true nature?” Blogcount collects and organizes the best reports and analyses on this subject. As of June 23, 2003, Phil Wolff estimates that there are 2.4 to 2.9 million active web logs. He bases his estimate upon statistics from centrally hosted weblogs....

He notes that this figure does not include smaller hosts such as Radio and Moveable Type or blogs hosted behind firewalls on private intranets.

If each blog is 50 KB, then the total size of the active blogosphere is 81 GB.

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Get Supercenters AND Tax Revenue
Union opposition to Wal-Mart Supercenters may benefit taxpayers and consumers in the long run.

Let's look at the situation today. Megacorp approaches the City Council for Itty Bitty City and plays hardball.

"Itty Bitty City," says Mr. Megacorp, "we MAY decide to build one of our stores in your town, giving you the benefits of associating with us and giving your city tremendous tax reve- strike that - giving your city a number of customers who will shop at your existing trash stores if we don't put them out of business first. All you have to do is build a freeway to our store, waive requirements to pay taxes and things like that, and all this will be yours! Or perhaps we'll go to your neighbor city across the street."

However, the actions of the city of Oakland and other jurisdictions have changed the balance of power somewhat. Here's what those conversations will look like in the future:

"Itty Bitty City," says Mr. Megacorp, "we REALLY REALLY HOPE you'll let us build one of our stores in your town, giving you the benefits of associating with us and giving your city tremendous tax revenues. We'll build a freeway to your city, completely fund the public schools for ten years, and give the city pension fund 10,000 shares of Megacorp stock. Please please take us; all the neighbor cities have passed ordinances against us."

Seriously, it's going to be interesting to see what happens when City A bans Wal-Mart, City B welcomes them with open arms, everyone shops at City B, and all the existing City A stores close down. Not only is City A losing jobs anyway, they're not getting any tax revenue in the bargain. If Berkeley was smart, they'd DEMAND that Wal-Mart build a store in Berkeley, and capitalize on sales from Oakland residents.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Teller Speaks
Link to Teller Speaks - the name says it all.

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See Fine Print Clearly Method
From the "See Clearly Method" disclaimer at http://www.seeclearlymethod.com/disclaimer.asp:

...The See Clearly Method (tm) is an educational tool that teaches the user how to see more clearly, comfortably, and efficiently. It is not a medical or assistive device, nor is it a substitute for diagnosis or treatment by an optometrist or ophthalmologist.

Unless otherwise indicated, the statements found on this web site (and in other advertising for the See Clearly Method) are either derived or quoted from See Clearly Method printed materials or express the opinions of the authors of the See Clearly Method....

By making use of the contents of the See Clearly Method training kit, the user agrees that it is his or her sole responsibility to determine the suitability of the See Clearly Method for his or her intended purpose, and assumes all risks and liabilities resulting from application of the techniques and recommendations, including any and all claims for direct or consequential damages....

Related links:

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Stairway Schmairway
This morning when coming out of commercial, Imus in the Morning played an excerpt from the old Focus song "Hocus Pocus" - the better of the two best instrumentals from the early 1970s and, according to top40.about.com, the 69th most popular song of 1973.

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Monday, November 24, 2003

To keep this going, I went to www.cdesoftware.com. After listening to a tune and watching a cat, I went inside.

CDE Software is the industry leader in software for the sport of bowling. CDE products feature an easy to use interface and provides flexability (sic) and several options to support most needs.


Fearing an angry reprimand from John Dvorak, I continued to the About CDE Software page, where I learned that Seattle is "technologically diverse." (Free to be you and Amiga?)


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Bookcrossing Cluetrain Dimensional
(Yes, that was weak.)
Seven copies of the Cluetrain Manifesto are floating around in the world. See the Bookcrossing search.

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Al Bookcrossing Combination
(Notice the alphabetical title. Pretty good for 10 o'clock in the evening.)

Skimmed Al Franken's book Why Not Me? The Inside Story of the Making and Unmaking of the Franken Presidency earlier this evening. I had forgotten that Sandy Koufax appeared in the book as Franken's Secretary of Veterans Affairs, part of his all-Jewish administration. Here's a brief book review via a Bookcrossing link.

By the way, here's my Bookcrossing bookshelf. As you can see, I haven't released any books since July, although I have a few ready for release.

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Nez Eat Your Heart Out
I've finally committed my parody My Oh My, Look How Creative We Are to virtual paper. Follow the link.

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Welcome to My Restaurant! Not you, Charles...
Mohamed Al Fayed has his own website. While I certainly appreciate his efforts to investigate his son's death, the home page looks like something out of an upscale men's magazine.

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Information Wants To Be Free!
As Cluetrain states, people do not want to hear banalities from PR hacks. They want to hear the truth from people who know something.

So there was this guy named Richard Tomlinson who tried to live up to Cluetrain. One problem: he was a Secret Intelligence Service agent and he was planning to set up websites that published the names of other agents.

Robert Novak probably got some ideas from this...

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If Osama Had One, This Whole September 11 Thing Could Have Been Avoided
Well, here's one I forgot about - the security threat posed by Furbies.

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The whole Cluetrain thingie was the rage several years ago, and I just heard about it this month. So, what else did I miss in 1999? The BBC will help me find out.

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Cluetrain, Gluetrain, Nighttrain?
OK, I finally read Chapter One of the Cluetrain Manifesto. Actually, I skimmed Chapter One, which basically boils down to the following: People shouldn't talk funny.

Previously, I had read a couple of other items:

John C. Dvorak's article "Cult of the Cluetrain Manifesto." Sample quote:

Yet the apparent faith in this odd vision of an idealistic human-oriented internetworked new world/new economy marches forward. I imagine all these folks holding hands in a large circle, rolling back and forth, with some in the middle of the circle, spinning and chanting and hugging, all naked. I'm betting that most of these folks go to Burning Man and all of them write blogs about it and how cool it was. They link to each others' blogs and read what they say about each other—all highly complimentary.

In fact the brown-nosing that goes on between bloggers singing each others' praises makes the worst office kiss-ups look tame by comparison. I mention this anomaly since these Cluetrain folks all believe the opposite to be true. Somehow networking like this, according to the Cluetrainees, reveals truth—when in fact it supports and forces the worst kind of conformist behavior. Try to find a blog that is ever critical of another blog. I've never seen it.

(We'll return to this quote later.) I also read a parody of the Cluetrain Manifesto entitled the Gluetrain Manifesto. It's best to open the Cluetrain Manifesto in one window, and the Gluetrain Manifesto in another. This results in the "humor" that Locke earnestly cites.

Affisch's blog archive includes a brief comment on the Dvorak article. Of course, I had to respond:

In accordance with the Dvorak Directive, I wish to incessantly praise your observations on this matter. Actually, the truth is somewhere in between Locke and Dvorak...

However, when I tried to post this comment, I got the following error:

Can't read /home/sites/www.affisch.org/web/weblog/archives/00000000.cgi. Please make sure that your entries/archives directory is correctly configured and is CHMODed to 777, or try running Diagnostics & Repair in the Configuration screen.

I'm sure there's some significance here. Maybe
KOER should host a reading of the Nighttrain Manifesto...

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Sunday, November 23, 2003

One morning while I was walking around downtown Brea, I ran across this article in Orange County Weekly about savekobe.com.

I hope this doesn't start a trend.

As of now, the Michael Jackson Fan Club merchandise page does not include pictures of young boys wearing official shirts saying "Michael is innocent!"

As of now, there is no Scott Peterson fan club website selling "Scott is innocent!" boats.

And I haven't yet found a "Searching for the real killer" t-shirt, although I did find a reference to a I HELPED EXECUTE O.J. SIMPSON sentence t-shirt. (Offered by a talk-show host who states, AIDs: Stands for: "Another Infected Dying Sodomite" and God has the right to forgive murderers but we don't [have the right] because we're not God.

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Beyond Vanity
Most labels founded by popular artists (e.g. Apple, Swan Song) may have a few additional bands, but not a whole lot. The most notable exception (other than Reprise) is Madonna's Maverick Records, started in 1992 by Madonna and her then-manager and still going strong over a decade later. In addition to Madonna, here are just a few of the other artists on the label: Michelle Branch, Meshell Ndegeocello, Alanis Morisette, Oakenfold, Prodigy, William Orbit, and a ton of others. They have also released material from Olive.

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Some More Inland Empire Blogs
Inland Anti-Empire: Progressive News and Views from Southwest Riverside County

Seb's Blog

Child Abuse Prevention Center Riverside County

Ryan Cox's One Way Mirror to the Soul

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Claude Bell's Cabazon Dinosaurs
Here are some links from roadsideamerica.com, bigwaste.com, armchair.com (1) (2), and roadsidepeek.com.

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Home is a Box
Well, I woke up, and I read (among other things) Deuteronomy 6:4-9. The focus was on the word home in verse 7. I could devote some thought to the concept of the virtual home, but instead I'm thinking about literal vs. symbolic. See verse 8, then see this explanation of tephillin. This is not a case in which you want to think outside the box.

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Don't hate her because she likes bad food
Revisited the Inland Empire blog T.M.I. About April, and discovered that April loves Reese's Peanut Butter cups. Now, I like peanut butter, and I like chocolate, but I can't mix the two together. Two goods don't ALWAYS make a better.

Pizza and chocolate? No.

Oranges and chocolate? Forget it.

Cereal and chocolate? N- wait a minute, that Count Chocula was good. (I encourage you to follow the link - here's a quote: "When I was a child, the only thing that got me going in the morning was a good healthy dose of sugar and the occult.")

Which reminds me that I'll be reading from Deuteronomy and Jude in 7 hours...time for bed...

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I'm Behind
Still haven't read the Cluetrain Manifesto (see 20 November 20:24 entry).

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Let It Be Over With
This one's brief (oops - shouldn't use "brief" and "naked" in the same post; people will think we're all Michael Jackson all the time), and somewhat negative:

After Sgt. Pepper they never did anything worthwhile anyway. You can't top perfection, and sometimes you shouldn't even try.

My opinion differs somewhat. Anyone who ever heard the Kazutaka Hori Music Hours knows that I like music that veers from one style to another in mere seconds. Anyone who knows their music knows that I stole THAT idea from a little piece called The Beatles, released in 1968 and better known as The White Album. If Sergeant Pepper is a snapshot of 1966-1967, the White Album is a complete film...

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Someone's review of Let It Be...Naked
The blog is either called Mondo Miscellanea or Musical Fruits - my brain has already gone to sleep, so I'm not sure which.

The reviewer is NOT a fan of Spector ("I hate the friggin' Wall of Sound"). I wouldn't go that far (let's just say the Righteous Brothers' version of "Unchained Melody" is...um...SIGNIFICANT in Ontario Emperor music), but when an artist (in this case McCartney) absolutely detests what a producer (in this case Spector) does to a song (in this case "The Long and Winding Road"), then said producer deserves criticism.

For more reasons to criticize Phil, see this review of Ronnie Spector's autobiography Be My Baby. What a control freak.

Oh yeah, and there's that little murder thing.

But I still like "Unchained Melody." And, in a related vein, I still like "Thriller."

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Saturday, November 22, 2003

The Place for Unassociated Information
Try a Google search on the terms erika landin sugarhill gang. Then search
joe millionaire i demand a japanese car.

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Bill Withers Website and "Lean On Me" lyrics/mp3 excerpt
Here is the link. Forget the remake of "Lean On Me" - the original is still the best. (Hear an excerpt!)

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Friday, November 21, 2003

Don't You Want Me Baby?
In RS 369, David Fricke reviewed four albums from across the pond: the Human League's Dare, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark's Architecture and Morality, Soft Cell's Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret, and Depeche Mode's Speak and Spell. Because Fricke didn't have a crystal ball when he wrote this review, the excerpts are interesting:

Yet, more important, the League itself now strikes an appealing balance between modern technique and tuneful charm, epitomized by the hit single "Don't You Want Me."

Too much sincerity and not enough spunk on Architecture and Morality make for attractive but dull fare.

Not surprisingly, then, the best tracks on Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret–"Frustration," "Sex Dwarf," "Secret Life" – bump and grind with vibrant, tawdry soul.

Compared to Soft Cell's smutty pop, Depeche Mode's Speak and Spell is strictly PG-rated fluff. A group of fresh-faced, suburban lads from Britain, they have neither the ambition of Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark nor the overt commercial allure of the Human League.

Oh, to have a time machine and ask Fricke the following questions:

Which of the four groups will celebrate its last gasp of popularity with the producers of Michael Jackson's younger sister?

Which of the four groups will headline Pasadena's Rose Bowl, only a few short years after their lead songwriter quits?

Which of the four groups will be a supporting act at that concert?

P.S. If you follow the Rolling Stone link, take a look at the so-called track list for Dare. Looks like they got their signals crossed. (Imagine hearing the guitars of "The Lebanon" in Dare!)

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Site of the Day
anecdotage.com. Tons upon tons of short anecdotes. Here's a sample:

While attending a White House event one evening, Bob Dole happened to notice former presidents Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford and Richard Nixon standing side by side. "There they are," he drily declared. "See no evil, hear no evil, and... evil."

[12/28/2006 - my del.icio.us tags for Gerald R. Ford Jr. are here.]

Strange Bedfellows, or Smooth Criminals?
Michael Jackson is complaining that his recent arrest was timed to interfere with the release of his new CD. This CD features a new song, called "One More Chance." The songwriter? R Kelly, who has had his own problems with children.

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Confidentiality of the Physician-Giraffe Relationship
From The Jefferson Muzzles, linked at a-life-online.

Soon after [the giraffe] Ryma's death, a Washington Post reporter sought access to the relevant medical records, including necropsy and pathology reports. To the reporter's amazement, an e-mail from National Zoo director Lucy Spelman flatly refused access to the records which had been requested. Even more startling were the reasons given for such a rebuff.

Releasing such records, Spelman declared, would violate the late giraffe's right of privacy. "The privacy rules that apply to human medical records, and to the physician-patient relationship," Spelman explained, "do not apply in precisely the same way to animal medicine at a public institution like the National Zoo. But we believe they do in principle." Lest there be any doubt about the rationale for withholding such materials, Spelman continued: "The core of veterinary medicine [as in human medicine] is the client-patient [keeper or curator-zoo animal] relationship," adding that "the medical record is essentially a written history of this relationship, but it is not written in a style or format geared toward the public."

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Women Exchange Wedding Vows at First Christian Church?
Ms. Kelly Schultz and Ms. Carolyn Wiggs exchanged wedding vows yesterday. But it's not what you think. From the El Paso Times (link may quit working 7 days from now):

There were no guests and no wedding march, and the groom was absent when Kelly and Pfc. David Shultz exchanged wedding vows Thursday.

In an unusual marriage by proxy ceremony performed by senior minister David Grousnick at First Christian Church in Central El Paso, the 25-year-old bride, while holding their 3-month-old son, David Shultz Jr., promised to love and honor her husband, while smiling at associate minister Carolyn Wiggs, a stand-in.

And when Grousnick asked Wiggs if Pfc. David Shultz promised to love and honor Kelly, Wiggs responded: "I do."

At that point, the minister said that in this case, ceremony would forgo the customary bridal kiss.

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Thursday, November 20, 2003

Revisiting the Pet Shop Boys
Back in August 1998, I maintained that the Pet Shop Boys was the most humorous band of the 1980s. I quoted the overwrought lyrics of "Paninaro" to prove my point, but I could have just as easily have proven it with the video of "West End Girls" (what the heck was Chris looking at?) or the arrangement of "Always on My Mind."

Other over-maximum musics: the arrangement for Crystal Gayle's "When I Dream," the lyrics for the Bee Gees' "I Started a Joke" (see previous entry), and just about everything about the Prince song "Christopher Tracy's Parade."

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For the life of me, I can't remember what JUDOMETRIC meant
Digital Judge Usenet promo from November 18, 1999.

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Told Ya We'd Talk About Frogs
My first known post in alt.silly.little.newsgroup. Haven't visited the place in years...

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Past into the Forward
Doing a web search and finding all sorts of old Ontario Emperor links, including homepages.org, macmusic.org (also here), news2mail.com, free-music.com, the-emperor.org, music-styles-list.com, and the famed Crooked Door Archives. Unfortunately, most of these sites link to my mp3.com site, which will be wiped away in just a few weeks...

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While I'm in a link-posting mood, I should post this link to Eddyland, the front door to all of Eddykins' Yahoo! groups, including one I've mentioned before - Silliness and Nonsense. I mentioned this blog there once, and even explained (with a little help from Babelfish) what a blog is.

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All Those Years Ago
Here's a link to Victorian Lace's site. I used to play Hold 'Em Poker with her.

From the site:

The Victorian Era is the eclectic period of time between the mid- and the late 19th century, covering the 64-year reign of Queen Victoria from 1837 to 1901. Though Queen Victoria's reign over England ended in 1901 when she passed away, the era which bore her name continued on for several more years, creating styles, fashions, and symbols of a gilded age, rich with elegance, splendor, and romance.

Often I have heard other people who share my interest for Victoriana proclaim that they sometimes feel that they were born in the wrong century, and I completely understand what they are saying. I am a lover of all things Victorian, from the rich diversity of Victorian styles to the incomparable glamour of a bygone era. While visiting my webpages, I hope that you will find something here that interests you, informs you, or delights you, and that perhaps this site will give you a small glimpse into the grace and beauty of "Yesteryear". .

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Dang Google
So I started in October, and continued in November. Will this link work in December?

Never mind me; I'm just trying to figure something out real-time...

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Cluetrain Manifesto
I'm bookmarking this here to read later: Chapter One of The Cluetrain Manifesto: The End of Business As Usual

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And She Visited Monaco!
I was in a meeting this afternoon, during which the moderator asked the question:

Why is it important to have a change management process?

My reply:

A headless chicken doesn't know where it's going.

Later I wrote about the meeting...sort of.

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Network Car is Real
KFI has been playing a commercial, purportedly from a company called "NetworkCar," for a product that claims to send you information about your vehicle's location and running status. The majority of the commercial is composed of humorous disclaimers ("bazillion" is not a real number, don't use this to track your spouse, etc.).

This commercial has aired multiple times on KFI, so I was wondering why someone would run such a commercial, or what the website was really about. Since KFI airs the Phil Hendrie Show, I figured the fake ad might have someone to do with him.

Well, I went to networkcar.com, and it turns out the business is legit. Network is a technology partner of Cingular Wireless, received a technology award from R&D Magazine, and is part of the publicly traded company Reynolds & Reynolds (NYSE:REY).

The technology sounds invasive, but interesting. Personally, I'd prefer some way to interface to my car's computer WITHOUT sharing the information all over the net; if anyone knows of any such interface, please e-mail me.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Paper Monsters Review
Here is a link to a review of Dave Gahan's Paper Monsters (review by Marco Passarelli). I like Marco's perspective:

After Depeche Mode’s last album, 2001’s ironically titled and completely lackluster “Exciter”, grave doubts came into being over the band’s future – were their best days behind them? With Paper Monsters, there is now reason to believe the band can remain a creative entity with the songwriting talents of Dave Gahan. Let us hope that Martin Gore can loosen his grip and open himself up to a new phase of Depeche Mode.

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Chino Valley? Not Really
Now here's an example of a business that changed their name as their geographic coverage increased: Citizens Business Bank. They were formerly known as Chino Valley Bank, but they spread beyond Chino Valley and went toward a business focus.

"Currently, the Bank serves the business banking needs of business people in the Inland Empire, Los Angeles County, Orange County and the Central Valley areas of California."

So, perhaps Century 21 Beachside should change its name. Here are my suggestions:

Century 21 Locals and Non-Locals Only
Century 21 Beachside and Desertside
Century 21 Southland
Century 21 Wipeout (Surfboard or Dragstrip, it's up to you)

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Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Beachside? Yes and No
I was surprised to learn that Century 21 Beachside actually does have locations by the beach.

I was only familiar with their locations in such beach communities as Upland and Brea.

Their website, however, indicates that they also have two (1) (2) locations in Huntington Beach, and one location in Long Beach.

So I can't say that all of the Century 21 Beachside locations are nowhere near a beach - just most of them.

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Sunday, November 16, 2003

Won't come back from Dead Man's Curve...
Now here's something to get one thinking:

"Many celebrities were recently solicited by Mr. [Larry] King, who asked them to write their own eulogies (while they're still very much alive), explaining how they want to be remembered after they're gone....Jan Berry got just such a letter in the mail from Mr. King's literary agent....After five months, we heard from Jeanne Welsh of Bill Adler Books: 'We recently received the manuscript back from the publisher, Doubleday. With an overwhelming 475 replies to Larry King's collection, the publisher decided to make a number of cuts.'"

It's a pity that King won't be using Berry's contribution, since Berry is a person who actually had to confront mortality at a young age. I encourage you to read Berry's response to King's request, which has been posted here.

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Hotel, Motel...
A little on the origins of the Sugarhill Gang:
oldschoolhiphop.com link

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This Has Nothing to Do with Wesley Willis
But it's a link that I've had on one of my computers for some time, so I figured I might as well post it here: The Truth About the Truth About De-Evolution - the story of Bob Lewis, former member and producer of Devo who conceived many of the ideas that Devo used.

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Frank Murphy
Web surfing is fun. While researching Wesley Willis stuff, I ran across this bio of Frank Murphy (who met Wesley while working for Kevin and Bean). Frank's bio includes a link to an MP3 of the Wesley Willis song "Frank Murphy."

For those who have never heard of Frank, he was a fixture in Los Angeles in the 1990s, producing the aforementioned Kevin & Bean as well as Jay Thomas, and Mark & Brian. Interesting reading: "Notes on being a morning show producer."

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Arnold Schwarzenegger
It's probably timely to re-examine the lyrics of one particular Wesley Willis song: "Arnold Schwarzenegger." Here's an excerpt; the full lyrics are here.

You are my favorite movie star
You are my big buddy
You are a low down rotten man
You are crazy like a roll lizard

Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Schwarzenegger

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Rock Off Chicago!!!
Wesley Willis died in August of this year. See the Alternative Tentacles web site (yes, THAT Alternative Tentacles).

P.S. "California Uber Alles" was one of three songs that I permanently banned from my KRRC radio show in the early 1980s (because it was so obvious). The other two: "Don't Fear the Reaper" (too ugly) and "American Pie" (too long).

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Links of the Minute
Did a search for Inland Empire weblogs and found a few.

http://www.daynah.net/ucr/: UCR Community Blog
http://daynah.net/: Daynah.net
http://appleshell.blogspot.com/: T.M.I. About April

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Political Party Business Referrals
I've heard of the Christian Business & Professional Directory, but the following item is new to me - a political party using a referral network.

Of course it's a smaller political party, the Libertarian Party, but it's intesting nonetheless.

If you go to http://www.bambiland.com/NetWork.html (note that the "N" and "W" are capitalized), you'll end up at the "Real Estate Network for California Libertarians." From the website:

If a Libertarian wishes to buy, sell or exchange real estate, they contact a Libertarian Network Realtor. The Network Realtor will donate 20% of commission received to the Libertarian cause as directed by the client in the client's name. This also applies to referral fees received. These referral fees are customary in the industry and range 20 - 25% of the listing or selling side. This means that local non-Libertarian Realtors, who may be best for the client due to location, would also be contributing to the LPC because they received a referral client from a Network Realtor!

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Boggus Ford?
I got some spam in one of my mail accounts from an outfit called "Boggus Ford."

Sounds like a commercial for the KOER blog...

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New, Improved Digital Judge For My Ears Only
Well, I had a rather hectic evening after finding the article below. Most of the Ontario Emperor songs that are (as of now) available at http://www.mp3.com/oemperor/ were created on a Macintosh that has long since bit the dust. Rather than trying to find all the CDs with the copies of the mp3s, I downloaded the entire lot from my mp3.com account, to ensure that I don't lose them after December.

Once I had them downloaded, I decided to try MusicMatch's audio CD creation capability, which I had never tried before. My goal: an expanded version of the Digital Judge CD.

For those who are not familiar with the original CD, it consists of three song groups with five songs each:

"Finding My Anonymity."
"Or a Little Faster."
"Winter at Halfway House."
"Marooned with Mary Ann."
"Down the Pyro Lawn."

"Finding My Serenity."
"Gonna Walk."
"Deeper in Debt."
"Trashed Your Room."

"Finding My Tax Return."
"Run to the Snare."
"Football You Bet."
"I Demand a Japanese Car."
"Side of the Grove."

For my personal Digital Judge Deluxe CD, I added six more songs:

"Or a Little Rougher" (a rearrangement of "Or a Little Faster").
"Deeper in Debt (Jerry)" (no-brainer; this is a re-arrangement of "Deeper in Debt").
"Dial 911 at Boulder."

The collection was rounded out by my three-parter from 2000:
"Rudy Left."
"Road Array."

Wow! With a 21 song CD, I feel like Elvis Costello or sumfin.

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Only Five More Presidents After This One?
I have discovered a pattern in our U.S. presidents that appears to indicate that George W. Bush, our 43rd president, will only be succeeded by five other individuals.

First a look back at some of our presidents in history.

Our sixth president, John Quincy Adams, was the first (and for many years the only) president who was the son of a former president (in this case, his father John Adams).

He was followed by Andrew Jackson, a charismatic, controversial Democrat.

He was succeeded by New Yorker Martin Van Buren, Jackson's former vice president (and, for many years, the only vice president who was elected to the presidential office immediately after serving as vice president).

Our next president? The old William Henry Harrison.

Our tenth president was the southerner John Tyler, who was not re-elected.

Fast forward over a century, and meet some of our more recent presidents:

Number 39: Jimmy Carter, a southerner who was not re-elected.

Number 40: The old Ronald Reagan, who was older than Harrison.

Number 41: The former vice president George H.W. Bush, famous for breaking the Van Buren curse.

Number 42: The charismatic, controversial Democrat William Jefferson (Bill) Clinton.

Number 43: George W. Bush, son of a former president.

Interesting pattern in reverse, and you don't have to take off your shoes to determine that if the pattern holds, the next five presidents will share characteristics with Monroe, Madison, Jefferson, Adams senior, and Washington. After that, what do we get? An ineffective government? A mad king? No one knows....

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Saturday, November 15, 2003

Generic Title
For the next couple of weeks, the following songs will continue to be available at http://www.mp3.com/oemperor/:

Digital Judge
November 1999
$14.98 CD
Finding My Anonymity. Or a Little Faster. Winter at Halfway House. Marooned with Mary Ann. Down the Pyro Lawn. Finding My Serenity. Gonna Walk. Deeper in Debt. November. Trashed Your Room. Finding My Tax Return. Run to the Snare. Football You Bet (preview available). I Demand a Japanese Car. Side of the Grove.

March 2000
$10.98 CD
Latent Image. Surround. So Long I Sold You. Urban Plowman. Deeper in Debt (Jerry). You Want to Fly. Driving Two.

Road Array
June 2000
$10.98 CD
Road Array. Facial. More Tea For Me. Tireless. Green Stream. Lost. Armsley Square. Flies.

Rudy Left
September 2000
$10.98 CD
Rudy Left. Windy Ridge. Bush League. Besieged by Reality. Transmission. Calculus Two. Veggie Stew.

October 2000
$10.98 CD
Rudy Left. Surround. Road Array. Nixon Landslide. Burning Coals. Days Summer Days. Firehose. Teasze Me. Non Sequitur 15 (preview available).

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Gonna Need Another Update...

Dow Jones Business News
CNET to Acquire MP3.com From Vivendi's U.S. Unit
Friday November 14, 1:27 pm ET

NEW YORK -- CNET Networks Inc. (NasdaqNM:CNET - News) said it has signed a deal to acquire the assets of MP3.com Inc. from Vivendi Universal (NYSE:V - News) SA's U.S. Internet unit.

The deal is scheduled to close next month, according to a statement from CNET, the San Francisco-based online technology publisher. A spokeswoman said the company wouldn't disclose transaction terms....

The deal marks the end of a storied name in online music, at least in its current incarnation. Founded in 1997, the music Web portal MP3.com took its name from a popular format for digital music. The company rode the Internet stock frenzy to a $7 billion market capitalization at its peak valuation in 1999, then was hit with a barrage of lawsuits for illegal downloading, including one from Vivendi. In 2001, Vivendi agreed to acquire MP3.com for $372 million in cash and stock.

The CNET acquisition was first disclosed to MP3.com users in an e-mail and message-board posting Thursday. Many independent musicians who used the site to store, distribute and market their works expressed dismay at the message, which gave site users until Dec. 2 to move their stored information: "Promptly following the removal of the MP3.com Website, all content will be deleted from our servers and all previously submitted tapes, CD-ROMs and other media in our possession will be destroyed."

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Tripod Site Updated
My site at http://ontarioemperor.tripod.com/ has been updated. Among other things, it now includes a link to the Ontario Empoblog. Among other things, I've corrected the discography to reflect the fact that only three of my mp3s are now downloadable at http://www.mp3.com/oemperor/ (due to changes in mp3.com policies).

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Friday, November 14, 2003

Salam Pax
The blog hero of the Iraq War is still around at http://www.dearraed.blogspot.com/. Come to think of it, so is the Scud Stud. Yes, this generation has its own war celebrities.

Interesting reading in the Salam Pax blog. Follow this link and scroll down to August 29 for an account of a "visit" from us 'Mercans.

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Thursday, November 13, 2003

Younger people: this involves the Monkee that wore the cap.

Decades ago (early 1980s), an advertisement used to run in the classifieds section of Rolling Stone which posed the all-important question: Whatever happened to Michael Nesmith? The ad included an 800 number (this was before 888, 877, etc. numbers), which I dutifully called. After hearing a snippet from some song about Lucy and Ramona and Sunset Sam, the callers were informed that Michael Nesmith was involved in something called video.

By this time I had already seen a video. My friend Alan had HBO, and one day we saw a film in which Raydio was singing "You Can't Change That" - except that they weren't singing! They were lip-syncing! They were dancing around all over the place while supposedly singing! Wow, video sure looked funny.

Anyway, next I hear Michael Nesmith is an Important Pioneer, and Elephant Parts is winning awards.

After that I didn't hear anything new about Michael again, except regarding successful and unsuccessful Monkees reunions.

Well, for those who are still asking the question that Rolling Stone asked over twenty years ago, Michael Nesmith has a website called Videoranch with all sorts of things. There's even an "About Nez" section (apparently Mr. Nesmith is now known as "Nez") that answers all of your burning questions:

Q: Is Nez working on a new album?

A: Yes. It's called "Rays" and it should be out sometime in 2003. He's also heavily involved with high-technology, the internet, prose writing and movies.

Q: Did Nez invent MTV?

A: In a word, yes.

Q: Did Nez' mom really invent Liquid Paper?

A: Yes

Now you know...

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Auntie Trust Has Been Berry Berry Good To Me
Got my letter from the State of California today regarding the Microsoft settlement. I am eligible for a grand total of $21 for the Windows ME and Works that was bundled on my computer a few years back. Don't think that Bill Gates will need to apply for food stamps, though.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2003

I can't get it out of my head
Song running through my brain for the last couple of days - "Strange Magic" by Electric Light Orchestra.

In my worldview, this song falls in the second half of ELO's history, which I divide into (a) Electric Light Orchestra II, and (b) everything after that.

I've never heard the earlier albums, but I used to own Electric Light Orchestra II on cassette. Audiophonically, it consists of this guy screaming vocals over a electro-neo-classical band - very rough in all respects.

By the time they hit the big time, most of the rough edges had been removed, although Jeff never gave Smokey Robinson any competition as a vocalist. Although "Strange Magic" didn't have a disco beat, it fit nicely into disco-era radio programming. The strings that were once so menacing had become light background.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Non Sequiturization of the Media
As I drove home this evening, I heard a news report that stated that enough people have died in the recent Iraq war "to fill Dodger Stadium."

Then I wondered - what does Dodger Stadium have to do with this? I mean, I know they're (currently) owned by the same people that run Fox News Channel, but that doesn't mean that Rupert (Murdoch) wants to load the stadium with corpses. (Insert joke about Dodger front office here.)

Two non sequiturish comparisons are often used:

_______ is enough to fill the city of _______.
_______ is enough to fill the building _______.

These comparisons can perhaps lead to bizarre correlations like this (note that these comparisons may not be numerically accurate; the research department for this blog is out chasing cats):

The number of people who voted for George McGovern in 1972 would fill the country of Taiwan.

The number of major league baseball players, their spouses, their parents, and their grandparents would fill the Rancho Cucamonga Epicenter.

All of Joseph and Rose Kennedy's children would fill a phone booth several times over.

If every one of the striking/locked out grocery workers in Southern California had a penny, the union could buy a pretty nice refrigerator.

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Wiccan Thought of the Day
If you live in Coventry, do you have to join a coven?

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Library of Congress
From http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/today/nov11.html - go to loc.gov page for extensive links and full text.

"The Allied powers a signed a cease-fire agreement with Germany at Rethondes, France on November 11, 1918, bringing World War I to a close. Between the wars, November 11 was commemorated as Armistice Day in the United States, Great Britain, and France. After World War II, the holiday was recognized as a day of tribute to veterans of both world wars. Beginning in 1954, the United States designated November 11 as Veterans Day to honor veterans of all U.S. wars...."


"On November 11, 1889, President Benjamin Harrison declared Washington the forty-second state in the Union. Less than fifty years after pioneers began entering the Pacific Northwest via the Oregon Trail, the United States met expectations its borders would extend across the continent.

"Until 1846, Washington was part of 'Oregon Country,' a region jointly occupied by England and the United States. In 1844, presidential candidate James K. Polk urged an aggressive stance with regard to ownership of the land below the 54th parallel. The slogan 'Fifty-four Forty or Fight' became a rallying cry of the Polk campaign. Two years later, the U.S. and Great Britain signed the Oregon Treaty setting the Canadian-American border at the 49th parallel and granting the United States territory including present-day Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. In 1848, Congress designated this newly acquired area 'Oregon Territory.'

"Racism, rather than concerns about sovereignty, propelled the very first settlers into the Washington region. In 1844, George W. Bush, a man of African-American ancestry was among early pioneers to Oregon Country. After learning the Oregon Provisional Government prohibited black people from owning property, Bush's party evaded control of the Provisional Government by crossing the Columbia River into present-day Washington. Olympia, now the state capital, traces its settlement to this band of pioneers."

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Woman who resigned from union
From 11/7/2003 St. Louis Post-Dispatch

I am writing to represent the rather unpopular and little-heard viewpoint of a minority of individuals in the recent grocery strike: people who, like me, a grocery store employee originally bound by the union, chose to follow their hearts in a different direction, which led to a breaking from opinion with the union, and ultimate resignation.
This was a decision I did not take lightly.

I did not force my views on anyone else, yet am now being penalized and even shunned by colleagues and former "friends" for exercising my free will and upholding my beliefs.

I have not disrespected the mighty union majority during this grocery fiasco, unless their definition of respect is a blind, sheep-like unity at all costs, even to the abandonment of my beliefs. That doesn't sound like the democracy we are supposed to be living in here in this country, does it?

The "mighty" Bob Kelley claimed individuals like myself turned our backs on fellow union members. I no more turned my back on my co-workers than they did on the most persecuted population in this fiasco, that being the innocent customer! What other organization would have their members put the needs of their own pocketbooks before the group of individuals that they profess to care about the most (the customer), and the individuals who literally make it possible for them to make a living?

Also, if I hear the word "scab" one more time in reference to those who, like me, had to make a decision which put them in disfavor with majority opinion by their working the temporary positions at the stores while the original workers were out on the street by choice …..

In closing, as far as I last checked, we still operate under a democracy in this country and are allowed, even encouraged to exercise our free will. Or do those words simply not apply to the union?

Gina Davis
St. Peters

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Monday, November 10, 2003

Health Care
During the Southern California grocery strike, both the pro-union and pro-management people agree that something should be done about health care. In that context, the following spam is rather surprising:

"Did you know that your family's healthcare is in jeopardy and it's up
to you to ProtectYourHealthcare.

"Right now, Congress is creating a 'new' kind of health insurance - with
no protections, no guarantees and no limits on prices. Under Washington's
plan, insurers won't be required to keep money in the bank to pay your
claims, but they will be able to raise your rates when you get sick or
whenever they want. Worst of all, insurers will also take away every
single health protection you have in your state, from direct access to
your OB/GYN to your right to appeal. "

The spam included a link which I have not reproduced here; for all I know it goes to a Bog Slime website or something like that.

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How I got to Michael Hanscom's blog in the first place
Mr. Hanscomb made Robert X. Cringely's column in InfoWorld. Here's why. And here's what started it all. By the way, he does have a new job.

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Openly Episcopal Man Joins Village People
In Michael Hanscom's blog.

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Saturday, November 08, 2003

My radio parody blog is up! Check my http://www.koer.blogspot.com/.

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Taco organizations! A blog that references the Doctor Orange song "Taco Taco Taco." Check out http://jefflog.everybody.org/. Specifically see the May 1 2000 entry (and my comment). The artist's website is at http://www.mp3.com/doctororange/; although "Taco Taco Taco" is no longer downloadable, you can check out "Buried Alive."

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Deja vu all over again. http://www.bradsucks.net/ is a blog from "a one man band with no fans." He's based in the wrong Ontario. This ain't no bog slime. (Perhaps I should post some new music. It's only been A COUPLE OF YEARS....)

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What I did this morning. El Monte Airport is a nice little place.

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Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Ugliness is in the eye of the beholder, but here are three of my nominations for the Worst Song of All Time:

Beatles, "Honey Pie." It isn't that I don't like the Beatles - I do. It isn't that I don't like the White Album - it's my favorite Beatles album, primarily because of the huge contrasts from song to song. It isn't that I don't like McCartney silly love songs - some of them are outstanding - for example, "Waterfalls" from McCartney II, which is both syrupy and psychotic ("Stay locked in your room and don't go anywhere 'CAUSE I NEED LOVE"). The problem with this song is that it's just so bad, especially when Paul starts singing along "oh yeah I like that...I like this kind of music." Who cares?

Bee Gees, "I Started a Joke." Again, I like the Bee Gees, both some of their early stuff ("Lonely Days"), and their later disco era stuff ("Staying Alive" is outstanding), and the stuff they did for others ("Islands in the Stream," "Woman in Love"). But what is going on lyrically here? I thought that the world revolved around Ken Minyard, but apparently the world revolves around Barry Gibb. He starts a joke which affects all of the billions of people in the world. Argh.

Depeche Mode, "Pleasure Little Treasure." Yes, I certainly like Depeche Mode and their offshoots - was just listening to Dave Gahan's "Paper Monsters" this morning, as a matter of fact. It seems that the dM song that dM fans most despite is "Condemnation," which I think is brilliant - just because Kraftwerk could never do it doesn't mean that it's a bad song. (Similarly, I like some of Dave's & Knox's sounds, such as "Hold On," that would never be considered "standard" dM.) But what happened with "Pleasure Little Treasure"? It's OK to have electronic blips and guitar strums in the same song (I've placed banjo sounds in several of my songs), but the two sounds have to combine into a pleasant whole, not something that's disjointed from second to second. And what's with the way that the ending peters out?

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Tuesday, November 04, 2003


If you want to hear an revving automobile sound, go to the web site for Musee National de L'Automobile de Mulhouse.

My strongest memory of this museum, which I visited over 3 years ago - the auto that looked like a Volkswagen Beetle, but wasn't a Volkswagen Beetle. See the German Sports Cars page and The History of Cars page for some of the history of this pre-Volkswagen Volkswagen.

Another revving automobile sound can be found at fordpinto.com. However, I won't claim that this car captured the fancy of high government officials, or changed the world for decades to come.

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Monday, November 03, 2003

Grocery union shifts health costs to its own workers
By Katherine Ann Rowlands
The Tribune
"The union that is striking largely over a proposal to shift health-care costs to employees of supermarket chains in Southern California is doing the same thing to its own workers."

Oh, the irony
By Silas Lyons
The Tribune
"I wonder how many of the shoppers who have been going out of their way to support the union would do so if they knew this."

WBNG UFCW Unit Guild News Fall 2003 Newsletter
"UFCW confirmed at employee meetings October 1 and 2 that it is cost shifting health care costs to employees and retirees. According to Benefits Administrator Lori Werner, the increase in prescription co-pays alone will take about $275,000 more dollars out of employees' pockets....Employees with fewer than twenty years will pay 50% of their retiree health premium, which currently totals a whopping $993/month for each retiree, single or married....UFCW confirmed that there might well be more changes, stating that retiree health is not a guaranteed benefit, implying that it could be taken away entirely."

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