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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This blog has been superseded by the mrontemp blog


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Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Revisiting mp3.com
Long, long ago in a galaxy far away, the "Ontario Emperor" presence on the web was primarily via mp3 files and CDs available via my website on mp3.com. Last year, mp3.com discontinued their free mp3 hosting service. In essence, this didn't really affect me - for various reasons, I haven't posted any mp3s on the web in several years - but in a way it did. 99.9% of all people who read this blog think of "Ontario Emperor" (borrowing from Bob Dole, I'm speaking of "Ontario Emperor" in the third person - yikes) as a textual being, not a synthetica musician.

Well, for whatever reason, I ended up visiting mp3.com today (it's run by cnet now) and was surprised to find that there was an Ontario Emperor page on this site. When I initially visited it, it was blank, so I added the following "review" of this all-important artist:

Ontario Emperor, a twentieth century synthetica artist, released several CDs on the old mp3.com in 1999 and 2000. See http://ontarioemperor.tripod.com/disco.html for a list of these CDs and the song titles. As of today (November 30, 2004), the only song from this period that is still available online is "Non Sequitur 15," which can be found in mp3 form at the http://www.geocities.com/otco909/music.html URL.

During the 2004 calendar year, most of Ontario Emperor's online work can be found in his Ontario Empoblog, found at the http://oemperor.blogspot.com URL. However, he did post a few MIDI files to the http://ontarioemperor.tripod.com/music.html URL.

Having completed, that, I went ahead and explored the other things that the new mp3.com offers, including the posting of a partial sample of my CD/DVD collection, and the entry of several song and album reviews (including a re-posting of my Client album review).

I reserve the right to continue the Empoblog Aurothots from time to time - mp3.com requires 50+ word reviews, and the Aurothots are usually much shorter. However, you may want to peek at my mp3.com profile from time to time - or join yourself and contribute to the community. Good reviews are needed; let's face it, someone other than me needs to review Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

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Monday, November 29, 2004

Queen of Sky "Outs" Delta Flight Attendant Instructor
No, not "out" as in "identify as gay" - "out" as in "identify someone who wears a Delta uniform on the web."

His site is here.

Basic Facts
I am 39 yrs old...living in Atlanta, Ga. I currently work for Delta Airlines as a flight attendant instructor.
My stats: 5'11", 175, clean shaven, mostly smooth, light brown hair, hazel eyes.

My Hobbies & Interests
Meeting new people, chatting online, movies, music, amusement parks (roller coaster fanatic),traveling (can do that easy working for the airline), Braves baseball, theatre.

My Online Life
I love chatting online...love watching porn....meeting folks...

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My Novel Will Be Called "What Is Is"
Ken Goode's 2004 novel is called What's the Frequency, Kenneth?

This is not to be confused with a certain R.E.M. song, which was performed on David Letterman's show with the assistance of a network news anchor:

The mystery may be solved: Dan Rather has identified the man he says beat him up on the street in 1986 while demanding to know 'Kenneth, what is the frequency?' The CBS anchorman said his assailant was William Tager, now in prison for killing an NBC stagehand outside the Today show in 1994. Tager was convinced the media had him under surveillance and were beaming hostile messages to him, and he demanded that Rather tell him the frequency being used, according to a forensic psychiatrist who examined Tager after the NBC shooting. Rather was told by the psychiatrist, Dr. Park Dietz, that Tager was almost certainly his attacker. The anchorman identified Tager from pictures supplied by the New York Daily News. 'There's no doubt in my mind that this is the person,' Rather said."
--January 1997, Associated Press.

In his blog, Rob Barry has "uncovered" additional information:

But does it really end there? Let me tell you about a book. It's a red one, published in 1968. Goes by the title City Life. It's a collection of short stories by a misanthrope by the name of Donald Barthelme. Let me read you an excerpt, from page 84:

Q: That's a very common fantasy.
A: All my fantasies are extremely ordinary.
Q: Does it give you pleasure?
A: A poor... A rather unsatisfactory...
Q: What is the frequency?
A: Oh God who knows. Once in a while. Sometimes.
Q: You're not cooperating.
A: I'm not interested.
Q: I might do an article.
A: I don't like to have my picture taken.
Q: Solipsism plus triumphantism.
A: It's possible.
Kierkegaard Unfair to Schlegel
by Donald Barthelme
Weird, isn't it? Very disconnected. Most of his stories seem to fit neatly into that post-modern narrative that lacks a coherent structure.

I'm sure you notice the 3nd question. Odd question -- it doesn't really fit in there with the flow. I mean, none of it really fits together, but you get the impression that there's a direction to the questions, and that question doesn't really... work.

Wonder why he put it in there.

Funny. There's another story, called "The Indian Uprising". It's also by Donald Barthelme. Guess what the main character's name is?


Barthelme was born in 1931, which is actually Rather's birth-year too. Unfortunately, he died in 1989....

Also see a Harper's Magazine article from Paul Limbert Allman:

Imagine my shock at finding, quite out of the blue, the words "Kenneth" and "What is the frequency?" combined within the same text, by a writer from Houston, Dan Rather's hometown.

It was an odd coincidence. What are the chances of finding "Kenneth" and "What is the frequency?" in any way connected to each other, outside of the mouths of Mr. Rather's attackers? And yet here they were, inside Donald Barthelme's book.

The photo of Barthelme on the back of the dust jacket: a stocky fellow with a leprechaun's face and beard, wearing a checked shirt and a leather vest, with a patch of Rorschach-style wallpaper behind his head. Was this mischievous but gentle soul the type to rough up a news anchor or hire goons to do the job? He looked capable of a prank but not one so violent.

The coincidence seemed to be just that: a strange, puzzling, but unintentional juxtaposition, one of life's sublime jokes.

Intrigued by the Rather riddle, I researched Dan Rather's career as a newspaper reporter and editor in Houston but could find nothing except the tale of a tireless, ambitious young man--what used to be called a B.M.O.C.--with something of a roving eye for what his biographer referred to as "coeds."

Mr. Rather excelled first as the editor of a college newspaper. Eventually he broke into radio and then television journalism. Might there have been a grudge or a simmering jealousy from as far back as then? Somebody Rather stepped over on his way up the ladder of success, or the boyfriend or husband of one of those "coeds"?

Mr. Barthelme, just six months younger than Mr. Rather, also grew up in Houston. Barthelme attended the University of Houston; Rather attended Sam Houston State College. After their stints in the military in the fifties, both went into journalism. Rather worked at a Houston radio station, while Barthelme went to work as a reporter for the Houston Post.

Rather and Barthelme, same age, same military backgrounds, were now reporting for competing news outlets in a city of modest size. Is it possible that they could not have known each other, or of each other, in the Houston of the late 1950s and early 1960s? That they could not have attended the same journalistic functions? Or that Rather, the rising star, could not have been the object of envy and speculation on the part of his peers?

I tried to imagine an imbroglio between these two men, both titans in their field: the burly, bristling, brilliant professor/writer and the eager, ambitious, glamorous, comparatively superficial news anchor. Titans who left large footprints in Texas soil but no legacy of mutual distemper, no trace of a grudge. The implication--that a brilliant writer would somehow get himself involved in a hugger-mugger retributionary ambush of a prominent news editor over an undisclosed dispute--was difficult to accept. Yet these giants were undoubtedly linked together by that strangely magical refrain--Kenneth, what is the frequency?--and by their oddly parallel lives.

In 1959, Rather became a TV reporter for KTRK in Houston; two years later, Barthelme became director of the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston. Rather eventually transferred to New York City for CBS News, and Barthelme also landed in the city, teaching at City College.

I will never know what wrong Donald Barthelme perceived was done to him by Dan Rather during their mutual incubations in Houston. No one will ever know. It will have to be the one unknown that haunts our generation as we ponder the Rather/Barthelme connection with the incident on Park Avenue. But there are at least two well-dressed white men out there (now in their fifties) who know the complete truth. Did Barthelme know what they were doing? Or were the avengers acting on their own, loose cannons armed with quotes from Barthelme's canon?

Meanwhile, there's a guy searching for Paul Limbert Allman. Don't know why, or who. But he sells t-shirts.

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The Mind Reels
Yes, there is a connection between a popular U.S.-Mexico border crossing and American celebrity Eddie Murphy.

And a New York music company.

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The Daily News Report - Night After Night After Night
For at least forty years, television viewers in the United States have been treated to a half-hour "evening news"/"nightly news" show from the major networks. While other networks have had one-hour shows (whatever MacNeil/Lehrer is called today), and other networks (Headline News, Bloomberg) show news 24 hours a day, the three largest over-the-air networks have had their half hour news shows.

Now that Dan Rather and Tom Brokaw are departing their respective shows, AP Television Writer David Bauder saw fit to publish an article on the continuing viability of the "institution" (his word) of the nightly news show itself:

Despite the onset of a personnel transition following the remarkable 20-plus year reigns of Brokaw, Rather and Peter Jennings, the broadcasts seem on firmer ground than they did five years ago, when there were many questions about their survival.

"I think the institution still provides the most serious and well-organized look at what's happening in our world every day and in these times, especially, it's a great service. It's as simple as that," said Brokaw, whose last NBC "Nightly News" newscast is Wednesday.

Most evenings, nearly 30 million people watch one of the three programs. Ratings have been sinking steadily, but that's the case for most shows in a fragmented television world; evening news ratings have dropped at a rate 4 percent slower than prime-time broadcast fare over the past decade, according to Nielsen Media Research.

For all the attention they get, the three cable news networks — Fox News Channel, CNN and MSNBC — don't even get 4 million viewers combined in an average prime time....

The notion that people can work late, skip the broadcast evening news and catch up later on cable isn't necessarily true. Try to find a serious newscast on these networks in prime time, at least before Aaron Brown on CNN at 10 p.m. Eastern time, and you'll be out of luck.

Even CNN Headline News — a dependable network that rotates newscasts every half-hour — plans to experiment with prime-time talk shows in the next year.

Some people can't wait to see Dan Rather go:

RatherBiased.com documents the partisan beliefs of one of the most politicized journalists of our time.


rathergate.com (blog)

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Saturday, November 27, 2004

Superstar Zwei
Check out track 15 on the jukebox. It's a loop. I like loops.

By the way, you can also find other Falco his, such as "Der Kommisar."

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How could this happen? I'll ask Marc Canter.

There is apparently a stage production called "Falco Meets Amadeus."

"FMA - Falco meets Amadeus" is performed again in the Rheingoldhalle in Mainz from 27th November to 29th December 2004. CCM and Hilton Hotels offer a package of diner and a visit of the show for private groups or christmas parties of companies. All Tuesdays are reserved to be booked by companies for large events.

The abstract of the show seems to imply that life imitates art:

Falco intensely lived the spirit of the eigthies until self-destruction. He made Pop history. This epoch influenced him, and he influenced this epoch. "He was a superstar, he was popular, he was excalted, because he had style, he was a virtuoso, was a rock idol, and everyone was calling: rock me..." His refusal to make any compromises made him an icon for a whole generation.

The Musical-show revives the eighties. It tells the story of Falco's addiction to fame and his fateful attraction to women. The fatal fascination of intoxication and his musical genius determined his life and creating work. When Falco is in the middle of a creative crisis, and bankruptcy is imminent, he meets Mozart, his inspiration: "Amadeus" - a worldwide number one hit - is born. All of europe adores him.

Here is a very short excerpt from the story:

So much love - so much power - so much lust

"Der Kommissar"

Where is Falco? For three days he hasn't shown up in the studio, the mood is irritated. You see the reporter Garbo, the manager Johnny Klein, who wants to introduce a certain Konny to Falco, and there also is a mysterious figure wearing a coat and a hat... and the butler Josef calls: "He feels like being on ice, and ice is inside of him!" Finally the star shows up and asks himself the vital question: "Do I have to die, before I can live?"


What is reality, what is delusion? Falco sees "Blood on my hands", his mother puffs up to a threatening monster, commanding coldly: "Get up! It's late! We've got to leave, out of the wood!" Falco desperately calls for "Jeanny". Too much red on her lips. And Amadeus is sneaking around the dancing trees....

Uh huh. Normally these musicals seemed to be a poor excuse to string a bunch of the hitmaker's songs together. In this case, they seem to have inserted the hitmaker into the act.

I'm familiar with two versions of "Rock Me Amadeus," the song - one version, entirely in English, which includes a spoken history of Mozart's life, concluding with a reference to Austrian rock star Falco (which STILL sounds like an oxymoron, even today). The other version is the one used in the video, in which most of the lyrics are in German:

Er war ein Punker
Und er lebte in der großen Stadt
Es war in Wien, war Vienna
Wo er alles tat
Er hatte Schulden denn er trank
Doch ihn liebten alle Frauen
Und jede rief:
Come and rock me Amadeus

Er war Superstar
Er war populär
Er war so exaltiert
Because er hatte Flair
Er war ein Virtuose
War ein Rockidol
Und alles rief:
Come and rock me Amadeus
Amadeus, Amadeus...

Es war um 1780
Und es war in Wien
No plastic money anymore
Die Banken gegen ihn
Woher die Schulden kamen
War wohl jedermann bekannt
Er war ein Mann der Frauen
Frauen liebten seinen Punk

Amadeus, Amadeus...

Those of you who recall the video remember that it alternated between 18th century aristocrats and 20th century bikers. Just an average day in Vienna.

The song itself came about as follows:

At the time a number of critical books were being published about Mozart, a TV series about the composer was broadcast and Milos Forman's Oscar-winning film Amadeus was splashed across cinema screens. The name Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was on everybody's lips. And this inspired the Bolland brothers to work the unvarnished story of Mozart's life into a pop song. The result was Rock Me Amadeus, a song that was to surpass all existing limits of German pop music and set completely new standards. As Falco first listened to the playback he knew he had found the right producers and he recorded his album Falco 3 in Hilversum in summer 1985. The album is radically different in style from its two predecessors with a more commercial orientation and catchier music. It finally shot Falco to international stardom.

Already in May 1985 Rock Me Amadeus was released as a single and immediately after its release skyrocketed to number one on the Austrian charts where it stayed for six weeks. Two weeks later it was at the top of the German hit parade.

Things got more difficult:

Falco was forced into a double existence at this time. He was both a family man and an international star, a role that became ever more of a problem for him as time passed and the image of the domesticated Hans Hölzel drifted away from that of Falco. The great professional success and the pressure it brought with it pushed Hans Hölzel once again into a severe crisis that he thought he could overcome with alcohol, drugs and tablets. "I had my midlife crisis at 28. Now you've got millions, though you don't know where's up and where's down and there's a family with a child and you've got no idea where to start," said Falco.

Hans Hölzel, a working-class boy, had great problems coming to terms with his sudden wealth. Falco, who at 24 was already a millionaire, later said: "The most difficult time in my life was when I began to earn money like I had never imagined before. Money ruins people and it ruined my life for a long time. Money spoils your character, you think you are the greatest."

The story continues:

In November 1988 Falco was at rock bottom, both physically and mentally. His LP was a total flop, his tour cancelled, his alcohol problems out of control and his marriage in tatters. He fled and escaped on a four-month odyssey around the globe, during which no one knew where he was. He wanted to reposition his life and get back on the right track.

After his return Hans Hölzel decided to put a stop to it all. He put 3.8 million schillings into a black suitcase, drove to Graz and asked his wife the crucial question: "The money or the marriage?" The answer was clear and a mutually-agreed divorce followed, ending 309 sad days of marriage....

In the autumn of 1993 Hans Hölzel received the heaviest blow of his life. He had already been suffering doubts about his paternity of Katharina Bianca for some time and decided to have a paternity test done to establish the facts. And find out he did: Hans Hölzel was not the father of Katharina Bianca. Outwardly he did not let on just how humiliated he felt, "But it was the worst thing that happened to him in all his life," says Billy Filanowski, a friend, "He never got over it." Maria Hölzel said, "If anyone hurt Hans, it was Isabella." This painful experience had a lasting influence on all his later relationships with women.

Unsure of himself and hurt by personal and professional setbacks, Hans Hölzel withdrew more and more to his refuge in Gars am Kamp, his own little paradise, where he thought he would be able to cope better with his crises. Psychiatric medicines washed down with alcohol were the cure for his regular bouts of melancholy.

The biography ends here:

Hans Hölzel loved the sun, palm trees and the sea. For him the long winters in Austria became increasingly difficult to bear. "I get scared when it turns to winter and becomes dark and cold," he confided to close friends. This was certainly one of the reasons why, in the spring of 1996, he began to move his home to the Dominican Republic. Tax advantages were the prime reason behind this move, but it was clear to him from the beginning that he would not stay there forever: in his heart of hearts he was an Austrian, and above all Viennese....

The work on Falco's last album, originally to be titled Egoisten, only added to his lack of confidence and to his self-doubt. Time and again, the perfectionist Hans Hölzel put off the album's release date, discarded numbers, recorded new ones and became confused about the order of the individual songs. By late autumn 1997 he wanted to drop what was more or less a finished album and start afresh. But it was not to be.

On 6 February 1998 Hans Hölzel died in a car accident in the Dominican Republic at around 4.40 pm local time. But Falco lives on more intensively than ever in the hearts of his fans.

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Main Screen Turn On
I remember one summer in the early 1980s when I returned home from college and spent the entire summer listening to news radio. Thus I missed the whole craze over the "Valley Girl" song. I returned to college in the fall, sat in the chair at the college radio station, and "discovered" the song and started to play it. I immediately got numerous complaints from people who had heard the song all summer.

If such non-trendy behavior angers you, then I urge you to quit reading this blog entry right now and go read Wonkette or sumfin.

I was reading some of the older KOER Synthetica Radio Transcripts and found one that, instead of referring to General Wesley Clark, included a link to "All Your Base Are Belong To Us." If the title seems like gobbledygook to you, then click on the link now with the sound on. Even if you know what I'm talking about, you might want to click on the link for old time's sake.

I hadn't even heard about the multimedia presentation until approximately the spring of 2004, when it was promoted in one of the websites that is in Eddykins' vast empire. AYBABTU is a musical joy; for me, the music outweighs the visual content. Then again, I obviously have a soft spot for synthetica.

For those who don't know the sordid story of AYBABTU, here are the details:

Toaplan creates the Zero Wing video game.
Toaplan releases a port for the Sega Genesis console with the addition of an intro scene, which is then translated into english (very poorly) and released in the United States.
Toaplan goes out of business.
Someone from a Zany Video Game Quotes website notices the poor translation, and highlights the game.
Overclocked.org does a humorous voiceover of the Zero Wing intro in a fake Wayne Newton voice.
Dozens of game-related messageboards begin to post quotes from the parody, and images altered to show the phrase.
Most of the threads lose interest and die off quickly as the trend is pronounced dead countless times.
The Flash movie/video is released with images from the threads and music taken from the origional (sic) game someone had added the phrase "all your base" to.
AYB explosively expands to the general (non game messageboard-reading) public.
The origional site for the video is shut down within hours due to excessive traffic, and moves to PlanetStarsiege.
Lycos ponders how "All your Base" was transformed from obscurity to a top 50 search practically overnight.
Mainstream media begin to notice the trend, and stories appear in Time Magazine, USA Today, Fox News, The Los Angeles Times, Tech TV, Wired, and many others.
As the 'remix' used in the video goes from 58 hits a day to several thousand per day, mp3.com notices the track has been ripped directly from the video game and pulls the music off their site due to copyright violations. It is later returned unchanged.
The trend continues to grow as it expands into nearly every corner of the web.
Large websites like Angelfire and Hewlett Packard sneak "all your base" references into their designs.
"All Your Base" is pronounced dead several times every day, yet it's 15 minutes of fame continue for some reason...

And here is the introduction:

In A.D. 2101
War was beginning.
Captain: What happen ?
Mechanic: Somebody set up us the bomb.
Operator: We get signal.
Captain: What !
Operator: Main screen turn on.
Captain: It's You !!
Cats: How are you gentlemen !!
Cats: All your base are belong to us.
Cats: You are on the way to destruction.
Captain: What you say !!
Cats: You have no chance to survive make your time.
Cats: HA HA HA HA ....
Captain: Take off every 'zig' !!
Captain: You know what you doing.
Captain: Move 'zig'.
Captain: For great justice.

An alternate presentation is here. The captain's voice is less robotic, and the music is less synthetic and more electronic.

Media coverage can be found here. I leave you with one sample:

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So Then...
...the plumbing problems were finally fixed. I hope. Professional help was administered. I am happy.

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Steve Rocco and OC Weekly
You'll recall that we had an election not too long ago, and that in this election, one Steve Rocco was elected to the Orange Unified School District Board of Trustees. At the time, hardly anything was known about him.

Well, according to OC Weekly, Adelphia recently aired some old episodes of a public access cable show that Rocco hosted in the 1990s. Their verdict - he's pretty boring, just like any other politician.

Rocco, you may recall, is the reclusive Santa Ana resident who made national headlines by winning a seat on the Orange Unified School District’s Board of Trustees on Nov. 2 and then not bothering to claim his victory. As reported by the Weekly...little about Rocco is known other than scary anecdotes whispered by his neighbors and what’s in his 1992 memoir, ROCCO Behind the Orange Curtain, which alleges a conspiracy between Kodak Film Co., Albertsons Supermarket and SmokeCraft Sausage led to Rocco’s 1980 arrest for shoplifting.

Thanks to Adelphia, however, the world can now view another piece of the Rocco puzzle. In the early 1990s, Rocco produced 17 shows through Santa Ana College’s television department. Adelphia, which owns the rights to Rocco’s shows, decided to re-air episodes three, four and five....Any Orange County Adelphia subscriber could tune in—except those located in Orange. Time for another novel, Rocco!

P.S. Rocco’s format remains the same for each half-hour segment. It opens with shots of four art pieces—an illustration of a solder slaying the devil, a Spanish Baroque-era woodcut of royal and squire, the rising-sun/despaired-stick-man cover of Behind the Orange Curtain, and a zoo painting. The camera then fades to Rocco behind a desk, wearing Roy Orbison-dark shades and a John Holmes-worthy mustache. He begins each episode by decrying a Santa Ana handbill ordinance that apparently prohibited people from distributing fliers to households. Calling the ban "unconstitutional," Rocco vows that he and unnamed friends "will be watching that" issue at upcoming Santa Ana City Council meetings.

After the five-minute ramble, Rocco gets down to his best Merv Griffith (sic) imitation. Of the three guests he interviewed—a Wiccan practitioner, Santa Ana College professor George Wright and the drummer from the 1960s band Spirit—all are personal friends. Questions are of the softball variety, and the topic invariably returns to Rocco, who speaks in a trembling, whiny voice that suggests he just came off a cold....

Rocco...is a poorly dressed, droning, solipsistic bore—in other words, a perfect school-board member. About the only hint of eccentricity occurs before his interview with the Wiccan: he pulls out a garlic belt and a Bible, and then tosses some salt over his right shoulder as he tells the bemused Wiccan, "I brought protection. You watch yourself."...

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Other Celebrity Ministers
From Reverend Al Green:

Thank you for visiting my website. I would like to take this opportuntity to invite you to bring Christ into your life. Confess Jesus Christ today as your personal saviour and you will begin to receive his boutiful blessings. Ask him into your life today. By confessing your sins, you will be given the miraculous gift of salvation. Your burden will ease and the clouds will begin to part.

-Rev. Al Green

Invitation to Worship With Us

When you are in Memphis, we would be delighted to have you join us in joyful worship at the Full Gospel Tabernacle.

Our regular services are:

Sunday School 9:45 am
Sunday Morning Worship 11:00 pm
Sunday Evening Worship (as scheduled) 4:00 pm
Wednesday Night Bible Study 7:00 pm

Full Gospel Tabernacle
Rev. Al Green, Pastor
787 Hale Road
Memphis, TN 38116
Office: (901) 794-6220

Invitation to Call Our Prayer Line

We invite you to call the Full Gospel Tabernacle prayer line. Our number is 901-396-9190

If You Need Assistance From the Food Bank
Call 901-396-0299

Invitation to Assist the Food Bank

The Food Bank accepts donations (canned goods and love offerings) to help feed the area's poor. If you can help in this worthy cause, or you would like further information, please contact:

Food Pantry
phone: 901-396-0299
fax: 901-396-0355

"He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord; and that which he hath given will he pay him again." Proverbs 19:17

I was actually going to write about more celebrity ministers, but http://www.mchammer.com/ no longer seems to be active, and Mother Bernadette Mary's (Sinead O'Connor's) time as a Tridentine priestess was short:

Nov. 5, 1999

"I failed miserably," Sinead O'Connor confessed to Irish television on November 4, reports Agence France Presse. "I meant well by doing the celibacy thing but it doesn't work for me because I need love and affection ..."

The Irish songster vowed a commitment to chastity last April when she became a priestess of the Latin Tridentine Church, a maverick Catholic splinter creed. Irish rebel bishop Michael Cox performed the ordination, rechristening the singer with the nunnish-name of "Mother Bernadette Mary."

"I lasted about three months," O'Connor admitted. "I tried. No thanks."

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Friday, November 26, 2004

Well, I'm Still Happy That Pastor Ott Performed My Wedding
So I'm like, you know, reading and stuff in LA.com and ran across the following line:

Sharon Stone is a licensed minister and performed her first wedding this weekend....

Huh? And there was a picture.

The la.com information was at least partially sourced from the
New York Post:

November 23, 2004 --
THE Rev. Sharon Stone? The star became a mail-order minister and performed her first official wedding over the weekend, presiding over the union of restaurateur Michael Bourseau and sometime stylist Brenda Swanson at her Coldwater Canyon home. Jack Nicholson and Robert Wagner served as the witnesses. Bourseau, who owns Mix in West Hollywood, was heard by a PAGE SIX spy saying, "No one's going to believe it when I hang my wedding certificate up on the wall." Stone's reps did not return calls for comment.

UK website Female First has additional information:

Sharon Stone has been ordained as a minister - so she could marry her friends....

Sharon, who was ordained by mail order, is not the first celebrity to become a minister - Robbie Williams was ordained over the internet so he could preside over the wedding of his friend Billy Morrison, while singer Sinead O'Connor is a Catholic priest.

Of course, it's not certain what type of minister she is, although this interview might provide a clue:

"I'm religious," says Stone. "Probably, to a lot of people's thought, I'm extremely religious. My practice is Buddhism, but I believe in God. Stone insists that there's no friction between overt devotion and her acting. "I've never had a conflict when I'm on a set," she says. "I've really given up my life to God and I know that's why I'm OK and at peace." Neither does Stone apparently see any conflict between her belief in God and her practice of Buddhism. However, Stone clarifies that "I don't believe in Buddha as my God...I believe in the practical ways of Buddhism as a way to live."

She certainly continues her interest in Buddha:

Sharon Stone likely to be part of film on Buddha
04th Oct 2004

Hollywood star Sharon Stone and a number of other celebrities, including Richard Gere, are likely to be part of a film based on teachings of lord Buddha.

The yet-to-be-titled movie will be a Rs.2.5 billion project to be directed by Shekhar Kapoor. The movie will incorporate special inputs from Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama and self-help guru Deepak Chopra....

Although the movie will have Indian actors in the leading roles, a good number of Hollywood celebrities – Gere, Stone, Melissa Mathison and Goldie Hawn – will be associated with the project in some way. Stone and Gere are also likely to act in the movie....

The project is backed by industrialist B.K. Modi, who is also the president of the over century-old Buddhist society -- Mahabodhi Society of India.

This is not the first Buddhist film with which Stone has been associated:

Rabbi Lew's Jewish meditation center is now open in San Francisco. He promoted the center while speaking at the Bay Area premiere of the film, "Jews and Buddhism," a new work by filmmaker Bill Chayes. The film was narrated by Sharon Stone and played at 40 film festivals around the world. It was called "One of the outstanding Documentaries of 1999," by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Science.

Yet at the same time, note that she doesn't believe in Buddha as her God, as this tidbit points out:

In fact, Sharon Stone is so smart she hedges her spiritual bets. She is a Buddhist but attends Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco. Phil Bronstein is Jewish. Well, San Francisco, maybe that explains it.

A little more (circa 1999) on Stone and Glide Memorial Church:

Now past 40, Stone is seeking new careers in condom promotion and gun control. In short, after delivering a sermon at Glide Memorial Church Sharon Stone looks like she's caught that Hollywood disease whose victims assume that they, with their own good looks, fame and wealth are the answer to America's political and social problems.


When she lived in San Francisco, Stone was known to attend Glide Memorial Church, and sometimes even delivered a sermon.

Whatever her religious views, Stone has had a near death experience:

Suffered a brain aneurysm, and was hospitalized for a while. [October 2001]...

Stone found her brush with death from a brain aneurysm has given her a new lease of life, "This brilliant, bright, white vortex of light was upon me. And then I was met by some of my friends, people who are very dear to me. But it was over very fast and suddenly I was back in the room and in my own body. It affected me so profoundly that I realized my life would never be the same again. It has definitely given me a new perspective on my career."

Back to Glide and Sharon Stone, taken from a piece written 30 August 2000 by Larry Nickolas Moss:

[N]ow is a time to tell of multi-cultural dream. Last night I had a dream about being at a rather funky church service. The service took place in a converted auditorium with old theater lights that showed pastel walls and weathered pews. A hot muggy air slowly flowed about. Faces appeared. They were colored in Caucasian and Negro, Latin and Asian, and Native American and Semitic. These faces were shaped by privilege and pain. Inner beauty and pain. Wealth and pain. Poverty and pain. Love and pain.

The Pastor was a joyous African American....

A tall blonde came on stage. She was far more lovely than the models that grace the covers of fashion magazines. Her gently tanned skin played against her short and deliberately kinked hairdo. She wore a simple black linen dress with a band of Kente cloth around her torso; it further accentuated a most lovely build. But it was not her accessory; she wore it like her identity. The congregants loved her. Oddly, in another setting, the blonde would have been the standard of Anglo-Saxon beauty. In a darker setting, she would have been a race traitor.

But, it was her time to tell a tale of blessings and pain, and humanity. "Look at the ear of the persons next to you". It's funny, but when you really really examine someone's ear, you don't leave with an opinion of anything but a shape and size. You do not see a religion, race, wealth or poverty. You just see a shape. "Now breathe each other's air". In that hot musty room, in a dream that felt so right, I got it: we are all connected. Suddenly, my heart danced in peace as every question was answered. Race is a greater deception than the moon's appearance to give off light. But what is real is one big energy that flows in and out of hearts and lungs. It is that stuff God used to make us in his likeness. So when the time came for us to look one another in the eye and say, "I love you", the task became a good feeling....

The sermon ended. The beautiful blonde, the beautiful Pastor and his beautiful Asian partner gave one another long hugs....

I woke up from the dream and remembered the event really happened last year while on a visit to San Francisco and Glide Memorial church. Wow. The blonde was the Actress Sharon Stone....

Remember how I noted that both Hilary Clinton and George W. Bush are United Methodists? Well, let's add that Sharon Stone preaches in United Methodist churches, sounding like Faith Hill...

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What Happened to Millionaire Mom?
First, a little history. Genetic Mishap wrote the following on September 2, 2004:

Okay, I just ran across this blog, entitled "Millionaire Mom":


It's a new blog, but worth visiting for ridicule value. After reading the blog and following some links I learned that this woman's goal is to make a million dollars in 20 months. Her plan is to use affilliate links and MLM schemes (her Inspiring Parents "business" is really an Amway front page) to do this.

It is just so ridiculous. I don't mind the affilliate links (you may notice a few on this site), but I HATE MLM'S and I get so angry that people can be so stupid to waste their time, effort, and money chasing after the MLM scheme. IT WON'T WORK, didn't you realize that in grade school with the whole "send one dollar to five people on this list, and send this letter to five of your friends and you will make lots of money" chain letter that went around? I have friends who get into one MLM after another, they never learn.

She also kindly puts lots of words of advice to reach success on her site, which is very funny considering it comes from someone who has achieved exactly 0% success. (maybe negative success if you consider the $550 she's in the hole already)

I only wish it were that easy to make a million in 20 months.

I linked to all of this and added some extremely pertinent comments ("eat steak every night"), and continued to follow Millionaire Mom's progress. I marked September 11th by reproducing this excerpt from her blog:

Day 8 $999916.56 to go
Finally... a check. Not a big one... $83.44 from ClickBank. Checking my Clickbank account I see this income came mostly from affiliate referrals. Okay, not a great check but I don't push affiliate as my main money maker.

As I check around, I see I'm owed nearly $2000 but I haven't counted that yet. Don't count your eggs until they hatched.

On November 3, I checked in again and discovered that, as of October 26, 2004, she only had $996,932.81 to go.

Today (November 26) I clicked on http://millionairemom.blogspot.com/ and got...nothing. I'll wait a bit before formally retiring the link on my left, but I'm forced to conclude that she made the rest of the money in the last month. Congratulations!

Meanwhile, check out the following sites that turn up on a Leslie Truex web search:


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Delta Flight Attendants Are Urged to Sign Up
As Ronald Reagan once said, "Well...."

I previously wrote about Joyce "Troutgirl" Park's new job. One of the people who congratulated her on the new job was Marc Canter (who is slightly better known in online circles than Ontario Emperor). I surfed to his blog, which discusses an offer by a company to pay outsiders to make comments - positive or negative - about their product. Check the FAQ (or is it FAQs? I'll ask Marc Canter):

Marqui's Blogosphere FAQ

"We're creating an opportunity based on trust." Stephen King, Marqui President and CEO

Isn't this evil? Why the heck are you doing it?

Let's face it. People are getting more sophisticated as consumers and as marketers. Our targets are marketers and communicators. Our solutions help them communicate more effectively in the online world and in the "solid world."...

We've decided to set a new standard in marketing by offering ongoing sponsorship to leading bloggers. We believe that these voices are growing louder and more influential every year, and could be the best investment in marketing the Marqui name.

As soon as someone says Marqui sucks, you're going to cut them off, aren't you?

You can read the complete agreement between Marqui and paid bloggers here, then judge for yourself whether this is a program based on trust and transparency. We're paying bloggers to blog for three months. Period. We hope they'll honor their commitments, because we're going to honor ours....

We put no limits on what these paid bloggers can say about Marqui; we only require a badge on their site, a weekly mention of our product and a URL link in the body of their blog. For their own integrity factor, if they want some sort of disclaimer on their blog, they’re more than welcome to acknowledge that we are paying them to blog with a frame, background, language, etc.

If bloggers paid by Marqui want to do more, whether offering criticism about our products and services or adding their personal endorsement, we welcome it. Criticism is helpful in our development process and it is always better to be talked about than not.

In the future, we will be introducing additional incentives to bloggers, but today we are just happy to help these talented people spend a little more time doing the blogging they do so well....

We’re looking for marketing and business bloggers, because they speak to our customers every day. If you’d like to participate in the program, let us know by e-mail and we’ll take a look at what you are blogging to see if you might be a good fit. We look forward to talking with (and hearing from!) all of you....

No, I'm not signing up - I don't believe that this Empoblog is one of the leading marketing and business blogs in the country (unless the business is marketing Krystal Fernandez). However, I'm obviously intrigued by the idea of a company encouraging unrestrained discussion about its product.

(Off-topic aside: after several years of an overreaction to the legal issues of Napster v1.0, I've finally song of my own songs into Windows Media Player. Playing right now: "Call of the West.")

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The Times, They Are A'Changin'
Needless to say, I am interested in news stories about Madrid, New Mexico:

Greg Conley moved to this old mining settlement in 1973 when it was a ghost town just starting to stir to life, when the people who lived here went by names such as Bear, Buffalo, Morning Star and Thunder.

"You rarely knew anybody's last name," Conley, 52, said of Madrid's old, hippie days. "There was a Little Mike, a Big Mike and someone called Bigger Than Big Mike."

Today, Conley and his wife, Lisa, own Conley Studio Pottery, one of 35 or so independent businesses - most of them art galleries - in this colorful, free-thinking little town on N.M. 14, 22 miles southwest of Santa Fe....

He has watched Madrid evolve from hippie enclave to enterprising tourist destination without losing its distinctive flavor or its free spirit.

Now, more changes are coming to Madrid....The Mine Shaft Tavern, Madrid's oldest business and the heart of the community in more ways than one, is for sale - as are other properties in this town of 300 to 400 people....

Construction started on the Mine Shaft, originally a coal-mining company tavern, in 1944 and was completed in 1946. When you sit at the Mine Shaft bar, you have to raise your arms to rest your elbows on the surface. That's because it was built as a stand-up bar in consideration of coal miners who had been hunched over in tunnels all day.

Oscar Huber, a mining company supervisor, bought Madrid and all its properties, including the tavern, in 1947. When Huber died in 1962, his son, Joe, inherited the town....

In the 1970s, Joe Huber started renting out and then selling old mining company houses and stores to pioneering spirits looking for inexpensive land and property as well as a fresh, pastoral place to make a home and a start.

In 1982, Huber sold five acres - which now includes the Mine Shaft, the Old Coal Mine Museum, Old West Photography and the Engine House Theater, the latter the home to a series of melodramas the past 20 years - to Hank and Ede Salkeld.

The Salkelds divorced a few years later, and the property is owned now by Ede Salkeld and her present husband, Cliff Kitzrow....

For years now, Madrid and the Mine Shaft have been Cliff and Ede's whole life.

In August, however, Cliff, 62, and Ede, 59, put the Mine Shaft, the museum, the theater and the photography shop up for sale. The asking price is $1.4 million.

Cliff Kitzrow said his wife's health is not good now, and they want to take a break from the demands of running a bar and restaurant that's open every day. They plan to retire in Madrid, in their house near the tavern.

He said a falloff in business - to the tune of 18 percent to 20 percent in the past five years - also contributed to the decision to sell. He attributes the decline to 9/11, the national economy, competition from a growing Indian-gaming industry and increasing gasoline prices.

"We don't see as many motor homes on the road these days," he said. "Being at the whim of tourism is a difficult way to live anytime, and it has contributed to stress factors."...

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Someone Else Who Wouldn't Shut Up
Here's a version of the Martin Luther story from greatsite.com:

Luther's Protestant views were condemned as heretical by Pope Leo III in the bull Exsurge Domine in 1520. Consequently Luther was summoned to either renounce or reaffirm them at the Diet of Worms on 17 April 1521. When he appeared before the assembly, Johann von Eck, by then assistant to the Archbishop of Trier, acted as spokesman for Emperor Charles the Fifth. He presented Luther with a table filled with copies of his writings. Eck asked Luther if he still believed what these works taught. He requested time to think about his answer. Granted an extension, Luther prayed, consulted with friends and mediators and presented himself before the Diet the next day.

When the counselor put the same question to Luther the next day, the reformer apologized for the harsh tone of many of his writings, but said that he could not reject the majority of them or the teachings in them. Luther respectfully but boldly stated, "Unless I am convinced by proofs from Scriptures or by plain and clear reasons and arguments, I can and will not retract, for it is neither safe nor wise to do anything against conscience. Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me. Amen."

On May 25, the Emperor issued his Edict of Worms, declaring Martin Luther an outlaw.

Here's an account from luther.de:

Luther's appearance at the Imperial Diet was described as objective, clever and well thought out. He had to appear before the Emperor twice; each time he was clearly told to take back his teachings. Luther didn't see any proof against his theses or views which would move him to recant: "Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason - I do not accept the authority of the popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other - my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. God help me. Amen."

The infamous saying "Here I stand. I cannot do otherwise." do not come from Luther.

After he left the negotiations room, he said "I am finished." And he was for the time finished; Luther was dismissed, and not arrested because he had a letter of safe conduct (Schutzbrief) which guaranteed him 21 days of safe travel through the land. He headed home on April 25.

When Luther and the princes who supported him left Worms, the emperor imposed an Imperial Act (Wormser Edikt): Luther is declared an outlaw (he may be killed by anyone without threat of punishment).

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The Right Not to Remain Silent
Mulling over issues about people talking to the press before and after their termination, I ran across a Sherry Miller article in which laid-off employees, and employees at other companies, were being read the riot act by a micro-manager:

Thirty people, more or less, were laid off from a typical e-commerce dot.com at the end of May, 2000. During the previous two months, a few of us realized that the company was just holding on because they had to appear to be in business in order to be sold....

We spent our work days looking for new jobs, writing personal materials and learning new web technologies. Showing up with nothing to do is far more stressful than the most demanding schedule. We were told frequently not to discuss the company's position or strategy, not to speak to the press and to refer all inquiries to the Director of Public Relations. She was the only person interacting with the press and she always said "No comment." Although I'm a writer myself and well-connected in Internet press circles, I tried not to talk about the situation at my company and I urged my team to do the same....

Eventually the various vendors who supplied our design, production and backend components were all let go. Each of these vendors had been receiving enormous amounts of money for their services and the plan had been to bring these functions in house....

Now the fun began. Our VP boss learned that an employee of one of the vendors, at a Friday night cocktail party in the city, was telling other guests that our company wasn't paying its bills. The next Monday the VP was in a rage, thinking she knew who had said that and how awful and inappropriate those comments were, and she was going to call him up and "read him the riot act." "Hold on," I told her. "The CEO there sent a memo around to everyone on the staff telling them not to do any business with us. That comment could have come from anyone." "So I'll call the CEO," she snapped.

I tried to explain to her that the CEO and all the staff at this vendor already considered us the client from hell and she shouldn't add to that perception. I also told her directly that the Bay Area new media community is a small one - even if we are spread out geographically - and she'd better think before she spoke.

But that didn't stop her and her buddy VP from calling the CEO, who was on vacation after a recent successful sale of his company. Her solution was to call the CEO's boss at the company who had just bought him out....

The [expected layoff] day finally came at the end of May, closing a long week of several industry e-commerce shutdowns. We received our pay, our vacation pay, and one month additional health coverage....

While working happily at home [on a new consulting job], I received a phone call from a reporter whom I know well. We had a long discussion about the failed company because she was doing a story on layoffs. I was very careful to designate any negative comments I may have made 'off the record.'

Meanwhile I gave her the name of my late colleague and the name of the friend who had the same experience at another company. Two days later the story came out with my colleague's picture on the front page of the major newspaper. He was quoted about the industry and the nature of the beast, but nothing about the company that had just laid us off. I was quoted with one positive comment about our former company. And my friend was quoted about the industry in general and her new job.

The following day my colleague received a harrowing phone call from our former VP boss really chewing him out for speaking to the press and telling him that he'd better not talk to anyone else and he should refer calls to the Director of PR (presumably she hadn't been laid off) and he would be hearing from the other VP.

About four days went by and my friend got a second soft-sell call from a second VP. I got a similar call from the our old boss VP. She gave me the whole rap, and then added that the NY Times had been sniffing around and I absolutely shouldn't say one word to them, no matter what, and I should refer them to the PR person. She said the CEO was very disappointed in my behavior and I expect she gave me a bad grade in her little book.

We were peons, evidently, in the minds of management, and we were expected to do our jobs and keep our mouths shut. Although there were really only three of us in that company who knew anything at all about running an e-commerce web site, we were never consulted on any strategy or contract issues....

Now that we were no longer employed there, we found ourselves subjected to an onslaught of instructions, warnings and admonitions regarding our rights to speak out about our experience.

Although none of us had any intention of maligning what was left of that company, we were being pressured by this management behavior. None of us ever discussed any of the gory or stupid details of that hundred million dollar operation. The real story has never been told in spite of the fact that there were many articles about the demise both before and after we spoke to the press.

This experience brought up a whole new range of privacy issues. I wanted, expected and was entitled to the privacy of my own friendships and comments, even if that included friendships with reporters....

And I was unprepared for the illusionary right to privacy that our VPs thought they had in the highest profile industry ever to hit the press. They seemed to want to behave in an unrestrained fashion and yet have complete privacy about all their actions.

I am overwhelmed by the arrogance of the management group who thought that our minds were worthless the whole time we worked for them and then they wanted to control our minds and our speech even after we were no longer their employees....

But even if we were just laid-off workers, we did have the right NOT to remain silent.

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New Button, Slightly (But Not Immorally) Redirected
There was a post at the Queen of Sky blog that documented a new "support" button:

The post suggested to link the button to the Queen of Sky site itself, but I decided to link the button to that very post. Specifically, I wanted to make sure that anyone who follows the link reads the following statement:

This campaign is an effort to make Delta Air Lines acknowledge that they discriminated against Ellen Simonetti by treating her differently from male employees, such as the gentleman that runs the COMMERCIAL site www.jetcareers.com. Delta gave him a warning and now he has removed all mention of Delta, including logos from his website. It would have been nice if Delta had extended the same courtesy to Ellen, rather than suspending her WITHOUT warning and then firing her a month AFTER she had removed all uniform pictures from her PERSONAL website and 3 weeks AFTER filing a discrimination complaint with the EEOC.

This is part of a more general issue that I'm concerned about. The one parallel between the Ellen Simonetti (Queen of Sky) case and the Joyce Park (Troutgirl) case is that they were dismissed without warning and not given an opportunity to rectify the situation. Another parallel is that in both cases, the dismissing firms (Delta and Friendster) ended up with a lot of egg on their faces.

A funny side note to this - the following post appeared on flyertalk.com on November 9, 2004:

Starting in January, Delta Air Lines' flight attendants will be required to "evaluate" at least three of their peers a month.

This less than brilliant move by Delta management is meant to improve customer service in the skies. Delta flight attendants, however, have a different perspective, as shown in this top secret petition obtained by Queen of Sky....

It then included an e-mail petition, addressed to a Paulette Corbin, in which the signer of the message would emphatically state why mandated employee peer reviews are a bad thing.

This message resulted in the following response from Marc on November 9:

Sounds like we have a less than stellar performer who is fearful of what her coworkers will say about her....

Apparently Marc doesn't read the BBC news, and hadn't heard of Queen of Sky. She went on to respond (again on November 9):

Wrong Marc, I didn't write that letter and I don't even work for Delta, therefore have nothing to gain by posting it.

Note that Q of S wasn't lying - Delta had already fired her by November 9. Finally, after a round of posts, DLBIZTRAVELER realized who had launched the thread:

So - is Queen of Sky employed elsewhere, now. Or able to capitalize on the publicity from her blog and subsequent termination. Some rumor that she was headed to another airline.

I guess one can wonder how Queen of Sky would have responded to Marc's message if the whole blog incident had never happened. On the other hand, one can wonder if Queen of Sky would have posted her comment in the first place if she had been employed. In essence, by terminating her, Delta has removed any shackles on her freedom to talk. And talk.

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Hungry Like The Wolf
One post (presumably) eaten and lost forever (if you're interested in Christopher Riv's indoor air needs, do a search - or don't). [OE UPDATE: The post was merely pining for the fjords.]

Meanwhile, the latest in cluelessness has been reported by DaGoddess:

From my Aussie (Brisbane) friend Pat:

Last month I flew to Perth to attend a conference. The meeting went very well and was over all too soon. On the return flight I stopped over a couple of days at Canberra to catch up with local workers, then flew on to Brisbane. After disembarking at Brisbane, I couldn't find my luggage at the airport baggage area. So I went to the lost luggage office and told the bloke there that my bags never showed up. He smiled and told me not to worry because they were "trained professionals and I was in good hands".

"Now," he asked me, "has your plane arrived yet?"

I got the bags later, but what worried me most, even more than the lost bags, was that this bloke probably votes....


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Tomorrow (Sadio)
As you know, I recently quoted an article that discussed the death of Christopher Riv. However, several months before his death, Riv was inquiring about indoor air quality (which makes sense):

16-02.-2004, 05:48 AM #1
Christopher Riv

Posts: n/a Indoor Air Test


Does anybody know if there are any simple indoor air quality tests that can be purchased? If so,
what do they consist of and what sort of price range should one be thinking.

Thank you in advance.


-----= Posted via Newsfeeds.Com, Uncensored Usenet News =----- http://www.newsfeeds.com - The #1
Newsgroup Service in the World! -----== Over 100,000 Newsgroups - 19 Different Servers! =-----

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Thursday, November 25, 2004

Stop Making Sense
Just ran across this article:

The American stewardess have discharged of job for an Internet - diary

Stewardess Ellen Simonetti working in the American airline Delta Airlines (Ellen Simonetti) has been temporarily discharged of duties after has published the photos in a uniform in the Internet..

...- diary(so-called "Blog", this genre recently is very popular among Internet users).
The diary of the 29-years stewardess is called " Queen of the sky " (Queen of the Sky) and is placed on "Blogs" a site JournalSpace.com. In him it is told about private life of the stewardess, however she marks, that, speaking about the job, never obviously named the company where works, and did not result names of responsible persons. Besides the part "blog" will consist of invented histories.
At the same time, as informs BBC News, about discharge to her informed after she has placed in "Blog" the photos in a corporate uniform. In company Delta comments on this question resolutely refuse. It is known, that the company spends on the given question "investigation", and Simonetti has made the complaint in the governmental Commission on equal in rights work (EEOC).

Experts BBC News mark, that the given history once again reminds of recently arisen problem of influence of personal sites on the Internet on attitudes between employers and employees. Under the statement of lawyers, authors of sites and "blogs", officially working on any company, from the legal point of view cannot use to the full the right on a freedom of speech as fall under laws on corporate regulation which can limit access to a various sort potentially the classified information.
Simonetti marks, that the employer has declared the decision to her unexpectedly and without the prevention, and at accommodation of photos she did not suspect, that does something punishable. Besides the stewardess adds, on the Internet and without her "blog" it is possible to find many photos of employees Delta in a uniform. Nevertheless, pictures called discontent from the Internet have been removed.

From the same source:

America says goodbye to a film actor Christopher Riv

America says goodbye to a film actor Christopher Riv who has died on Sunday in the age of 52 years.

As informs « Radio Freedom », president George Bush has declared, that Рива will remember as the perfect actor and the fighter for rights of people with physical defects.

The candidate for presidents the USA from Democratic party John Kerri has named Riv « the American hero ».
As informs Bi-Bi-Si, in the house he has transferred heart attack after which has run in whom to Sunday, and then has died.

However, I must be fair - my attempts to write and speak in any other language are extremely atrocious.

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Back to Christmas Carols
Needless to say, there are some Christmas carols that I like that probably would give a non-Christian pause. Here's a list of some of the Christmas hymns that appear in the 1964/1966 edition of the "The Book of Hymns" (Methodist Church/United Methodist Church):

  • 374 - Angels We Have Heard on High

  • 376 - In the Bleak Midwinter (and yes, I know that we don't know the season in which Jesus was born, but I like it anyway)

  • 378 - God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen

  • 381 - O Little Town of Bethlehem

  • 383 - The First Noel

  • 384 - Away in a Manger

  • 385 - What Child is This

  • 386 - O Come, All Ye Faithful

  • 388 - Hark! the Herald Angels Sing

  • 390 - It Came upon the Midnight Clear

  • 391 - Good Christian Men, Rejoice

  • 392 - Joy to the World

  • 393 - Silent Night, Holy Night

As long as I'm in this hymnal, let's cite a few non-Christmas songs that are especially meaningful:

  • 001 - O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing (hey, it's a Methodist hymnal)

  • 402 - We Three Kings (yes, Virginia, this is NOT a Christmas song)

  • 418 - O Sacred Head, Now Wounded (perhaps Americans have heard the tune

  • 436 - Were You There

  • 441 - Now the Green Blade Riseth (I requested that this one be played at my wedding)

  • 539 - God Be with You Till We Meet Again

  • 813 - God Be in My Head

  • 830B - Holy, Holy, Holy (my favorite musical setting of this

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A Slight Interruption
Thanksgiving dinner went well at first. Everyone made it over, there were no fights, and we all had a good mid-day dinner.

Then we sent two of the kids out to take the dish towels out of the washer and put them in the dryer...and they returned saying that the garage had flooded.

After some investigation, we determined that it wasn't the washing machine; it was our main plumbing line.

After some extensive routing by my father-in-law, things are almost back to normal. We just have to replace one length of pipe (for the washing machine) with one that doesn't leak as much.

And we still have to clean out all of the stuff that backed into the bathtub.

But the dinner was nice.

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Attention Kroger
It's OK. You can assault us with the Christmas music now.

It's a necessary evil.

But I'm sure that readers will ask, "OE, you're a Christian, so obviously you'd love Christian music. But I'm a-"

However, before they get into their issue, let me point out mine.

No, I don't love most Christmas music that blares in the stores during the holiday season. Most of them don't edify my faith or draw me closer to God. It's important to distinguish between Christmas songs that have something to do with the birth of Jesus, and Christmas songs that have to do with snowmen or Santa or whatever.

To illustrate what I'm talking about, let's look at Clay Aiken's Christmas CD. Here are the tracks on this CD:

1. Sleigh Ride
2. Mary Did You Know
3. Christmas Song, The
4. What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?
5. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
6. Winter Wonderland
7. Silent Night
8. Joy To The World
9. Hark The Herald Angels Sing / O Come All Ye Faithful
10. O Holy Night
11. Merry Christmas With Love

Now I'll grant that this has some significant Christian content, but what the heck to chipmunkschestnuts roasting on an open fire have to do with salvation?

"Sleigh Ride" partial lyrics:

Just hear those sleigh bells jingling,
ring ting tingling too
Come on, it's lovely weather
for a sleigh ride together with you,
Outside the snow is falling
and friends are calling "Yoo hoo,"
Come on, it's lovely weather
for a sleigh ride together with you.

Compared to this, Ben Franklin sounds orthodox.

Drew Carey had a routine that used to be played on KLOS, that noted that non-Christian religious holidays often don't get saddled with non-religious content such as the Easter Bunny. I wish I could remember the character he made up for Passover - I think it was the Passover groundhog.

Of course there's the whole issue over whether Christmas is a Christian holiday, but that's another topic altogether.

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Wednesday, November 24, 2004

But YOU Can't Enjoy It - Or Can You?
A Tupac Shakur website has linked to a BBC article discussing a Forbes list of the top-grossing dead celebrities. The quote below is taken from the BBC version, so cheque it out.

A Forbes.com spokesman said: "The earning power of most deceased people, even famous ones, slows considerably or stops altogether when they die.

"But for a select few, the pay cheques keep coming and some draw even bigger pay-days than when they were alive."...

1. Elvis Presley $40m (£22m)
2. Charles Schulz $35m (£19m)
3. JRR Tolkien $23m (£12.5m)
4. John Lennon $21m (£11m)
5. Theodor "Dr. Seuss" Geisel $18m (£10m)
6. Marilyn Monroe $8m (£4.3m)
7. George Harrison $7m (£3.8m)
=7. Irving Berlin $7m
=7. Bob Marley $7m
10. Richard Rodgers $6.5m
11. George and Ira Gershwin $6m
=11. Jimi Hendrix $6m
=11. Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe $6m
=11. Cole Porter $6m
15. James Dean $5m (£2.7m)
=15. Dale Earnhardt Sr $5m
=15. Jerry Garcia $5m
=15. Freddie Mercury $5m
=15. Tupac Shakur $5m
=15. Frank Sinatra $5m

While checking on another dead entertainer (Jim Morrison) I ran across the following article that also mentions Everything But The Girl, The The, Joy Division, and numerous other bands - and this about an artist who achieved nearly all of his fame posthumously:

At the time of his death in 1974, Nick Drake had made just three records, which only accounted for 20,000 sales. It had been two years since he’d released anything at all. Most people only knew Drake’s work from a single track on the Island sample Bumpers, once a staple of every student bedroom. Five years after his death, though, a boxed set of his collected works, including the first winnowings from the unreleased material that has leaked out ever since, turned him into a legendary figure in contemporary music....

THE CULT OF Nick Drake, however, still hinges somewhat on the manner of his death, an overdose of prescription Tryptizol that may have been suicide, as the coroner adjudged, but which the Drake family long maintained was accidental. Unlike most self-destructive rockers who live too fast for longevity, Drake seemed to have too fragile a grip on life to hang on long. He belongs less with Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain and Ian Curtis than with Eva Cassidy (though very few of his fans and acolytes will thank me for the analogy).

Unlike The Doors, Nirvana and Joy Division, all of whom had substantial reputations before the frontman’s death, Drake’s reputation is almost entirely posthumous....

It is difficult to exaggerate just how pervasive an influence Drake is now taken to be. Dream Academy’s 1985 Life in a Northern Town was dedicated to him, but Drake has been namechecked by just about every significant songwriter of the last three decades, everyone from Ben Watt of Everything But the Girl to Peter Buck of REM, from Paul Weller to Matt Johnson of The The (probably the only solidly connected "influence" of the bunch).

Drake continues to talk to ever-younger audiences. Earlier this year Hollywood’s Brad Pitt presented a tribute to the singer on BBC Radio 2 under the title Lost Boy.

Cult songstress Norah Jones covered Drake’s Day is Done for guitarist Charlie Hunter’s Blue Note album, Songs From the Analog Playground....


Born: 19 June 1948, Burma
Died: 25 November 1974, Tanworth-in-Arden, Worcs


• Five Leaves Left, 1969
• Bryter Later, 1970
• Pink Moon, 1972
• Fruit Tree, 1979, re-released edition 1986
• Heaven in a Wild Flower, 1985
• No Reply, 1986

And, for the record, Morrison didn't split to Africa, he split to Pennsylvania:

Elizabeth Borough

Councilman Jim Morrison admitted he owes delinquent real estate taxes to the borough for years 2003 and 2004 but thinks it is a shame that his problems were splashed across headlines in a local newspaper article.

"I had been making payments for 2004 and I was under the impression that my taxes were paid for 2003. I didn't know until I was contacted by a reporter and inquired at the borough. I had been paying Keystone Municipal payments," he said.

Morrison owes $516 in delinquent taxes for 2003 and 2004 and said that all taxes will by paid by February. He said the remaining $258 from the 2003 balance will be paid by the end of the year and 2004 taxes paid by February.

Morrison is 70 years old and retired, relying on Social Security and a pension. He was appointed to council in February and has been on the Elizabeth Borough Sewage Authority for 30 years.

So, if you're following closely, he left Paris in '71, ended up in Pennsylvania by '74, and has been living happily ever since. Good for him. Elvis Presley, on the other hand, headed to the Pacific Northwest:

In its October issue, which will hit the stands in September, Appel De Roulement De Célébrité will say The King of Rock 'n' Roll admits that he was "hooked something terrible" on prescription drugs and "had to" fake his death to escape the stresses of stardom that were driving him "stark raving mad."

The publication also will say that Presley - silver-haired and hard of hearing in his golden years - reveals that his coffin contained the body of a hobo who was made up to look like Elvis.

"He jumped the fence at Graceland and suffered a heart attack under a canopy of shrubs," Elvis is said to have told a reporter who allegedly tracked him down to a 2,800-square-foot A-frame hideaway in an otherwise uninhabited area in the Pacific Northwest.

"To me, it was a sign from God. The Lord was telling me that if I didn't stop taking drugs and get out of music business, I'd be dead soon, too."...

Appel De Roulement De Célébrité will report that the rock legend insists that he has "no desire" to sing in public - or in a studio - ever again.

The magazine will go on to say that Presley lives alone and claims to have last spoken with another human in the year 2000.

He seldom watches TV or listens to the radio, and when asked about them, he was only vaguely aware of the terror attacks on New York and Washington - and the war in Iraq - the magazine claims.

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When Ron Artest Promotes His Album, He'll Be On Time
The Hoosier Gazette links to a (legit) page that explains Indiana's time zones. Basically, there are three areas of interest:

Most of Indiana
is in the
Eastern Time Zone
and does not observe Daylight Saving Time.

77 Counties
Including Cities: Bloomington, Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, Muncie, South Bend
Western Indiana
is in the
Central Time zone and does
observe Daylight Saving Time.

10 Counties
Gibson, Jasper, Lake, LaPorte, Newton, Porter, Posey, Spencer, Vanderburgh, Warrick
Eastern Indiana
is in the
Eastern Time zone and does
observe Daylight Saving Time.

5 Counties
Clark, Dearborn, Floyd, Harrison, Ohio Co.

Meanwhile, Ron Artest is trying to promote the album he produced, with mixed results:

Suddenly infamous Indiana Pacers hoopster Ron Artest's latest CD hit stores yesterday with a whimper.

Artest, who was just suspended for the rest of the NBA season for going into the stands after a drink-tossing fan, has founded his own label, the aptly named Tru Warier. On Tuesday, the label released its first album by its first signing, R&B girl group Allure's Chapter III, which Artest produced.

So far, though, Artest proved he's no P. Diddy when it comes to hyping his work.

Despite Artest's ardent plugs for Allure's latest on shows like NBC's Today, all anyone wants to talk about is last Friday's "basketbrawl,"...

While Artest packs a wallop on the court, his new album has failed to impact at retail.

Tower Records in Washington, D.C, reported just three discs sold out of 15 in stock Tuesday evening. The chain's Portland, Oregon, store said that not one Allure disc sold in its first day out.

As of Tuesday night, the disc ranked a dismal 13,565 on Amazon.com, with some scathing reviews. "This record is terrible in every way imaginable. I was so excited to get this record today because I'm a huge Allure fan from back in the day. But man, this thing sucks. Starting with the packaging which is beyond cheezy...There is absolutely zero soul both in the lyrics and the music. The production is 3rd rate at best."

Aside from the critical blasts, Artest needs to work on getting the right message to the press.

During his Today appearance...he became more animated and even cracked a smile while waving a copy of Allure's CD during the segment, he barely remembered to mention the group's name.

Indeed, many news outlets have reported that Artest's own solo rap CD dropped yesterday, not Allure's.

Earlier this month, Artest said: "I've got my album coming out Nov. 23. After the album comes out I'm going to make sure all of my time is focused on winning a championship." (The remark came after Artest set off another mini-controversy when he asked Pacers coach Rick Carlisle for some time off from basketball to promote his musical projects. Carlisle responded by benching the all-star player.)

By "his album," Artest meant Allure's record. But his statement confused fans and the media, who thought it meant the hoopster's own hip-hop CD. Per the Tru Warier Website, Artest's rap album is coming out "soon."

Artest's lack of PR skills may only be rivaled by his lack of A&R skills. New York-based Allure has struggled to find an audience for years....

Meanwhile, because of Artest's wild-man image and on-court antics, there's a curiosity factor that could spark interest in his forthcoming rap album, which will be released through his fledgling Connecticut-based label and distributed by the Warner Bros. Music imprint Lightyear.

Artest says he hopes to make the album available online via Tru Warier.com, as well as in stores in the next few weeks. (Artest may want to invest in a new Website before that happens, as the relatively amateurish TruWarier.com was down much of Tuesday night due to heavy traffic.)

The wannabe music mogul hails from the same storied Queensbridge projects in New York that churned out megastars like Nas and Mobb Deep. NBA fans can only hope Artest doesn't embarass them the same way Shaquille O'Neal made wannabe basketball rappers a joke with discs like 1994's Shaq-Fu: Da Return, or worse, Allen Iverson or Kobe Bryant, whose rap albums never made it to retail racks....

Incidentally, the following statement can be found at ronartest.com:


Really I can not get to (sic) deep into the situation but I will prevent anything from reaching that magnitude again. I hope the Detroit fans continue to show positive support to their home team and I thank God for the support from Indiana, New York, all across America, and all other countries that realize the turn around I made in the NBA. God Bless.

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CommerceNet Labs Hires Joyce "Troutgirl" Park
Yay back I posted a chronological account of Joyce "Troutgirl" Park's blog posts in which she discussed her employer, Friendster, and made such controversial comments as the following:

The website doesn't look much different, but hopefully we can now stop being a byword for unacceptably poky site performance.

Horror of horrors, she admitted that the website was faster than it was in the past. For such terrible talk, Friendster fired her. She made the following comment at the time:

The levels of irony on this are pretty deep. For one thing, I wrote a fairly well-known paper last year about the need for semi-permeable blogging. For another thing...I try really hard not to blog about anything that is not a matter of public record... but I guess that's not protection any more. You get Slashdotted, make Udell's column, lose your job. And finally, it's especially ironic because Friendster, of course, is a company that is all about getting people to reveal information about themselves...

Well, you gotta figure that some company is going to want to hire a technologically-savvy person who can communicate with the company's customer base. If you figure that, you're correct - Joyce Park has a new job:

As some of you might recall, I once worked at a startup called KnowNow where I learned all about REST and pubsub from the founders, Rohit Khare and Adam Rifkin. Adam and I went on to found Mod-pubsub together while Rohit went back to finish his PhD. We've now been reunited as part of CommerceNet Labs....

I am basically Rifkin's technical minion now -- I make his ideas real. We're supposed to do projects that expand the future potential of online commerce, particularly in the direction of decentralization or empowerment of individuals. So if you have a super cool project you want to talk about, contact Adam and maybe he'll give you some of my time. His email is his firstname or first-initial lastname at commerce.net.

If you'd like to chat in person, CommerceNet Labs will be hosting a booze and schmooze event on 12/14, at our offices in Mountain View....

Her official CommerceNet Labs page is here.

Hope everything works out well for her.

(P.S. Does CommerceNet have an airline?)

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Another Jackson Makes the News, But in a Good Way
Michael, Janet, Jermaine, and Randy Jackson have all made the news lately. But Franklin Avenue reports on a press release that documents the latest about Jacksons guitarist Tito:


The Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise is recognized as one of the top blues festivals on the planet. It is also the world's only chartered blues cruise....

Cruisers will bask to the perpetual rhythms of Taj Mahal, Dr. John, Susan Tedeschi, Shemekia Copeland, Phantom Blues Band, The Derek Trucks Band, Anson Funderburgh with Sam Myers, Tommy Castro, Bernard Allison, Little Charlie & The Nightcats, Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials, Kenny Neal Band, Chubby Carrier, Rev. Billy C. Wirtz, Corey Harris and Zac Harmon.

Plus, nine special guests are confirmed to be on board, including Tito Jackson, guitarist of the Jackson 5. Tito, who learned blues guitar from his father and uncle in Gary, Indiana before the J-5 pop explosion, has returned to his blues roots and will celebrate the release of a blues-inspired album in February 2005. Tito Jackson will sit in on a Blues Guitar Hero workshop and sit in with other musicians who have similar influences.

For more information visit www.BluesCruise.com or call 1-888-BLUESIN (258-3746).

Before dismissing this, you have to remember that Tito is an integral player in the Jacksons' saga - just like Dennis Wilson was (pardon the pun) instrumental in the launching of the Beach Boys. (Dennis was the one who talked about surfing in the presence of some music industry types. The rest is history.) If Tito hadn't started messing around with Papa Joe's guitar, Janet Jackson would have spent the last Super Bowl in Gary, Indiana. After Papa Joe caught Tito with the guitar and realized that he could play, Dad assembled the boys into a group and launched them on the path to success.

Even today, fans remember Tito Jackson as the quiet, guitar-playing brother whose curiosity sparked the group's start in Gary, Indiana. "I was the first kid who had the guts to touch my father Joe's guitar," Jackson said. "He'd put it in the closet when he went to work and I'd sneak it out after he left."

During one session, Tito broke a string. Joe Jackson punished his son, then the blues guitarist challenged Tito to show off his skills. "I played better than him," Jackson said. Joe Jackson bought Tito an electric guitar the following day.

The brothers began rehearsing together, packed up and moved to Los Angeles to work with Motown Records....The newfound fame overshadowed Jackson's teenage years and made growing up far from normal. "We didn't get a chance to play a lot," he said. "My father kept us rehearsing and performing. That's all I remember. I don't remember a day in my life when I didn't have an instrument in my hand."...

The Jacksons, who live in and around Los Angeles, gather monthly to celebrate birthdays and graduations and catch up. The family has consistently remained under media scrutiny — from Janet's breast exposure at the 2004 Super Bowl to rumors of child abuse by Joe Jackson. Tito Jackson shrugs off the gossip mill. "Whatever people read in the media, they get wild ideas, but my family is pretty damn close," he said.

Although Jackson has traveled internationally and lived with fame for decades, there's still one dream that remains unfulfilled — playing a gig with his idol, B.B. King. "I've been a B.B. King fan since I've been a little boy," he said. "I got an autograph he sent me hanging in my tour bus right now ... It would make it all worth it for me."

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