Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Milano Fashion Capital

My wife wisely, or unwisely, informed me that Milano, Italy is some kind of fashion model mecca. So, tonight (my second night here), I befriended some Italians and they took me to some "hot spots".

After I had a few glass of Italian wine...

Ooooweeeeee. They have bars that are nothing but liquor serving photography shops. It's like way crazy. I felt guilty for not enjoying it to the fullest extent allowed by law so I started asking people if they spoke English and if they'd mind taking pictures with touristy Texans. I found one Italian and then I found a group of 3 Italians and a Norwegian. Oooooweeee. Can you spot the Norwegian?

I'm hoping my wife is not currently paying attention to myblog.

For demonstrations of how I get myself into this kind of trouble, I'll also include a picture of someone pouring me a glass of mucho bueno Italian wine (that's mixing Italian and Spanish).

Another thing I discovered tonight is that Italians invented Sopapialas, but as an appetizer served with meat. Not a desert served with honey. I always thought it was an interesting Mexican invention. Do they have anything original?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Traveling To Milan

image The company I work for has a customer in Italy.  I’ve been asked to go help out (get payment). 

There are perceived problems with the system we delivered.  I’m taking my software and my pliers and my blowtorch.  It is Italy after all.

I’ll be in Milan for the next two weeks or so.  It should be fun, but I suspect my blogging will suffer more than it already has from my normal day to day fiascos.

I’ll try and remember to take lots of pictures and give some good travel documentation when I return.  I bet ya can’t wait!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Anti-Aquarians…Meet My Niece

I’ve been subtly pressured by two people to cease and desist with my weekly Aquarius posts.  One of these persons is a Leo.  The other is a Virgo.  I’m doing research now to see if there is some deep seated and unjustified animosity between these two signs and the loving Aquarius folks.  I’ll try and keep you posted without further frustration to the Leos and the Virgos.

imageMy Aquarian star this week is my niece, Emily.  For all my life, I have been the only Aquarian in my list of relatives that I keep up with.  A few years ago my older sister produced a baby Aquarian girl and she’s nice and sweet and pretty and smart just like her Aquarian uncle.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Another Elena Tan?…This One’s Pretty

image Coincidentally, and perhaps because of my previous Elena posting, I received another email from Elena. Although I think it’s a different Elena. She doesn’t appear old.

It was titled, “Hello, can we be friends?”. The previous Elena was promising me a large inheritance. What this Elena offers, I’m too naive to figure out. I’m almost too embarrassed to post the email, but in honor of full disclosure… (incidentally, I haven’t been on a dating website in about 8 years). At least they both have God in common. And her typing skills seem to be about as good as Elena Tan’s lawyer: Barrister Richard Lee (you have to read Sophia’s comment).

Hello my new friend!
My name is Elena.
how are you? I hope you are fine!
I have found your profile and e-mail on dating site.
As for me I want to find my love.
If you are interested, answer me and we can begin our acquaintance.
So let me tellsome words about me. I am was born 20 OCT 1982.
I want to find someone who can love me and i can love. I looked your
profile and read information about you
and what you want to see in a woman of your choice.
And i believe, i can have all parts of what you want in soulmate, out of
thousands of people that is me, i find you to be my true choice and i
hope that you should feel the same way too.
It's really wonderful moment as I am writing this letter to you
and i pray that i should hear good and sweat reply from you.
You are far from me but i belief that there's nothing that love can not do.
I belief love can move mountain and love turns around person's life to
precious life and sweet one.
Ok, i wish that you will write me and lets have more
discussions and get to know more about each other.
My new friend I ask you to write to my e-mail:
I will be great to read marvellous letter from you.
Hoping for God of love and in power of love I would like to hear from you.
Thanks for the reading.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Illegal Aliens and Their Hurt Little Feelers

image Read this today.  I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry -- so I blogged.

My favorite part of the above article?

Jorge-Mario Cabrera, the director of communications for CHIRLA, said he initially thought the costume was a stab at harmless satire. But when he saw the Green Card, he realized it was a swipe at illegal immigrants.

I wonder if he realizes that the “green card” makes you legal?  Repeat after me: if you have a green card, then you are legal. 

The stupidity of people continues to amaze me.

Then it makes you wonder if perhaps the makers of the costume paid someone a small fee to complain so that they could get some free advertisement.

I know I wouldn’t have ever thought of buying the costume until I heard the complaints on the radio (heck, I didn’t even know it existed!).  Now, I’m thinking of buying one for my German wife.  My kids think it’s funny that she’s an alien.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Ed is An Aquarius!!

image It may come as a shock to you, but one of the regular visitors to my humble blog is also an Aquarius.

He gets a posting all to himself because I’ve known him and called him a friend for almost 30 years. He’s even been my best man -- twice!

I started dabbling in Astrology about 8 years ago. I don’t take it too seriously, but it’s good for conversations and it’s quite entertaining. For it to be entertaining, I have to (at least pretend to) take it very seriously.

I started to look closer at Astrology when I realized the one man I had known and kept in contact with longer than any other was a fellow Aquarius. I reckon it is just a whacky coincidence, but it’s still pretty cool.

Ed was born on January 23rd.

I don’t have many friends. A lot of my old friends I hear from rarely.

In 30 years I think the longest I’ve gone without hearing anything from Ed is maybe 6 months. Maybe. I didn’t really keep track. He was always there.

Ed introduced me to the Internet. I enjoy hanging out with people that are smarter than me. I figure that way I’ll be able to learn something every time I talk to them and I am a big fan of learning. I’ve learned a lot from Ed and continue to do so. Just checkout some of his comments!

I met Ed when I was playing Dungeons & Dragons with his older brother. Ed is a year younger than me and lived just down the street when we were growing up.

When I needed a best man for my wedding(s) Ed bought a plane ticket and flew down (both times) without asking for anything in return. I don’t think I ever said how much I appreciated it. I’m not good at showing appreciation. Maybe since Ed is a fellow Aquarius, he understands that.

When I was going through my divorce, it was a very difficult patch of time in my life. Ed was always there to talk to. He might be the only person I know that looks at things more logically than I do. Of course, the women don’t appreciate it. Is there such a thing as love in logic? Or logic in love?

I could write all day from my memoirs of our teenage years together. We played AD&D, we setup Bulletin Board Services, we played chess, we wrote software, etc. You name it, we did it. It’s the only thing I remember enjoying about being a teenager in the desert.

Here’s to Ed. Thanks man!


I use Hostmonster for my web hosting. I picked it because of the cute little blond on the front page.

I'd give you my website, but there is literally nothing of interest there. I started out in earnest and when I hit my first hurdle I sat down and rested.

So it surprised me today when I got the email from Hostmonster that my account had been suspended for activity that violated their terms of use.

They gave me an 800 number to call so I called it.

Apparently I had setup a message board that was getting inundated with spam.

Remember back when I hit my first hurdle? I was trying to setup a message board and I couldn't get it to work so I bailed on the idea. However, I left my failed attempt behind (it wasn't taking up that much space and I thought I'd get back to it later).

Apparently, it was working because someone was posting lots and lots of messages. So many messages that the Hostmonster server flagged it.

A technical guy answered the phone at Hostmonster really quick and helped me to disable the message board (that I thought wasn't working anyway). He only chuckled at me politely. I was disappointed that the cute blond didn't answer the phone though.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

American Heroes

I was talking to my brother the other day and he was mentioning a blog he reads. He reads military blogs. I don't know why.

But he was talking about a blogger that went to The Netherlands or lives in The Netherlands or something (the details aren't all that important). But he was talking about how emotional this guy was about some World War II memorial that's in The Netherlands.

I did some research on what he was talking about and I found this site. I don't know if it's the same one, but it serves my purpose. The timing of this post is a bit awkward, but sometimes these thoughts happen at awkward times.

To further prove my point, you should rent and watch "Life is Beautiful". Wait for the American tanks to roll in and the resulting relief and happiness tinged with the grief after what they endured.

It's all interesting to me because I realized that the rest of the world is more thankful and gracious to the American military than the Americans are. Even Germany is thankful to the American military. We prevented the Russians from completely taking them over after World War II.

I wonder if it's still the case. Are the citizens of Iraq thankful for the US military? Will they have celebrations for saving them from Saddam? What about Afghanistan being thankful that they were rescued from the Taliban?

Do you remember the last war where America defended itself from an imminent hostile take over?

At some point, I think, we lost our way. Or are we still helping people that need our help, ask for our help and will be grateful? Is the media really that bad?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Obama’s Prize

How can you accept a Nobel Peace Prize when you continue to be the commanding officer of an army that is still occupying at least two countries half a world away?

Is it possible to not accept one of these prestigious awards? As it is, I think it is going to do Obama more harm than good. I have yet to hear from anyone who thinks it’s a good thing. If I were Obama I’d open up with, “What the hell are you thinking?”

I’ve lost all respect for the Nobel organization. I’ll have to quit keeping track of it just as I’ve quit watching the NFL.

How was that for a connection? I’ll be here all week.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Jerry Jones’s House of Cards


I used to listen to 105.3 FM religiously. I enjoyed the morning show with The Jagger Mafia and I enjoyed the afternoon show with Russ Martin. A while back. Well, a long while back, they changed formats. They went from Live 105.3 to 105.3 The Fan (a sports channel).

I can’t say I was all that thrilled about the switch to sports being that I’m not a sports fan. I lack the competitive gene, but I’ve been listening to the The Jagger Show since it was on 102.1 The Edge 10 or so years ago so I figured I’d keep listening in the mornings.

Recently they’ve started this thing where they interview Jerry Jones on Tuesday and Wade Phillips on Wednesday. For those of you not “in the know” Wade is the coach of The Dallas Cowboys and Jerry is the owner.

Never in my life have I heard on the radio two more boring people.

On Tuesday mornings I’m listening to Jerry with all of his “uhhhhhhhhhhhhh’s” and I’m thinking, if the owner and boss is this motivational, no wonder they can’t win. The man has no business speaking in public. His mastery of the English language is embarrassing. By the time he gets a point across, you either want to slap him or shove a rag down his throat. It’s intolerable. Hopefully, he doesn’t talk to the players.

Then, on Wednesday mornings, just when you thought things couldn’t degrade any more, they interview Wade Phillips. This man is a whiner. Although not much into competitive team sports, I always assumed coaches to be motivational type guys. Wade’s only motivation is in motivating you to scratch your ears out as fast as possible. All the wining and squirming is intolerable. After Tony throws the 5th interception in a game, Wade probably gets in his face and whines, “Tonnnnyyyyy, maybe if you were to try and release the ball a little sooner. Is everything alright at home? I know it’s kind of hard on you with the bad press and everything. If you ever need a shoulder to cry on, you just come see me. Or, if I’m not available, go talk to your conversationally challenged owner, Mr. Jones”.

To be fair, I can only tolerate about 30 seconds of either one of them. Maybe they improve with time. If you don’t believe me and you live in the area, turn to 105.3 on Tuesday at 8:30 AM and Wednesday at 8:30 AM. At least I think it’s 8:30. It’ll make you feel sorry for Tony. How do you put up with all that motivational speaking?

Here is a video of Wade. Listen to as much as you can tolerate. Try to picture him trying to motivate you on a football team. Or whatever it is you need motivation doing…

If you tolerated that okay, then try Jerry Jones here. At least watch until he says, “uhhhhh” for the 10th time. It should take less than 30 seconds. And I think he’s reading off a teleprompter. The man makes me physically ill.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Finish D Aquarius D’s

I should have wrapped up the D’s last week.  There are not enough left for a memorable type post like I am accustomed to posting.

I have another colleague at work.  His name is Duane.  I’m not sure the exact date of his birth, but I know he celebrates at the end of January which makes him an Aquarius as well.  There are at least 3 software guys where I work (on a team of 14), that are Aquarius.  We are taking over!image

I must continue with my impromptu pretty Aquarius series.  I had to do some research to find her so I must admit that I didn’t know her name or that she was Aquarius before today.  But she fits the bill for a pretty Aquarius whose name starts with D.  Pretty stiff requirements.  Her name is Denise Richards and she was born on February 17, 1971.  I’ve added Starship Troopers to my Netflix Queue to show my undying adoration.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Wizard’s First Rule & People Are Stupid

I’ve been reading Terry Goodkind’s “Sword of Truth” series. I think I’ve mentioned that before (although it may have been in a comment).

Anyway, the other day I was playing an online computer game and chatting with some complete strangers (it’s fun in an off-balanced kind of way). The most chatty and irritating of the bunch was from Arizona. We had a couple of guys as far away as Australia. At least they said they were from Australia with the appropriate accent and everything.

The irritating guy suddenly started bashing Obama. He was, obviously, a strong believer in the Republican party. Everything that’s wrong with the world today is the Democrat’s fault. Apparently Republicans have no remorse, regret, or guilt from the 8 years of hell we recently endured.

But this guy has been listening to the gospel as presented by people like Mike Huckabee. It scared me to tears that a (I think he was) 18 year old from Arizona had been indoctrinated with this kind of brain washing. All we need is people finally getting to vote and casting their ballots for a Baptist Minister Republican. It gives me chills writing it down.

That’s when it occurred to me that The Republican Party are masters at using the Wizard’s First Rule. That’s right folks, the writers of fantasy fiction books have crossed over into the world of Republican politics.

The Wizard’s First Rule (as described by Terry Goodkind) states:

People are stupid; given proper motivation, almost anyone will believe almost anything. Because people are stupid, they will believe a lie because they want to believe it's true, or because they are afraid it might be true. People’s heads are full of knowledge, facts, and beliefs, and most of it is false, yet they think it all true. People are stupid; they can only rarely tell the difference between a lie and the truth, and yet they are confident they can, and so are all the easier to fool.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Health Care, the Government, Insurance & Capitalism

One thing you can find in the good ol’ USA that you’d be hard pressed to find elsewhere in the world is a healthy helping of unadulterated capitalism.

My first trip to Europe (the Netherlands) I was shocked when they kicked us out of the office at 5 PM sharp. “There are laws about that,” I was told, “you have to get permission to work past 5.” I’ve never been kicked out of a building when I was more than willing to work an extra hour or 2. I don’t know how that works out for the Red Light District. “Sorry, your 15 minutes is up. The government does not allow me to spend more then 15 minutes with one client”. Who knows?

But back on topic. If the word insurance is mentioned in the health care reform bill, I believe it will fail. I believe that what is wrong with health care today is insurance. It creates an unnecessary (and perhaps hugely hindering) middle man.

When you go to Wal-Mart to have your oil changed and they put the wrong kind of oil in, remove the wrong filter or damage a tire, you wouldn’t be expected to pay them. Why would you pay for a job that’s done improperly. But it’s this kind of attitude that promotes good service and good competition amongst auto repair facilities.

Insurance has the same affect as government upon capitalism. It eliminates the need for competition.

Now let’s say you go to the doctor because you’ve got a headache. The doctor can run an X-Ray on your arm, make you pee in a jar, take a blood sample, etc. It’s all not necessarily necessary, but you don’t care and the doctor doesn’t care because insurance will pay regardless. It’s not worth your trouble to shop around for the best deal. It’s not possible for doctors to advertise flu shots at buy 1 get 1 free, because insurance pays for all of it anyway.

If the doctor messes something up, you can withhold your co-pay. So on a $1500 screw up maybe you refuse to pay your $300 co pay, but the doctor is still going to get his $1200 from the insurance company. There is no financial risk. Thus malpractice is born. And how do doctor’s compensate for malpractice. You guessed it. Malpractice insurance. A further elimination of fiscal responsibility.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

I’m An Aquarius, Who Are you?

I’ve decided I’m done with the C’s.  Sorry if I left someone out.

Progressing to the letter D’s, we have:

Dr. McCoy, played by DeForest Kelley, was born on January 20, 1920.  You have to be a Star Trek fan.image

I’d feel remiss if I didn’t continue a bit on my enticing pretty Aquarius women category with Diane Lane, who was born on January 22, 1965.  She is probably most famous for her steamy scenes in the movie, Unfaithful.  Yum!

Douglas MacArthur was born on January 26, 1880.  He has a similar problem to mine.  In his history page it says, “In April 1951, MacArthur's habitual disregard of his superiors led to a crisis.”

Dick Cheney was born on January 30, 1941.  I’ve already blogged about him.  I’m not much on repetition.

Since we are on Vice Presidents, we might as well do one more and end with Vice Presidents this week.  Dick Cheney was called by some, “The most influential vice president in history”.  Another Aquarian Vice President from not too long ago was Dan Quayle.  He was born on February 4, 1947.  While Dick was famous for shooting his hunting partners.  Dan was famous for his memorable quotes like, “I have made good judgments in the past. I have made good judgments in the future.”