Monday, March 31, 2003

Google Search: Squoosh a Terrorist

I'm currently ranked 3rd in the list of the results. Who'dve thunk it?

Keisha Hearing Loss Update

I just sent the following email to the evangelist of our church about what we learned during Keisha's audiology appointment today:

This afternoon Jennie and I took Keisha to see her audiologist to get an update on her hearing. We've had reason to suspect that she's lost more hearing. Our suspicions were correct; she has lost even more hearing.

The audiologist was able to boost her hearing aids to their maximum capacity. She has encouraged us to have the ENT (Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist) check Keisha out again. She also has advised us to begin considering a cochlear implant(CI) for Keisha.

I'm not sure if you know what a CI involves, but I'll give you a little bit of info. Basically, a surgeon drills a hole in Keisha's head and attaches an electrode to her auditory nerve. Once that heals over, she then gets fitted with a magnet that attaches to her head an leads to a receiver in her ear. The receiver looks a little like a hearing aid.

There's probably a website I could direct you to, but I don't have the link right now.

Please pray for us. We're considering getting a second opinion, but we're also recognizing that this direction may be where we have to go.

Love in Christ,

Dan, Jennie, and Keisha

Beetle Bailey Waves The Flag

E-mail from the Battlefront

I've posted somewhat frequently the emails I receive from a brother in Christ who is serving in the US Navy as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. In his latest email, he writes:

Hi!!

How is everyone there? I am doing fine. We have not had anything big happen since the last email I sent. I am kind of bummed though. There are disciples here that I have been emailing. Many of them are American service members like myself but there are others who are the ones you hear about in KNN. The Disciples who are nationals and trying to make it in a Muslim world. Three times already we were supposed to make a port visit. I was looking forward to meeting these disciples. Anyway it looks like our next port visit will be yanked also. One of the biggest things I have been looking forward to in the Navy is being able to meet disciple around the world. Enough of that though.

I got the poster everyone signed for me. I thought it was great. I spent a lot of time going through all of the names and telling people in my shop cool stories of each person who signed it. I also got a photo of the Military Bible Talk I was part of in Pensacola. The poster you sent me and the photo from Florida serve as a constant reminder that though I am away from the Body, I am not alone out here. I can not explain how important that is. Thanks for all of the encouragement you send me. Hopefully I'll be able
to make a visit in the next few months. Thinks for everything and I love you all.

YBiC (your brother in Christ),

Dave

Sunday, March 30, 2003

A Dream of Apocalyptic Proportions

I had one of the weirdest dreams last night. It was very vivid. It was about an Anthrax epidemic that occurred during Hitler's reign. Thankfully, it was just a dream:

I got to follow it from the first strain, which was "alien". Someone thought the particle/being/thing looked interesting, and they picked it up and got infected.

Moments later, a group of scientists head to this lab that has done most of the research on a vaccine. The head of the American group had this disrespectful attitude toward this one other scientist from the research lab, who seemed to be "mentally deficient" in some way. This disrespectful scientist was questioning, almost ordering everyone, trying to find out what could be done about it.

Then this eccentric scientist revealed himself to the first one. He had interviewed the first man for a job with this lab many years ago. This eccentric man took the first one to a safe, opened it, and pulled out several vials.

"What are those?" the first one asked.

"Purity vials," the other replied.

The first understood that they were pure vaccines that could be reproduced to give to others.

I guess I could apologize for this sounding so disjointed, but I just want this to get out before I forget it.

In my dream, when the flashback between the American doctor and the elder, more eccentric doctor, occurs, and the American doctor realizes that he had interviewed for a job with the other doctor, and interesting thing occurred. As a gesture of his rejection, the elder doctor forcibly kissed the other on the lips, in a homosexual kind of way. Really weird to me at the time.

So the doctor had just found the "Purity vials". (BTW, this whole dream sounds like it could have been an "X-Files" episode or something.) Then, an explosion occurs, and everyone in the lab dies. Except for me. The vials... I cannot remember what happened to them.

I begin to wonder, "Where is a good place to find refuge?" Then I remember where I grew up: Mt. Healthy. Mount Healthy was where several people settled as a refuge from the cholera virus that had occurred in Cincinnati, Ohio a long time ago. Mt. Healthy sounded like a great place to go.

I then remember heading into a stadium that would be a safe haven from the epidemic, but somehow, others that are infected find us, and I somehow get infected.

Then Hitler shows up for a rally. All I can think about is to get close to this evil madman, so that I can somehow infect him, too.

And then I wake up.

Okay, all you readers out there. Who wants to interpret the dream for me? I have my own ideas, which I may post some other time.

Saturday, March 29, 2003

Military Support Ministry - Request for Prayer

Request for Prayer from Rich Garner - Military Support Ministry - Friday, March 14, 2003

As moderator for the Military Support Ministry on UpCyberDown, I often get requests for contact information, church locations, and other tid bits that help our deployed brothers and sisters stay connected to the fellowship. But recently, my inbox has been swamped with a frightening amount of email... questions, concerns, pleas... regarding one haunting threat; war.

Several brothers have informed me of their deployment plans and have requested that I put them in touch with Christians in their deployment locations. Some have announced their support for the U.S. troops. Others have voiced concerns over Biblical implications of the situation in the Middle East region. But the one reason I felt compelled to write this is the need for prayers. Not only do I get prayer requests in my Military Support inbox, but also my church email and the message boards that I moderate.

Recently, a brother contacted me and asked that we get a prayer request out to all the churches around the world. After seeing miraculous repentance and efforts at unity within the International churches, I believe this is an attainable goal.

I realize that our military ministries are comprised of hundreds of different nations... but all of us will be affected in some way or another by the US led invasion of Iraq. Therefore, on behalf of all brothers and sisters in arms that are in harms way, faithful family and friends back home and concerned Christians everywhere, I am requesting a day of prayer on Sunday March 23th, 2003, from all churches that are able to read this message.

The goal is for each church to offer prayers and petitions to God for 24 hours beginning any time on Sunday March 23th, 2003. Each church would decide the best way to accomplish the goal. (If some churches are reading this article after March 23th, be faithful that God will still hear your prayers on any day after that.)

The purpose of the prayer day is to ask God for three things:
  1. Protection and safe return home (wherever home may be) for everyone involved in the war,
  2. Wisdom, peace and faith that only Jesus can bring in times of war and
  3. Successful spread of His Word throughout the Middle East region.
The Bible tells us that Jesus will not return until the Word of God has been preached to the entire world. Therefore I believe our prayers should focus on the Word of God being powerfully spread throughout the region and the baptism of everyone in those nations. Peace of mind and protection from harm should also be asked as well as increasing faith as we see God work miracles in a land of conflict.

So, I put this to every God-fearing, Christ-loving person who reads or hears this message. Let our voices unite in praise and worship and let us ask of our Father what He has promised us in John 14:13... "And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father."

And to God be the Glory,
Rich Garner

Friday, March 28, 2003

QuotesBlog Quotient

I've loaded several quotations today. Go see.

Our Bank is Strong, But We Can Do Better Elsewhere

I've blogged before about some "customer no-service" we received from our bank. We are looking at getting an account with a local credit union.

2004 Update: We did it.

I'm going to fire my ISP

I'm going to fire my ISP. Heavy words. But, it's true. We are no longer able to afford the $21.95 per month price gouging that Earthlink does. I'm sure that there are a number of other alternatives that are much less expensive. So, here's what I'm going to do. This post has now become a forum to post your suggestions for our new ISP. Keep in mind that we live in Dayton, Ohio USA. Here are some initial possibilities:

Take revenge on scamsters

Clark Howard reports that there are now Web sites that warn people about thieves and scams that are not very well known. Read before you get taken.

Thursday, March 27, 2003

Coke Is It - The Real Thing

I've been doing some research on Snopes.com, and I found this out -- The claim that the acids in Coca-Cola not only make it a handy household cleaning product, but harmful to drink as well are false. I posted about this last year at this time, based on an email I had received. Check out the Acid Slip page over at Snopes.com. You'll probably want to add Snopes.com to your favorites list, too.

Once again, please accept my apology for spreading false information.

You CAN Do Something

In a much-awaited post, Rich Hopkins offers some advice to naysayers who wanted the NCAA to cancel the basketball tourney because of the war.

Updates to Past Posts Needed

Just so that you know, I am needing to post some updates to some past posts; namely, the Swiffer WetJet and the McDonald's ones. So there. This post will probably be changed to include that information. Stay tuned, gentle readers! Here we go:

First Up: McDonald's

I recently posted an email response I'd received from McDonald's Corporate Customer Service. About a week later I received a couple phone calls and then a letter from the local office manager responsible for the franchise in question. Here is the text of her letter:

March 20, 2003

Dear Mr. Johnson,

Thank you for letting us know about your recent experience at our McDonald's at 4770 N. Main St., Dayton, Ohio. I am sorry that our attendant was rude to you and did not five you the prices you requested. The employees should always answer your questions and be polite and helpful.

Our goal is 100-percent customer satisfaction and our team works hard to deliver fast, friendly, and accurate service to guarantee that each visit you make is a pleasant one. It appears that we've let you down, and for that, I apologize.

I have discussed your experience with our restaurant team. You can be assured that we're taking corrective action so a similar incident will not reoccur.

Again, thank you for taking the time to bring this matter to my attention. The best way we can improve is if people who aren't satisfied tell us so, and tell us why. You've given me the opportunity to make our restaurant better and hopefully exceed your expectations on your next visit.

Please give us another chance and "Be Our Guest" with the enclose gift certificate.

We look forward to serving you better in the future.

Sincerely,

Paula Sullivan
Office Manager
This afternoon my wife Jennie and I returned to this McDonald's, and we experienced much better service. I was treated to a double quarter pounder with cheese extra value meal, supersized, for free. When Jennie asked if they had the double fish filet sandwich meal, they were able to give her the price. I believe that this McDonald's has redeemed itself, and I want you to know that.

Next Up: Swiffer Wet Jet

In January I posted about an offer to call a phone number to receive a coupon for a free Swiffer wet jet mop. This claim is false. The coupon was for $5 off the purchase price for a Swiffer wet jet mop. The offer expired February 2003. Check out the Swiffer page over at Snopes.com. Please accept my apology for spreading false information.

Hailie's Back

Hailie is a six-year old little girl who is experiencing some vertabrae slippage. It causes some serious back pain. I received this email from her mother, Dana, today:

hey just want to let everyone know hailie got her back brace yesterday. because she is so petite that had to special order the brace. and even yesterday they had to do alterations. at first she was excited but they having to be in it she started to grow tired of it quickly. the brace goes from the bottom of her ribs to her pelvic bone. it is so material and has a cast insert to go into a back panel. so i know that i will need to really push her to wear it as much as possible. i do not want to "threaten" her with the surgery. but i know i do not want that either. i really do hope the brace will stop the vertabrae from slipping any more. well, i hope all is well with everyone. take care. dana, hailie and stevie

From Powerless to Powerful

Yesterday, we had the power turned off here at home. We later contacted the utility company and made a payment toward our utility bill. About 45 minutes ago, the power was turned back on.

It was interesting last night, living like pioneers, candles and such. We also got a bunch of batteries for flashlights and radios. More to come possibly later.

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Squoosh a Terrorist Update

Interesting. 12% of recent visitors to this blog have come looking for links to a game called "Squoosh a Terrorist". I first linked to it last Wednesday, March 19, 2003.

_monk - The Comic Strip

Mike Zellers, that wacky wild guy who lives in northeastern Ohio, has just started his own online comic strip. I think that the picture of himself on the strip must resemble him at a much younger age, however.

2005 Update: Mike has a new blog, now with curry flavor: blogcurry

Angry White Girl

At least that's what the current name of the blog is. It's about to be changed, and you can stop by to vote on the new name. Another one from the referrer logs.

Blue Coyote Lounge and a Call for Other Officials

Blue Coyote Lounge

Strange news and comment from the Official Iowan of Journey Inside My Mind, Mark Morris. Thanks for keeping in touch, Mark.

Call for Other Officials

All you other readers, let me encourage you to get off the 'mooch list'. Also, please contact me if you, too, would like to become an 'Official' of this blog. It doesn't require anything, except that you check back in from time to time.

Update: He's hung it up.

Placemats of the Future

Someone came to this blog from that one. It doesn't look like it's been updated in a long while, but there's some interesting stuff there nonetheless.

Link Frustrations

Okay. Here's the deal. I created a single page for my favorite links. I then added it to the template for this blog (see the right menu, in the Links section). I even included it on my own homepage, "Dan's Domain".

My problem is that, today, since I've added the links to my Links page (hope I'm not sounding redundant), when I test the link to the Links page, the page won't load. However, when you go to the page directly from the URL, it does work. Copy the following URL to your browser to see what I'm talking about:

  • http://www.geocities.com/danimal0416/links.html
Maybe it's only me. Maybe it's only for today. Tomorrow may be different. You may have a different experience.

Update: I slapped myself and rechecked the HTML for the link on the right menu. There was one too many "t's" in the URL. I have fixed it. I feel good. I feel better. I feel better than James Brown. I feel better now.
2005 Update: I've jumped back and kissed myself again.

Message from our Natural Gas Supplier

I just received an email from Vectren, our natural gas supplier. It reads:

Dear valued customer and registered user of Vectren.com,

Due to colder than normal temperatures this winter and significantly rising natural gas prices throughout the country, utility bills nationwide have increased considerably prompting many customer inquiries. Vectren is working diligently, through our customer contact center, our web site, bill inserts and the mass media, to help better explain how these factors are impacting our customers. The significant volume of customer inquiries to our contact center has unfortunately created delays for customers wanting to speak with Vectren customer service specialists.

Therefore, if you have questions or concerns about this winter's gas costs and their impact, including specific line items on your bill, how to make your home more energy efficient or obtain utility assistance, please visit the "Cold Weather and Your Natural Gas Bill" section on the front page of www.vectren.com.

We hope this 24-hour accessible tool will help you understand the issues surrounding the winter heating season. Thank you for your patience and understanding. Your Vectren bill should be arriving soon if you have not already received it.

Sincerely,
Vectren Customer Care

Overdose of Spam Rant

in a pineapple sauce, of course!

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  • Danimal0416, Copy your DVDs for Under $40
  • Danimal0416 Do you want Immediate Rock-Solid Er******s?
  • journeyinsidemymind.blogspot.com
  • danimal0416, Program reminder
  • Danimal0416 Home loans & refinancing at very low rates!
  • Congratulations, You've Got Cash!
  • Danimal0416 Grow your ***** safely and naturally
  • good news
  • Info
  • guess what i found out d60f60360e20c60960160d...
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Excuse me while I take care of this...

Sunday, March 23, 2003

This Thing Is Real

This recent email comes from my friend and brother in Christ, Dave F., who is serving in the US Navy on an aircraft carrier during Operation Iraqi Freedom:

Hi!!

How is everything on the home front? Reality came to some of us today. I can't go into detail on this, but as a stretcher carrier I saw things I wished I could unsee. I did what I could to help out. When it was all over I went and sat on my rack and prayed for a bit. The cost of war is high but sometimes necessary. I just pray that God uses the outcome to further open the door for him to be introduced to the people. Otherwise the loss of life and worldly liberation of Iraq will be for naught. I'm also praying that what ever happens, for this to be short to keep the losses on both sides low. I am sorry this is not a happy email.

Outside of that things have been pretty normal. The Chiefs and some Officers were working in our galley today. It was kind of fun to watch. The food was better than normal. I mentioned that to one chief and jokingly asked what we had to do to get them to continue working in our galley. My senior chief was working in the scullery (sink area). I saw him at one point as he was pushing a cart full of plates lift himself up and ride it briefly like a kid does a shopping cart in a store. That was amusing and a good break from the day's earlier events.

I have to go now. What I did today was only a fraction of what could have been. When you think about us out here pray for those disciples who are ashore and going through this. They are in the thick of this and dealing with it on a more personal basis. In the meantime I am still praying for you and the Body. I still see the changes you are going through as a time for strengthening.

'Rumor' has it we may see land sometime in the next few weeks. I can not specify when, but from everyone I have talked to, the date has been constant. Hopefully we can meet then. I am not holding my breath on this, but please pray that it happens. We were supposed to see land twice already but those plans got yanked. Of all the ships that came out with us, ours and one other ship are the only ones that have not visited land. I would so much like to visit the disciples here.

YBiC (Your Brother in Christ),

Dave

Friday, March 21, 2003

Wow! Over 40 visitors to the blog yesterday!

Pecans in the Cemetery - JOKE ALERT!

On the outskirts of a small town, there was a big, old pecan tree just inside the cemetery fence. One day, two boys filled up a bucketful of nuts and sat down by the tree, out of sight, and began dividing the nuts:

"One for you, one for me. One for you, one for me," said one boy. Several dropped and rolled down toward the fence. Another boy came riding along the road on his bicycle. As he passed, he thought he heard voices from inside the cemetery. He slowed down to investigate.

Sure enough, he heard, "One for you, one for me. One for you, one for me."

He just knew what it was. "Oh my", he shuddered, "it's Satan and the Lord dividing the souls at the cemetery."

He jumped back on his bike and rode off. Just around the bend he met an old man with a cane, hobbling along. Come here quick," said the boy, "you won't believe what I heard! Satan and the Lord are down at the cemetery dividing up the souls."

The man said, "Beat it kid, can't you see it's hard for me to walk."

When the boy insisted though, the man hobbled to the cemetery. Standing by the fence they heard, "One for you, one for me. One for you, one for me..."

The old man whispered, "Boy, you've been tellin' the truth. Let's see if we can see the Lord himself." Shaking with fear, they peered through the fence, yet were still unable to see anything. The old man and the boy gripped the wrought iron bars of the fence tighter and tighter as they tried to get a glimpse of the Lord.

At last they heard, "One for you, one for me."

And one last "One for you, one for me. That's all. Now let's go get those nuts by the fence, and we'll be done."

They say the old man made it back to town a full 5 minutes ahead of the boy on the bike.

via email from Steve K.

Blogroll Maintenance

I'm revising how the links are displayed. Most of the links will wind up on a separate page, probably linked back to my Geocities website. If I've removed your weblog and you would like it to be put back, then please let me know.

I'll probably keep those blogs and links that I check most often here.

2005 Update: I've had the links on their own page for over a year, and I seem to like them that way.

How Not to Raise a Stink

When my daughter, as she grows older, wonders why things smell so bad, I'll now be able to tell her.

Thursday, March 20, 2003

Music In My Mind, revisited

I first posted about this on February 27, 2003, after finding out about it via Anne Wilson. Today, I found an article in WebMD about the same thing. This time, however, there is a list of the top 10 songs that get stuck in people's heads. Worth a read. Definitely.

I still don't think that it's all a bad thing. I recall taking exams in high school and college and having music in my head, most of the time, it was music I had been listening to while I'd been studying.

Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring

I finally saw it last night in its entirety. On DVD. With all the special features. I was one tired puppy this morning. Because of my experience, I am finally able to appreciate this.

Restoration!

That was the subject line of this email I got from a former coworker, K.B. His message reads as follows:

Dan,

I know it's been a while since I've talked to you. I guess I can hold a grudge as well as the next guy! But the reason that I'm emailing you now is to apologize for that. I should have gotten over what you did and moved on and forgiven you. Instead I broke off all relationship and didn't want anything more to do with you. For that I apologize.

Also, it appears that you especially need prayer for you and your family at this time since I've heard from T.C. that you have fallen on hard times and barely had steady work since you left [company name]. Dan know that I forgive you for what ever the issue might have been! Also know that I will be praying for restoration in your life and that of your family; your mental health, full-time work, family relationship, etc., In the Holy and Mighty Name of JESUS! It's already done!

Know that we still care about you here and want only good things for you. Be encouraged today that everything will work out! Be Blessed!

"Too Much" Reality TV

An article in Yahoo News demonstrates that there is way too much reality on TV for me. Pop in the DVD, honey!

2005 Update: removed reference to an obsolete Yahoo! link

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Stunning Photo of Jet Breaking Sound Barrier

"Through the viewfinder of his camera, Ensign John Gay could see the fighter plane drop from the sky heading toward the port side of the aircraft carrier Constellation. At 1,000 feet, the pilot drops the F/A-18C Hornet to increase his speed to 750 mph, vapor flickering off the curved surfaces of the plane. In the precise moment a cloud in the shape of a farm-fresh egg forms around the Hornet 200 yards from the carrier, its engines rippling the Pacific Ocean just 75 feet below, Gay hears an explosion and snaps his camera shutter once." Read more and see the picture...

Technology First Magazine

Greater Dayton IT Alliance | Technology First Magazine crossposted at Get That Job!

The March issue of Technology First is now available for you to download from the Greater Dayton IT Alliance.

Encouraging Email

This afternoon I received an encouraging email from my friend and brother in Christ, Greg V.:

Hi Dan,

I just wanted to write and let you know that you were in my prayers today. I know sometimes each of us may go through difficult emotions that we don't understand, and I wanted to write to ask if you are feeling better today than yesterday, and to encourage you. I think you are awesome, and that you inspire me in a couple ways. It occurs to me I've never shared them with you, and that now is as good a time as any.

When I think about you, you are the only man who I have ever seen literally stop a car to share your faith with a stranger. You have courage to lead songs with passion, and I have tried to emulate that. Finally, when I become a parent someday, I wish to remember how you were in Kingdom Kids with the little ones.

I hope that knowing how you have impacted me as my brother will brighten your day.

Best,
Greg

HTML Tidy Online

"HTML Tidy is a tool for checking and cleaning up HTML source files. It is especially useful for finding and correcting errors in deeply nested HTML, or for making grotesque code legible once more.

This online version enables you use it without installing the client tool on your PC. More information about HTML Tidy is available from the original W3C page, and you can download a local copy of it from the SourceForge project page."

link via martin at Geekfishing Blog

House Seeks to Improve Special Ed Bill

Yahoo! News - House Seeks to Improve Special Ed Bill (obsolete link removed)

My daughter, Keisha, because she was born with hearing loss in both ears, falls under the jurisdiction of this law. I've included it here because, while I don't have time to look at it now, I will later.

Let me know what you think.

2005 Update: Removed reference to an obsolete Yahoo! link

Squoosh a Terrorist Game

Another friend of mine, Steve K., forwarded me the link to this game, with the comments:

Hope this all finds you well today and brings a little
laughter where there is gloom.

UN Inspection Teams

This tongue-in-cheeck report comes via email from Dave F., who is serving in Operation Enduring Freedom:

Have you noticed anything fishy about the inspection teams who have arrived in Iraq? They're all men! How in the name of the United Nations does anyone expect men to find Saddam's stash? We all know that men have a blind spot when it comes to finding things. For crying' out loud! Men can't find the dirty clothes hamper. Men can't find the jar of jelly until it falls out of the cupboard and splatters on the floor.... and these are the people we have sent into Iraq to search for hidden weapons of mass destruction?

I keep wondering why groups of mothers weren't sent in. Mothers can sniff out secrets quicker than a drug dog can find a gram of dope. Mothers can find gin bottles that dads have stashed in the attic beneath the rafters. They can sniff out a diary two rooms and one floor away. They can tell when the lid of a cookie jar has been disturbed and notice when a quarter inch slice has been shaved off a chocolate cake. A mother can smell alcohol on your breath before you get your key in the front door and can smell cigarette smoke from a block away. By examining laundry, a mother knows more about their kids than Sherlock Holmes. And if a mother wants an answer to question, she can read an offenders eyes quicker than a homicide detective.

So... considering the value a mother could bring to an inspection team, why are we sending a bunch of old men who will rely on electronic equipment to scout out hidden threats? My mother would walk in with a wooden soup spoon in one hand, grab Saddam by the ear, give it a good twist and snap,"Young man, do you have any weapons of mass destruction?"

And God help him if he tried to lie to her. She'd march him down the street to some secret bunker and shove his nose into a nuclear bomb and say, "Uh, huh, and what do you call this, mister?" Whap! Thump! Whap! Whap! Whap! And she'd lay some stripes across his bare bottom with that soup spoon, then march him home in front of the whole of Baghdad. He'd not only come clean and apologize for lying about it, he'd cut every lawn in Baghdad for free for the whole dang summer.

Inspectors my foot ... You want the job done? Call my mother.

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

Is a Web site accountable for its users?

"A controversial case before a federal appeals court could significantly restrict legal protections that have long absolved Internet companies from responsibility for their customers' actions." Read more...

I wonder what this could mean for weblogs...

BlogWeaver

BlogWeaver for Blogger.com - ZDNet Downloads

"BlogWeaver integrates directly with the Blogger.com Web site to provide a full-featured visual HTML editor (similar to FrontPage or Dreamweaver) for creating and editing blogs. Until now, most blogs have been limited to relatively simple formatting because the Blogger.com publishing tools require the entry of HTML code. This simple software utility allows you to create blogs using sophisticated HTML without having to work with tags."

Blogroll Maintenance Needed

Forbes.com has come up with their list of the "Best Media Blogs."

I don't know if I agree with everything they say here. I tend to like those on my blogroll, but, from looking at it yesterday, I can see that some maintenance needs to be done. There are only a few of those that I actually read consistently.

And what of those links? Jason probably has me on his blacklist because those are not weblogs on that blogroll.

Let me know if you want me to keep you on the blogroll.

Brought to you by the letter 'Q'

This late late post is being brought to you by the letter "Q."

My daughter Keisha is in pre-Kindergarten, and today, among the many activities, they began learning about the letter Q:

After she came home, she and I went to the bank and the store and we started talking about words that begin with Q. The phrase "Quit it!" for when you want someone to stop tickling you (ah... a new phrase to use on Dad). "Queen" begins with Q. As does the sound a duck makes: "Quack." Well, that's what they say in English. It may be different in another language, for all I know.

So, tonight at dinner, Mom, Jennie, Keisha, and I talk about words with Q in them. Mom points out that we're eating Taquitos, a Mexican food. She told Keisha, "Taquito has a 'Q' in it!"

Keisha looked at it and adamantly replied, "No, it doesn't!" Then we all chuckled because we realized that Keisha was looking for the actual letter Q on her taquito.

Thus ends the post that was brought to you by the letter Q.

Monday, March 17, 2003

Alias Season 2 Episode 18 - "Truth Takes Time"

More Twists Than A Pretzel!

Over at the spacemonk today there is some discussion about last night's episode of 'Alias'. Specifically, Mike comments about being led to believe that something happened and finding out that it didn't. That's good plot writing, in my opinion. I posted my comments, which were as follows:

I totally agree with you. I like the technique of showing the end and then flashing back to the events that worked up to it.

I, too, was taken; hook, line, and sinker. I'm just surprised that it ended the way that it did.

I still think that Sidney and Will need to wise up, although I do believe that pretty soon, Sidney is going to have to suspect something.

And what's so special about that gift that Miss Evil You-Know-Who gave to You-Know-Him?

MVP Web Sites

"This is an attempt to gather together a single web site directory of all folks who are now, or have been in the past, designated as Microsoft MVP's. The product categories for which MVP's are recognized are listed below, and under each is an alphabetical list of past and present MVP's representing that product."

Some Reunion Stuff

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I appreciate and need all the advice offered about organizing a high school reunion. Believe me, I can use more! But, I did want to update you all with the new weblog's address:

I've designed it as a collaborative weblog, so hopefully some of my former classmates will join me.

Saturday, March 15, 2003

Charlie's Soapbox

Charlie Daniels has stepped up to the soapbox, ladies and gentlemen, and he is speaking out!

McCustomer No-Service Rant Followup

One week ago I reported on some terrible customer service (better termed "customer no-service") I had received from a local McDonald's. I recently received a followup email from the corporation:

Hello Dan:

Thank you for taking the time to contact McDonald's to bring your concerns to our attention.

First, I hope you will accept our apology for your recent disappointment in McDonald's. I can assure you that we want you to be completely satisfied every time you visit one of our restaurants.

Because most McDonald's restaurants are franchised, I have forwarded your comments to the franchise owner or local representative for follow up at the restaurant. Please be assured that your concerns will be investigated and, if appropriate, corrective action will be taken.

Again, thank you for bringing this matter to our attention and giving us the opportunity to look into your concern.

Melissa
McDonald's Customer Satisfaction Department
Update: Great news! The situation has been remedied to my satisfaction.

Friday, March 14, 2003

Planning High School Reunion - Need Advice

Folks, I need some advice:

I graduated from Mount Healthy High School in Cincinnati, Ohio back in 1988. This year I am aware of many from my graduating class who would like to have our 15th year reunion. So far, not many have volunteered to organize it. I wonder how many of you out there have had any experience with organizing a high school reunion. Now that we have the Internet, it's probably a bit easier, I bet.

I'd love any input you can offer. Please.

Thanks in advance!

Update: I've found an alumni news page at the high school's website, but I obviously need more! I also found the page for the Mount Healthy City School District.

Update Update: I'm going to set up (yet another) weblog that's simply devoted to the planning of our reunion. I'll be able to give others access to it, so that they can provide content. But which template to choose from? Anyone have any ideas?

2005 Update: The blog's name is Mount Healthy High School Class of 1988 Information. It's been inactive for awhile.

Hot Stuff on Al-Jazeera

Anne Wilson quotes from a recent Al-Jazeera broadcast that involved a point-counterpoint debate between an Algerian fundamentalist and an Egyptian self-proclaimed "liberal." The fundamentalist, she says, spewed out the usual anti-American rant, but the "liberal" had some interesting things to say.

McAfee Virus Advisory

Do you rely on instant messaging?

Users with Hotmail addresses in MSN Messenger are vulnerable to W32/Nicehello@MM, a MEDIUM RISK mass-mailing worm that emails itself to MSN Messenger contact lists. Worse, it also attempts to send MSN Messenger usernames and passwords to the virus author via an email message. So far, the virus has a limited spread, but has been seen in several languages, including English and Spanish.

What to Look for:

Attachment: When the W32/Nicehello@MM attachment is run, a false Windows XP error message displays and the worm copies itself in several places on the infected computer.

Thursday, March 13, 2003

Brain Teaser - Numbers

Can you come up with 5 consecutive numbers under 100 that, when added together, add up to 100?

Hokey Pokey

Larry LaPrise, the man who wrote "The Hokey Pokey," recently died peacefully at age 93. The most traumatic part for his family was getting him into the coffin. They put his left leg in ... and then the trouble started.

from Bill T. via email

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Am I Online?

Now showing... to the right menu... whether I'm online or not. That way you'll be able to chat with me in real-time!

QuotesBlog - Disclaimer

I decided to add a disclaimer to QuotesBlog, because I've realized that not everything people say is meant to be taken seriously and some of it shouldn't be. So, you, gentle readers, get to choose, as you have always done, what wisdom to glean from this collection.

Now back to your regularly scheduled blogging.

Bene Diction Blogs On

Bene Diction has served up a veritable cornucopia of information today.

A Little Bathroom Humor...

My friend Bill T. reminded me that simple humor is sometimes the best, and he provided me with this link to explain further (note: you will need sound): http://www.flowgo.com/refer/redir_ng.cfm?page_id=50354&d=03-11-03

Monday, March 10, 2003

RudeBusters

RudeBusters -- Help, resources and opinions in a rude and angry world

"Rudeness is more than bad manners and rage. When there's no respect for others, bad attitudes, anger and disrespect morph into identity theft, scams, hoaxes, bad products, bad service, bad medicine, bullying, youth violence, depression and sky-high stress levels. Relax. We can help...

"You have found the safe haven from rudeness, anger and tension. We hope this site helps you be more confident, in control, be smarter, stronger, safer, healthier, calmer, happier, fight back, be entertained, empowered, sparked and fully de-stressed!"

Americans must adjust and react positively

Clark Howard has some advice for us Americans during these times. The link above takes you to a section on favorite foods. Once you get there, scroll down to the next section, and read what he has to say.

Some Updates to the Blog

I've brought back the Google search, which you'll find in the top left menu, and mine and the Internet's imood, which you'll find in the Links section.

Compliments of...

I was very encouraged when Steve forwarded this link by email to me.

I wonder, How much longer Mark Twain could've lived had he known about this?

Saturday, March 08, 2003

What Rich Hopkins Thinks

1290whio.com: What Rich Hopkins Thinks What I Really Think!

I miss Rich Hopkins's Local Talk show, and I'm glad he's started this weblog. I look forward to visiting often.

Friday, March 07, 2003

'McCustomer No-Service' Rant

They say, "We Love to See You Smile," but today they didn't even try. Today's rant comes courtesy of none other than McDonald's. Specifically, I'm talking about the operation located at 4770 N. MAIN ST., DAYTON, OH 45405-5021, located next to the Blockbuster Video store:

I have had to leave the following complaint at their website:

You say "We Love to See You Smile." I must disagree, based on my experience.

All I wanted to do was compare the prices for the soft drinks. Your menus have gotten so cluttered that the prices and sizes for soft drinks were not listed.

I asked the drive thru attendant what the prices were, and she was most uncooperative. Downright rude, actually. She stated that she didn't know. She did not take any initiative to find out from any management that were present. The situation deteriorated to the point where I stated, "Thank you for your 'Customer No-Service'. I'll take my business elsewhere."

I returned minutes later to get complaint information, but that was hard to come by as well. The drive thru attendants didn't know the information, and they were not very willing to find it out. I happened to see a crew leader (wearing a light blue shirt) and asked him. He gave me the information. I told the attendants, "See? All you have to do is ask one of your managers. It's not THAT hard to do, is it?"

It was obvious to me that to McDonald's, I am just another customer number, just a dollar amount. Shoo me in, and shoo me out.

"We Love to See You Smile" is your slogan. You didn't make me smile today.

What are you going to do about this?

You may not even do anything about my complaint. Well, you may find that I don't visit this McDonalds again. You also may find that my friends won't either, because I have begun to tell my friends about this experience. And, of course, a business that continues to operate in this manner does not have a big chance of surviving in the long run.

I now leave this in your hands.
Update: Great news! The situation has been remedied to my satisfaction!

Get Started With Cascading Style Sheets

CNET - Web Building - Authoring & Site Design - Get Started With Cascading Style Sheets

This site features the Style-O-Mattic -- you enter the text, then pick the other properties, and finally click the View Source button to get the code!

Increasing System Resources Without Adding Memory

Okay... some of these may be obvious, but others... may not.

HP H2 Partition My Hard Drive

Bcuz I still haven't learned how to do it.

HP Drivers and Downloads

For when my PC's in trouble, and I want to shoot it.

The New Leader

I bought this book while co-oping in Sterling Heights, Michigan in 1991. I fell in love with the principles of it, but I think I need a refresher:

I'm glad I still have this book, and I'm adding it to my reading list because I need to get some fresh convictions about leadership from Jesus' perspective. What I found interesting about the book is that it is intended not only for application in a religious circle, but it also can be used within a business context.

I was a little bit surprised to find the Amazon.com link for the book. One thing to note about this book, and, I suppose any book, for that matter, is the context in which it is written. My copy is the second printing, which occurred in 1989, so some of the examples used may appear a little (or a lot) dated. Nevertheless, the principles of leadership that Jesus Christ taught and lived by are still relevant today -- Amen!

Holy Reunion! Return to the Batcave

According to ABC's promos, 'Alias' will be a repeat this week. They are going to reshow the episode that aired after the Super Bowl. Since I've already seen it, I think I'll opt for "Return to the Batcave: The Misadventures of Adam and Burt," which will air on CBS this Sunday at 9 PM ET/PT.

Google's Memory Upgrade

Slate.com | Google's Memory Upgrade - How Blogger could do more than improve Google's web searches

Steven Johnson reports that "the Blogger acquisition could open up an entirely new service for Google. Instead of just helping you find new things, Google could help you keep track of what you've already found. Right now Google is a kind of information detective, and a brilliant one at that. But it could be something more: an extension of your memory."

Thursday, March 06, 2003

Bad Joke Alert!

Q: Why did the cookie go to the hospital?

A: Because he felt "crummy"!

HAHAHAHAHAHA!

YIKES!

I lay down at Noon to take a short nap and was awoken at 4 PM by Keisha's bus!

How to balance the budget



Josh Claybourn has some great ideas.

Introversion

Andrew has an interesting post about introversion.

Wednesday, March 05, 2003

Proud to Serve

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 164,000 women currently serve in the United States armed forces. Female U.S. military veterans number 1.6 million.

Bet you didn't know that.

Signs That Spring Is Coming

The backyard is beginning to show evidence that we've been unable to pick up after our dog over the last three months.

Stephen's Web ~ Referral System

I've seen this being used on others' blogs, and I'm considering adding to mine. Any comments -- I mean -- guideposts?

"A Bit of Light Reading"*

I just finished my second reading of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, which means that I've now read all of the first four books twice. I still haven't picked up on all the clues and nuances, so I may wind up rereading them again. Why am I so interested in this, you might ask? Well, of course, you may be aware that Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is coming June 21st. But also, while at the bookstore a couple weeks ago with Keisha - it was probably on a night that she wasn't going to school because of the snow - I found a rather intriguing book entitled the Ultimate Unofficial Guide to the Mysteries of Harry Potter.

* from page 219 of the hardcover version of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

Leave it to the Dog

While walking our dog Jake this morning, I took him the usual route around the cul de sac in which we live. Two-thirds of the way around, he stops by a tree and drops something he'd obviously been carrying for longer than the entire walk: one of Keisha's hearing aids! This hearing aid sells for a nice price of $1600.

I was so upset, and I disciplined him for it. Nevertheless, after we'd come back home and I sent him to his bed, I couldn't help but feel a little bit grateful that everything was intact. It still works, and it just needs to be cleaned before she can use it again. And, since he actually found it, who knows where it actually was? Maybe we would have had a hard time finding it.

So I guess I see this as a bit of a blessing in a disguise. I mean, after all, Jake does have toys that are much less expensive.

Tuesday, March 04, 2003

Monday, March 03, 2003

Friends in the Fight for Enduring Freedom

Last Thursday I learned that another of our close friends, who serves in the Army Reserves, will likely be sent out very soon. We learned this from his wife; they have two kids. She mentioned that it will likely be a 12-month stint, which means that she will, for all intents and purposes, become a single mom during that time.

I am blessed to receive email rather regularly from another friend, Dave F., who is stationed somewhere in the Atlantic. In his recent email, he writes:

Yesterday we picked up all of our misdirected mail. There was 7 tons that were sent to the wrong location. I got one small package that made me very happy. For everyone it was like a visit from Santa. A lot of people received and shared brownies and cookies. I'm sure they were fresh when they were baked but it took so long that most of it was dry when it got here. We didn't care one bit though and thought they tasted great. I guess it was just knowing that they came from home. It's was encouraging to see the sharing. I am told they are still sorting through the mail.

When I first left I packed a few DPI books, the disciples handbook and the song book. I packed the song book hoping to go to a church service out here. My song book has stayed in my sea bag through out the whole trip until today. For what ever reason I felt the urge to dig it out today. People who know me, know I don't sing by myself. I jokingly live by the motto 'The Bible says make a joyful noise so I keep my mouth shut' ;) There I was with my song book looking over some of my favorite songs and just began singing some of them to myself. For those moments I felt 2 things. I had a strong feeling of peace that was with me and second, I felt like I was standing there with the Body. I can't describe it beyond that but it was great.

I have to go. I thought I would share some of this encouragement with you. Thank you for the email and most importantly your prayers. They have helped me so much to stay in the fight. I thought we were going to visit a port with disciples but that was changed. That was the reason we had the steel beach BBQ. I would have traded one hour with disciples over the day of recreation. Take care of yourself and I hope to hear from you soon :D

It Was Just A Dream

Last night I had a dream that I'd been drafted to serve in the US Army. From what I can still remember about it, I felt scared. I remember that I had to rush through everything. Hurry up and eat. Hurry up and use the bathroom. Hurry up and shower. Not much sunshine or light at all, for that matter. Everything seemed rather dark. I remember feeling very sad and depressed.

VSP: Very Special Post 2003

Because I can, I've created a post with the following date/timestamp:

03/03/03 03:03

There's gotta be something significant about that.

Sunday, March 02, 2003

'Alias' Update

Two things regarding tonight's episode:

  1. I am not surprised to find out where her TRUE loyalties lie.
  2. Will Tippin needs to wise up... FAST!

Start-of-Week Spam Rant

Welcome to the part of our show where we list a few of the subject lines of the ridiculous spam I've received in my Junk/Bulk Email folders. We start this week off with the following beauties:

  • Pheromones are now a reality!
  • Make Extra Money filling out surveys!!! ipvdtfjn (must have been typed by a cat!)
  • Financial Intelligence Reports as Agreed (you must have me mistaken for someone who actually cares)
  • Datamatix Dynamic Trio (I think I'll pass on these 'stupidheroes')
  • eric11545 High income profession (probably to compensate for the low IQ they needed to send these messages, no doubt)
  • Hello danimah Is Your Family Safe! (funny, but the Sender's name is listed as 'danimah' -- "Wow. You're dumber than I thought.")
Okay, then. 'Scuse me while I go dump this out...

Incredible Hulk's Weblog

Thanks to Garry for the link.

Computerfest® Is Coming!

The Spring 2003 Computerfest®, the premier Computer and Technology event in the Miami Valley for 28 years, arrives at Dayton's Hara Arena Complex on March 15 & 16, 2003. Join us as we "Fly Into the Future" with Computerfest®, the largest show of its kind with over a hundred vendors and exhibitors in nearly 400 booth spaces. Computerfest® provides the widest selection and the best bargains for the savvy computer user and Information Technology (IT) professional alike:

Features

This show features:

  • Over 100 hours free seminars
  • Hubble Space Telescope Exhibit & Seminars
  • Affordable Advanced Training Sessions for IT Security, Windows 2000, Linux, Network & Intro to PCs
  • Microsoft presentations
  • Apple seminars
  • Linux & Cisco Playgrounds
  • Computer Fair & Student Vouchers
  • GRAND PRIZE - Screaming Computer System
  • KEYNOTE SPEAKER - Evan Leibovitch from the Linux Professional Institute (LPI)
  • 1/2 scale model of the Wright B Flyer


Vendors and Exhibitors

Vendors and Exhibitors, hurry and register for limited space available.
This is an excellent opportunity to exhibit and showcase your company's products or services to thousands of potential customers from over seven mid-west states. See details below or visit http://www.computerfest.com for the registration information.

Ticket information

Tickets are now available online... see www.computerfest.com for details. You get ALL this and more for only $8.00 in advance and $10.00 day of the show. Tickets are also available at the Hara Arena Box Office, as well as most Dayton area computer stores. Volunteer and get in FREE. See details below.

Training

Have you ever considered taking some classes in computers, or wanted to work toward some of your computer certifications, but haven't had the time or couldn't afford the price of the training? Well Computerfest® may now have just what you have been looking for, our NEW Advanced Training Seminars! These classes will be held Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, March 12, 13 & 14 from 9 AM to 5 PM at the Hara Arena Conference Center.

We are offering your choice of five different topics:
  • Information Systems Security with Network Tool Demos $549.95 -- Test Prep for the CISSP exam
  • Network+ Guide to Networks Session $549.95 -- Test Prep for the CompTIA Network+ exam
  • Running Windows and Linux and Surviving $549.95
  • Microsoft MCP Certification $ 549.95 -- Test Prep for the Windows 2000 Professional 70-210 exam
  • Introduction to Computing and the Internet (One Day class offered Wednesday, Thursday & Friday Only) $ 79.95

For detailed course descriptions, and registration information go to our web site http://www.computerfest.com.

Opportunities for Schools

Continuing their commitment to education, Computerfest 2003 offers opportunities for schools to enhance their computer and technology information programs. Students can participate in the Computer Fair, attend free seminars, and experience new technologies and computer software through hands-on displays. Email schools@computerfest.com for more information.

Speakers

Inge Heyer, senior data analyst with the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Md., will be one of several featured guests this year at Computerfest. She will be presenting two seminars, “A Journey Through the Universe with the Hubble Space Telescope” and “Living and Working in Space.”

Our KEYNOTE SPEAKER - Evan Leibovitch, president and chairman of the board for Linux Professional Institute (LPI), the premier professional certification program for the Linux community, will address the issue of overcoming the “Digital Divide” and provide thought-provoking solutions that his organization has implemented.

Seminars

This year's seminar lineup is the best ever! Over 100 hours with topics including Apple, Linux, computer crimes, networking, web pages, firewalls, and certifications. Microsoft and Apple Manufacturers Reps will be giving seminars too. These seminars will provide a wealth of information and all are free with your paid admission. A complete schedule of the weekend's seminars can be found at http://www.computerfest.com

Check out your purchases at the show

A very unique service at Computerfest® is the ability to check out your purchases right at the show. The Ohio Technology Access Project (OTAP) will test products that you have purchased at the show for a small donation. Be sure to take advantage of this service for the goodies that you find. OTAP can be found in the East Hall in booth 420.

Deals

And of course Computerfest® offers deals! With exhibitors from all across the country and selling computer products of every kind, Hardware, Software, Books, Literature, Supplies, you are sure to find what you are looking for at the price you want. We have some of the friendliest vendors in the industry. They listen and they care.

Volunteer

Experience the joy of volunteerism! Volunteers not only get into the
show for free, they are also invited to an exclusive pizza and sub party after the show on Saturday. Work multiple shifts, and you can get free
Computerfest® branded merchandise. Visit our web site at
http://www.computerfest.com to see what shifts are available and sign up.

About the DMA® and ComputerFest®

The Dayton Microcomputer Association, Inc., with over 850 members
strong, is the sole and proud sponsor of Computerfest®. Since 1982 DMA® has been the exclusive sponsor. Computerfest® was held annually starting in 1976. Then, in 1996 it became a semi-annual event, being held Spring and Fall.

Since moving to the semi-annual format there have been an average of
150 exhibitors in 400 booth spaces with an average of 10,000 attendees per show. Visit our web site to explore this affordable marketing opportunity.

Stop by the DMA® Booth in East Hall and learn what a user group can do for you! And with the NEW Discounts you could easily save more than the cost of your DMA® membership.

Enjoy COMPUTERFEST®!!!!

Lovgate Medium on Watch - Virus Advisory

via the McAfee Security Center

"W32/Lovgate@M is a medium-on-watch profiled risk worm. This is a mailer worm that spreads via network shares and drops a remote-access Trojan. The worm is capable of sending a reply to all new messages found in your email inbox (Outlook and Outlook Express) by using its own SMTP engine. Current and up-to-date VirusScan users are protected from this threat."

Saturday, March 01, 2003

Parents' Guide to Homework Help

Reading the first part of this article reminds me of a Barry Louis Polisar song called "Nothing." He starts off with "What did you do at school today?" And the kids reply, "Nothing! Nothing!" The typical kid answer.