Saturday, January 29, 2005

 

Snoopy Trivia - Apollo 10


Snoopy Trivia:

Apollo 10's lunar module was named "Snoopy", while its command module was named "Charlie Brown".

Thursday, January 27, 2005

 

Feedster :: RSS Search Engine


No Need to Click Here - I'm just claiming my feed at Feedster


 

A Charlie Brown Christmas Quote


Here's a memorable quote from Sally, from "A Charlie Brown Christmas" (1965)

"Dear Santa Claus, How have you been? Did you have a nice summer? How is your wife? I have been extra good this year, so I have a long list of presents that I want. Please note the size and color of each item, and send as many as possible. If it seems too complicated, make it easy on yourself: just send money. How about tens and twenties?"

- Sally

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

 

Cowboy Snoopy


Cowboy Snoopy - king of the Wild Westiness! More about Snoopy and the gang here.




Knotts Berry Farm was one of those local secrets of Los Angeles...Well, actually, Aneheim, but let's not be nit-picky.

While all the crowds were heading off to Disneyland, my family and I used to love to go to Knotts...Of course there's the OBVIOUS reason. But, the rides were great, the western stunt shows were tons of fun, and Knotts had a more open, outdoorsy atmosphere then Disneyland...Generally, it wasn't as crowded, and the log-ride lasted 5 minutes! I highly recommend it, if you're every in Los Angeles.


 

Looking for new Template Ideas?


If you're getting tired of the tried and true templates for your blog(s), consider taking a look at new template designs that won recent competitions, as a possible brain-storming exercise.

I was reading about WestCiv's $1000 Competition Our templates competition results , and there's some truly innovative designs in there, especially the template "Blu" designed by Kemie Guaida. I like this one because while it's designed to work as a Blog. Many of the new designs I've seen have been unuseable because they were too sensational. But "blu" does a good job at striking a balance.

Go check it out. All these templates will be made available under the Creative Commons license, Style Master 4 CSS editor.


 

History on the Two Dollar Bill


I was reading Brad Delongs post I Am an Ignoramus...
(not), and it inspired me to post some brief information on the 2 dollar bill:



Excerpt taken from Dick Gregory's Global Watch:

"The back of the $2 bill has an engraving of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. In the image is a man who has dark skin and wearing a powdered wig while sitting at the table just to the left of the men standing in the center of the engraving. This dark skinned man is John Hanson in his position as president of the continental congress.In the original painting hanging in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda, the dark skinned man does not appear!!!"

This is an extremely interesting decision made by the United States in 1976, to redo the engraving of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and incorporate that new design into the new 2-dollar bill. Which engraving is accurate? And, if the original painting hanging in the U.S. Capital is NOT accurate, isn't it, on its own, very telling as to the makeup, culture, and history of racism and intollerance in America? How are future generations supposed to know that the engraving on the 2-dollar bill, was not intended to be a duplicate of the painting hanging in the U.S. Capital? By changing the painting, is there an attempt, however accidental, to re-write history?

I would submit to you that if the signing of the Declaration of Independence is, in fact, the appropriate engraving for a 2-dollar bill, it should be left alone, and the engraving should duplicate the painting, not change it. It would indeed be a focus point for conflict, but that's how you deal with history. Be confronting it...Not by re-writing it.

Of course, have you read a 4th grade American History book lately?








 

We've Sprung a Leak, Charlie Brown!




"If you can re-route the plumbing and bypass the galvanized steel, I think I can get it covered under my homeowner's policy!"

 

It's A Gay Marriage, Charlie Brown!


I was reading Minh's post Two moons in your moccasins , and it made me think of Santa Rosa, California.

Santa Rosa is where Charles M. Schultz lived out his years, and ultimately died two years ago. It is the place where Peanuts came from, and it is deep in the bowels of North Bay, 35 miles north of San Francisco, with highly liberal influences, and very open minds. It is the sister-ship of Marin, California.

I live about 1.5 hours away, in Sacramento...Home of Arnold Schwarzenegger, the California Kings, very large trucks, very large politicians, and very deep pockets. While California is predominantly democratic at this stage, Sacramento is home of the conservative.

And in between these two areas of Northern California, there is sprawling, beautiful countryside (if you can get past the toxic waste and mercury found in the delta, but that's a different story).


And in the midst of the yin and the yang of these two counties, we have a State that is in conflict over gay marriage. Generally, the polls reveal that the State of California is opposed, and yet North Bay, San Francisco, and Northern California influences vigorously support gay marriage, and in fact, probably presents itself as a leader in fighting for its legitimacy.

What's my point?

My point is, what would Charlie Brown think about gay marriage? What would Linus say? Did you ever stop and wonder, if Woodstock was male or female? Who knows. Maybe Snoopy is gay.

The point is, that if you peel the issue down to simple terms, gay marriage is a question of tolerance. I always rely on peanuts to guide the way, on questions of morality. I think the episode, "It's a Gay Marriage, Charlie Brown!" would end up with acceptance and tolerance, and not arguments over changing the Constitution of the United States of America.


 

Follow Google to Spamsville


Spam: The never ending bane of a Blog's existence. The very essence of a quality blog publication, is the interraction, communication, and connections made from the beginning of an entry, through the complete thread of its discussion, and ultimate disposition of greater understanding by all. Spam gets in the way of that process. It's not a new story on the internet, of course as many once interesting discussion forums can attest to.

On Meyerweb, More Spam To Follow discusses the new points raised from Googles implementation of the "Nofollow" tag, which will prevent (allegedly) the Bot from exporting Google "juice" to it's linking destination.

Personally, I have mixed feelings about this. No Blog owner can tell me that they don't appreciate a nice, shiny green P7 bar of popularity and importance. So, what of the interesting posts? What of the posts that were on target, fluid, and meaningful? Do all legitimate posters feel absolutely no interest in getting some "juice" in exchange for being a part of a noteworthy discussion? Am I completely off base here?

See, I think "spam" is absolutely a pain in the groin, but that doesn't mean that the Google "juice" isn't an integral part of the modern day blogging experience. The "nofollow" tag will not prevent the spammers from coming back again and again. All it will ultimately do, is punish bloggers that are just trying to publish their blogs, and get recognized in the search engine.

On the other hand, spam needs to be dealth with effectively in order for the dialog to continue. I agree with Eric. The easiest way to deal with it, is to use a cognitive process. Deleting posts you dislike, and keeping (and rewarding) posts you like, is ultimately, the only way to resolve the issue, alongside "preventitive" methods, like the methods employed by Jeremy Zawodny.



 

I've lost 70 pounds in 5 months


When Seth Godin quoted USA TODAY in Yes, it's true, I am certain he was not talking about me.

You see, over the course of 5 months, I have lost 70 pounds, and I am still dropping weight. Not only did I lose (and am continuing to lose) an enormous amount of fat, but I am also more vibrant and alive then ever before. My blood pressure, cholestorol, pulse, and blood work all demonstrate that over 10 years have been added to my life. It is truly, like the fountain of youth for me. I run, I ski, I swim, and I do Yoga. These are all consequences of the diet, and not necessarily the reason for the weight loss. You see, as my body transforms into a slimmer, meaner me, my energy level has been increasing, and I cannot stop the cravings for more activity, more excitement, and more sports.

I am a completely different individual now, then when I started my program on August 16th, 2004.

I know what Seth is saying. Dieting books are all the rage, and yet, they don't seem to truly solve the problem, because statistics prove that losing weight...Is a losing battle.

And yet, here I am...Living proof that it can be done.

So, if you were to ask me...What's my solution? I would say that Seth is on the right track, but I'd take it a step further. Here's my solution:

Healthcare in the United States, and probably elsewhere in the world, does not take weight loss seriously. They do not cover medical treatments, they do not pay the expense necessary to provide the obese with medical solutions, education of the medical community on dieting and weight loss, and medical counseling for continued weight loss and sustained health. This is a huge dysfunctional glut in the system. We are breeding death, to put it bluntly. Every Tom, Dick, and Harry exploits this deep disfunction on the open, commercial market, through the sales of books, tapes, drugs, and all things quackish in the weight loss department.

The truth is, that the more weight I lose, the less expensive it is going to be for my health care provider. However, the cost of my weight loss is a burden that I must bear on my own. Now, I'm a pretty driven guy, so I'm whipping out my wallet to get things done. However, the financial benefit of this 70+pound weight loss, goes to the insurance company, not me. Because in 20 years, I will not be experiencing the expensive heart attack, the costly diabetes, the $200,000 triple bypass surgery, and all other costs associated with my poor health. In 20 years, I will be a healthy senior citizen, and not a sickly obese human being that I was heading towards.

By losing weight now, I am saving Blue Cross hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars. If only our health care providers could hire decent actuaries to analyze the financial benefit of providing REAL medical health care to the obese, if only this could happen, then everybody would win. Lives would be saved, the quality of lives would increase, lives would be extended, and insurance companies would make a larger profit.

And, as a pleasant consequence, the cheesy-ass quakish dieting paperbacks would also go away, because obesity and its medical care, would finally be legitimized.



 

RadioShark and Conspiracy Theorists


Often times I sit in front of my computer, late at night, pondering the meaning of Peanuts, reading through the blogsphere, and generally wasting away, late in the dark, dark hours.

Bored with silence, I enjoy listening to CoastToCoastAm, so I can get my daily dose of conspiracy theory under my belt.

I suppose I could play my AM radio, but with all this modern technology staring me in my face, I choose to listen to my favorite broadcast via streamlink.

However, sometimes the link goes down, or the commercials are a complete bore, or I choose to be normal and work at 1pm in the afternoon.

What to do...What to do.

Well, Mitch Kapor has given a thumbs up to a new product called RadioShark put out by Griffin. It's a nifty looking "FIN" shaped object that sits on your desk, and it records radio broadcasts into your harddrive, and operates much like TiVo. It sells for about $70, accesses your system via USB port, and it appears to be very, very cool.

This may be the solution I'm looking forward.

Look out, Sunshine, Conspiracy Theorists are about to infiltrate the daylight!

 

NetFlix - The Value, or lack thereof?


Mike posted an entry under THIS and THAT about the value, or lack thereof, with online rental programs, such as NetFlix, WHSMITH, or Amazon UK who is coming ou with a similar DVD rental program.

Mike, I suppose it's subjective, but I use NetFlix and find it to be an excellent value.

Sometimes, if I'm in the mood, I'll watch a ton of movies, all for under twenty US bucks a month, and because NetFlix has a 24 hour turnaround time out here in California, I can crank out as many as 9 movies a week, if I wanted to.

But usually, I'm the exact opposite, and too busy to bother watching any TV at all. If a month goes by, and I don't actually watch any movies through NetFlix, I'm only out twenty bucks, and so I don't really feel cheated, because of the tons of movies I watched the month prior....But just in case, it's awfully nice to see those DVDs sitting on top of my TV...Life is all about Options!

The best benefit is really convenience. I LOVE, absolutely love, not needing to run out to the video rental store. Movies magically appear in the mail, and there are no late fees, and the movie can sit there for as long as I desire.

Blockbuster has started its own version of a NetFlix type of rental scheme. Still, though, I'm sticking with Netflix because the less drive-time, the better!


 

C'est seulement ISP, brun de Charlie


As luck would have it, I learned from Intraordinary that WordPress is now a One-Click install process on Free.Fr, one of the largest ISP's out of France.




Recently, France Telecom bought out Equant Minority. Equant Minority apparently had a very bad year, and France Telecom will be loaning the company 250million to get out of it's slump in 2005. Isn't that nice of them?

So, it remains unclear who will be the king of France in the ISP arena. Certainly, providing Word-Press via a one-click install should help attract bloggers on a budget.








 

Fortunate Notables of the year


Here's three fortunate notables worth noting for 2004:



1. Vintage Voice called AVON the #1 collectible for 2004. I think it's because of the $35 1969 Snoopy Lotion Bottle available exclusively through AVON.

2. A picture of Ben and Mena Trott, (founders of Movable Type, Six Apart, and now, owners of LiveJournal) can be found on the cover of Fortune Magazine, as Bloggers continue to rein in on the media attention. City kids made good! It's the stuff that DREAMS are made out of.

3. In-Stat selects the AMD Athlon 64 FX-55 as the best desktop computer processor of 2004. I just can't keep up!








 

Some 1978 BattleStar Galactica Trivia


Who can forget these guys...



Cast of the original 1978 BattleStar Galactica...Ah, to be 8 years old again.

I guess it's easy to forget them, when you've got Tricia Helfer, former Victoria's Secret model, playing Number Six:






Of course, I think they're missing a very important character from the series:






It seems like the new series has peaked the interest of many a new, As I discovered while reading Derek Balling's rant on BattleStar Galactica. Of course, for me, back in 1978, it was a television answer to a quick fix for the shot of Star Wars I most desperately wanted...Back before the time of DVD and Video...Back when 8 track was king!

Favorite original character? Dirk Benedict as Lt. Starbuck (of course!)
Favorite Theme Song? Still can't get it out of my head
Favorite Episode? None, really..The stories were always pretty dorky. But, like I said, it was my best shot at getting a hit of Star Wars like action!
Favorite Quote? Found this one:

Boomer: Every creature in the universe is out to exterminate us, and you want to hire a vocal group?





Monday, January 24, 2005

 

Revenge Of The Red Baron (1994)


A fairly unknown film, from 1994, here's the plot summary, courtesy of the IMDB:

"Once he fought in the name of honor, now he will fight in the name of family. His glory days behind him, Grandpa Spencer appears doomed to sit in his wheelchair and watch his family come apart. But fate is not content to let this World War I Fighter Ace fade away. An ancient curse on the Spencer family threatens their very lives. The infamous Red Baron has returned to take revenge on the man who shot him down. Grandfather, grandson and daughter-in law must unite to fight the infamous Red Baron; because this time it's their last chance."

There are, suprisingly, some very big players in the cast, including Mickey Rooney as Grandpa Spencer, Lorraine Newman as Carol Spencer, and Tobey Maguire as Jimmy Spencer.

While this may not be the greatest film on earth, it's one for the books, if you're at all interested in a funny, unscary, dumb movie about a possessed Red Baron toy.

Perhaps they should have created a possessed Snoopy to fight the Red Baron, and maybe have Pixar animate it?












 

Snoopy's First...


Ramblings of a Peanut-Head, 4th week of January, 2005:

Here's a few notable Firsts for Snoopy:

1. Snoopy Enters the Stage for the first time: October 4th, 1950

2. Snoopy Joins the Baseball team: April 12th, 1957

3. Snoopy First Sleeps on the Doghouse: December 12th, 1958

4. Snoopy Becomes a Writer: July 12th, 1965




Or, you could learn about the Five Stages at A Whole Lotta Nothing

***

My Dad holds a doctorate in Education, and he's been working his entire life building programs in California for underpriveledged children, aka: "kids at risk". He's in his late 60's, and I was reading about master educator/rap artist Ron Clark from Steve Spangler's BLOG...I remember this guy from Oprah Winfrey...Made me wonder...What would my Dad sound like in a rap? Should I call him, Doctor-D-Ditty?

***



Well, I could sit here and roll out George Carlins 7 Naughty words you never say on TV...But so much has changed in the last 35 years, that I think I've heard just about every word mentioned on the list. In any event, Ross Mayfield has uncovered the 10 words of the year, according to Webster, Flick, andDel.ico.us: #1 word, of course, is BLOG! As George Carlin might say...Bloggin A!

***



    

Dolly Madison and Peanuts

 
 

"Dolly Madison is a U.S. bakery brand owned by Interstate Bakeries Corporation, marketing pre-packaged baked snack foods.


Its products include Zingers (finger-sized, creme-filled, iced cakes), Gems (miniature doughnuts) and small pies (actually fried turnovers).


Dolly Madison snacks are probably best known for their long association with characters from the 'Peanuts' comic strip.


Charlie Brown and his friends appeared on Dolly Madison packages and in television commercials in the 1970s and 1980s.


Each pie flavour was sold with a different character on the label. For example, Peppermint Patty was on the peach pie label and Sally Brown was on coconut cream pie."

Sunday, January 23, 2005

 

Sweet Dreams, Snoopy!


The more you relinquish control to the subconscious, and trust in yourself, the easier it is to fall asleep.

Sweet Dreams, Snoopy!




 

Snoopy Having A Bad Day


3 words...

"Eeew!!!...OUCH!!!......and ARGH!!!!!"

 

Snoopy's Circle Of Friends


Snoopy's Circle Of Friends...