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This section would be about London, England.

Written By: Gary on July 23, 2009 No Comment

I’ve found a new WordPress plug-in that I like. It’s called “A Year Before“.

It’s got options to show a year ago today (or months or days) what you were blogging about. I’m using “anniversary mode” which I think is taking the post from today for as many years back as it can find.

Don’t worry if you haven’t been blogging long it’s got a “range” to show posts near a year ago (or six months ago). I’m running it on WordPress 2.8.2 (as of this writing) and it seems to be fine.

On This Date

2008 Best fix for my Convertible Rear Windshield
2008 MacBook Rumors seem to be rising…
2007 The Future of Television is selling me individual custom episodes
2005 Google Moon
2005 Don’t Be Afraid… Be Ready!
2004 Photos! (London)
2004 Did we walk? Boy did we walk!
2004 Cowboy Junkies and Shawn Colvin

I’ve been using it the last few days at the bottom of my left sidebar, but since I’m blogging about it I moved it to the top of the left sidebar, so you can see what it really looks like. I copied the text here so the links actually work. I’m not sure where I’ll move it to later.

It’s interesting, maybe more to me than you, but they always say you should show links to older posts for newer readers. Without even reading them I’m reminded about a trip to London (and the concert I went to a few days before) and the slideshow viewer that never detected flash properly, a homeland security site (which now appears to be a FEMA site), Google maps adding the Moon, my dreams for a new MacBook and how $5 fixed my convertible roof saving me hundreds of dollars (and save multiple readers the same!).

Written By: Gary on July 1, 2009 No Comment

So I’ve mentioned Torchwood a few times in the past. But it’s the start of Torchwood month, so it’s time to talk about it some more.

For the next few days Wednesday-Friday they are doing audio plays on BBC radio 4, you can listen to these live at 2:15 London time or you can download the Torchwood Radio plays until July 2, 2009 for FREE (I assume you can pay for them afterwards). This is three (3) different episodes about 45 minutes each. You have to wait until they broadcast them for them to be on-line. (Note: at some point on Thursday the MP3 of the Wednesday episode, Asylum, became unavailable in the US, so don’t wait. I can still listen to the stream of Asylum in the US here.)


Torchwood: Children of Earth BBC WarnerAfter this week season three starts, or as the brits say “series” three, on Monday July 6th in the UK on BBC One (and a few other places) and Monday July 20th in the US on BBC America (and other places). I might be mistaken but I think July 20 is the launch of BBC America in HD! Here’s the weird thing, it’s on for five nights in a row and then the season is over. It’s a mini-series called “Torchwood: Children of Earth”, supposed to be 75 minute cliff-hanger episodes every night. And then we wait a year for season four.

P.S. You can order Torchwood: Children of Earth now (available in HD too).

Watch the Torchwood HQ trailer here.

For those of you not in the know, Torchwood is sort of an offshoot of Doctor Who, a bit less of a family show tha DW, but it’s not really tied to Doctor Who. It’s got more kissing, violence, running and kissing that your average Sci-Fi TV show. The main character, Captain Jack Harkness was originally on Doctor Who (3 or 4 episodes of the 2005 season) before season one of Torchwood and still does a few guest appearances on DW, but the Doctor has yet to be on Torchwood. So while Jack appears on Dr. Who, The Doctor only gets the occasional reference on Torchwood, regardless of Gwen mentioning him below…

Watch the Creepy Torchwood HQ trailer here.

FYI, if you scramble the letters of Torchwood, you get Doctor Who. It was originally what they called Doctor Who when they were doing the new series in 2005, so no one would know what they were talking about. This was so no one would sneak onto sets, steal early footage or scripts, etc.

Written By: Gary on October 7, 2008 No Comment

These words, “To Be Continued”, make my top list phrases that I don’t enjoy. It’s usually a good episode of the show that ends with these words, why make a cliff-hanger of a bad episode(?). This week I was watching “The Sarah Jane Adventures”, it’s a children’s show offshoot of the new Doctor Who series; not exactly the same but enough to give me a Doctor Who fix in the off season. I haven’t mentioned much about the show but I like the Sarah Jane character (played by Elisabeth Sladen), she’s made a few cameo’s on the new Doctor Who series (that started 4 years ago) and while she was a regular on the series in the 1970’s (although I never watched it then). Actually, “regular” isn’t the proper word, I think she’s the longest running character on the series traveled with two different doctors, met more doctors and companions than probably anyone else; she’s had her own audio drama series now this TV series and recently appeared again on the Doctor Who series (saving the world and more, of course).

“The Sarah Jane Adventures” is the story of Sara Jane Smith, years ago she used to travel through time and space with The Doctor, but now on Earth still protecting the earth from Aliens. But she has an entourage of children, the girl across the street (who discovered her secret), the boy she adopted (super smart grown child rescued from aliens) and Clive their best friend (but mostly a side-kick). And they all work together to save the world (or sometimes just London itself).

Most of the stories for this series are two-part episodes, but when they started this season last week they ran the first two as one hour long episode, so I forgot. Was sorely disappointed while eating dinner that when the tensions started to run high on the show and as I started to recall this fact, the phrase “To Be Continued” popped up on my screen ending my show…Side-bar – This half-hour to be continued complaint is in contrast to other new hour long shows I’ve watched, such as the new The Ex List and Valentine, that about 5 minutes into the show you realize it needs to only be a 1/2 hour episode instead of a full hour…

Written By: Gary on June 29, 2008 One Comment

Picture 3-1So my favorite place in London (England) for discount theatre tickets is TKTS half-price ticktes located in Leicester Square, it’s sort of in the park so you can’t miss it.

I discovered they list the available tickets on-line so that’s a bonus for next trip, no reason to rush down for tickets if there isn’t anything you like!

They are opening a second location in the Brent Cross Shopping Centre officially on June 29, 2008 but since I’m not there I can’t go check it out (that’s today!). I think they carry the same tickets at both locations.

Written By: Gary on June 11, 2008 No Comment

So I got some more photos up. London Day one, not a lot, but I did do some okay descriptions :)

Written By: Gary on June 11, 2008 One Comment

Theatre-Drinks-Pict2475So at some of the theater’s in London (and I’m sure in other places in the world) you place your order and pay for interval drinks before the show starts. This way when it’s time for intermission, your drink is already ready for you and there is no line. Very civilized :)

It’s just coincidence that it’s in “position L”, that was already on the sheet when I scribbled my name on it. So when I went to get my drink there was my bottle of Schweppes, a glass with ice and my order sheet (see attached photo).

Written By: Gary on June 8, 2008 2 Comments

london04-707So for the Waffle Toffee Crunch score: We were there eight days (Saturday to Saturday) and I was able to have a Waffle Toffee Crunch dessert seven of the eight days! They only day I didn’t succeed was the day we left for Cardiff. In my defense we were on the way to the train station before Garfunkel’s opened and they didn’t appear to have any in Cardiff (they few people I asked didn’t even know what Garfunkel’s was).

So I consider the dessert portion of the vacation as much of a success as possible :)

Written By: Gary on June 7, 2008 2 Comments

So I’ve got a few photos that I put together from Cardiff City Center. I’m not sure if the castle is technically in the city center or not but I including those few anyways. There are captions on a few of the photos.

Written By: Gary on June 7, 2008 2 Comments

StreetcarSo at StreetCar you can rent a car by the hour. They’ve got 500 pickup locations (and I think this is just spots where parked on the side of the street). It’s about 5.95 pounds ($12 an hour) for a Golf (Polo for 3.95) an hour or 49.50 pounds a day (and you get 30 miles of fuel). You must be a member for 50 pounds a year (show your OysterCard and get two memberships for the price of one).

Assuming you don’t have a need for a car very often, this is economical and ecological: you don’t need to pay for a car or insurance or parking, except for the times you need it; it’s such a waste otherwise if you don’t use it often. You don’t need to maintain it or anything like that. If I lived somewhere like London I would only need it a time or two a week (at the most), maybe big shopping trips.

This is very cool IMHO, this is the idea of of Sci-Fi/Future Utopian stories. Every shares a car or bicycles and has great public transportation. This is very unlike Michigan with poor public transportation and everyone owns a car (or two).

Written By: Gary on June 6, 2008 No Comment

This was an off-“Broadway” show (called Haunted) we saw someone bring flyers into one of the restaurants we were eating at so we took one and it sounding interesting. Then shortly after we happened to walk by the Arts Theatre and Haunted stuck in our heads so we decided to go…

Nineteen empty flats and just one sold. Why? What’s wrong with the place? And why does it want Alex and her children?

Four friends for supper. No supper.

An extra guest. A kitchen full of implements.

The evening veers off its polite rails and ends up somewhere very dark.

(from the Haunted flyer)

Now finding the place again was tricky, they didn’t bother to print the address on the brochure; it’s at 6/7 (Great) Newport Street, London WC2 in case you’re looking for it. But it’s only there until June 14.

Great acting, it all took place in one room but it was done excellent! It was a little confusing at times, but it didn’t really affect the story: Were there spirits in the house? Were they a little cRaZy? Was it a bit in their heads? Was anyone actually possessed? I actually think you weren’t supposed to know…

I think the stories based on the property are actually true (at least I read it on-line somewhere, so it must be true).

My only ture complaint was that it ended abruptly, too abruptly for me, but Mom didn’t seem to mind…Rats, while putting this post together I just noticed I could have saved $13.00 by getting Mom the senior discount :(

Written By: Gary on June 6, 2008 No Comment

The Oyster Card is a debit-type card for using the Tube (subway) and bus systems. It’s very very convienent, why they don’t push the Oyster Card as an alternative for tourists I have no clue. There’s advertising everywhere but not pushing it for tourists (the airports and train stations would be a logical choice). It’s a “gift card” that you load up with any dollar pound amount and just tap it (like the new Visa cards with the tap or blink function) to get onto a tube train or bus. If you use it a lot, it can automatically top up from your credit card so you’ll always have enough (and I think you can get your photo put on a more permanent card).

“Our aim is to ensure that Oyster always charges the lowest fare.
Where it doesn’t, we will refund the difference.”

It’s much easier and faster plus you don’t have to decide if you need a all day tube ticket or bus option or anything. It calculates the best possible fare for you at the end of the day and they promise it’ll be cheaper than tickets. Plus you can use it on the cool red double-decker busses!

It’s a 3 pound deposit, but I’m under the impression that when we return our cards we get the 3 pounds plus any other cash we still have on it returned to us. Our only concern has been not having enough on it when we get on a bus (it’d be too late to put more ca$h on it then).

So my vote is get a Oyster Card as soon you get to the London area!Later: We did get the deposit (3 pounds) and all our money back with no problem.

Written By: Gary on June 5, 2008 No Comment

Marguerite MusicalSo the first show we saw in London was a musical called Marguerite, it took place in German occupied France. Marguerite was married to a German general for convenience and falls in love with a jazz piano player. It was a beautiful old theatre with at least two balconies (there might have been a higher one but I couldn’t see it from the main floor).

We had tenth row great seats (halfway between center and the edge); we picked them up from the TKTS booth at Leicester Square which has different discount (almost all are half-off) tickets every day (I usually look there first when looking for tickets). I think they just have tickets for “west end” theatre but I’m not sure where the “east end” is (or north or south for that matter).

The writer/producer of Marguerite also did

  • Les Miserables
  • Miss Saigon
  • Martin Guerre
    It was fun, a little bit slow at times so we’ll see if it goes global. But, I thought Les Miserables was very slow and that one became “kind of” popular.

    Amazing scene changes on the stage! The way they transform one setting to another was excellent. Although it’s so good it really doesn’t leave much to the imagination which I think used to be a big part of the “theatre experience”.

    I’d definitely recommend this if this sounds like your type of musical. Heres a video clip.

  • Written By: Gary on June 4, 2008 No Comment

    So we made it to Cardiff via Train from Paddington Station in London. Very easy trip, Cardiff is the end of the line so no chance of missing anything. Beautiful day here! And the view for the train ride was great too.

    800Px-Roald Dahl Plass - CardiffWhile I love Cardiff so far, I hate to say that it’s included the biggest disappointment of the trip. Why? Because the Roald Dahl Plass is under construction. I was very very disappointed that the very tall shiny waterfall and a bit of the Plaza (Plass) was closed (especially the waterfall).

    I haven’t seen any kind of internet cafe here, I’m at a pub using the ‘net. People seem like to party around here, lots of bars and discotechs. It’s a college town at one end, but I’ve not sure that’s who the party people are.

    I’ll check out the ones nearby after I go see what Cardiff Bay is like once it gets dark; especially how the Wales Millennium Centre looks.

    Just in the few minutes I’ve been here, it’s really started to fill up!

    Travel tips: The train was about 50 pounds for the round trip via National Rail (certainly not the deal that someone mentioned to me on-line) I think pre-booking is cheaper (although I think we’d have paid eve more the day of instead of the day before), but if we had left London before 9:15 am it was way more (almost double I think) so check the times (return time did no matter). Many hotels offer late check-out and early check-in, they charge for it (about 10 pounds the few places I’ve noticed it), but it’s worth it for hotels that that don’t have a place to leave your luggage. We were going to stay until 4 or 5 tomorrow, but since late check-out is only until 2 pm, we’ll be leaving at 2.

    * Photo courtesy of Wikipedeia.

    Written By: Gary on June 3, 2008 No Comment

    So we haven’t had a huge amount of sun this trip and that’s okay since that means it hasn’t been hot, but today has just been wet wet wet. I want a nice sunny day to take Mom on a boat tour on the Thames or up in the London Eye (huge ferris wheel). We’re off to Cardiff in Wales tomorrow so you know it’s going to be a sunny day in London!!

    Written By: Gary on June 3, 2008 No Comment

    london04-707At this point I managed to get my dessert four days in a row!

    Warm Belgian waffle topped with vanilla ice cream, maple syrup and laced with toffee crunch pieces.

    Garfunkel’s Menu

    I wonder if they have Garfunkel’s in Wales? I’d hate to blow my streak…

    Written By: Gary on June 3, 2008 No Comment

    photo_ukregentstreet.jpgMom is at Harrod’s.

    I’m in heaven! At the Flagship Apple Store on Regents street in London.

    It’s a huge store. A little bigger than in Chicago! Gotta go shop!

    Later – Turns out we have live music too! Jessica Hoop and Lissie, I’ll be checking them out on-line later…



    Written By: Gary on June 2, 2008 One Comment

    Big-Ben-Img 8549Here’s a good shot of Big Ben! We’ve walked and been around all over today. I think we were on the Tube 5 or 6 times today.

    We’ve got photos, but it’s wet out right now, so I’m not going to sit on the corner outside for free networking; I’m going to pay the big bucks pounds and use it in my room for a few minutes to get these of posts up.

    Written By: Gary on June 1, 2008 2 Comments

    Gary-Mom-Hpim0131So we’re having a great time. This is a photo (click to enlarge), we took somewhere near our hotel in the Kensington area.

    We’ve been all over the pace! It’s almost 1 am here (5 hours later). It’s been a little cool (I had to put on long pants tonight) but it’s been great!

    We took this with my Quik Pod which lets you take pictures farther away than you arms can stretch.

    Written By: Gary on November 29, 2007 One Comment

    So a few weeks before I left I subscribed to the TicoTimes. It’s a weekly English nation-wide newspaper about the size of Metro Times or a magazine from the Sunday section of a newspaper that comes out on Fridays in Costa Rica. A month’s subscription included the ability to download the PDF file every week. It’s a little hard to read on the screen, I think I get one more electronic issue, but I’ll probably buy a copy tomorrow.

    ticotimesIt was nice to get a feel for what was going on in the country. From a to do list it wasn’t very helpful to me. It comes out on Friday and the calendar generally doesn’t stretch much past the weekend. So I might go somewhere else tomorrow and I should have stayed here for something, but I’ve already made my arrangements. I did find out about some kind of air festival in the northwest but I forgot all about it, I’ll have to check on that…

    From a news standpoint I did know the rainy season was dying down early, I know the colon was going to go up in value (their “Greenspan” changed something), that the phone company might go on strike (they didn’t) and a few other things. It’s definitely worth the $8 to get the four issues on-line if you’re considering traveling the country. I recommend this for anywhere, I’ve gone to the bookstore and picked up a newspaper for London, England to get an idea of what’s going on there too (you might have to reserve these in advance).

    Written By: Gary on October 6, 2007 3 Comments

    So I’m looking for a practical and cheap and semi-direct way to get from London, England to Cardiff, Wales. I figure my choices are train, bus or rent a car (I have no problem driving on the left). When I go to London in the spring I was thinking of spending a day or two over that way. Also, I’m looking for a place to stay in Cardiff near public transportation, decent but not too expensive (of course) a hotel or bed and breakfast would work. Of course I’ll want to visit this general area so I’ll need some walking tour information too (or book recommendation).

    Cardiff Words LightI keep seeing it on TV and movies and other places so I thought I’d check it out. I’ve never been in that direction, I think the farthest west I’ve been is Stonehenge/Sailisbury.

    Also, any bloggers who lurk around here and want to meet up drop me a note. I’m also looking for restaurant and other tourist recommendations. And if anyone knows about any Torchwood filming dates in the spring (I’m thinking they’re editing around now, so probably not) I’d be interested in that too, especially if you have any contacts related to seeing some of it.

    Written By: Gary on June 9, 2007 One Comment

    As you all know I love time-travel, and while never being a Doctor Who fan this new (started in 2005) series is just brilliant! In case you didn’t know, the new Doctor Who is produced (and sometimes written) by Russell T. Davies (Queer as Folk and Torchwood) so it’s not your grandpa’s sci-fi show (and neither is Torchwood which runs later at night). Steven Moffat wrote this week’s episode as well as several other episodes, some older shows (but I’m not sure if they were specials or radio shows), many episodes of Coupling (US and UK) and more.

    This week’s episode is just full of non-stop action and non-stop paradoxes and is just excellent! It’s kinda scary too(!), I think that’s what makes it seem so non-stop. This episode barely shows the main characters and instead focuses on a woman from London outside the normal time-line of The Doctor and Martha. As she’s piecing things together it’s very entertaining since you know it’s going to all going to tie up neatly by the end. But one of the best parts is when he’s explaining the non-linerarity of time and says “it’s like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey… stuff” and it makes complete sense to the viewer; it’s then you know the writers are doing something right..

    The other good line is when Sally’s talking about talking pictures of old things (which makes her sad) and her friend asks her “What’s good about sad?” and Sally responds with “It’s happy for deep people”…

    And the extra bonus is that starting next week (for 3 episodes) we have the return of Captain Jack Harkness!

    Written By: Gary on November 19, 2006 No Comment

    So it’s been a musical week for me. This is my third outing for music in the last four days.

  • Thursday I saw Sia at the Majestic Theater in Detroit.
  • Friday was the Indie Chick Night at Trixie’s coffeehouse in Roseville, MI. They were raising money money for a shelter. The only performers I had seen before were Audra Kubat and Lisa Hurt. But now I’ve seen Silent Violet (who’s off to London to record an album), Jessika Carmichael and lil’ Emily too.
  • Sunday it’s the Bittersweet Cafe at the Buzz Bar in Detroit. This is usually Blair and Audra (but she called and canceled since she’s sick) and as usual they have a guest so that’ll be Loretta And Julie Lucas (whom I’ve never heard).
  • And next Saturday is Jewel in Mt. Clemens at the Emerald Theater!
  • Written By: Gary on August 21, 2006 One Comment

    I was tagged by RW to do this meme :)

    Four jobs you’ve had in your life:
    Web Programmer
    Computer Trainer
    Camp Counselor

    Four movies you could watch over and over:

    The Flight of the Navigator
    The American President

    The Cutting Edge
    A Christmas Story

    Four places you’ve lived:
    Berkley, MI
    East Lansing, MI
    Haslett, MI
    Dearborn, MI

    Four TV shows you love to watch:
    Gray’s Anatomy
    Dead Zone
    Kyle XY

    Four websites you visit daily:
    The Daily Meme

    Four of your favorite foods:
    Hot Wings
    Chicken With Pineapple (Chinese)
    Beef With Brocolli (Chinese)

    Four places you’d rather be:
    The Beach
    Costa Rica
    The Moon

    Four albums you can’t live without (for the moment):

    Avril Lavign
    Under My Skin
    Anna Nalick
    Wreck of the Day

    Tori Amos
    Little Earthquakes
    Indigo Girls
    Strange Fire

    I’m stopping at four (2 new & 2 old) but I really couldn’t stick to four…

    Written By: Gary on March 8, 2006 One Comment

    Tori fade to redThis is a little different it’s Tori Amos: Fade to Red a video collection and commentary from the Apple iTunes store. It looks good, I’m not just sure if I want to buy it and it’s not DVD quality. Most of it’s old stuff that I already have on video or DVD. I guess I should check to make sure, it’s possible I already have all of it…

    They have all the other Tori Amos music, videos and they actually have a few live concert “bootlegs” too (Boston, Manchester, London, Denver, LA and Chicago).

    (Later) And now I see that Amazon carries the Tori Amos – Video Collection: Fade to Red DVD. So I guess it’s not as different as I though (although, it did come out less than a month ago). But that’s full screen and it’s a few bucks cheaper too, but I’ll still need to see if I actually need any of the videos.

    Oh, who am I kidding, it’s Tori, I need to have it…

    Written By: Gary on February 19, 2006 2 Comments

    I can’t even imagine winning this much money. 15, 17, 43, 44 and 48, with a Powerball number of 29,It’s the biggest pay-out ever, $363 million was the highest before but that was two winning tickets. According to CNN.com ‘the cash option is $177.8 million, or $124.46 million after taxes. On the installment plan, over 30 years, the first payment would be $6,507,986 after taxes.’

    As long as you you don’t blow it, it seems like you’d be better off taking the $124 million and earn the interest over the 30 years. Not even factoring in the compounding if you could get 5% a year return on $100 million you’d get $6 million a year, that’s pretty much the payment you’d be waiting for (if you did a little better on the interest it’d be a lot more). Over 30 years that’s $150 million more. Even if you didn’t get that interest rate you’d still get significantly more even at 3%.

    What to buy for family and friends:

  • Move all of them into new paid off homes.
  • Same for hybrid cars.
  • New Apple computers and iPods for everyone!
  • TiVo’s galore. (To go with new A/V systems)
  • College educations for the kids (single dorm rooms and new laptops when needed).
  • Big extended family vacations every few years (cruises, exotic locations, the olympics, etc.).
  • Mom would get to quit work.
  • I’d have a few vacation homes: London/Miami/Costa Rica. Or I guess I could just live in one of them.
  • Lots of new stuff at the places I volunteer (or have volunteered). New office stuff (tech), kids stuff and more. We always wanted a hot tub for the 24 hour crisis line in East Lansing…
  • A “LaPointe Computer Wing” for my old school might be nice too.
  • Some games/states put a cap on the prize the seller store can get. With this game it’s normally 1% but it’s a max of $50,000. So a nice kickback for them if there is a limit.
  • Found some foundation/fund for other school and computing scholarships.
  • I’d travel and compute for fun and relax.
  • I’m sure there’s more I haven’t thought of…

    I’d be reasonable in all this stuff, the new homes and cars wouldn’t exceed peoples ability to pay property taxes, insurance, utilities, maintenance and stuff like that (unless it was $300 million, then they wouldn’t have to worry about that…).

    I keep adding to this list but that’s ’cause it’s all they keep talking about it on CNN…

  • Written By: Gary on January 7, 2006 2 Comments

    Four jobs you’ve had in your life:
    Web Programmer
    Computer Trainer
    Camp Counselor

    Four movies you could watch over and over:

    The Flight of the Navigator
    The American President

    The Cutting Edge
    A Christmas Story

    Four places you’ve lived:
    Berkley, MI
    East Lansing, MI
    Haslett, MI
    Dearborn, MI

    Four TV shows you love to watch:
    Gray’s Anatomy
    Two and a half Men
    Veronica Mars

    Four websites you visit daily:
    The Daily Meme

    Four of your favorite foods:
    Hot Wings
    Chicken With Pineapple (Chinese)
    Beef With Brocolli (Chinese)

    Four places you’d rather be:
    Costa Rica
    The Moon

    Four albums you can’t live without (for the moment):

    Avril Lavign
    Under My Skin
    Anna Nalick
    Wreck of the Day

    Tori Amos
    Little Earthquakes
    Indigo Girls
    Strange Fire

    I’m stopping at four (2 new & 2 old) but I really couldn’t stick to four…

    Via Webmiztris via Kimi and Wendy.

    Written By: Gary on December 30, 2005 2 Comments

    So, similar to what I did the other day for the TTLB Ecosystem (a rating system for blogs based on links) I’ve looked at the 10 blogs above me and below me and listed the ones that I liked. Today, I rate 8051 and list has about 45,000 entries. I was curious what was “near” me so I figured you should be curious too…

  • 8042. Bruce Eisner’s Vision Thing
  • 8044. Emergent Voyageurs
  • 8045. The Michael Bane Blog
  • 8046. diary of a london cokehead

  • 8047. the Weary Pilgrim
  • 8049. Doing the right thing
  • 8050. Make My Vote Count
  • 8051. Gary Said…
  • 8052. Patriotic Mom
  • 8053. Neo-Hippie Ramblings – I’m a Non-Conformist Just Like All My Friends
  • 8054. Danny Ayers, Raw Blog
  • 8055. Ambot ah! [ technology news and reviews ]
  • 8057. Elder of Ziyon
  • 8058. Security Awareness for Ma, Pa and the Corporate Clueless
  • 8059. IN CASE OF LOVE…run like hell and never look back!
  • 8060. Polish (Legal) Immigrant Deep in the Melting Pot
  • 8061. InhouseBlog – News for Inhouse Counsel

    My criteria was pretty loose: looked okay, reads semi-okay and has been recently updated. I listed most of them except the one not in English, one that hadn’t updated in a month and one that wasn’t a blog. Like I said, I was just curious. It’s strange I fall right in the middle of a bunch of political or religious blogs. Maybe the blog-o-sphere consists of that high of a percentage of them, but I just don’t read them often(?).

  • Tags: [, ]
    Written By: Gary on July 10, 2005 2 Comments

    I forgot to mention this the other day: After the London bombing I realized that Andi and Neil had moverd over there for the summer so I hopped on over to Finella’s Muse (Andi’s blog) and sure enough she had made a post earlier titled “We are okay!”. What a strange way to check on someone’s safety…

    She’s been posting interesting updates with photos, be sure to scroll down to July 7th and work your way back up…

    The death toll of the bombings seem to have stayed at 49 but there are still 31 people missing. After this amount of time I’d have to unfortunately assume the worst…

    Tags: []
    Written By: Gary on July 7, 2005 No Comment

    In case you’ve been in a cave today here are some headlines.

  • London attacks kill dozens as world leaders meet 
  • London Bombers Hunted
  • Bush orders U.S. vigilance after London blasts

    So just three days after I mention we haven’t have to raise the terror alert level and how happy that’s made me. Here we are…

    These attacks bother me more than they used to. Ever since the 9/11 attacks deaths of larger proportions have bothered me more and more (a lot more). As a child I wasn’t generally bothered by disasters. If a plane crashed I understood it was still safer than driving. If there was some disaster a flood or a hurricane I still knew more people than that probably died in traffic accidents (Google-ing finds me about 40,000 per year); it didn’t make it okay, it just helped me to compartmentalize it. I’ve always understood that the TV sensationalized the disasters and basic things like car crashes were old news and not covered and it’s always annoyed me and helped me to not get to stressed about these things; I knew there was so much more that I wasn’t hearing about.

    But since 9/11 it’s hit me more. It was huge, it was on purpose and it was a lot of lives. I was in some state of shock (or something) for a while (weeks) following it. And then the numbers from the Tsunami last year the numbers kept growing and I couldn’t believe it. I’ve never been a big news watcher or current events, as I’ve said a million times, I hate that it’s just generally bad news. But during the Tsunami they kept listing numbers from other disasters so I saw lots of other numbers, big numbers…

    It’s really depressing, in a End Of The World kind of way. People killing each other in such large numbers and it doesn’t seem to be getting them anywhere. We’re just being mean except for when large number of people die (natural or not) and then we’re all mushy and we all try to help one another. The helping and the bonding of humanity is amazing sometimes but it really needs to last longer and not need a disaster to make everyone be nice.

    I’m sure these numbers will rise. My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone who is affected by these attacks and will be ast these next few days go by.

  • Tags: [, ]
    Written By: Gary on July 4, 2005 No Comment

    So I don’t want to complain too much and this post has mutated into something way different that what I started with. But I’m the devil’s advocate and every time I sung a praise for today and the country I had a “but” pop up. So read on if you want some rambling related to safety, happiness, taking things for granted and the US. Maybe I’m just bitter that it rained and there weren’t any fireworks tonight…

    So I live in the United States of America. We’ve really got it made here (we really do), I can’t complain too much (but I’m going to whine a little). We’ve got so many freedoms everyone takes it for granted. We have so many freedoms we give the benefit of the doubt to the criminals and while many fall through the cracks it’s still a pretty safe place to be.

    I’m extra happy today because I think this is the one of the few holidays since the fall of 2001 where we haven’t been on high alert or if we are everyone is taking it for granted and it is “old news”. I think we take a lot for granted these days and it’s not good. If we take it for granted how can it make us happy?

    I’m not happy with everything the people in charge do but in general they keep it moving along pretty well (and since I don’t do much about it other than vote so I really shouldn’t complain). It’s generally just the bad or stupid stuff that we hear about all the time. The day to day good stuff gets taken for granted so we don’t hear about it so much (if at all). I pay my taxes and follow the rules and just hope they do significantly more good than bad (and generally they do). Some day I’ll do a “If I were in charge” entry.

    But people aren’t happy enough! Many people have been the past few days, lots of picnics and parties and fireworks (I love fireworks). But if we have it so great why aren’t the people happier in general? Is it the “grass is always greener” syndrome? Or the “I want/deserve more” syndrome? or are they all happier than I think (I really have no hard data on this other than I think people should be happier).

    Occasionally I think wouldn’t it be great to live in ____(insert some country here)____. It’s the good stuff I like when I’m there, I assume they have all the other stuff that I take for granted here. It’s like when you look at a different job and you see the extras it has but what you don’t see is the extra hours, parking/traffic is worse, the insurance isn’t good but it still somehow looks better until you get there.

    I know I’m whining and I know I have it great here and we’re celebrating our independence but I wasn’t here when we were “dependent” so I don’t know what it was like before. And I know we weren’t to nice to each other back then for more than a few years after we got independent, so I’m not sure how much it was valued back then and I’m still not sure how it’s valued now…

    So once we colonize Mars, at what point do they decide they want to be independent and free of the tyranny of us telling them what to do? (and declare their own independence day?)

    Although, I still feel that tug to live in some little town off the ocean in Costa Rica or some flat in London not to far from the tube so I can go downtown whenever I want. But I am still here, mostly because I know this country is a great place to live in.

    (This was really not the direction I was going when I started this post. If all you see is me complaining above, read between the lines, these are issues because this is such a great place to live.)

    Written By: Gary on June 11, 2005 2 Comments

    6. You are given the gift of an original oil painting by any famous artist.  What painting would you choose and why?
    Easy. The Kiss by Gustav Klimt
    5. Last week, the Reader’s Choice question asked you to identify your favorite movie line.  Later this month, the American Film Institute will list the 100 Greatest Movie Lines of all time.  Which one do you expect to win?
    “Frankly Scarlett, I don’t give a damn”
    4. You have the ability to snap your fingers and be instantly transported to one of three places whenever you wish to go there.  Which three places would you select as your destinations?
    Costa Rica (probably Jaco, since I like the ocean there), London, England (I always enjoy England) and Berkley, Michigan (most of my extended family lives there) and work (I hate wasting time driving to and from work). Yes I picked four. I’m assuming you can teleport back to your starting point which would be home. If I had this power I’d probably move to one of the locations (probably Costa Rica) and make that home so I’d only need the three other destinations.

    3. What is the most embarrassing question you’ve ever been asked?
    Hmmm… I don’t embarrass easily so nothing comes to mind. Probably when I was younger when someone would ask me if I liked (insert some girl’s name here) and I’d be embarrassed about it. The bonus about embarrassing questions is you have the bonus of asking the same thing back.
    2. Which business do you have the longest continuous relationship with:  your bank, your auto insurance provider, your home telephone provider, your cellular phone provider, or your cable company?  How long have you been with them?
    My bank (credit union), I’ve probably been with them since 1988(?) and I’ve never seen a back with anything even close to the same services to make me consider changing. They are 100 miles away and with the Internet and a toll free number it’s like there right here.
    1. When was the last time you looked your significant other in the eye and told him or her how much they mean to you?
    Not having one right now I can’t really answer this one.

    From Saturday Six.

    Written By: Gary on April 19, 2005 One Comment
    1. Where Do You Visit The Most On Vacation?:
    Probably Florida, the Miami (pardon me, the South Beach area) and Ft. Lauderdale area. Haven’t been there in a while but it’s got sun and good roller blading. I’ve probably been to Florida the most especially counting other locations. I’ve been to Washington D.C. a lot but mostly for work. I’ve been to Chicago and Toronto more than a few times but those are usually quick trips and don’t require much planning. I’ll make Florida be my final answer!
    2. What’s Your Idea Of A Dream Vacation?:

    A town with water and a beach and lots of time to relax (and A/C in the hotel room). Not too much noise, not too much time to wait in a line for anything…
    3. Ever Been To Disney World or Disneyland?:
    Yes. As a kid and again when I was 18 or 19, it’s okay. It’d be more fun if I had my own kids to take.
    4. What Has Been Your Favorite Vacation So Far?:
    My last few vacations have been great London and Costa Rica. What I really liked about them was very little travel, didn’t keep changing hotels and towns and such, just mostly hung out in one spot. I’d probably give Costa Rica the higher rating since there was sun and beach and a lot more relaxing.
    5. Have You Taken A Cruise?:
    Yes, but I was only 15 so I don’t really think I got all the benefits from the trip.

    From Chick Chat.

    Written By: Gary on February 14, 2005 6 Comments

    So I’ve started reading these books Stormbreaker, Point Blank and Skeleton Key.

    Alex Rider, who as all good kid characters happen to be is an orphan, ends up being a junior spy for MI-6 (spy group in London). It’s a kid’s book, so you need a little suspension of disbelief, but it’s really well done. It’s even educational at times (I learned a bit about the breakup of Russia). He even gets some neat spy gizmos to carry around (no guns). The books do build on each other so be sure to read them in order (Stormbreaker is the first). Also to keep in mind is that I think each book has been better than the previous one, so if you only like the first one a little, give the next one a chance. The author’s name is Anthony Horowitz (I just realized I left that out, March 18th, 2005)

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