Friday, October 31, 2008

Urinal Art

Does this urinal made in the likeness of George W. creep you out as much as it does me?



(created by Clark Sorenson)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

So This Is Where They Went

Did you even wonder what happened to all the music videos that you used to be able to watch on MTV? Well the music television station that no longer plays music has finally put them online and luckily for all the old farts like me, the 1980's is well represented.



All that is missing is Nina, JJ, Mark, Martha, and Alan. (All but JJ who died in 2004 can still be found on Sirius by the way)

My Heart Bleeds...Not

First off congratulations to the Philadelphia Phillies for winning the World Series last night against Tampa. That first ever 3 inning continuation win last night was a weird finale to what was otherwise a snoozer of a series.

With that said, a 25 year drought between World Championships for the city (1983 76er's) is no big deal despite what the talking heads over at ESPN keep wanting us to believe this morning with numerous references to that fact. Enough already!

Try being a Cleveland sports fan sometime before giving me your sports sob story. 25 years is a walk in the park for us considering we have to go back to 1964 to find our city celebrating anything. And please don't give me your Chicago Cubs meme. Yes 1908 was a long time ago, but I have 2 words for you, Bulls and Bears.

Again congratulations to Philly fans everywhere and be sure to savor this victory, it is something that for most outside of the Northeast happens very few times in one's lifetime. For those Cleveland fans born after January of 1964, it has never and might never happen.

Just wait until next year...

UPDATE: The Bleacher Report echoes my sentiments perfectly.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Reason Number 99356

Oh that's right, guns don't kill people, people kill people.
An 8-year-old boy died after accidentally shooting himself in the head
while firing an Uzi submachine gun under adult supervision at a gun
fair.

The boy lost control of the weapon while firing it Sunday at the
Machine Gun Shoot and Firearms Expo at the Westfield Sportsman's Club,
police Lt. Lawrence Vallierpratte said.

Smoke In A Can

Being a recently reformed smoker myself (17 months and counting), I can understand the frustration that smokers feel over their ever shrinking number of places to light up. Never fear, a Dutch company might have your back if their drink called Liquid Smoking takes hold.
The tipple, made up of 15% nicotine, will be sold in pubs to help punters beat the smoking ban.

(h/t - Dvorak)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

What Happened To Customer Service?

In a bad economy, I think we can safely say that we are in the midst of one, wouldn't you think the best way to set your business apart would be to provide excellent customer service? I was thinking just that the other day while waiting over 20 minutes for my order at a fast food place in Aberdeen. Eating fast food is bad enough, but considering I was one of only 2 customers in the place at 7 in the evening, should I have to wait 20 minutes to harden my arteries further?

Why is this a big deal? Afterall every business has a bad day. Well the next day at a half full restaurant in Watertown, I waited 15 minutes for a server to make her initial visit to my table, and I am still waiting, months and numerous phone calls later, for the carpenter I hired to install a couple of doors to come back and trim them out. Noticing a trend?

Maybe the one silver lining of this downturn will be weeding out companies that fail to realize that without the customer they would not exist. Based on my experience, it is past time that something like that happens.

Wassup!

Remember those old Budweiser commercials from the late 90's? Here is another version based in todays world with a Barack Obama slant.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Gift For The Joe The Plumber In Your Family

Instructables has instructions for building a gift that no self respecting Joe the Plumber would want to be without. Their "coin slot detector" (translation: butt crack detector) senses when your vertical smile is making an appearance and vibrates to make you aware of it.
this hip pack is creating intelligence for an intimate space on your body to allow it to tell you when it's put into a public sphere. this not only gives you the decision to act on that, but it also raises awareness for a part of your body you're not using to thinking about and sensing with. for low-rise pants wearers worldwide, the coin slot detector adds another accessory to the trend.



For step by step instructions and parts list visit Instructables.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Let It Snow

I don't know if our resident weather gurus over at KELO TV would agree but I think we can officially say that here in Canistota, we have seen our first snowfall of the season.

First Snow

Worst TV Spinoffs

Thanks to Todd's comment for the obvious followup to my 20 worst movie sequels. So with no particular number in mind and in no order of horribleness (is that even a word?), I present my list of the worst TV spinoffs:

The Ropers (1979-1980) - Three's company spinoff without Jack and the girls.
Golden Palace (1992-1993) - Golden Girls minus Bea Arthur
Joni Loves Chachi (1982-1983) - Happy Days minus the "Happy"
Joey (2004) - Friends without any friends.
Booker (1989-1990) - Can a horrible show i.e. 21 Jumpstreet have a spinoff? Apparently so.
Baywatch Nights (1995-1996) - As if Baywatch during the day wasn't bad enough
The Lone Gunman (2001) - Could have been as good as the X-Files except for that whole airplane crashing into the WTC plot in the series premiere that came to life a few months later.
A Different World (1987-1993) - Lisa Bonet couldn't cut it here either.
Archie Bunker's Place (1979-1983) - Archie minus Edith
Flo (1980-1981) - Alice's waitress sidekick Flo "Kissing some grits" on her own.
Enos (1980-1981) - Enos from the Dukes of Hazzard minus Daisy.
The Tortelli's (1987) - Cheer's spinoff minus all the characters except for Eddie
AfterMASH (1983-1984) - A decade of Klinger proved to be plenty.

As always feel free to add your own.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Put Your Music In The Clouds

Cloud computing is the new buzz so I guess the next logical transition in cloud computing would be to put your music library online and Lala seeks to help you do just that.

On the surface Lala appears to be just another Amazon or iTunes by offering DRM free music (okay not exactly like iTunes on the DRM front) but that is where the similarities end. First off searching their 6 million song and growing catalog gives you several options, you can listen for free once, purchase the song for 89 cents, or pay 10 cents to add it to your online library for unlimited streams of the song. If you later decide to buy the song, your 10 cents is put towards purchasing it and it will automatically be added to iTunes folder for later syncing to your iPod.



Also available is the ability to upload your own music to Lala so that you can stream it anywhere you have access to a computer. A simple program download allows you to upload your playlists which unlocks online versions of your songs from the Lala library and any songs not available are uploaded and stored so that you can access and stream them any time you want.

Is it legal? Apparently so as TechCrunch mentions in their post on Lala.
Lala has also done some serious legal wrangling to help you populate your online library. Using the site’s helper application (available on Windows and Mac), Lala can scan your iTunes music library and add every song you already own to your Lala web library, essentially giving you online streaming access to any song you already have on your computer. And best of all: Lala will give you free, unlimited streaming access to every song in your library, even the ones you’ve acquired in ways that weren’t quite legal. Ralston says that the record labels resisted this at first (”why should we give them access to something they stole”), but eventually came to the conclusion that users weren’t going to buy something they’d already downloaded.

Getting past paying 10 cents just for the ability to stream a song might be hard for some (just buy it if you can't), but will 89 cents a song plus access to your current library of tunes be the next big thing or it will it be the next big bust? Would you use it?

Sign Him Up

Apparently the ref from this video of the South Carolina versus LSU game forgot that he was no longer a player.


Who needs pads? This guy shows them how it's done.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The 20 Worst Sequels Of My Lifetime

I was watching Escape From LA a few days ago and it got me thinking about the literally endless number of sequels I have seen that should never have been made. Of course once I started thinking about it I just had to make a list of my top or should I say bottom 20. To make my list the original movie had to be something that I enjoyed so no Grease or Legally Blonde 2's allowed. Here's my list:

20. Batman & Robin - I thought Val Kilmer was the worst Batman. After seeing Clooney's portrayal, I discovered that I was wrong...
19. Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace - Jar Jar Binks, do I need to say more?
18. From Dusk Till Dawn 2 and 3 - The first was a Quentin Tarantino classic gore flick with Clooney and Keitel. The sequels were Tarantino-less and were unwatchable.
17. Karate Kid (all sequels) - There is only so much "wax on, wax off" a guy can take.
16. Porky's 2 Porky's was an adolescent male's Shakespeare. Porky's 2 was so bad no amount of skin could save it.
15. Lost Boys: The Tribe - The original had Kiefer, Jaime Gertz, and an awesome soundtrack. The sequel didn't.
14. Highlander III - Highlander had Sean Connery, Clancy Brown playing an awesome villian, and heads flying everywhere all set to a great Queen soundtrack, II was barely passable, III was just a waste of film.
13. Escape From LA - Escape From New York was a John Carpenter classic. Donald Pleasence, Adrienne Barbeau, Ernest Borgnine, and Isaac Hayes. Escape from LA has so hokey that I am still laughing.
12. Speed II: Cruise Control - Sandra Bullock is only watchable in small quantities, the original was plenty.
11. Basic Instinct II - The original had Sharon Stone. The sequel had Stone 14 years later. Need I say more?
10. Planet Of The Apes 3 to 5 - After the first 2 even the studios knew that it was a waste and proved it by not giving producers enough of a budget to provide makeup to most of the extras.
9. Jaws 3D - We went from classic lines like "We're Gonna Need a Bigger Boat" to some of the worst 3D effects ever filmed.
8. Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd - Dumb & Dumber was a funny retreat from reality and had hottie Lauren Holly to look at. I couldn't get through 5 minutes of this pre-quel.
7. Blues Brothers 2000 - An old Dan Aykroyd and no John Belushi, enough said.
6. Weekend at Bernies 2 - The first was a funny and original concept. The second wasn't either.
5. Rocky 3 through 5 - Rocky should have retired after finally defeating Apollo Creed.
4. The Matrix 2 and 3 - The original was so good I was able to overlook the horrible acting abilities of Keanu Reeves. The following 2 Matrix movies weren't.
3. Smokey and the Bandit III - No Bert, no Sally and no story.
2. The Godfather III - Francis Ford Coppola's first 2 Godfather's were all time greats. I guess he wanted an all time worst to go along with it. He succeeded.
1. Caddyshack II - So bad it almost ruined the reputation of the original and considering Caddyshack is one of the best comedies of all time, that is saying something.

I am sure I forgot some so lay them on me. What are your worst sequels?

Friday, October 17, 2008

A Model Employer?

Tesla RoadsterTesla motors has earned the reputation as a leader in electric car technology. In fact their roadster has gained quite of bit of press including a spot on a recent 60 minutes. Unfortunately they haven't figured out yet how to make any money and along those lines, it also appears they haven't quite mastered that whole employee relations thing yet either.

Laying off employees is just part of running a business so when Tesla announced they were laying off a majority of their Detroit staff, you might not think too much of it. That is except that they did it by blog post!
In a sign of what this new Financiapocalypse might bring, employees in the Metro Detroit branch of electric car maker Tesla Motors were laid off via a blog post. Yesterday, we reported that Tesla would be cutting back and reorganizing, which included shutting down the office in Rochester Hills, near Detroit. Unfortunately, no one told the employees in Rochester Hills. Some of them logged on to find that they were now, according to their own website, obsolete.

And if you think the 10% of the Detroit workforce that remain are happy they still have a job, to keep that job they will have to relocate from Detroit to San Jose on their own dime...Pretty classy of them wasn't it?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Talking Points At Work

Al Jazeera interviews some idiots in my old home state of Ohio at a Sarah Palin rally.



More proof that stupid folks shouldn't breed.

3 Weeks Before The Election?

I know it is an uphill battle having to fight the money and power of our lone Congressional Representative Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, but don't you think opening a campaign office in South Dakota's largest city 3 weeks prior to the election is just a bit late in the game? This came to me via a tweet from Chris Lien this morning:
Hey everybody! With only 21 days to go until Election Day, we have a great way to keep building the momentum for this campaign! We're going to hold a ribbon-cutting for our Sioux Falls office tomorrow (Thursday) from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and we want YOU to be there. Our office is located on the northwest corner of 8th Street and Minnesota Avenue (201 N. Minnesota Ave., Sioux Falls, SD).

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Mars Attacks!

So what happened to all the aliens that were supposed to arrive yesterday?
WORRIED bookmakers have stopped taking bets on aliens showing up on Earth.

It follows a flurry of bets amid internet buzz that a massive intergalactic spaceship will appear tomorrow [i.e. Tuesday].

Videos and messages on YouTube, blogs and UFO websites are buzzing with predictions that a vessel from the alien Federation Of Light will be visible in our skies for three days.

Proof that nutcases are not confined to the United States. Watch Blossom Goodchild describe her vision that foretold of the alien visitation that was supposed to occur over our Southern skies October 14th:


(h/t - Dvorak)

Is Your Spam Volume Down?...Mine Either

It is said that spam makes up 90% of all email on the internet. So the news that authorities took down one of the largest spam rings in the world made me think that the numbers of junk mail I get daily would drop drastically.

Wrong.

Who would have thought that one of the largest spammers in the world accounts for only .7% of all spam sent.
In a victory that ought to lower your daily intake of unsolicited emails by 0.7%, U.S. authorities have shut down one of the largest spam rings in the world. The group was known amongst spam fighters as HerbalKing, and, at one point, delivered up to one-third of all spam on the Internet. The global reach of its networks gives you a taste of just how hard it is to find and prosecute these guys.

The two alleged organizers hail from different sides of the planet—one a New Zealander living in Australia, and the other an American living in Texas. Servers in China hosted websites that emails would link to. Operatives in Cyprus and Georgia would process credit card information, and drugs—including Zoloft and Lipitor—would be shipped from India.

Well knock me over with a feather...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

5 Websites You Probably Shouldn't Start From South Dakota

While I am not originally from South Dakota, the 11 years I have lived here plus the 6 years I have run websites has taught me a few things about running a web site from our fine state. With that said there are a few topics for sites that one probably shouldn't start while living here.

1. Celebrity Gossip Site - Other than Sturgis Rally week, stalking out Sioux Falls or Rapid City Regional airports for celebrity pics would probably get quite boring.

2. Tech Blog - Kind of hard to write about cool gadgets when most aren't even available here.

3. Traffic Site - Traffic? Other than 41st and Louise, what is traffic?

4. Sports Blog - Somehow I think the Skyforce and Canaries have limited appeal outside of the Sioux Falls/Tea/Harrisburg "metroplex".

5. Gun Control Advocacy Site - Did I say this was South Dakota?

Of course there are exceptions to every rule but this would be a good list to start with.

Any others?

Free The Grapes

I've been a fan of the website woot! for quite awhile. The draw of that site is their one day one deal format that often has cool little gadgets at unbeatable prices. I just got an 8gb thumb drive for like $19 bucks and last year I got my 80gb Zune (refurb) from them for $99 bucks.


Recently I discovered that not only does woot! do gadgets, they also do wine. Being someone that enjoys a good glass of wine from time to time that doesn't consist of one of the many varieties of Mad Dog 20/20 I thought I would check them out.


That same day they had a deal on a port 4 pack that I really wanted to order but when reading the fine print I discovered that like most cool ideas, being in South Dakota meant I was out of luck.


Apparently at one time or another the wine wholesalers had their hooks into South Dakota politics and had made us one of the 23 states that do not allow wine shipments from out of state wineries or retailers. The list of states they can ship to is below:



  • California

  • Colorado

  • Connecticut

  • District Of Columbia

  • Florida

  • Idaho

  • Illinois

  • Iowa

  • Louisiana

  • Michigan

  • Minnesota

  • Missouri

  • Nebraska

  • Nevada

  • New Mexico

  • New York

  • North Carolina

  • North Dakota

  • Ohio

  • Oregon

  • South Carolina

  • Texas

  • Vermont

  • Virginia

  • Washington

  • West Virginia

  • Wisconsin

  • Wyoming


You might have noticed that we are surrounded by states that all allow wine shipments but as usual South Dakota is left out. Anyone noticing a trend?


Anyhow, if you would like to change this, a group of individuals, wineries and retailers have started a coalition called Free The Grapes that seeks to lobby states that still prohibit wine shipments from out of state sellers. They have a newsletter that keeps you informed of their progress and also allow you to send messages to your elected officials letting them know you want this changed.


District 25's Arnie Hauge has been sent my letter, please consider sending one to your rep.

Monday, October 13, 2008

It's Official...We're Screwed

How do you know that we as a country are officially broke? I would say having to upgrade our national debt counter because there are not enough digits would be a good start.



And what's worse, the folks that are in charge of the sign are so sure things will not be getting any better that they will be upgrading it in the near future so that it can display numbers in the quadrillions. That would be 15 zeros for the mathematically challenged, you know like those in our government...

(via CNN)

The Next Best Thing, Not!

HTC G1Okay so yesterday I ragged (again!) on Apple and AT&T for the fact that the most popular cell phone on the planet isn't offered to those of us in the great state of South Dakota. So with that in mind what is a gadget freak in South Dakota supposed to do?

If you are like me, you look at latest so-called "iPhone killing" cell phone coming out with Google's new operating system, Android, loaded on HTC's new G1.

That soon to be released unit is surely generating lots of favorable buzz and in fact T-Mobile has already pre-sold 1.5 million of them. So not wanting to be left out, I decided to throw my name on the 1.5 million name waiting list and went to the G1's exclusive partner T-Mobile's site to do just that. Low and behold this is what I found:



At least the weather is....oh that's right it is South Dakota.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The End Of Politics As I Know It

If you are reading this from your favorite feed reader you might have noticed that you were brought to a different site than you expected. Why?

Well after over 2 years of blogging on politics I have come to the realization that my heart is no longer in it. I thought that writing about the hypocrisy displayed by our elected officials would somehow be therapeutic when in fact it had the opposite effect. Reading the hate, the lies, and the spin that both parties try to pass off as policy has finally turned me off to the process altogether.

With that said, my Politics and Hypocrisy blog will slowly fade into obscurity (Ok it was always there) and instead I will try to get back into blogging about whatever I find interesting at the moment. That will still include politics from time to time but I will now focus on other items as well. I hope the few loyal readers I had will continue to stop by from time to time but if not I want to thank you for making it this far with me.

Finally, I will be shutting down my old RSS feed shortly so if you would still like to follow my rants I would ask that you update your reader with my new feed address of http://feeds.feedburner.com/BobSchwartzOnline. Also if you have an interest in blogging and social media you might want to consider my other blog that delves into those subjects and is a feature of my main blog directory.

Again thanks for your readership and I hope to see you back here soon.

iPhone Coming To Walmart?

Rumor has it that Apple is looking to add more distribution points for their popular iPhone. With that in mind, the world's biggest retailer Walmart could be in line to start selling the phone.

Currently you can get the iPhone at one of the 1200 or so AT&T stores and the 200 or so Apple stores and adding Walmart would put 3500+ US locations into the mix as well. Of course for those of us in South Dakota, there are exactly 0 AT&T stores and 0 Apple stores so if true, putting the iPhone in Walmarts would mean that there would actually be 10 or so stores (one more if you count Best Buy's which now carry the phone) actually in the state that couldn't sell us the phone because AT&T doesn't feel we should are worth providing service to. Thanks again AT&T and Mr. Jobs...

Friday, October 10, 2008

Who You Gonna Call?



Got someone on your gift list that has everything? How about getting them a piece of movie history with the Ecto1 from Universal Studio's Ghostbusters Experience. It is currently for sale on eBay and according to the description, runs great and is signed by Ernie Hudson from the Ghostbuster films.

It has a reserve somewhere North of $40 grand and ends tomorrow so if you haven't lost all your savings in the stock market, this might be a safer investment.

I'm Innocent

Sarah Palin says she is innocent of any wrong doing in regards to the Troopergate scandal in her home state of Alaska and to prove it she just release her own campaign staff generated report that says so.
In an effort to head off the report, McCain campaign spokesman Taylor Griffin released the campaign's own version of events. That report, which Griffin said was written by campaign staffers, says the Legislature has taken a legitimate policy dispute between a governor and one of her commissioners, and portrayed it as something inappropriate.

Karl Rove must be proud.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Product Marketing

I have a running dialog with my wife regarding television commercials. There are some that are so ridiculously stupid or make absolutely no sense that when I see them I turn to her and say "make sure that we don't purchase that".

If you want my money you'd better impress me, make me laugh, or at least don't treat me like an idiot. Here is one that does all three quite well though I doubt we would see it here in the states...

Palin Email Password Guesser Indicted

The 20 year old son of a Tennessee state representative was indicted yesterday for hacking Sarah Palin's government personal Yahoo account.
David C. Kernell, 20, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Knoxville, Tenn., for intentionally accessing without authorization the e-mail account of Alaska governor Sarah Palin, Acting Assistant Attorney General Matthew Friedrich of the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney James R. Dedrick for the Eastern District of Tennessee announced today. Kernell turned himself into federal authorities for arrest and will be arraigned today before U.S. Magistrate Judge C. Clifford Shirley.

The single count indictment, returned on Oct. 7, 2008, and unsealed today, alleges that on approximately Sept. 16, 2008, Kernell, a resident of Knoxville, obtained unauthorized access to Gov. Palin’s personal e-mail account by allegedly resetting the account password. According to the indictment, after answering a series of security questions that allowed him to reset the password and gain access to the e-mail account, Kernell allegedly read the contents of the account and made screenshots of the e-mail directory, e-mail content and other personal information. According to the indictment, Kernell posted screenshots of the e-mails and other personal information to a public Web site. Kernell also allegedly posted the new e-mail account password that he had created, thus providing access to the account by others.

If convicted of the charge, the defendant faces a maximum of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine and a three year term of supervised release. A trial date has not been set.

Your Tax Dollars At Work

Fresh off being taken to the woodshed during a Congressional hearing for throwing a huge shindig, AIG, recipients of $85 billion of your money, plans their next get together on our dime.
American International Group Inc., castigated by the White House, Congress and Barack Obama for hosting a $440,000 conference days after an $85 billion federal bailout, plans to hold another gathering for brokers next week.

The event, at the Ritz-Carlton in California's Half Moon Bay, aims to ``motivate and educate'' about 150 independent agents who sell AIG coverage to high-end clients, said spokesman Nicholas Ashooh.

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino today called ``despicable'' expenses from the first gathering, a weeklong conference last month at the St. Regis Resort in Monarch Beach. Those costs included $23,000 for spa services, according to Representative Henry Waxman, chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Who's Your Buddy?

It's getting harder and harder to figure out what the candidates think should be the direction of our country lately. We're in the midst of a financial meltdown, the likes of which most haven't experience in their lifetime and all that anyone seems to care about is who has been hanging out with whom.


Obama and his buddy William Ayers, McCain and his buddy Charles Keating and Palin and her secessionist buddy Joe Vogler. So what's going on with Joe Biden, is he anti-social or something?

More To Come?

Now that the spineless Democrats have caved and allowed big oil to drill on more offshore sites I thought that I would point out another example of what we have to look forward to.
Hurricane Ike's winds and massive waves destroyed oil platforms, tossed storage tanks and punctured pipelines. The environmental damage only now is becoming apparent: At least a half million gallons of crude oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico and the marshes, bayous and bays of Louisiana and Texas, according to an analysis of federal data by The Associated Press.

And let's not forget Katrina which had it's own environmental issues despite what many big oil surrogates have claimed.
In May 2006, the U.S. Minerals Management Service (MMS) published their offshore damage assessment: “113 platforms totally destroyed, and 457 pipelines damaged, 101 of those major lines with 10 inches or larger diameter.”In all, the two hurricanes caused 124 offshore spills for a total of 743,700 gallons, including six spills of 42,000 gallons or greater.

So feel free to enjoy the few pennies in savings we will soon be seeing (like 10 years from now)...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Am I Missing Something?

Governor Rounds has announced his latest pardons and one in particular caught my eye:
Gary Sapulding was sentenced in Fall River County on Oct. 18, 1985 to eight years in prison for sexual contact with a minor younger than 16.

I am not familiar with the circumstances behind this case but is there a reason he is pardoning sexual predators?

Annoy Your Teen And Feel Better While Doing It

As the father of 2 soon to be teenagers, I know how much they hate having restrictions placed on them. So when Ford announced their latest in remote "babysitting" technology, I can see the heads of Ford family teenagers exploding everywhere.

Starting in 2010, Ford will be offering what they call their "Any Key" option that will allow parents to control certain features of the car using a computer chip embedded in the key. While putting chips in keys has been around for awhile for security reasons, Ford's chip will do a bit more all controlled by the parents including:

  • Alert every 6 seconds that the driver’s safety belt is unbuckled

  • Limit top speed to 80 miles per hour

  • Set off speed warning alerts at 45, 55 or 65 miles per hour

  • Limit stereo volume to 44% of maximum

  • Traction control cannot be disabled

  • Optional blind spot detection cannot be disabled

  • Earlier low-fuel warning


As you can imagine, teenagers might have issues with some of these restrictions but for parents already on pins and needles each time their kid takes the car it could give them a little piece of mind.

Ford plans on offering this feature as standard equipment on the Focus and initially as an option on other models with it moving to a standard feature down the line. Now if we could only do something with South Dakota's ridiculously low minimum driving age of 14...

McCain Mishaps

I wrote extensively last month about John McCain's less than stellar flying record in the Navy which included 2 non-combat related crashes and one near crash. The L.A. Times delves a bit deeper into a couple these mishaps and fills in some of the blanks as to the causes.

In 1960 he crashed into Corpus Christi Bay claiming his engine quit.
But an investigation board at the Naval Aviation Safety Center found no evidence of engine failure.

The 23-year-old junior lieutenant wasn't paying attention and erred in using "a power setting too low to maintain level flight in a turn," investigators concluded.

In 1961 McCain's plane hit power lines in Spain causing a blackout.
In his most serious lapse, McCain was "clowning" around in a Skyraider over southern Spain about December 1961 and flew into electrical wires, causing a blackout, according to McCain's own account as well as those of naval officers and enlistees aboard the carrier Intrepid.

Nowadays the Navy wouldn't allow someone with his questionable judgment to fly a multi-million dollar aircraft so I guess it's only fitting that he could be running the country come January.

What's Wrong With This Picture

While McCain ramps up his campaign of smears towards Obama, yesterday in New Mexico, our markets tumble. There is no better example of that than the picture below which shows the market ticker while McCain continues his hitting on the tenuous Ayers/Obama association.



Why would one example of this be a big deal? Well if you listen to the McCain campaign, they had decided to abandon talking about the economy altogether because they feel they can't compete on the issue with Obama. Apparently they have realized that all they have left is to try and smear their way into the White House.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Dow Taking A Dump

As of 1:50 PM CST the Dow is down over 700, my 401K is down 26.7% for the year and now word is spreading that the affected banks might not even want government help because of the restrictions.
Fears are mounting that many Wall Street banks and financial firms will refuse to participate in the US government's $700bn bail-out package, leaving global markets and world economies in a perilous state for months to come.

'There is a growing feeling that banks ... might instead decide to tough it out,' said Thomas Caldwell, chairman and CEO of Caldwell Financial, a $1bn-plus fund manager. [...]

But Wall Street analysts, believe the addition of so many terms to the bill might deter potential participants.
And what's the hold up?
One of the least attractive elements is a section designed to curb executive pay at banks that participate in the bail-out package. These include limiting stock-related pay and banning 'golden parachutes' for executives.
We wanted to help these companies why again?

How Do You Know When You Have Too Much Money?

Being able to close Disneyland for your birthday party would be a good start.
Miley Cyrus' 16th birthday party was more boisterous than sweet. Cyrus celebrated the hallmark birthday at an over-the-top Disneyland celebration Sunday _ even though she doesn't actually turn 16 until Nov. 23. The theme park was closed for the supersized soiree, which included a four-song performance by the teen queen and a fireworks display above Sleeping Beauty Castle and 16 giant inflatable candles.
Of course I guess it helps that you are Disney's hottest property.

No Longer An Excuse?

After approving $700 billion to bailout big banks for their poor business practices (did you see 60 Minutes last night?), has our government effectively taken away the excuse that we cannot afford something? We don't seem too worried about going so far into debt that our children will still be paying it off so why not go all the way and make sure they have heath care while they are standing in line at the soup kitchens?

What else can we now get that we have always wanted but couldn't afford? Paying for it shouldn't be a problem, we can just print more. Just wondering....

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Where's Tim?

While the major theme of Senate challenger Joel Dykstra's campaign has been focused on Tim Johnson avoiding debates with him, I must admit that another issue that Dykstra touched on in his latest ad has kind of made me think.

Much has been made by some, including recently Dykstra, of Tim Johnson being on the Senate Banking committee and voting against a bill in 2005 that would have placed tighter restrictions on the banking industry. While that may or may not have had much to do with our current crisis, his absence on local TV to discuss the issue is more concerning to me. Throughout the mortgage meltdown and the subsequent bailout votes by the House and Senate, our other Congressional leaders Stephanie Herseth Sandlin and John Thune have been quite visible discussing the issue as well as explaining why they voted the way they did.

Tim Johnson on the other hand has been physically invisible on the issue (at least in the stories I have seen, please correct me if I missed something) instead choosing to continue with his press release campaign that while trying to explain his position, just seems sterile and impersonal.

Am I asking too much by thinking Johnson should be speaking to me directly (via news interviews) on important issues? Maybe so but when I am getting ready to be bent over and take on another $1 trillion in debt, I would like a little verbal foreplay first no matter which way you are voting.

Update: Tim has been found. Thanks to commenter Mary for the links to the Johnson interviews

New Comment System

After some research I have decided to upgrade the Wordpress built in comment system with an outside option called Disqus that seems to have quite a bit more functionality as well as options for me and the commenter.

For the commenter, you can:
- track and edit all your comments across all sites using Disqus (are you listening South Dakota blogosphere?)
- Reply to comments via email and cell phone
- Earn reputation with built in reputation system that stays with you on every site using Disqus (30,000 sites and growing)
- Start your own comment blog that collects and shows off your commenting prowess

For me Disqus promises:
- Threaded comments
- Comment ratings
- Strong comment spam and troll filters
- Email and phone moderation

Installation on Wordpress was a breeze requiring only the installation of a standard plugin and they also have support for most other blogging platforms including Blogger and Typepad. Finally you can easily import all your old comments so upgrading didn't result in losing anything.

I'm going to put it through it's paces for awhile so feel free to let me know what you think.

Famous Person?



How effective is this ad with a quote attributed to the generic "famous person"? Sort of like me placing an ad saying I am a great lover attributed to "famous sexy lady".

In this case though there appears to be a story behind the blind quote.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Big Bucking Deer

Not being a hunter myself, seeing a big buck within Sioux Falls city limits just congers up thoughts of huge bodywork bills but hunters throughout eastern South Dakota are probably salivating thinking about getting their chance at this fellow.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Tina Fey Move Over

Ok, this Sarah Palin look alike thing has gone too far. Tina Fey on SNL, Larry Flint's worldwide search for a Palin porn look alike and now this.

Bizzaro World

What has the world come to when South Dakota's 2 national Democrats vote like fiscal conservatives while our lone Republican votes for a pork laden Wall Street bailout bill? Stephanie Herseth Sandlin today joined fellow Democrat Tim Johnson, who vote nay a few days ago, when she was one of 171 that voted against the bailout. John Thune, our lone Republican voted for passage....

Google Boycott

Google is the latest company to be in the crosshairs of the homophobic Campaign for Children and Families. They have called for the boycott in response to Google coming out in opposition to California's Proposition 8 which would ban gay marriage.

Google now joins the likes of Levi's, AT&T, McDonalds, and Disney as targets of various homophobic groups which has me wondering how long it will be before the followers of these groups will have no where left to go when they need "gay-free" goods and services.

But I guess in the grand scheme of homophobia, boycotting Google probably won't mean much will it? Do homophobes really need or even use Google to search WorldNetDaily and OneNewsNow?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

House Tweets

It looks like the Committee on House Administration has made it ok for House members to do what many had been doing already anyways, use outside websites like Twitter and YouTube to communicate with constituents.
*FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE* Thursday, October 2, 2008   *FOR MORE INFORMATION,
Contact * Salley Collins, Press Secretary
(202) 225-8281 E-mail: salley.coll...@mail.house.gov
*Press Release:** * * * *Committee Adopts New Web Regulations * * *
*Committee on House Administration Adopts Proposal Permitting Members to Utilize * *Outside Websites to Communicate with Constituents * * * *WASHINGTON – *The Committee on House Administration adopted new web regulations that will permit Members to use outside websites like YouTube to communicate with constituents.  The new regulations, which are based upon a proposal presented in June by GOP Members of the Committee, represent a vital step to providing new, uncensored channels of communication between Members of Congress and their constituents.  The new web regulations, which were adopted via Committee poll, permit Members to post content on outside websites so long as the content is for "official purposes," and not personal, commercial or campaign related.  Ranking Republican Vern Ehlers, R-Mich., applauded Committee Chairman Robert Brady, D-Pa., for his leadership and ability to achieve policy agreements in a nonpartisan fashion. "Mr. Brady recognized the need to allow enhanced constituent communication, and demonstrated outstanding leadership that enabled this Committee to adopt a long-overdue change," Ehlers stated.  "It is imperative that Members have the ability to use whichever web services they feel will best inform their constituents about the important issues facing this country." * * For more information, please contact the Committee press office at (202) 225-8281. * *

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Suggestion To MLB

I have a suggestion for the suits in charge of MLB TV contracts. When the next TV deal comes up please stipulate that if TBS is to bid on a playoff package they must promise not to show commercials for Frank TV. We are almost an hour into the 2nd game of the playoffs and I have already seen more of those stupid ads than any human should have to tolerate.

Last year was horrible with the ads every half inning but I had a vested interest as the Indians were involved. This year I will just change the channel and wait for Sportscenter. Enough with the freakin' Frank TV ads already!

Lowering Expectations?

The right is worried. After the face to face debacle that was Sarah Palin's interview with Katie Couric, the VP debate tomorrow against Joe Biden could make or break the McCain campaign. Several Conservative pundits have already questioned the Palin choice and a poor performance could open the floodgates.

So in a preemptive strike against what could be another Palin deer in the headlight moment, some are already questioning the choice for the debate moderator, Gwen Ifill, whom has a book hitting store shelves soon about the Obamasiah.
Responding to questions about PBS anchor/VP debate moderator/”Age of Obama”-proclaiming author Gwen Ifill’s conflicts of interest, a PBS spokeswoman huffed: “The book has been a known factor for months, so I’m not sure what the big deal is.”

It wasn’t a “known factor” to the McCain campaign. And it’s highly doubtful the American public would have been fully informed about Ifill’s Inauguration Day-timed Obama book before Thursday by PBS or Ifill or the Presidential Debate Commission.

So there you have it, if Palin tanks the right can blame Ifill, if she does well they can further add to the myth that is Palin by saying she overcame a partisan moderator. Either way, with such low expectations and barring a total collapse, Palin supporters are all but assured of an outcome in which they can claim victory.