Lovey was never like this

Holy crap — what an incredible bitch this “millionaire” Donna Beavens is on “The Real Gilligan’s Island.”
In the first segment of the show, she made comments about the sheet on her bed, saying that she could use it if she wanted to “do something” in bed with her husband. She’s sharing a hut with another couple, by the way.
But when the gay “professor” simply showed off a picture of his partner — not even making any comments of a sexual or purient nature — her response was:
“I don’t understand why gay people feel like we all have to know ‘I have sex with a guy!’ I mean, what’s the whoopdedoo? I don’t have to know who you’re having your sex with or what position or what way.”
Funny, she didn’t mind telling the other millionaire couple who she was having sex with at the beginning of the show.
I find that most bigots are big hypocrites, don’t you?

Meanwhile, when one team’s Skipper collapsed and had to be removed from the island for medical attention, Donna started making noises that she, too, almost collapsed; she constantly crowed about how she had earned her perk for the day by swimming in the first competition; she insists that she is a millionaire because of the way she was brought up (she must have been brought up to marry a successful guy then bitch, moan, and alienate everyone she met… by the way, she and her husband are worth less than $3 million… hardly close to Thurston and Lovey, and without any of their charm and kindness).

We’ll tell you the title of this entry after the commercial

Yeah, yeah — we all know that there is no more journalism and what used to be called “news” is now merely entertainment, but I’m still bugged by it. a little while ago, I heard this: “Coming up on WTOP, more information about the resignation of a top administration official.”
Would it have been so difficult to say “more information about the resignation of Tom Ridge”? I mean, wouldn’t people have stayed tuned in through the commercial anyway?

Don we now our gay apparel

Every year, I intend to decorate g-world for the holidays — I even have partially finished bits and pieces laying around on discs — but I never seem to have the time. Couple that with a complete g-world overhaul that has been in the works for, oh, more than a year and you’ll see that I just don’t always get around things.
But the wonderful world of CSS and PHP means that I can quite easily do a bit of decorating here on the blog, and that’s just what I’ve done. It took no time at all! Heck, I might spruce up the place for every holiday! It’s so much easier than getting boxes down from the attic and untangling lights.

I smell a lawsuit

Intellectual property: what a term! It’s sometimes hard to prove that you imagined something before someone else did, although examples such as this appear to be clear cut.
This is the cover of the October issue of Social Education, one of the magazines that I design and produce. I designed this cover to illustrate an article from the National Archives on campaign memorabilia.
Then, last week in Baltimore, I picked up an educational catalog from one of the exhibitors at our national teacher’s conference. Compare this catalog cover with my cover, and tell me if their designer should have been a little more… “independently creative”.
I guess imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?

Morbid

This morning, as I rounded a curve on Beach Drive, I was momentarily stunned to find a huge SUV in my lane and barreling toward me. The woman swerved back into her lane at what seemed like the last possible moment.
It didn’t take long for me to start imagining the various outcomes of that event. I tend to do this sometimes, imagine what the many possibilities are of a certain action or event… you’d think I’d be good at chess, but since I almost never choose the right path despite my forethought, I’m just not good at that kind of strategerizing.
Anyway, I began to imagine things. How bad my injuries would have been and how long I’d be in the hospital. I’ll be going up to Philly to see B on Thursday, who would call him and tell him I wouldn’t be there? How much would my medical bills be, and how much would my insurance cover? Who would take care of Diego and the cats? I can only assume my car would have been totalled; since it’s so difficult to get a Prius these days, how long would I have to wait for a replacement? What would I drive in the meantime? Would that woman’s insurance pay the entire replacement cost of my car, especially considering that it’s in many ways worth more than I paid for it now? Would it hurt when the SUV scraped off the driver’s side of my car, or would I be so shocked I wouldn’t notice it for a while? What would happen to my Powerbook, in the bag on the passenger side? Should I have backed up it’s data before I got into the car? There’s scant cell phone coverage in Rock Creek Park, how long would it be before someone called the police? If both my legs were broken, could I still manage to get upstairs in my house? And is my bed too high for someone with broken legs to get into? If I was brain damaged, would I want the machines turned off? Do my parents automatically get to make this decision, or do I have to have some written instructions or a power of attorney?

I think all these questions went through my head in a matter of moments, after the woman was well past me and crossing the center line farther down the road. A lot of the questions were a little, well, dramatic and silly; but I began to wonder about the tapestry of life and where my small thread was woven in. Strangely, there are some people that — well, “depend” is a strong word, but they rely on me to do things… maintain websites, design magazines, collect their mail, feed their cats, stuff like that. I didn’t really contemplate being killed this morning, just injured; but it does make me wonder what might happen if I was not here at my desk to decipher my files and the piles around me; if someone had to figure out just what I do everyday it might be a difficult task.

Blue Consumerism

Mac points us to a site that lists corporate political donations. Choose the Blue lets you better decide which companies will get your business.
Let’s see how the companies that I use end up sending my money:
Companies that support Red candidates over Blue

  • Cingular Wireless
  • State Farm Insurance
  • BP (Amoco)
  • Bravo (Strange — aren’t they the defacto gay channel now?)
  • Wal-Mart
  • Target
  • S C Johnson and Sons
  • Procter & Gamble
  • 3M
  • PepsiCo
  • Coca Cola
  • Hormel Foods (And here I had them in the good category because of their openly gay heir. Turns out Hormel gave 100% to reds)
  • General Mills
  • General Electric
  • Circuit City
  • Home Depot
  • J C Penney
  • Sears
  • Staples
  • Navy Federal Credit Union (Well, I’ve had my account there for 38 years and I’m not about to try to memorize another PIN number now.)
  • American Express
  • McDonald’s
  • Wendy’s
  • Outback Steak House
  • Pizza Hut
  • Dominion Virginia Power
  • Southwest Airlines
  • UPS
  • FedEx

Companies that support Blue over Red

  • Dish Network
  • Toyota
  • Shell Oil
  • Sony
  • 20th Century Fox (how odd! A Fox company!)
  • DirecTV (Again, a Fox company.)
  • Fox News (Huh?)
  • All the Fox networks (This is truly bizarre. I guess they don’t need to donate more to Republicans, they’re spreading their propaganda for free.)
  • Martha Stewart Living (gave ZERO to Republicans, and look what happened to her)
  • The Golden Girls (Witt Thomas Productions, another 100% blue contributor… surprised?)
  • Costco
  • Guiness
  • Sara Lee (Nobody doesn’t like Sara Lee!)
  • Bed Bath and Beyond
  • Gap
  • Barnes & Noble
  • Hyatt Hotels

I think it’s time to rethink my consumer decisions.

I’ll take a green one

Speaking of people who have all the good jobs — are they the ones being targeted by luxury car manufacturers with their really annoying commercials at Christmas?
Is anyone other than me really pissy about the ridiculous ads showing rich white couples giving each other BMWs and Lexuses (Lexii?) with big red bows?
Do you know anyone who has bought a luxury car for someone at Christmas?
With so many people out of work, people going hungry and without shelter… it kind of makes me a little sick to see such incredibly ostentatious stuff like this. I mean, I feel a bit guilty about buying a new mobile phone, but it was $60,501 cheaper than a BMW.

Assessments

Here’s another thing I don’t quite understand.
My house was built in 1983. It was initially purchased for $103,000.
15 years later, it had increased in value by $28,000.
In the last year, between 2003 and 2004, it increased in value by $61,000. In one year, it’s value increased by more than double the amount it increased in FIFTEEN years. It’s now worth $128,000 more than it was when I bought it in 1998.
Yeah, this is a financial windfall for me. But I have to ask: is this sort of thing good for the economy? Is this another bubble that’s going to burst and leave us all with mortgages that are for more than the worth of the house?
And this incredible rise in housing prices is making it more and more difficult for people to afford a home, even with a job. Where are people getting the money to move into million dollar houses, and why don’t I have a job like that?

Ah, the thoughts that whiz through your mind when you’re looking at your real estate assessment.

Podding 4 You

Well, here’s a new use for the iPod, seen on tonight’s news:

image

Interesting. I wonder why a journalist decided to use the iPod to capture audio? The quality can’t be that good; is he going to download it to his laptop and send it off via EDGE or something?
Coming up next: an iPod with a station logo painted on it.

Connectivity

Well, I scoured the web this weekend searching for hints and tips for the Motorola V3 Razr and Cingular. There seemed to be a lot, but I couldn’t get the vast majority of them to work. But finally, I found a generous soul who documented the steps needed to send and receive email on my phone. The steps listed here are actually for the Motorola V600, but it works on the V3 as well.
I tried many times to get this working with no results, and then discovered the problem: the information needs to be input using the letter case shown here — some items need to be ALL CAPS or it won’t work.
So, here’s how to get email on your Motorola phone on Cingular Wireless (Orange network):

Bring up the “Messages” menu on your cellphone.

Press the “Menu” button to enter “Msg Center Menu”.

Select “Email Msg Setup”.

Change the “ISP Settings” to this [in ALL CAPS]:

Connection Type: GPRS
APN Address: WAP.CINGULAR
Username: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Password: CINGULAR1
DNS IP: 66.209.10.201

Fill out the rest of the “Email Msg Setup” form as you would for any email program, with your POP and SMTP server information. If you can’t use your own SMTP server through the phone (like mine, which prevents spoofing by limiting to one IP address), you can use “photo.mycingular.com”.

Good news, everyone! As if in answer to my connectivity woes, Palm today posted an update to the PhoneLink software in it’s handhelds. It now supports the Motorola phones (not the V3 specifically, but the V600 scripts all seem to work with the V3)! You can use the Generic GSM phone profile and it seems to work fine — but it won’t let you set up PhoneLink using that profile, so switch to the V600 profile first. Once you’ve set up PhoneLink, go back to prefs and change your phone to generic GSM.
I can now connect up with the V3 but I haven’t successfully connected to the net yet. You can download the software update here.

Update: After a few days, I finally managed to amass enough info to get the network connection between my Palm Tungsten T3 and the phone. The major problem is that the phone link software just released for the T3 doesn’t have the correct settings for Cingular’s GPRS — it doesn’t seem to know to connect to WAP.CINGULAR.
Here’s how to fix it (in the extended entry).

Go ahead and run the PhoneLink app on your Palm and set up the phone and network connections. Once that’s done, make these changes — they’re CASE sensitive.
Go to Prefs, and choose Network. Change the username and password to:
Username: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Password: CINGULAR1

At the bottom of that screen, tap “Details.” Settings should be:
Connection Type: PPP
Idle timeout: 3 Minutes
Query DNS: Checked
IP Address: Checked

At the bottom of that screen, tap “Script.”
This where it all went horribly wrong. Start at the top: Change the first “Send:” to “End” (it’s a drop-down menu). This will clear everything out and give you a blank canvas. To change the script, you tap that drop down menu on the left to select a command, then enter text to the right of it. Ready? Here’s what the script should be:

Send: atz
Send CR:
Send: at+cgdcont=1,”IP”,”WAP.CINGULAR”,”0.0.0.0″,0,0
Send CR:
Delay: 1
Send: atd*99#
Send CR:
End:

That’s it! Tap “OK” to get out of that screen, then again to get out of the previous screen. Click “Connect” to try it out.

This works with my Motorola V3 connected via Bluetooth to the Palm. Since I know nothing about all this, please don’t ask for more info… I just write down what works for me.

The tyranny of the minority

Frank Rich in the New York Times takes a wry look at the sudden rash of “indeceny” that’s going to send our entire nation straight to hell:

Ever since 22 percent of the country’s voters said on Nov. 2 that they cared most about “moral values,” opportunistic ayatollahs on the right have been working overtime to inflate this nonmandate into a landslide by ginning up cultural controversies that might induce censorship by a compliant F.C.C. and, failing that, self-censorship by TV networks. Seizing on a single overhyped poll result, they exaggerate their clout, hoping to grab power over the culture.

The mainstream press, itself in love with the “moral values” story line and traumatized by the visual exaggerations of the red-blue map, is too cowed to challenge the likes of the American Family Association. So are politicians of both parties. It took a British publication, The Economist, to point out that the percentage of American voters citing moral and ethical values as their prime concern is actually down from 2000 (35 percent) and 1996 (40 percent).

To see how the hucksters of the right work their scam, there could be no more illustrative example than the “Monday Night Football” episode in which Ms. Sheridan leaped into the arms of the Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Terrell Owens in order to give the declining weekly game (viewership is down 3 percent from 2003) a shot of Viagra. From the get-go, it was a manufactured scandal, as over-the-top as a dinner theater production of “The Crucible.”

Rush Limbaugh, taking a break from the legal deliberations of his drug rap and third divorce, set the hysterical tone. “I was stunned!” he told his listeners. “I literally could not believe what I had seen. … At various places on the Net you can see the video of this, and she’s buck naked, folks. I mean when they dropped the towel she’s naked. You see enough of her back and rear end to know that she was naked. There’s no frontal nudity in the thing, but I mean you don’t need that. …I mean, there are some guys with their kids that sit down to watch ‘Monday Night Football.’ “

Yes, there are – some, anyway – but you wonder how many of them were as upset as Mr. Limbaugh, whose imagination led him to mistake a lower back for a rear end. (He also said that the Sheridan-Owens encounter reminded him of the Kobe Bryant case; let’s not even go there.) The evidence suggests that Mr. Limbaugh’s prurient mind is the exception, not the rule. Though seen nationwide, and as early as 6 p.m. on the West Coast, the spot initially caused so little stir that the next morning only two newspapers in the country, both in Philadelphia, reported on it. ABC’s switchboards were not swamped by shocked viewers on Monday night. A spokesman for ABC Sports told The Philadelphia Inquirer that he hadn’t received a single phone call or e-mail in the immediate aftermath of the broadcast.

… The hypocrisy embedded in this tale is becoming a national running gag. As in the Super Bowl brouhaha, in which the N.F.L. maintained it had no idea that MTV might produce a racy halftime show, the league has denied any prior inkling of the salaciousness on tap this time – even though the spot featured the actress playing the sluttiest character in prime time’s most libidinous series and was shot with the full permission of one of the league’s teams in its own locker room. Again as in the Jackson case, we are also asked to believe that pro football is what Pat Buchanan calls “the family entertainment, the family sports show” rather than what it actually is: a Boschian jamboree of bumping-and-grinding cheerleaders, erectile-dysfunction pageantry and, as Don Imus puts it, “wife-beating drug addicts slamming the hell out of each other” on the field.

But there’s another, more insidious game being played as well. The F.C.C. and the family values crusaders alike are cooking their numbers. The first empirical evidence was provided this month by Jeff Jarvis, a former TV Guide critic turned blogger. He had the ingenious idea of filing a Freedom of Information Act request to see the actual viewer complaints that drove the F.C.C. to threaten Fox and its affiliates with the largest indecency fine to date – $1.2 million for the sins of a now-defunct reality program called “Married by America.” Though the F.C.C. had cited 159 public complaints in its legal case against Fox, the documents obtained by Mr. Jarvis showed that there were actually only 90 complaints, written by 23 individuals. Of those 23, all but 2 were identical repetitions of a form letter posted by the Parents Television Council. In other words, the total of actual, discrete complaints about “Married by America” was 3.

We are now living in a nation where a few ideologues can enforce their views upon millions. Is this America? Is this the way this country is supposed to work? Why are so many people willing to allow a tiny, tiny group of nutcases tell them how to live their lives?

Who needs stability and fiscal responsibility?

In my junk mail folder:

Have you heard?
Our home l o an department has gone mad!

Just the quality I look for in a mortgage company.
Do people really fall for these spam geniuses?

What I find most amusing about this spam is the sheer poetry of the last part of the message. Someone — say, Beck — should set these words to music.

aren’t a out boldface
tech lowry are o’connor
Aclogging is attestation bronco
via be circuitous from inhumane
or for rutty fudge