Julia and Lee at Balloonfest.jpg (69067 bytes)Lee's Journal

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Click here to comment on the August --> September 2003 Journal. [] comments so far.


An Ieda Out of Place

Rceently there has been tihs thnig giong arnoud aobut how the odrer of ltetres in a wrod hradly mrattes at all. This tinhg, sopupsedly from Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, syas that only the fsirt and lsat leteter has to be in plcae for anonye to be albe to raed the dcomuent. It's an ientrstieng "aacdemic" ieda but I cna't fnid any siold lgeitaimcy to it. Waht do you thnik?


The Best Deadly Sin: Gluttony

Last night I went out with Dave B again on a Gluttonous adventure. I showed up at Pub 199 at 6, he was there a few minutes later. Right up at the top of the menu (I don't know how we missed it last time) was the trypic of steamed clams special, steak special, and lobster special. I opened with 2 dozen steamed clams and a beer. We moved on to lobster and a potato.... and more beer. Then we had dinner: more beer (of course) grilled cheese, grilled cheese with tomato and another potato. My tummy hurts. Gluttony is good. :-)

Stylesheet Theft Complete!

I stole the color scheme from http://inipi.org/ today. What do you think? It's the one with the dark brown background and yellow text. If you haven't seen it yet, reload this page a couple times. It's on a randomizer with 2 other color schemes.

PS. Mu ha ha!


A little bit about Computer Guy

I wrote to a friend today the following:

We were talking before about what the heck we should each do for a living... I wanted to give you hopeful news and say that I've been being "The Computer Guy" with moderate success for the last couple months. I go to people's homes and help them with their computer problems. Little things and large things alike. And gosh darn it, I think I'm good at it! There's a big teaching component to it, showing people how to do things and helping them help themselves. I think this could really be something.

A Little Ridiculousness is a Good Thing

I lifted this Shockwave movie from Slapdash.com. Click on the image for the movie

Thanks Melissa for pointing it out to me!


Scots Throwing Things

This weekend I went up to Boston... and then on to New Hampshire with Trav to go see the New Hampshire Gathering of Scottish Clans. It was great. All the clans had booths set up, there was some fantastic traditional and modern Scottish music and the food was good (we had haggis!). But the most important part of the day was seeing people throw things that shouldn't be thrown.

The amateur contest was infinitely more fun to watch than the pros. First, because we got to stand much closer than on the grand parade grounds. Second, because it's more fun to root for a local guy who is throwing stuff because it's fun instead of a hired professional stuff-thrower. Third, and most importantly, when they were throwing the 28 lb weight, we were told to watch out; an errant throw could come our way and kill us. How cool is THAT?

Mike Z Shotput 1.jpg (44874 bytes) Mike Z Shotput 2.jpg (63528 bytes)

Mike Z (from the Boston area) making one of his field-record-breaking throws.

Crazy Lawsuit Contest.jpg (96281 bytes)

The Crazy Lawsuit Contest! The contestants throw a 28 lb weight straight up into the air as high as possible over a bar. Of course, what goes up...
I figured that a tosser only loses his step 1 in 10 times after throwing... and the weight would only actually hit an unawares contestant 1 time in 10... So that's only a 1 in a hundred chance of sqwish-age! I'm pretty sure Mike Z won this one too, throwing 17'! Imagine throwing a 5 gallon water bottle up onto your home's 2nd story roof!!

Mike Z throwing.jpg (49824 bytes)

Mike Z (again... the other contestants' photos didn't come out as well, sorry) throwing a 28 lb weight at us. He won this event too.

  Lee - Meat Pies.jpg (74726 bytes) TJ - Meat Pies.jpg (78427 bytes)

Trav and I just before getting our haggis puffs. Good times! The taste reminded me of cappaletti, actually; I think it was the allspice.


Debt Collecting Story

A friend of mine, "Joe" (not his name) told me a good story about how he collected a debt owed to him. He says that he has a lot more of these kinds of stories too. I'd certainly like to hear some of them.

He called up a guy that owed him a sizable amount of money for a business debt, something like $10,000. He had owed Joe this money for a year or so. But the guy said definitively, "Sorry, I don't have the money for you. I can't pay you right now." Joe felt that he had been waiting long enough and wanted this debt settled. So Joe told him that if he couldn't pay, he'd have to talk with his partner about the matter. Joe went out on the street outside of where the guy was working and ran across a very large, scary looking black guy. Joe held up his arms for me, showing me how big this guys shoulders were and how long his arms were. This guy was big and ugly and scary. Joe ripped a $50 bill in half and handed one half of the bill to this big guy. He said simply, "I'd like you to go pick up a check from an acquaintance of mine. If you get me the check, I'll give you the other half of this bill. If you don't come back with the check, I'll still give you $20 for your trouble.

Joe pointed the big guy in the right direction and waited. Low and behold, 20 minutes later, Joe's "partner" came out with a check! Of course, Joe didn't actually think that the check would be good. But he figured it would offer sizable proof to a judge that the money really was owed to Joe. But low and behold, the check didn't bounce! The debt was settled!

The moral of the story is that physical intimidation -can- work. It is just one more tool in the debt collectors belt.

Joe told this story in light of Richard Grasso's $140 million dollar compensation package... We were thinking that sometimes the legal system's jail-threat has to be coupled with the even more real threat of physical violence to keep people from doing really really mean/stupid/awful things... It's just a thought.


Verizon vs. MCI

A month and a half ago, I called MCI and switched to a new phone plan, cutting our phone bill by about 1/3 and gaining Caller ID and 3-way calling. Only... it didn't happen. We waited and waited and nothing happened. So I called them up and they said that there was a problem with verifying the service change. What the frig? I had spoken to the "independent third party verification" lady. I did my part but MCI never ear.jpg (35338 bytes)bothered to tell me by mail or phone that there was a problem. I had to start all over. Hurumph. So I hurrumphed right over to Verizon on the 15th. After 25 minutes on the phone with them, I had them for local, regional and long distance, caller ID, 3-way, and speed dial. At Verizon's recommendation, I called MCI back to tell them that I was switching my service away from them. The MCI lady didn't know what to do with such information so we just left it at that. A day goes by and I see that our phone is now showing Caller ID info and we have voicemail :-). Of course, I don't know how to access the voicemail... but we're going to get a letter from Verizon real soon saying how to use this new fangled telephonic appliance, right? Well, this morning I got tired of all our calls falling into the black hole of voicemail so I called Verizon to ask what to do. (before I called,  I scoured the Verizon web site for instructions, but they didn't work). The nice lady at Verizon tells me that we don't have voicemail. [furrow brow here]. "Huh? I left a message to myself just yesterday." She looks further and finds out that we don't have ANY Verizon services. All our services were switched to MCI yesterday. MCI slammed me! The most bothersome part about it being that our Verizon voicemail got shut off because of it, losing all those voicemails. Jerks.

So I switched to the Verizon Freedom plan and put a PIC freeze and local freeze on our provider. Unlimited calling anywhere in the US for $55/month (+$8 taxes). And I'm gonna use it. I'm gonna talk your ears off!

And in a related story, I was talking to my dad about low phone rates. He says that he's seen the P&L sheets of all these phone companies and they can't keep lowering phone rates or they're going to (keep) going out of business. I argued that, as a consumer, that wasn't my problem; It's my duty to find the lowest rate with service I like. We're both right.


Finding Ferranti

I've been looking for items related to my grandfather's businesses for a couple years now. I found the first item completely by happenstance. I did a search on eBay for "Ferranti" and BAM, there was a bottle! I wrote the following email to Brian at Brian's Breweriana.com. Maybe posting this request to the internet will help. If you've got any info about such memorabilia, I'd love it if you contacted me!

Hi I just found your site at the recommendation of an acquaintance.

I've been searching high and low for breweriana from some of my grandfather's companies. It would make me so happy if you came across anything of his. A few years ago, I found a glass bottle shaped like the old Coca-Cola bottle reading "Ferranti Bottling Company" and a promotional bottle opener reading the same thing.

I'm looking for anything from:
All companies were based in or around Scranton or Pittston, PA

Ferranti Brothers Bottling Company - some time after 1946
Yankee Brewing Co. of Pittston - owner from 1942 until at least 1946
        Yankee Premium Pilsener (sic) Beer - Made by YBC
        Old Stock Yankee Ale - Made by YBC
Lackawanna Beer and Ale Corp - owner 1935-1942
City Bottling Co. - owner 1923-1935
Ferranti Bros. Trucking Co. - owner 1930-1935

Here, let me show you an excerpt from the Italian Who's Who in 1946 to give you a better idea.

Ferranti, Ernest
Brewer. Born in Jessup, Pa. June 11, 1907, the son of Mario and Regina (Becchetti) Ferranti, natives of Gubbio, Italy. Catholic. Democrat. Married Ida Weston, 1931. Three children: Dorothy, Marlene and Ernestine. Graduate of Jessup High School, 1923. President and owner since 1942, Yankee Brewing Co. of Pittston, manufacturers of Yankee Premium Pilsener Beer and Old Stock Yankee Ale. Production capacity, 150,000 barrels a year. Average production, 90,000 barrels a year. Past president, Lackawanna Beer and Ale Corp. (brewers), 1935-1942. Past owner, City Bottling Co., manufacturers of carbonated beverages 1923-1935 and of Ferranti Bros. Trucking Co., 1930-1935. Member Fox Hill Country Club; Scranton Club; Elks; Kiwanis; Scranton Chamber of Commerce; National Small Brewers Ass'n; etc. Home: 203 Grassy Ave., Jessup, Pa. Office: Main and New Streets, Pittston, Pa.

Have a great day!
Lee Sonko



Technology Education Test

Saturday I took my Technology Education test. I kicked its butt. The only questions I had any trouble at all with were things like, "What magazine is devoted to technology education teaching? A) Teachers Technology, B) The Education Teacher, C) Technology and Teachering Journal, or D) Technological Teaching and the Educational Teaching Paradigm Curriculum Journal for Professionals?" I took an educated guess that it wasn't D.

The results come back in about 4 weeks. Now I've got to figure how I can parlay that into a job or entry into a Masters program. <finger crossing> I'm hoping... </finger crossing>

Survival Instincts

Here's a little foray into evolutionary biology...

In a radio interview I heard recently, Julian Paul Keenan, the author of "The Face in the Mirror: The Search for the Origins of Consciousness" says that the main benefit of self-awareness from an evolutionary standpoint is deception. Having self-awareness allows you to deceive others. A secondary benefit is empathy but deception helps you get ahead a heck of a lot better than empathy does.

Think about that one for a while. The implications are sure to intrigue, disgust and stimulate you.

Two weekends ago: Upstate NY

I went on a little vacation to upstate NY with some friends two weekends ago, starting Friday the 5th. It was a really nice trip.

It started out right. As I pulled out of The Valley, I heard this Chris Smither song on the radio..

I got ba-na-na, watermelon, peaches by the pound,
Sweet corn, mirleton, mo' better than in town,
I got okra, enough to choke ya,
Beans of every kind,
If hungry is what's eatin' you
I'll sell you peace of mind,
But this ain't what you came to hear me say,
And I hate to disappoint you,
But I got no love today,
I got no love today,
I got no love today,
No love today

Just the right tone to start me fresh. You see... well, in reading my journal you may have noticed that you haven't seen anything about any personal relationships that I've been in. That's because I haven't been in any since Cha. I've been relationship-free since I broke up with Cha Cha in October.. To make a long story (and yes, it really is a long story... like a 30 minute tell) short: she told me she had brain cancer when we met. She was a great, fun, interesting, smart person except for the part about how she was going to die in 3 months. Some 2 years later, I hadn't once been in the same room with her and a diagnosing oncologist... well, except for Cha herself, since she is a well-respected oncologist. And that wasn't for lack of trying. I asked her straight-out and she refused to give me the names of any of her doctors, proving well enough to me that she never really did have cancer. Wonk.

So.... I got no love today... got no... love today.

So I went on a getaway, played in a kiddie pool, flew my plane over water (flying "without a net" for the first time!), played with old and new friends, and just had a great time. I even met a girl!

Then, on my first day back, I worked 4 jobs and made as much money in my own business as in any day I had worked for the man. THAT felt good. I'm not averaging a reasonable wage yet. But I'm getting there! There's good karma flowing around me. But I'm going to stop thinking about that because the best way to keep karma flowing is to not think about it.

This past weekend: Housewarming in Philadelphia

When I was in upstate NY, that girl I met asked me, "What are you doing next weekend?" I thought for a few moments. I struggled to remember... I had something planned but I couldn't think of what it was! I stammered out an, "Umm, I don't know. I think I... I don't remember but I might have something important." She asked, "Would you like to come to Cappy's housewarming party next weekend?" I smiled, "Oh yea that's what I had planned!" The world is WAYYY too small. We had just met but were going to the same party some 300 miles distant in a week's time! Of course I also had the Technology Education test on Saturday morning but that was just an aside. (and she wasn't going to that! That would have been beyond weird).

Thursday and Friday, go to bed early. Saturday morning 6am, go to Technology Education Test (actually, 6:35am... I got up late but made it in time). 11am, drive to phila in the driving rain. 1:20pm, arrive at her apartment. I had told her on the phone a few days earlier that if she could actually make a really good thick crusted peasant bread, I'd worship her. Well, I helped her make the bread... though I cringed several times at her technique: the dough was way too wet, it wasn't rising enough, it didn't seem to be kneaded properly. 25 minutes later, as I checked it in the oven, I began to ready my knees for some serious worship. When we ate it an hour later, I was in full worship-mode. Apparently, knowing too much about how bread "should" be baked can be a detriment to how to should be baked!

I'm only thinking about this now but she made that masterful breadness only 2 weeks after moving into her apartment. She barely has her bedroom set up but she pulled all the right ingredients and tools out of boxes to make that for me! That was a feat. And she did that for me [grin!].

There is more. Lots more but I'll write about it tomorrow.


Shaolin Soccer

The release date for Shaolin Soccer has been pushed back AGAIN. The original July 15th release date would have made it a great Summer flick. The revised August 15th release just barely made it in for the Summer crowd. When they switched it to September 15th, I got miffed. An Indian Summer kung foo/action/comedy? Maybe. Now Moviephone says It's being released December 26th. Boxing Day? What the frig? Shaolin Soccer plays off of the Matrix hype in a funny way. But since Matrix Reloaded sucked, Matrix-mania is fading pretty rapidly. Maybe they're trying to time it after Matrix Reloaded's November 5th release date. But Boxing Day? That's too late! I give up.

Jeez, I get excited about going to one movie in the theater in a year and look what happens. Hurumph.

But I -did- have a really really good weekend. I'll tell you about that soon. And heck, last weekend was really really good too. So what am I hurumphing at?

Of Iceburgs and Tips

I just found this online at http://www.upcomingmovies.com/shaolinsoccer.html

Release Date Note: (7/19/02) This was originally scheduled to open on April 5th, 2002, then, August 30th, 2002, and now sometime in the 1st quarter of 2003. (8/16/02) This has been pushed back a little bit again, now to April 11th, 2003. (1/31/03) Miramax has bumped this back another four months to August 8th, 2003. That's 16 months after its first target date. (6/23/03) Miramax has adjusted this movie a week, from August 8th to August 15th. (8/8/03) Miramax has dumped their plans on giving this film a wide release, going with a platform release starting on September 5th instead. As KungFuCinema.com reports, this decision comes with the news that Miramax has decided to go with the original dialogue (with subtitles) rather than doing an English dub. (9/2/03) Miramax has decided not to release this film this week after all, with no word now on when they might release it to the U.S. public. Might they now be considering sending it direct-to-video? (9/4/03) Miramax is currently looking for a new release date in the 4th quarter of 2003.

And this:

Title Note: (1/5/02) Known as "Shaolin Soccer" in Asia, Miramax is changing the title to "Kung Fu Soccer" for the USA release. (4/10/02) AICN reports that Miramax may have decided (rightly) to change the title back to Shaolin Soccer. (4/12/02) That site has received confirmation that the title has been changed back again. (6/27/02) Now the AICN site's owner, movie fan Harry Knowles is saying the title may be changed back to "Kung Fu Soccer" again. (7/19/02) Well, Miramax has submitted this film to the MPAA, and it was indeed with the "Shaolin Soccer" title.

And the worst part:

Running Time: 86 minutes (edited down from the 111 minutes of the Asian release)

Someone at Miramax needs a Boot to the Head! (click on this link and truly be enlightened!) Ti Kwan Leep r00ls.


Mechanized Astronauts

Why do we send up 7 astronauts in the space shuttle? Why not send up 5 robots controlled by radio from the ground and 2 astronaut/robot-technicians? But of course I don't know what the heck those 7 astronauts do right now.

This reminds me of an important interview about remotely operated vehicles that I saw on Scientific American (Beneath the Sea: Into the Deep, Part I, May 14, 2002) with Bob Ballard:

ALAN ALDA (NARRATOR) In spite of the spectacular scientific advances that have been made with the use of small manned submersibles like Alvin, Ballard says we don't need subs like this any more. He came to that conclusion right here on the Galapagos Rift.

BOB BALLARD The turning moment for me was in a submarine just like this one, when we found these unique life forms. And we were down on the bottom of the Galapagos Rift, it was 1979, OK. And biologists had never seen these life forms ever before, and we got them in the submarine and, a scientist by the name of Holger Jannish, who just couldn't wait to see these creatures. He knew he was going to be famous, just to be the first to see them biologically. And so we got down there and they were right outside the window. And I was sitting over here and I had brought down a new prototype camera system -- a digital camera system. And I was looking at the animals and I looked up from my porthole and I looked at Holger, and he had his back to the window. I said, "Holger, what are you doing?" And he said, "I'm looking at the monitor."

ALAN ALDA That's amazing.

BOB BALLARD And I said, " Wait a minute, let me see if I got this right…

ALAN ALDA We came all the way down here…

BOB BALLARD We came all the way down here, and you turn your back to the window -- and I went (snap)


The Internet Shouldn't Be So Hard

To keep your data from being defaced and/or destroyed when logging on to the internet when using a Windows computer, you MUST have the following (this is a bare minimum, not what you "should" have) unless you want your computer to be taken over my the miscreants of the computer world:

You've got to install, configure and know (at least in general) how each of the program works so that it doesn't ruin your internet experience. This sucks. I remember when the internet was a happy, smiling place.



How to Lie with Packaging

I just opened a new tube of Colgate toothpaste. I squeezed the tube.... and I squeezed the tube. Then I squeezed it some more. I looked in the hole to verify I was really going to get what I was expecting. It was on it's way... So I squeezed a bit more. And then something happened, toothpaste started coming out of the hole. I'd guess that this 8.2 ounce net weight container is 20% air.

Just about all single-serving yogurt containers hold about 20% less than they could. Go ahead and pick up a Yoplait container at the store. Flip it over and look at the underside. The bottom of the yogurt containing portion of the container is a full 1/4 of an inch recessed inside the packaging. This is obvious when the package is upside-down. But then it sits right-side-up on a table, the 6 oz Yoplait container looks to be the same size as the 8 oz Dannon container.

Reminder of a Great Time - Pub 199

I was chatting with Dave B tonight. He reminded me of the great time the two of us had at Pub 199. Pub 199 has this permanent special... call it a specialty... $10 gets you either a lobster and potato or a steak and potato. So we sat down like the guys we are and ordered. The food was guy-good. Good steak. Good lobster. Good potato. Ugh! Ambiance: stuffed beavers, moose, bear, and a deer with Christmas lights in his antlers. Ugh, good! We sat, we ate, we talked, we enjoyed. After the meal, we sat and talked about the world. And then a funny thing happened. We were hungry again. So we ordered another meal. I just (just, ha!) had a heaping bowl of cheese fries. Dave had the other dinner special! All is well in the world.

After dinner, what did we do? We went to a diner for pie! And Dave only barely kept me... and us... from going in to a teen roller rink. He told me tonight, "We'd probably get put in the same cell." Ha!


Away for the weekend!

I'm going away for the weekend, airplane in tow! Wee!




I was passing by the TV in the kitchen a few minutes ago when I heard this guy on CNBC yelling at the camera, ranting about "disinflation". He had to yell because he had the New York Stock Exchange trading floor ambient room noise piped into his glassed-in cubby at full volume.

One or two of three things is true: 1) I'm dumb and/or stubborn for not accepting this term as it stands. 2) He's an idiot for using the term once, a fucking idiot for using it 3 times in one interview  or  3) People that actually listen to this drivel are stupid.

Scripting Project: Blog Bookmarker

Here's an idea of a blog viewer bookmarks. This will hold the place of someone viewing a person's blog.

8-29-03 [click here to set the bookmark on this spot]
Today's entry blah blah
blah blah

8-28-03 [click here to set the bookmark on this spot]
Here's a new entry

8--27-03 [click here to set the bookmark on this spot]
Another entry in my blog

When you click on the link, the script sends a cookie to the person viewing the blog. This cookie contains a #name with the exact location of where the viewer clicked. The next time the viewer goes to this page, a script reads the cookie and jumps down to the appropriate place in the blog.

This kind of bookmarking is most appropriate for blogs that get very long. For instance, someone that clears their blog once a month (like me)

Simple and elegant. Now somebody write it! All I ask for is an "Original concept" byline.


Lautenberg against spam

My senator wrote back to me today (via email) about how he's co-sponsoring federal anti-spam legislation:

Dear Mr. Sonko,

Thank you for contacting me about spam. I appreciate hearing from you on this issue.

The growth of the Internet and the increased use of e-mail have led to the emergence of "spam," or electronic junk mail. Numerous marketers have begun to send unsolicited commercial e-mail (UCE) over the Internet. Because this marketing technique is easier and less costly than traditional direct marketing techniques such as direct mail solicitations, e-mail accounts worldwide have been deluged with this unsolicited correspondence.

Spam is not just a nuisance, but it can also bring consumers higher charges for the Internet as service providers are forced to continually upgrade their systems to handle the increased traffic. Spam filters built into MSN and Hotmail servers, for example, block 2.4 billion messages a day. While proponents of UCE insist it is a legitimate marketing technique that is protected by the First Amendment, Congress should enact reasonable restrictions.

Although 35 States have anti-spam laws, there is no federal law specifically concerning spam. Consequently, I have co-sponsored CAN-SPAM, the "Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act" (S. 877), which would do the following: create criminal penalties for the transmission with knowledge and intent of spam messages with header information that is materially false or misleading; prohibit deceptive subject headings; require a functioning return address for the message recipient to submit a request that he or she not receive future messages; require clear identification that a message is an advertisement; and require that message recipients have an opportunity to opt-out, and for the sender to provide a valid physical mail address.

Please be assured that I will continue to support practical, sensible regulations that reduce unwanted spam while taking the concerns of legitimate, honest retailers into account.

Thanks again for contacting me.

Senator Frank Lautenberg

Panther Valley wine bottle.jpg (51684 bytes)Panther Valley Wine

I designed a wine label for my father and his friends' wine. It looks pretty darn sharp! There were two people standing next to the golf bag on the right; dad didn't like them, so I rubbed them out! Mu hahah! I wield the power of Paint Shop Pro!

I've still got to get the quote by Franklin translated into French. No French wine maker would ever sink to placing non-French words on a bottle. Shara has promised to put her Francophile talents to work for me.



Updated Rant about "under God"

Check my Rants page.


Email mind control

From Kathyphrog:

This is strange.....

While sitting in a chair, make clockwise circles with your right foot.

While doing this, draw the number "6" in the air with your right hand.

Keep it up and read the end.....


Your foot will change direction... and be rotating counter clockwise. . .

PVPOA Newsletter list

Configuring it so it works just the way I want it. I spent almost 4 hours fiddling with UI-ish crap. But it's important so...



So I keep hearing that the USDA's food pyramid thingy and vitamin recommendations are "outdated". Everybody who knows anything about vitamins knows that the USDA is behind on the times...  So being a person with some desire to do the right thing, I tried to find out what vitamins I SHOULD take.

Nobody friggin knows.

The best I could find is listed below.

biotin 30 mcg ND
Choline 550 mg 3500
Folic Acid 400 mcg 1000
niacin 16 mg 35
Pantothenic Acid 5 mg ND
Riboflavin/B2 1.3 mg ND
Thiamin/B1 1.2 mg ND
A 900 mcg 3000
B6 1.3 mg 100
B12 2.4 mcg ND
C 90 mg 2000
D 5 mcg 50
E 15 mg 1000
K 120 mcg ND

calcium 1000 mg 2500
chromium 35 mcg ND
copper 900 mcg 10,000
iodine 150 mcg 1,100
iron 8 mg 45
magnesium 400 mg 400
manganese 2.3 mg 11
molybdenum 45 mcg 2000
phosphorus 700 mg 4000
selenium 55 mcg 400
zinc 11 mg 40


vitamin A is 5,000 IU. no more than 10,000
vitamin C is 90 mg
folic acid, at least 400 micrograms (women only?)
vitamin B6 1.3 to 1.7 milligrams of
B12 is 6 micrograms
vitamin D is 5 micrograms
vitamin E 22-400 IU

vitamin K is 80 micrograms

I'm just going to keep taking Centrum. And when I start to feel sick, I'll take extra Vitamin C like my dad demands I do; At least it makes him feel better.

PVPOA Announcements Mailing List

After months of working with committees , we're just about ready to launch the PVPOA's announcement-only mailing list. My real goal is to get a discussion mailing list going. We'll get there... baby-steps. Baby-steps.


The State of Computers Today

from an exchange between TJIC and me.

>Mail is going wonky. Web page load times are way up. There may be
>some sort of huge worm/virus attack going on as well, according to
>some reports.

I've gone to maybe 15 people's homes in the last 2 months to help them with computers. NONE of these people had any idea what a firewall was or what Windows Update was. Heck, I tried to make the analogy to my cousins that updating Windows was like changing the oil in your car... getting it done is really easy and you have to do it or you won't have a car for long. I got what amounted to a blank stare from all of them, including the 17 and 15 year olds. I decided to set their computers to automatically go to Windows Update and not even tell them about it.

But then if I can convince these people to have their "oil changed" by me, I can do well...

Why people buy from repeat advertising

I think that one big reason people buy from repeat advertising is that they (consciously or unconsciously) hope that by buying the product, they'll stop being inundated with ads.

After seeing an ad for the Paypal credit card EVERY FRIGGING TIME I logged in to Paypal, I relented for the above reason. Of course, now I get ads for some other Paypal service instead.

So if I bought from all of those penis enlarging spammers, do you think they'd go away?

Today's Spam Poetry

Today we have a poem in two parts. These emails were sent to me a few hours apart by the nice folks at VP-RX. Please pause between the two parts for maximum effect.


Gain 3+ inches in length
Stop premature ejaculation
Produce stronger erections
100% Safe to use, no side effects
Your partner will be astounded
Get VP-RX now!


VP-RX will take your sex life to new levels...Guaranteéd!

Your penís will grow up to 3 ínches
Your erectíons will be rock hard
Your sex drive will be supercharged
Your orgasms will be more intense
Your partner will be astounded
Clíck here to get VP-RXnow!

No more please


Maybe I'll just learn everything on my own

MIT Open Courseware

Electric Motors

Interview went very well

My interview at Informedia Group went very well. They'll get back to me at the beginning of next week.

Sussex Model Air Show

Very nice.

Good Term to Know

Ad Hominem

Description of Ad Hominem [from this site]
Translated from Latin to English, "Ad Hominem" means "against the man" or "against the person."

An Ad Hominem is a general category of fallacies in which a claim or argument is rejected on the basis of some irrelevant fact about the author of or the person presenting the claim or argument. Typically, this fallacy involves two steps. First, an attack against the character of person making the claim, her circumstances, or her actions is made (or the character, circumstances, or actions of the person reporting the claim). Second, this attack is taken to be evidence against the claim or argument the person in question is making (or presenting). This type of "argument" has the following form:

1 Person A makes claim X.
2 Person B makes an attack on person A.
3 Therefore A's claim is false.

The reason why an Ad Hominem (of any kind) is a fallacy is that the character, circumstances, or actions of a person do not (in most cases) have a bearing on the truth or falsity of the claim being made (or the quality of the argument being made).

Example of Ad Hominem

Bill: "I believe that abortion is morally wrong."
Dave: "Of course you would say that, you're a priest."
Bill: "What about the arguments I gave to support my position?"
Dave: "Those don't count. Like I said, you're a priest, so you have to say that abortion is wrong. Further, you are just a lackey to the Pope, so I can't believe what you say."


Job Application

I applied for a job at my sister's company. They make templated websites for real estate agents. I'd likely be some sort of tech support / client engineer guy. It felt nice when my sister told me they said I was probably overqualified. I'll have an interview soon.

Good Power Assisted Bike Story

I saw this story on power-assist@yahoogroups

I commute daily (only a few miles)from my home to my job with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife in Olympia Washington. I got into an Ebike (2000 Currie USPD) mainly because I sweat even thinking about exercise and didn't want to get to work sweaty. At the headquarters building where I work on the State Capitol Campus, there are many dedicated bike commuters, some of whom are lycra types, and many of whom are certainly "purists."

We have these nice bike cages at work inside which you can securely store your bike. These cages hold about 15-20 bikes and are located in different areas across the campus. You access them through an electronic keypad. One day, while locking-up the bike and going through my shutdown routine in the bike cage, a couple of dedicated purists came in to lock-up their bikes. While doing so, they started glancing at my bike, snickering, and generally making fun of my nerdy bike (and its owner). Although a little embarrassed, I took it in stride.

A few days later, while pulling the not-so-steep but long hill home, I spotted one of the offenders up ahead in my sights. I can't tell you the pleasure I experienced when I passed him while I was sitting and he standing. I came-up on him and said (without panting, of course) "passing on the left" while simultaneously ringing my little dainty and nerdy bell. He looked back over his shoulder but I was already pretty much past him which made him do a double-take of sorts. He looked shocked.

The next morning, while locking-up my bike in the bike cage, the guy I passed came in with his bike. I didn't say a thing about the afternoon before. After he locked-up his bike and was heading-out of the cage, he came over and said very seriously and respectfully, "so...what kind of bike is that anyway?"


Regime Change Cards

These cards were made by an old classmate of mine. They depict the people that some think are the real perpetrators of war and destruction of late, George W. and company. I think they're pretty darn funny.

Regime Change Cards

You've seen them before. Many times. That now infamous deck of playing cards detailing the images and job descriptions of the "most wanted" in the Iraqi leadership, according to the U.S. military.

Now you can have your own personal deck describing the truly scary people: the members and facilitators of the George W. Bush Administration!


Burning Man

Every year around this time I become sad and wistful that I am, again, not going to Burning Man. I should go. I must go before I die. It is one of the shapes of perfection. I was going to put a Burning Man picture here, but there is no way that a single photo can do it justice. The BurningMan.com site does it up with over 4,000 photos.


The 500 Coolest Chicks Ever



Neurotheology *************!


I saw this thing on Tech TV...  an episode of Secret, Strange & True.

God, Ghosts, and Magnets

Is religious experience merely an electronic impulse? "God, Ghosts, and Magnets" asks this question. Some of the world's top neuroscientists have found a link between a specific part of the brain and moments of religious experience. If their theory about the brain is correct, faith and religious experience may simply be an electromagnetic field in the brain.

This new science, neurotheology, began when scientists explored a condition called "temporal lobe epilepsy." Epileptics often report profound religious experiences. Scientists began to wonder: Could there be a connection between the temporal lobes of the brain and divine revelation?

Neuroscientists began to examine the life stories of celebrated mystics, including Joan of Arc, St. Paul, and the founder of the Seventh Day Adventist Movement, Ellen White. They also monitored the brains of nuns as they sensed unity with God and the brains of Buddhist monks as they achieve oneness with the universe. All exhibited very similar patterns of brain activity.

Explore this controversial theory on TechTV's presentation of "God, Ghosts, and Magnets."


More Spam Than You

I thought I got a lot of spam. I'm around 40 a day... A discussion on the ARL list about spam brought out one person that gets about 400 spams a day! Another found that their Earthlink Spaminator filters 1,800 messages a day! I'm not worthy!


I'm The Computer Guy

Remember that ad I put in the Panther? (Journal  7-11-03) Well, it's working! The ad came out about 2 weeks ago and I've had a bunch of people call me, saying, "Help, Help! My computer/TV/cable modem/... is broken. Come fix it and I'll give you money!"

I have a pile of 20's and 50's sitting on my desk from the jobs I've been on. Real money from my real startup business! This has the makings for a real business! Wow!


Today's Spam Poetry

Today's spam poetry make very interesting use of rhythm, playing with the form and pushing the reader's attention in exciting and edgy directions. I find that the author's use of nonstandard capitalization, spelling and punctuation allows drips and drops of the 'true' meaning of the piece through like a used canvas bag allows light through when held up to the sun.

From: Gina [gina9620e@usa.net]
Date: Mon 8/4/2003 11:03 PM
Subject: <<Are you Lee? OK, what can you tender to me?>> suggest@50thKETXF8

How do you do Love pal.
Are you Lee? Okay, what can you bid to me? Nothing? ...
Anyway I want to propose you a 100% Free gift - permission to aduIt site.

Thousands of sexual open pictures and videos!
Open it yourself:

P.S. Thanks me later.
Happy wishes, your Nice assistant.



TJIC's Project SHERPA project sounds excellent. I really think he's got something there.

sun Julia and Dad.jpg (100381 bytes)Balloon Festival

This month's top photo is of my niece Julia and I at the NJ Festival of Ballooning on July 25th. It was really something to see!more balloons.jpg (62277 bytes)


I got 719 hits from 164 visits to my journal homepage from August 1, 2003 to Oct 2, 2003