Archive for category I can’t Categorize This

I got Hacked

I was having trouble uploading photos and posting blogs a couple of weeks ago, so I emailed my dear friend Andrew while he was on vacation in a bat-infested rental in Nicaragua. Apparently the goats and bats were pretty reliable, but the power and the Internet were not. But he did log on long enough to tell me, “You’ve been hacked.”

Nothing like finding out that every PHP file on your blog site has been hacked into. Lovely.

Andrew deleted my entire site and restored the files from backup for me. So that’s why I currently have a generic WordPress theme. I’ll fix that in my copious spare time.

Coming up: a blog about the Hunger Games premiere.

 

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Steve Jobs 1955-2011

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The Pug Lady and Johnny Carson

pugsI love pugs. I do. And when I see one on the street I will always stop to pet the pug and chat with the owner, because Pug People are usually a bit crazy.

Case in point. I was at the mall yesterday with my kids: one who was spending his allowance at GameStop, the other who was spending hers at Victoria’s Secret (that’s another blog). I was just the appendage with the car keys.

We were walking through the mall when I spotted an older woman with a pug on a leash at the entrance to Macy’s. Now I’ve seen plenty of  service dogs in the mall with their trainers, and plenty of purse dogs being smuggled about, but I’ve never seen anyone get away with walking a pug in the mall!

I had to go talk to this woman (let’s call her Doris).

Doris was about 80, and the pug looked every bit as old. It was resting on its haunches while its owner chatted up another older couple.

“Excuse me. May I say hello to your pug?” I said. “I have a pug.”

Those are the four magic words: “I have a pug.” Say that to a pug owner and be prepared to be chatted up like you’ve been best friends for 20 years.

“This is Precious,” said Doris as I bent down to pet her pug (all 25 pounds of her).

As I was petting Precious I noticed something odd. She had a harness that said “Service Dog.”

I looked up at Doris and said, “She’s wearing a service dog harness,”  knowing full well what was coming next.

“Oh yes. It’s the only way I can get her into the mall,” she said with a wink. And then without missing a beat she reached into her small clutch and pulled out an old faded picture of  her siblings and their pugs, and pointed to each one, telling me their names as if they were her grandchildren.

She then carefully tucked the treasured pug picture back into her clutch and pulled out another faded photo. This one of herself and her husband dressed int heir finest at a formal dinner.

“This is my husband. He was friends with him.”  The “him” in the photo? Johnny Carson!  THE Johnny Carson having dinner with Doris and her husband. “They worked together,” she said as she slipped the photo back into her purse. And then the topic went right back to pugs.

I stood there and shared pug stories with Doris and the older couple (also pug people of course) for a few minutes more while my kids rolled their eyes with embarrassment.

We finally said our goodbyes, and as I walked off with my kids I thought to myself, who puts a service dog harness on a pug and carries around pictures of pugs and Johnny Carson in their purse? Pug People, that’s who.

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Oh the Spammers I Get on this Site

I’m sure many of you wonder why I make you have to work for a comment on this site, and why you have to provide an email address. I can tell you I am not collecting email addresses so I can spam you. Quite the opposite. I use the email addresses to either whitelist you (allow) or blacklist you (block spammers).

The first time you leave a comment here you have to enter an email address and I have to approve the comment. The second time you leave a comment you get approved automatically. Why? Spam!

The spambots are rampant and ridiculous. Let me share a few “comments” that have landed on this page. I will not share the links that are associated with these people, because I don’t want you to give them any traffic or get any viruses by clicking thru.

Some sample comments on my blog entitled “The 10 Commandments of Travel,” with my own comments in bold.

I opine that to receive the credit loans from banks you ought to present a firm motivation. However, once I’ve received a small business loan, because I wanted to buy a building. I’m not sure what this has to do with buying a building, but good luck.

phrase up this submit is doctor of arts shiznit. This one did make me laugh.

ok how is this supposedto mean? For how you are what says?

And on the topic of “How to Win an Emmy: Add it to your Bucket List!”

Scads of substantial, tough to obtain data here. Checked this blog article by accident on Yahoo. You’re truly making me reexamine my feeling about this stuff and rarely does that happen to me… LOL. Thanks! Accident my ass, but I’m glad you’re reexamining your feelings about the Emmys.

Hi. I go through a few of one’s other posts and wished to understand in the event you would be interested in exchanging blogroll links? Can haz cheezburger.

Classic exposition, I have also mentioned it in my blog article. But it is a pity that almost no frienddiscussed it with me. I am very happy to see your article. You have no click thrus because I’m not posting your bogus comments. So there! Ha!

That was intriguing . I like your finesse that you put into your post . Please do move forward with more similar to this. Why thanks. I’m so grateful for your opinion. Now go spam someone else.

So now you know why I require an email address to leave a comment. Once I know you’re not a spammer you are whitelisted and can comment without my approval. If you don’t want to comment you can just click on the little heart at the bottom of each blog and show some love. :^)

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Dead Cow Floating

Sorry for the radio silence, but I have been under a gag order of sorts, due to the fact that…well I can’t tell you yet.

But there are some things that I can blog about, and one of them is dead cows. That’s right, dead cows. I was out for a lunchtime run along the Eastside Esplanade in downtown Portland last week, and being that I don’t run at the speed of sound (or light for that matter) I had plenty of time to take in the sights along the way. I was running along, enjoying the one sunny day we’ve had since last October, when I saw a group of seagulls having what looked to be an organized Teamsters meeting in a small marina off the Esplanade.

I can just imagine the conversation they were having…

What are we going to do with him now?

I don’t know. This was your idea!

I said “cow tipping” not cow dipping!

As I got closer I noticed why all of the seagulls were hanging out in the marina. Dead cow floating.

We’ve had a lot of rain in Portland over the past month and the river is running really high. I figure it swamped some farmland somewhere along the way, and this cow just got trapped and eventually carried away.

I posted the following status to Facebook:

I went for a lunchtime run on the waterfront and saw a dead cow floating in the Willamette River. The End.”

I have since been back to that spot and the dead cow and the seagulls are gone. I posted the following status update to Facebook:

“I thought you’d like to know that the dead cow that was floating in the Willamette last week has either: a) Been consumed by the local wildlife (the seagulls looked awfully fat and happy), b) Been taken away by some official agency, or c) Has floated downriver to the Columbia and is now docked behind Salty’s restaurant.”

I still run along the Esplanade at lunch a few times a week, and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to pass that spot again without thinking about that dead cow floating.

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It is Time for America to Grow Up

I was at a friend’s birthday party a few weeks back, and found myself squirreled away in the corner talking to a cardiac surgeon from Denmark about the state of our healthcare system in the United States. I was frankly tired of debating the topic with many Americans who have never had the opportunity to live overseas, and experience nationalized healthcare first hand, and I was looking for a new perspective.

My Danish friend made three main points:

  1. Free healthcare is cheaper than making people pay (in the long run).
  2. Medical school should be affordable for anyone who wants to go.
  3. Once people see the value of the services, they are willing to pay higher taxes for it.

He told me a story about how healthcare in Denmark had been absolutely free at one time. Then the hospitals decided to start charging something like $20 a visit. This one change had a disatrous result. Why? Because some of the main customers at the ER had been addicts. Normally, they would come in immediately when they started getting infections around their injection sites. The doctors would see them, hand out antibiotics, and send them on their way.

When the ER started charging $20 the addicts stopped coming in, that is, until they were so sick they had to. So instead of just handing out antibiotics for minor infections, the addicts were now being admitted to the ICU for raging infections that had been left unchecked, all because they didn’t want to spend the $20.

We talked about the ridiculously high cost of medical school here, and how exclusive it is. In Denmark they pay you to go to medical school. They pay your tuition and give you a monthly allowance. If you have the smarts, you can attend medical school.

And lastly we talked about the tax rate in Denmark, which can be as high as 60%. When Danes were asked if they would pay higher taxes for better healthcare, the majority said they would.

When I lived in Finland for a year as a teenager I noticed something: the elderly were carefree, healthy and happy. They knew they were going to be taken care of by their national healthcare system when they retired. They knew they would never bankrupt their families with a terminal illness. They knew they’d have a place to live among their peers that would provide them everything they needed, to enjoy their sunset years.

Those without healthcare in the United States live in a constant state of fear and uncertainty. One major illness could send any one of us into bankruptcy, whether we have healthcare or not. It is time for America, one of the wealthiest nations in the world, to grow up and take care of its people before it’s too late.

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The Muse at 48

Forty eight years ago today my mom put down her cup of coffee, stubbed out her cigarette, looked at my dad, and said, “It’s time.”

That was the first Facebook status I posted on my forty-eighth birthday earlier this week. I don’t know if it’s true, but knowing my mom, I’m sure it is. In fact I’m pretty sure she finished the cigarette before she went to the hospital.

Many of you have inquired as to my whereabouts over the past two months, so I thought I’d update you. I checked out from the public spotlight for a couple of months. Okay that’s a bit of a lie. I worked like a dog. That’s the truth.

Excuse #1: Working Like a Dog

I work in the field of interactive television. I am in a small group of people who deploy the hardware and software that supports all of the interactive applications my company has running at any given time. Well, for the past few months we have been ramping up to launch two major appllications. First an app for the Olympics on the NBC cable channels (MSNBC, CNBC and USA). This required lots of prep and being on call 24/7 during the Olympics. I can’t say much here, but let’s just say this one went out to about 13 million cable households.

Second, I was the lead support person for a Showtime Boxing app that launched last week. So I spent many nights testing that app on a live channel while you all were sleeping. :^) I spent last Friday night actually on the phone with everyone involved while we watched the app playout during a live MMA match. This was an incredible moment, because this was the first app ever to play out nationally on HD.

This is what I do for a living. This is what the app looks like on Showtime:

http://www.sho.com/site/itv.do

Excuse #2: Exes

Enough said. Let’s just say I see my attorney way too often.

Excuse #3: Kids

Demanding little buggers!

Excuse #4: Real Life

In the past two months I have been bowling with a little Yeti figure, spent time with an Italian tutor/friend, been to the Kink Live Performance Lounge a few times, discovered some great bands around town, survived a layoff, instigated Narcissist Thursdays (which is sometimes held on Saturdays), auditioned for Leverage (the TNT series), changed agents (now with OMM for modeling and film), gone swing dancing for the first time in years, kissed a stranger on New year’s Eve (He was hot!), started doing my TV show again after a year off, rediscovered the library.

Promise #1: I can’t Not Write

I love to write. It feeds my soul. I just don’t know what form that will take. This website will stay and my blogs will be here. I may also continue to write for The Portlander. We shall see.

Yeti Bowling

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To the Point TV show

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Moving Blogs from Myspace: a Warning

I am going to start moving past blogs from MySpace to this site. Those of you who are subscribed via email or RSS feed may get bombarded over the next few days. Just wanted to give you a heads up.

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I Never Expected to Find THAT in my Car!

Originally published on MySpace on June 30, 2009

My children tend to bring things into the car, and be “too
tired” to take them out whenever we get back home. I have been noticing for the
past few weeks that the floor in the back seat of my car has been becoming less
and less visible. In fact, I noticed this morning that I couldn’t even see the
carpet. I finally decided enough is enough.

The kids are at their dad’s house this week, so I grabbed a
garbage bag and started scooping up the colored pencils, the discarded
clothing, the empty candy wrappers, the snake. WTF!?

Yes, a snake!

At first I thought it was just a little rubber snake my son
had left in the car, but after staring me down for a few seconds, it quickly
slithered back into the empty Nerds candy box from which it came.

I ran across the street to some neighbor boys who were
playing outside and said, “Hey, guess what I found in my car just now. A snake!”
“No way!” they said in total disbelief. “Yes way,” I said. “Do you guys want
it?”

I went around to my front porch and grabbed the Bug Hut we
keep for occasions like this, and filled it with some grasses and leaves. I
then went back to the car and scooped up the snake-filled Nerds candy box and
placed it in the Bug Hut for the boys.

I’m sure you’re wondering how a little snake like that got
into my car. Well, I hauled a bale of hay in my car over the weekend, and I’m
pretty sure he hitched a ride in the hay.

I got to work a little late today, and I stopped by my boss’s
office to apologize. “I’m sorry I’m a little late. I found a snake in my car,”
I said, which is just about as believable as “The dog ate my homework.”

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So, I went to Target to Buy a DS…

Originally published on MySpace on April 28, 2009

Tomorrow is my youngest son’s birthday, and he asked for a Nintendo DS, to replace the one he lost last year. I agreed to pay for half since he lost the previous one, and off to Target we went tonight.

We arrive at the Target in Wilsonville and get Rock Star parking, which never happens at Target. The place is nearly empty.

My kids bolt from the car before I even have a chance to open my own door, and make a beeline through the front doors of Target, and straight to the Electronics section.

We quickly locate the Nintendo aisle, and the three of us stand there staring at the locked glass case, well stocked with Nintendo DS’s in red, blue, silver and black. Black?! Ooh new color.

We grab a friendly Target employee, because we know she has the keys to the Nintendo kingdom, and ask to see see “the black one.” It costs $50 more than the other DS’s and I want to know why.

I read the display card to my son, “It says it has a much bigger screen, a music player, and a built-in camera. Is that worth $50 extra to you?” I ask.

“I don’t know,” he says, then turns and looks at friendly Trarget employee Lisa. “Can we open it up and see it?”

“No,” she says. “Once we open them we can’t sell them anymore.”

“Okat,” I say, “Do you have one on display we can see, so we can compare the screen size?”

“No, we don’t have one on display,” she says. “But, let me see if I can open this without damaging the packaging.”

My son’s eys light up as we follow Lisa to the counter. She carefully lifts the tape with her fingernails, careful not to rip anything, opens the box, pulls out the documentation, and pulls out … a blob!

“Uh, that is not a DS,” I say. “What is that?”

“Oh my gosh!,” she exclaims. “It’s a rock covered in black electrical tape! I don’t know how this could have happened.”

Someone had purchased the DS, taken it home, removed the DS, and replaced it with a rock that weighed exactly the same as the DS. It was covered in black electrical tape so it would look like the black DS, just in case the person at the returns counter actually opened the box and looked under the documentation.

Can you just imagine buying that for a birthday gift, and seeing the disappoinment on the kid’s face when he opened the box up to find a rock!?

Needless to say. Lisa was happy to open every other DS we wanted tp look at.

My son ended up choosing a regular silver DS, because the “much larger” screen on the expensive black DS wasn’t actually that much bigger.

Oh, but the story doesn’t end here. As we checked out we saw this on the counter:

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I looked at Lisa and said, “This just isn’t your day is it?”

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