Saturday, September 30, 2006

Doing the monster mash

I was working in the kitchen late today
When my eyes beheld an eerie sight
For my monster from the pan began to rise
And suddenly to my surprise....

I ran and got the camera to see The Monster Mash(ed) in my potatoes...

It's not even Halloween, but while whipping up some mashed potatoes for a cookout today, the image in my pan of potatoes was creeping me out. If you ask me, it was more Grinch like (minus the green) or perhaps Keith Richards of Christmas past. These potatoes came from Walmart... the ghost of layaway perhaps?

The potatoes were good too!

Lyrics rip off from:
The Monster Mash
Recorded by: "Bobby "Boris" Pickett and The Crypt-Kickers"
Written by Bobby Pickett and Lenny Capizzi
Copyright © Sinteticor Lyrics

Don't Be a Slacker!

Mr. T has some weekend advice for us slackers (bloggers too) Don't Be A Slacker

I was investigating getting a new voice for my TomTom GPS Navigator as Jane the English lady served me well with her turn by turn directions voiceovers recently in Los Angeles. Lo and behold, I can pay $6.95 to have Mr. T's voice or even Dennis Hopper or Burt Reynolds. Listen to samples here

Surprise Surprise - I just found out "I Pity The Fool" is debuting on TVLand on October 11, 2006 at 9pm (CST). Marvel at T's wisdom as he goes around the country helping groups in need of a little Tuff Luv.

Looks to be a TIVO add ! I'm normally not a confrontational kinda guy, but what won me over is the sneak peek of Mr. T laying a little Tuff Luv in the 12 Items or Less checkout line. Perfect. UDAMAN, Mr. T...

12 Items or Less

I need to pull some strings to get Mr. T to Nashville for a Nashville Is Talking blogger meetup...

"Because in every city, there's fools to pity"


Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt - Comfy

Photo Hunt 25: Comfy

Theme: Comfy | Join the Photo Hunt | View Blogroll | Visit participants.

comfy - providing or experiencing physical well-being or relief; "feeling comfy now?"

There is nothing like chilling out on on the couch after a hard day at the office (watching The Office) with my incredible dogs. That's my grand dog Diggy (2) in the foreground and Ally (9), my big 95 pounder Lab. They were tired after a big day running around and swimming in the creek. Hard to tell them to get off the couch when they both just want to snuggle.


I just joined the Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt hosted by Tn Chick. You too can play: Join the Photo Hunt There's a theme every Saturday, so I look forward to visiting the community of participants.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Stronger than mustard gas

It's Friday and time for a Web Log Medical Public Service Announcement.

I'm serial. This not meant for a cheap laugh, as I often wonder from a medical perspective about human exhaust and combustion.

"Farts are a daily function of the human body. They come in various shapes and sizes, odors and intensities, sounds and potencies. However, the study of fart types and their affects is a limited one, many of which result in painful burns to the colon. Mental Discharge has compiled, through extensive scientific research and a lot of bean dip, a visual guide to farts and their various anatomies. If you've ever been curious as to the different types of gaseous deployments that have crept up from your backside, you've come to the right place."

Read more about Fartistic Anatomies Not for the faint of heart.

Oh yeah:

From Savage Chickens

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Weblogs on cassette!

Hey Nashville bloggers! Nashville Is Talking, but is anyone listening?

You can now make your very own virtual cassettes and not get ripped off by those shady Music Row tape duplication houses that want to charge two cents each. The nerve!

Here's how to make your own virtual cassette!

Keep trading the tapes! Just enter some text and click the 'Go' button. A picture of a cassette will be generated for you. Collect 'em, trade 'em, put 'em on your website, or e-mail 'em to your friends.

Maybe the next time I finish a scrumptous meal at the local Country Crock, err I mean Cracker Barrel I can purchase the latest weblog on cassette by CeeElCee, Sarcasto, Brittney, Rex Camino, The Nashville Knucklehead, Busy Mom, Sista Smiff, Hutchmo at Salem's Lot, Jag @ I'm About To Be Brilliant, Kat @ Just Another Pretty Farce ... the list goes on...

What do your pets do while you're at work?

Here's one of those *cute pet alert postings* that asks the question:

What do your pets do while you're at work?

My two dogs are so cool and highly professional - they never bark while I'm on the phone.

Which reminds me - one company that I worked at had a "it's ok to bring your dog to the cube farm" understanding. What killed the understanding was a certain big dog's "accident" of peeing on the wall, but the kicker?

One of the corporate guys came in with his executive admin and only on that day, the big dog had a persistant fondness for sniffing this lady's you know what. Err, not cool.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Guns 'n' Swords

Being a die hard fan of the Dallas Cowboys... I know, I know... Everybody hates a winner (8 Super Bowl Appearances, 5 Super Bowl Victories) and in Nashville, a losing team as well. Go ahead, let me have it in the comments, just don't use ALL CAPS.

Anywhoo, I read a pretty decent blog: Blogging the Boys, An Unofficial Dallas Cowboys Blog.

And there is a new Tennessee Titans blog by Jimmy called Music City Miracles

Here's the skinny on Sunday's game:

BTB: Give us your best spin on how an 0-3 Titans team can upset the Cowboys on Sunday.

Jimmy: The Titans best and maybe only chance to win on Sunday comes if the Cowboys miss their flight to Nashville. Seriously though, for the Titans to win the defense is going to have to force some turnovers to give the offense a short field, or the Titans are going to have to get some points from special teams. The Titans are not at an advantage on either side of the ball in this game. It will take an "unconventional score" or two for the Titans to have a chance.

WonderDawg: I hate to say it, but I think it might be another blowout in the thirty five point range and perhaps a shutout. May be pretty ugly.

UPDATE: from the Dallas Morning News:

Dallas Cowboys star receiver Terrell Owens swallowed prescription pain medication Tuesday night in an apparent attempt to commit suicide, according to a Dallas Police Department report released Wednesday morning.
The police report says the complainant, identified as Owens, "stated that he was depressed" and that he had emptied a bottle of pain pills and was trying to harm himself, the report said.

According to the report, a woman who was with Owens saw him put two pills in her mouth, and she tried to get them out. She also said he had filled a prescription for 40 pain pills on Sept. 18, and taken only five through Tuesday, the report said.

Under questioning, Owens said he had taken the remainder of the prescription. He was described as having "ingested unknown large quantity of RX pain medication," and was transported to Baylor University Medical Center for a drug overdose.

Culinary curiosity

I love to cook only because I love to eat. After all, Chinese people invented the all you can eat buffet and for that matter, the fork, spaghetti, paper and printing (for cookbooks).

My dad was a four star chef at Trader Vic's, and later was the banquet chef at the Washington, DC Hilton. He even cooked for President Richard Nixon. Later he opened his own takeout only Chinese restaurant, the Silver Moon in Richmond, Virginia. You had to call two hours in advance, because the food was that awesome.

Even my son Gary pursued a culinary career, but after 5 years, the long hours and weekends took its toll, which is why I never pursued the family restaurant business myself.

So after years of woking and grilling, I'm pretty much in a meat 'n' three mode with a bent on trying the occasional experiment only if low risk is involved, such as NOT ruining a good piece of meat or botching up expensive groceries.

I did try baking an oven roast on the grill last night with pretty good success. This was a inspired-by-funkenswine half hearted attempt on a modified basis. For the real deal, check out: Tim Morgan's inspired-by-funkenswine classic blog-u-mentary.

After concocting a dry rub of whatever was in the cupboard (pepper, salt, chili powder, garlic salt, paprika, cayenne and other stuff), I somewhat lovingly hand rubbed the oven roast and promptly placed the roast in a black skillet on the gas grill.

The problem was regulating the gas grill to stay at 350 degrees under the lid. Nonetheless, it took well over an hour, but I could stay focused on refurbishing a wooden bench while it sizzled on the gas grill. The finished product had a nice crisp exterior with a pink middle. Good enough and perfect for leftover sandwiches today.

Last month, I did make a meatloaf birthday cake for Mrs. WonderDawg, but it was too complex (and "bizarre").

However, I'm somewhat perplexed by this culinary attempt: Dishwasher Salmon.

Bob Bulmer claims: Poaching fish in the dishwasher is a virtually foolproof way to shock your friends, prepare a succulent meal and do the dishes -- all at the same time. I've poached salmon in more than 100 dishwashers on three continents. There's never been a dull party.

I've heard of fish cooking on top of the air cleaner in a old car while traveling or a potato in a exhaust muffler, but I always thought of those as cruel practical jokes designed to stink up a car or cause backfiring.

I sure hate to waste $15.00 on a good piece of salmon, while ruining a Bosch dishwasher with permanent fish smelliness morphing into widespread housitosis.

I'm not sure what to believe! Here's the full story and recipe. If you want to try it in your own dishwasher, let me know. Maybe we can hook up for some Electrasol Salmon. Yummy?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Don't sit so close to me

Last week at the MOPS conference, I was standing on stage as a good host always does, waiting for Dr. Wess Stafford's wireless mike and soundcheck to be set up. As always, I pondering the logistic layout of the Opryland Hotel Delta ballroom, thinking to myself how the room is laid out with the projection screens, will it sound good, how having a personal video crane would be cool, seating arrangements, etc.

One thing I did notice... why aren't the seats on the outer rows angled in towards the stage. Nothing worse than having a crimp in the old neck and while I'm at it - spread the chairs at least two inches apart. Cheek to cheek is too intimate for me. If you notice, 360 guys can fill up a 5000 seat ballroom, as we like to spread out with our stuff; one chair on either side to prop our arms on, and the other to put our stuff on (like a pencil). Also it's a distance equals safety thing.

Since this was a Mothers Of Preschoolers Conference with 5000 ladies, I didn't say anything. But I was sure thinking it.

Compassion and defining moments

There are those rare opportunities in life when God's timing is impeccable to receive a blessing and a "defining moment" to see the world through other people's eyes.

I received an email correspondence from my old Promise Keepers staffer and friend Greg Hogan back in Denver asking if I could wrangle a day or so out of my schedule to assist with the 2006 MOPS International Convention conference here in Nashville last week.

Greg in his 12+ years with Promise Keepers has worked Speaker Hospitality many times and he contracts out once each year to handle the same duties for MOPS' (Mothers of Preschoolers) annual convention (6,000 screaming moms - which is a cultural shock for a Promise Keepers guy!).

When I think about how thankful I am to be able to work from home with a great team of guys and have the flexibility to do activities that are meaningful, I said without hesitation, yes.

Last week, I did some airport runs in a new Chevy Suburban, which has got to be one of the biggest vehicles I have ever driven. Every time I pulled into the ten minute parking zone at the Nashville Airport, heads turn wondering whom that guy was driving that boss set of wheels. Somebody thought I was with the Titans and others gave me the "Get out of way, I can't see around you" look of disgust.

Despite the crazy construction on Briley Parkway, people still drive fast; I had a couple of near misses, but with a big vehicle people will move out of the way.

I was assigned to guest host Dr. Wesley K. Stafford who is the Chief Executive officer of Compassion International.

"Compassion International exists as a Christian child advocacy ministry that releases children from spiritual, economic, social and physical poverty and enables them to become responsible, fulfilled Christian adults. Today, Compassion helps more than 770,000 children in more than 20 countries."

My role was to simply get him from one place to another. There was the sound check at 8 am; onward to the Green Room, being on time to the platform, to the book signing and seminar location while navigating the expansiveness of Opryland Hotel. Wess as he insisted on being called, was probably one of the nicest and humble guys I have ever met. He was extremely relational and would stop and talk to any one who wanted to say hi.

In his talk, he shared his one simple belief: God's children are priceless resources. He spoke of his passion and Compassion's efforts to see the cycle of poverty broken for children everywhere. In a heartfelt interview format onstage, Wess shared with great transparency how he suffered years of abuse nearly fifty years ago at a young age of ten at a boarding school for the children of missionaries in a West African village. It was in this unspoken hell of abuse and darkness, that he no longer wanted to be labeled as "a tool of Satan" for exposing the wrongs of the faculty.

Wess shared to the degree that one can (and must), that the only way to get through the trauma of abuse was forgiveness. He was no longer going to be shackled to his abusers' actions whether they were seeking forgiveness or not while moving forward in his adult life. Speaking to the audience of 5000 women, Wess said to all abused women present to know that you don't deserve abuse, and you don't owe anyone anything. Abuse should be yielded to God's grace to a state of being protected and sanctified by His favor.

In that defining moment of a declaration of freedom, I was taken back by how many women in the audience needed to hear that as evidenced by the tears and later, standing ovation.

I'm honored and very humbled to have met Dr. Wess Stafford. What a heart for children.

Too Small to Ignore: Why Children's Are the Next Big Thing, written by Dr. Wess Stafford

Learn how to sponsor a child via Compassion.

A walking topiary

When I show Mrs. WonderDawg this photo taken at Opryland Hotel of a "artsy walking plant", she immediately responded, "That's a topiary."

Ugh... Big word.

Topiary is the art of creating sculptures in the medium of clipped shrubs and sub-shrubs. (Wikipedia)

Monday, September 25, 2006

Err... Howdy stranger!

George is not your typical Promise Keepers attendee (as seen in Atlanta).

His religious affiliation?

"Self expression"

By the way, the guy to the left in the blue shirt gave me a bunch of aggressive down the road attitude for taking George's picture. Said something to the effect that that I'm encouraging the George's of the world to continue their "self expression."

George wanted to talk and so I listened.

As for my blue shirt friend - well, God loves you and I'm working on loving the hell out of you.

My understanding of Jesus and the Good Book is that you cannot judge anyone into the Kingdom, but rather just love them as a friend.

So why can't we just be friends?

Friday, September 22, 2006

Long Live Rock! - be it dead or alive

I was making an attempt to clean my garage out when I opened the first box to see what was inside. I found a few ticket stubs from my concert going days in Atlanta and immediately got sidetracked from cleaning the garage.

For a while, I dated a girl that worked at a local concert promoter and she liked for me to hang with her while she was doing the backstage logistics. One year, I saw over 372 different concerts. In Atlanta it was easy to do so back in the early seventies... I could see Fleetwood Mac (pre Buckingham/Nicks) at the Fox Theatre, go across the street to Alex Cooley's Electric Ballroom to see a set by guitarist Robin Trower and later catch the final 1 am set by new artist Robert Palmer (Sneakin' Sally Though the Alley) at the Great Southeast Music Hall which was on the way home.

I've seen some great bands over the years - my favorites concerts always have been the bands that had a lot of street buzz and radio airplay (back when radio was progressive). I had the good fortune to catch new bands touring to support their first album such as Alice Cooper, Emerson, Lake & Palmer (opening for the J. Geils Band), Crosby, Stills and Nash, The Allman Brothers Band, Bruce Springsteen, U2, Jackson Browne, Willie Nelson or Linda Ronstadt's band that went on to become the Eagles.

Still I regretted never getting to see the Moody Blues, The Band, Led Zeppelin or any of the Beatles just to name a few.

C. Kula on the Office Pirates blog understands exactly my musical regrets...

You have a problem: You want to see your favorite classic rock band this summer but don't feel like paying Ticketmaster fees, fighting a crowd, or buying $8 beers. Oh, also: Your favorite classic rock band broke up years ago.

Watch these 20 classic rock TRIBUTE BANDS we found on You Tube - from Hell's Belles, the all-female AC/DC tribute, to the Doors band that performs in school cafeterias, to "0vueen," Korea's answer to Queen.

Long Live (mock) Rock!

The joy of being a mascot...

or a walking billboard.

Today at Opryland Hotel, I encountered the TIVO mascot - he (or she) was a bit shy and didn't say much. Of course with no arms to gesture with or head to nod, I think the TIVO mascot was just trying to keep his balance. I did see him struggle to get out of the elevator, so maybe he was in no mood to talk, although he was kind enough to stop long enough have his picture taken. I think he wanted to keep moving so that he wouldn't leave a puddle of perspiration on the nice carpet.

I remember 30 years ago in Atlanta, there was a fuzzy bear mascot for a local rock n roll radio station. This bear was everywhere, especially at all the local concerts. As I recall, my room mate John and and I were at a Elvis Costello concert at the Fox Theatre. Now this bear didn't have a personalized name like Smokey or Fozzie, Yogi or Boo Boo, so I was wondering out loud if this bear was a he or she. The next thing I knew, John jumped up and asked the bear if it was a boy or girl. When the bear didn't respond, he reached for the bear's chest, where as the bear immediately slugged him, knocking off his glasses.

Girl bear.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Your trash is nothing but... trash

The Tennessean's article regarding "Salvation Army does not want your junk" is so true!

Got junk? The Salvation Army does, and it's tired of it.

Long known for their bargains, the Nashville-area Salvation Army thrift stores have been turned into dumping grounds, piling up car parts, soiled and shredded mattresses and loads of other unusable items.

The 6214 Charlotte Pike thrift store is down the road from me and every time I drive by, the loading dock visible from Charlotte Pike has the appearance of a overturned dumpster.

I worked at a local ministry sorting clothes that were donated for the Katrina relief and you would be appalled at the junk people donate. For clothing, I've seen grass stained pants, poop stained baby clothes, painted covered shirts... have people no shame?

For toiletries, I've seen half filled shampoo bottles, zipped lock bags of used soap bars, used hair brushes...

I could go on about flea infested, cat / dog haired blankets and other stuff, but I won't. I came close to ending up hating humanity in the midst of being charitable for a good cause.

I'll never understand human nature that compels some people in times of natural disaster to automatically clean out their garage and closets. Thanks for the hub caps and used tires. IGMOs.

MOPS - invade Opryland

I'm actually leaving the house and heading to Opryland Hotel to lend a hand with the MOPS (Mothers of PreSchoolers) convention. Should be fun as I'll make some airport runs for some of the guest speakers. My brother Greg from Promise Keepers is handing some of the logistics and when a brother is in need, I just gotta help out. Logistics is still in my blood.

I'm not sure what to expect, but it won't be 18,000 Promise Keepers guys... I just hope it's not 18,000 moms with 18,000 strollers.

The theme is Fresh Air: Breathe Deeply, Live Fully. - What Every Mom Needs: Perspective - Rest - Balance - Freedom.

How true.

Nonetheless, here's to all the Busy Moms, stay at home moms here and there and Sista's everywhere in suburbia. Hat's off to ya!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Addicted to blogging?

When I'm not posting a whacked out thought or a photo here at WonderDawg, I'm reading a ton of blogs because I'm normally tethered to the iMac here as I work from home online. (I'm truly a blessed man.) I'm reading and responding to a ton of emails, checking stats, reading forum postings, blogs on technology, reading about the latest and greatest smartphones... you get the idea... so I have great occassion to visit a few blogs during the day.

I enjoy a great laugh here and there reading about others take on life (or lack of), but lately I'm feeling uninspired to post a thought. My brain and body is just now recovering from jet lag and I think I got a tiny case of poison oak - just three bumps located where my forearm meets the desk. I think it's nature way of saying quit blogging for awhile as I could be....

... addicted to blogging.

Here's why...

At Bloggers Anonymous -- we normally frown upon spreading propaganda that minimizes the serious nature of our cause. However, in the name of education and awareness, we would like to point to this juvenile "Top 10" list of "symptoms" which indicate you may be addicted to blogging. We will not reveal the authors as to not credit them in any way. Please be aware that this ignorance is out there -- and defeating the spirit of our cause.

10. You check your blog stats a LOT. You occasionally get up in the middle of the night and sneak a peak.

9. Your significant other suspects you are having an affair with your blog. Even when you're alone with your special person, you do find yourself thinking what your blog might be doing right then...

8. You "mental blog" while driving or on the train, and sometimes even when you are alone in the shower.

See if you're addicted by reading the other seven "symptoms"

Are you addicted to blogging? I have four of the ten "symptoms" !!!

I'm learning something new everyday

While blogging has only reached prominence in the last few years, it was actually invented by the ancient Romans who built a majestic blog in 200 BC from marble, granite and links they stole from the Greeks.

"Blog" itself is short for "weblog," which is short for "we blog because we weren't very popular in high school and we're trying to gain respect and admiration without actually having to be around people."

There's more! Keep reading...

Monday, September 18, 2006

Stress distinction between blog, journalism

This letter to the USA Today caught my eye.

Here's why... I get "blog" fatigue when I attempt to follow a thread in the comments, particularly when the subject matter is religion or politics. From my perspective, a writer may lob a subject that is sure to cause dissention and a exchange of shouting back in forth not unlike crossfire on cable news. Everybody is talking over each other, everybody wants to be heard, but no one is listening.

I'm tired of snarky comments, USA bashing, Bush blaming, who's racist, all men are bad, left wing, right wing, religion is for the weak, all hail Islam, women are trash, Katrina, I've got low self esteem and I'm blaming you and the Republicans, politics is bad, but I'm not registered to vote type of change my diapers and wipe my butt blog postings when it is based out of anger for the sake of getting someone to go ballistic.

I knew an office mate whose major was in psychology - his MO was to get a rise out of people just so he could enjoy the frustration it caused within the office with his outlandish comments. He was voted off the cubicle island. Too much noise or in some cases, pettiness for my brain to digest.

There's a bit of Biblical wisdom in a passage from 2 Timothy: "Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels." We are instructed rather to "not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful." I'm just not the quarrelsome type, so like the TV, I just move on. Now if you're looking for a solution, I can work with that anyday.

Last, with regard to John's letter below, everything sounds right until one hears the other side of the story.

Stress distinction between blog, journalism
Posted 9/5/2006 11:28 PM ET

Thanks for giving space to Bruce Kluger's commentary on the influence of blogging (" Lieberman, 'Snakes' and the seductive mythology of the blogosphere," The Forum, Aug. 30).

Three years ago, almost no one knew what the word "blog" meant. Today, my mother might be one of the last blogger holdouts.

Most disconcerting, however, is the increasing influence of bloggers on the mainstream news media. Fifteen years ago, I was a newspaper reporter and copy editor. I was trained to understand how to gather and disseminate information, how to verify facts with multiple sources, how to correctly utilize a confidential or off-the-record source, how to ensure accuracy and truth in reporting. Sometimes, my editors and I got it wrong; mostly we didn't. But it took time -- a lot of time -- to ensure that our reporting was accurate, thorough and balanced.

Today's bloggers not only print information at the merest whiff of gossip and innuendo, but their "reports" (most of which are probably no more than exaggerated speculation) are also more and more often reported in the mainstream news media -- in the process granting them a false legitimacy.

These days, the guiding principle seems to be that if it appears anywhere in text form -- whether in print, online or on television -- it's journalism.

That's just not the case. If the journalism profession is to continue to thrive and be meaningful to our society, journalists will need to quickly begin making distinctions between the great care it takes to do their job well and the fly-by-night, poor "reporting" of bloggers.

John Singh, Oakland

Sunday, September 17, 2006

I'm too wired to sleep...

After doing yard work on such a beautiful day and watching a pretty good game between the University of Tennessee and Florida, I should call it a day. After all, I've got a full slate of NFL games to watch in eight hours.

I'm sure eating chips and a drinking a Pepsi at 2 am is not wise, but at least in my wired state, I uploaded to Flickr a healthy dose of my 2000 pictures I took while in Los Angeles last week.

I've got 'em in sets: Beverly Hills, Hollywood, Pacific Ocean, Warner Bros., Los Angeles with more to upload... Lots of eye candy!

Los Angeles Flickr sets

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Programming the Tivo Version 2006

Now that fall weather is upon us with the arrival of NFL football, I have to think about what TV programs that I can program in order to park my carcass / rump to waste away my mind.

My lineup thus far...

NFL Football (both games) (Fox, CBS)
The Simpsons (Fox)
Everybody Hate's Chris (CW)
Desperate Housewives (ABC)
Sunday Night Football (NBC)

Monday Night Football on ESPN

House (Fox)
The Unit (CBS)
NFL Replay (NFL)

NFL Replay (NFL)

Survivor: Cook Islands (CBS)
My Name Is Earl (NBC)
The Office (NBC)
Flip This House (A&E)
Flip That House (TLC)


The usual HGTV, DIY network home improvement shows (before 9 am)
Maybe a college game here and there... Vandy or UT

and coming soon:
Surface (I think this show got cancelled)

Shows I haven't got hooked on:

Grey's Anatomy (ABC)
Law & Order (NBC)
Without a Trace (CBS)
Lost (ABC)

Thus far, it looks like I'll venture out in public on Friday and Saturday!

Photo credit

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Simpsons character generator

Hey boys and girls! You too can be an animator - It's The Simpsons!

Create your own Simpsons character here

When you're done, how about commenting with your link for all to see?


En marmorkopi af Michelangelos 'Pieta'-statue vises frem i Venedig, dekoreret med et amerikansk flag. - Foto: LUIGI COSTANTINI


Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Speaking of Houses...

Your House As Seen By Yourself...

Your House As Seen By Lender...

Your House As Seen By Buyer...

Your House As Seen By Appraiser...

Your House As Seen By Tax Assessor...

Hat Tip: Johnny B

Houses in Los Angeles

I brought home the large classified Homes section of the Los Angeles Times ( just for kicks.

Here are some that caught my eye, but I didn't want to guess what the prices are.

Beverly Hills


Beverly Hills

Venice Beach

Rodeo Drive - Beverly Hills

Should you not be able to buy at these prices, I saw a listing in Beverly Hills leasing a flat for $29,000 PER MONTH.

LA Movie Studios

I walked around the gated fortress of Sony Picture Studios. With all the gates closed, I stuck my camera over the top and got this shot:

The NBC and CBS studios looked non descript, I didn't bother to stop.

I didn't have the $39.00 or the time to take the tour of the Warner Bros. Studios but I sure it was a much hipper tour with their rich history of cinema and animation.

That's all folks.

Musings from Los Angeles

Back from LA - I learned that people living in the city don't describe destinations in miles; just time. When I pulled into a gas station looking for the Hollywood sign, the attendant said it was 30 minutes away, although the distance was seven miles!

My cheeks are really sore from sitting in the car so much going from destination to destination. If living in Los Angeles, I'm convinced that driving a clunker car and no GPS will doom you to a life of misery.

Also, I'm disappointed with the lack of good FM radio - there's a ton of Latino stations and Jack FM. I did enjoy the USC station that played four hours of Beatles music Sunday morning.

Bad radio in LA must be why everybody has an iPod. There is a iPod billboard for every Starbucks location.

Homeless people like camping out by the Pacific Ocean. I notice they carried much more gear and very much into recycling glass and cans for their substance. No panhandling.

Lots of eye candy billboards and graphics to entice while sitting at stoplights.

Even the plant life is spectacular! Does anybody know what this plant is called? Looks an abstract goose.

I'm beat to a pulp...

... my mind is scrambled and my cheeks are sore.

Some quick thoughts and multiple posts with pictures while I rearrange my brain cells from my cross country journey.

Just flew back from being in Los Angeles and while I had a healthy concern what the LAX experience would be post 9/11 yesterday, I have to say for my 2:55 pm departure, the security lines were efficent, with no waiting. I am feeling confident and much safer flying. The only change I saw were two TSA agents rechecking carry on bags at the boarding gate for the flight prior. For our flight, we were selected for extra security with ten soldiers in combat fatigues helping out. But they were randomly checking people as I was fourth in line and waved on through. Good thing, as my backpacked was jammed with electronics and four cell phones.

(L-R) Palm Treo 650, Nokia E-61, Motorola Q, Treo 700W

I scored a Nokia and Motorola smartphone from demoing our wares. The handset manufactors are eager to work with content developers to accelerate their new product launches. Of course, we're happy to oblige. I really like the new Motorola Q; over the next few days, I'll be playing and testing our new voice apps on these devices. Fun stuff that gadgeteers get into.

I still can't understand why people just saunter up to a A line at Southwest and jump line. Three people did it to me, bumping me from first to fourth. I think when confronted, having a blank stare is their best defense. Still, I got my first class seat on the exit row.

I took two thousand photos while in LA - one night, I'll organize them. Flickr Pro is a great program. Which reminds me of the time my older brother showed us his Hawaii vacation on two carousel of sildes, while his aggressive Cocker Spaniel keep us hostage on the couch.

Lots of Asians and Latinos in this city.

Did you know that I have three brothers? Jerry, Terry and Harry. (My son is Gary).

My three sisters are named Emily, Lilly and Sally.

So while the myth is that Chinese parents name their offspring by the sound of dropped silverware, my parents were creative and did the rhyming thing. Very cool.

Speaking of great programs, check out Delicious Library

Get your Mac, a webcam, and Delicious Library and rediscover your home library. Just point any FireWire digital video camera, like an Apple iSight, at the barcode on the back of any book, movie, music, or video game. Delicious Library does the rest. The barcode is scanned and within seconds the item's cover appears on your digital shelves filled with tons of in-depth information downloaded from one of six different web sources from around the world.

more on the next post...

Monday, September 11, 2006

Resting in the shadow of the Almighty

I woke up this morning with the song He Knows My Name written by Tommy Walker.

I have a Maker
He formed my heart
Before even time began
My life was in his hands

Five years ago on September 11, 2005, I was sitting at home. Unemployed. Laid off. Looking hard. Feeling very fragile and pressing into God for provision, favor, mercy and grace.

He knows my name
He knows my every thought
He sees each tear that falls
and He hears me when I call

As I sat horrified at the breaking news that unfolded before my eyes, my heart sank and was despondent for the lives that were affected. Fathers, Mothers, Sons, Daughters. Five years later, I'm still trying to process the events and comprehend my understanding of Why? Is there that much hate and venom that Americans must die? People are dying of Aids. Muslim women are bound up as second class human beings. Where do I fit in making a difference when myself and many others in a post 9-11 economy struggle to find work? I can't even provide for my family, yet I'm grieving for the lives lost.

I have a Father
He calls me His own
He'll never leave me
No matter where I go

I'm sitting in Los Angeles that is a potential hotspot today on 9-11-2006. Nine million people moving around, each with their own struggles, hope and dreams. I shook my fist at God soon thereafter, as the checks ran out and nine months of seeking work like so many others cause me to question my own faith.

He knows my name
He knows my every thought
He sees each tear that falls
and He hears me when I call

My God did not fail me. I've got all the character I can stand now. I'm full of hope and especially today in rememberance of the 2996 innocent lives. Honor them by reading their stories. Pray for your family. Remember the men and women serving our armed forces. Ask for grace and mercy and protection. Be hopeful. I am.

Never forget those who died. My hope for you today is that may no harm befall you, may no disaster will come near your home.

NBC Primetime Preview: The Office Clips

NBC Primetime Preview: Featuring the cast of The Office (and classic Dwight lines)

Who's up for a Office viewing party?

While in Hollywood, visit Beverly Hills

More from Los Angeles... WonderDawg Goes to Hollywood.

I ate at the legendary In-N-Out Burger. Nothing is frozen; fries and burgers are handmade and very good!

Cruised through Beverly Hills 90210 and Rodeo Drive. Very swanky. Saw some houses with cement ponds. Couldn't find Mr. Drysdale's bank to photograph.

My favorite picture of the day! Located in Beverly Hills! They weren't open for business yet, but if they were, I was going to get an autographed menu.

Must go to sleep and attend a conference that runs all day Monday from 8 am to 11 pm. Should be fun visiting with my peers in the business and making new friends at Handango, Motorola, Microsoft and many others. The Schwag leaves me speechless.