Archive for December 8, 2008

Arthur v Carter 12/8/08

Posted: December 8, 2008 by datechguy in arthur vs carter
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Yesterday Ann Althouse linked to the president elects appearance on Meet the Press her comments are here and they provide a vote for Carter.

Running count Chester 1 Jimmy 1

As far as my take on his comments? You get what you pay for. No refunds on exchanges on this item.

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Cheap pays off

Posted: December 8, 2008 by datechguy in amazon reviews, Uncategorized
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This has been a tighter than usual year. Circumstances from the 20th anniversary Cruise to other stuff had eaten up a good chunk of the money I normally set aside for Christmas gifts.

When the job left that clinched it. I generally buy the gifts all during the year for friends and family but for some reason the nieces and the brothers and sisters got covered early but the nephews and friends didn’t. Usually it is much easier for me to shop for the guys and the boys but items jumped out at me early for the other crowd this year. So Violet has something but Jack is out of luck.

As far as the immediate family this is where cheap has really paid off. All year I’ve been paying for everything with my Amazon.com gift card, then writing a check the following month to the card company. All the electric bills, all the oil bills, the 20th anniversary trip, Catholic School tuition, groceries et-al. The kids put their wish lists on Amazon and I had a stack of $25 coupons to use for them.

Additionally instead of ordering everything together I made each order separately. That way I was able to check the daily deals and jump on a thing or two while qualifying for the free super shipping.

My final order is being placed today. This will complete my Christmas shopping except for the the 12 guys who are out of luck unless I find something in the next two weeks. It will still be a thin Christmas but this really paid off this year.

Another reason to avoid facebook and Cellphones

Posted: December 8, 2008 by datechguy in employment, opinion/news, tech
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It occurs to me that with the combination of cell phones and facebook that this kind of thing likely happens a lot more than we think:

At the exact moment Jon Favreau is receiving high praise in pre-inaugural media puff pieces, the 27-year-old chief speechwriter for President-elect Barack Obama (not Jon Favreau, the Hollywood actor/ director) finds himself in a minor mess over a photo from a recent private party showing him groping the breast of a cardboard cutout of Hillary Rodham Clinton as an unnamed pal wearing an “Obama staff” T-shirt kisses and feeds her beer.

Instead of the liberal world where the press will protect an important Obama fellow from this stuff. (I’ll leave that argument for Violet and friends who won’t be surprised) today lets look at it in the real world.

First of all drunken idiots have been doing things since mead (which tastes awful in my opinion but these guys would disagree) was first created. It’s one of the reasons besides the fact that I’m cheap; I avoid drinking in public places. When you are drunk or stoned you are going to act like an idiot, when I act like an idiot I want to know I’m doing it.

Second of all in the age of the Cell phone and Facebook and e-mail a picture of you being a drunken idiot can not only be spread around the world in moments but might be on youtube forever (just do a search for star wars kid if you don’t believe me). The data may sit but it will be there.

Now imagine you are a HR person, if a candidate passes the first round of interviews I suspect a strong online search will take place. In this age of mandatory “sensitivity” and “sexual harassment” training, growing unemployment and lawsuits on demand are you going to risk a callback to the fellow in that drunken picture mooning the camera or that lady in that web video showing off her thong no matter how good their interview was? I think not.

And PLEASE don’t tell me it doesn’t matter. The 14 year old daughter of one of my oldest friends was talking to me a few days ago. She works in a local supermarket and the discussion of “Merry Christmas vs Happy Holidays” came up. She was told if she said “Merry Christmas” and someone complained, she would be fired. She also said that if she said “Happy Holidays” and someone complained, she would be fired. It was the complaint that mattered and with 100+ teens waiting to take her job she will wisely keep her mouth shut. If she can lose her job for that what do you think a nasty chat log or e-mailed photo will do?

And what if you ever are on the verge of fame of greatness? People will be looking for those photos and blogs will be looking for the hits, just ask Ace.

In the end the internet is like a tattoo it can be expensive and unavailing to try to get off once you are on. This guy has the right idea:

The only real solution, argues a hacker and security researcher who calls himself “Dead Addict,” is to not reveal your personal information in the first place.

That whole article is worth a read but remember this. Unless you were there you will likely never see your grandparents drunk, wild and idiotic even if they were party animals, but your grandchildren’s grandchildren will be able to watch you play “pull my finger” in a continuous loop forever.

Manheim Steamroller in Lowell thoughts

Posted: December 8, 2008 by datechguy in Uncategorized
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Tight times or no da wife decided to give take me to see Mannheim Steamroller in Lowell Mass. My impressions follow:

The Memorial auditorium in Lowell is a great place to watch a concert, we had the “nosebleed” seats literally with our backs to the back wall and they were great for the concert its like watching a game at Fenway without breaking the bank.

Before the concert began the guy in charge of the place plugged gift cards for the place, and then very foolishly wished everyone a “happy holiday” (arbor day perhaps?) Considering the group and the concert and the demographics of the audience I can’t think of anything he could have said that would retard sales to this crowd more.

For some unknown reason the air conditioning was on in the place during the first act. It was freezing so we kept our winter coats , muffs, hats and scarfs on. Somebody took care of it at halftime.

They had a list of war dead in the auditorium, the amount of Civil war deaths from a city the size of Lowell was staggering to see as was the long list of Lowell men who apparently died on the USS Maine in 1898.

The list of 8 medal of honor winners was kinda large too.

I never thought I would see a bust of Gen Ben Butler in a place of high honor, he’s not a guy in history that you think of that way.

In the packed auditorium I noticed something right away:

There was nobody with a visible Tattoo.

There was nobody with a visible piercing.

There was nobody with any kind of shirt with a loud slogan

I didn’t see a single man with an earring

Nobody had hair dyed odd colors or with weird cuts

It has been decades since i saw a crowd composed of totally normal and average people. I suspect that the fact that Steamroller’s music gets a lot of it publicity from the Rush Limbaugh show had something to do with it. It was so striking I kept my eye’s open to see if I could find anyone odd during intermission and when we left. Other than a pair of really odd looking silver boots on a lady not a thing.

If you have heard cd’s and I have several it can’t compare to the visuals of the lights and film used in the performance. It is really something to see. The wife thought the cd’s were ok but decided the performance made her appreciate the Cd’s much more. She thought it was awesome.

It is a shame that the founder Davis is laid up, the idea of dividing the group into two, adding members and splitting them into east and west coast tours is great for the audience to expand the number of people who can see it, but I think I would have liked to see the original group at least once.

The videos and film were really classy. Apparently in larger stadiums they have live dancers and performers either instead of and in addition to the film. I find myself wanting to see it in that setting as well.

It never struck me but when they talked about medieval music and how many carols came from it their music does sound like it comes straight out of the 12-14th century sometimes.

I would really like to be able to buy tickets for an event for the actual face value of the tickets.

I never get sick of Christmas music, if the PC crowd manages to chase the word Christmas out of every other venue the music will keep it alive.