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Showing posts from August, 2005

My Screenplay

I came up with an idea for a screenplay. I am going to call it " Hair Today Gone Tomorrow ." It is the story of a toupee that is worn by various men and the hair raising experiences they encounter while wearing the toupee. No really, I am working on it as we speak.

My Experience as a Woman

No, I am not a transvestite, transexual or tran anything, but back in the day I did learn a little bit about what it could be like to be a woman in the online world. I first went online around 1993 or so. At that time I was part of the AOL crowd and I spent time in their chatrooms and a couple of BB around the net. I used my fraternity nickname as my handle because I didn't want to give up my anonymity. I quickly learned that for some reason a number of men thought that I was female and consequently I'd get these interesting messages which skipped over the normal intro which went: A/S/L For the uninitiated that refers to age/sex/location. Instead I'd find these men trying to email or private message me with all sorts of questions. The smoother men generally were smart enough not to start with something overtly sexual, but in time it almost always got there. Some of you are probably wondering how it got there, didn't I tell them I was a man. And the answer i

Stories from the Hurricane

CNN has an interesting roundup of their reporters perspectives. Here is a link and a couple of blurbs. "Shreveport hospital in dire need Posted: 12:36 p.m. ET CNN's Deborah Feyerick in Shreveport, Louisiana We had a conversation with one family who had left New Orleans. They are desperately trying to get in touch with their sister. She is a college nurse at the Memorial Medical Hospital on Napoleon Street. The story they told us of what is going on at that hospital is quite dramatic. According to their sister, looters are trying to get into the hospital. There's no electricity. The nurses, the doctors and their families have virtually locked themselves into the medical center and they don't know when they are going to be able to get out. The story they were telling us is that the hospital administration was telling the staff there it would be five days until they might be able to be rescued. They are telling us that people in the hospital are dying

New Orleans, Biloxi, Katrina Etc

I am transfixed by everything that is going on in relation to Hurricane Katrina. It is another sign about how small we are in relationship to the earth. Mother Nature burps and we go running for the hills. Some of the clips I have read have just held my attention. " A million people fled the New Orleans area before Katrina arrived. But former Mayor Sidney Barthelemy estimated 80,000 were trapped in the flooded city and urged U.S. President George W. Bush to send more troops. "We have to send the army to stop this or we will lose New Orleans and we will lose 80,000 people," Barthelemy told CNN. "If we can spend the monies that we are spending to help the people in Iraq, then we can do the same thing for New Orleans." The U.S. military was sending a hospital ship and two helicopter-carriers to assist two other Navy ships already conducting rescues in the area. Governors of the afflicted states mobilized 8,000 National Guard troops. Amid the looting,

My Favorite Food Fight

Yes ladies and gents, the world renowned Tomatina has just been completed. Although I should say that I have a burning desire to participate in a large pie fight. You can blame that upon the Three Stooges. BUNOL, Spain (Reuters) - Tens of thousands of people armed with 100 tonnes of plum tomatoes took part in the "Tomatina" on Wednesday, joyously splattering each other in the Spanish town of Bunol. The town hall of Bunol, which lies just inland from Valencia on Spain's Mediterranean coast, spent 24,960 euros on the fruit and dumped it the streets for the chanting masses. Five truckloads of vitamin C and fiber were soon pureed on El Cid Street, the ripe redness smeared over walls and people. "I feel like I connected with a lot of people today," said Karina Evans, 21, of Australia. Frenzy erupted around the dump trucks and competition for the edible missiles was fierce. Whole tomatoes on the ground were treasured like ruby Easter eggs. Kate

Why Do I mess with my Template

You probably cannot tell, but there a few things that are missing here and they are starting to aggravate me. These are not major issues, but little nagging details that just prick me hard enough to sting. But sooner or later I'll figure it out and Blogger will have to concede defeat.

Education, Common Sense and More

It has been a while since I felt the need to write about this, but it is time to sit down and share my thoughts about the enormous amount of information that is available online. It may sound a bit like a lecture and somewhat self-righteous but if you choose to continue to read you are forewarned. I wander far and wide throughout the blogosphere and the Net in general. In my travels I come across sites that promote political thought, education, historical fact, general rhetoric, pornography and more. I am a seeker of information and I expose myself to quite a bit. Some of the things that I have seen have been quite shocking and at times quite upsetting. I watched the film of Daniel Pearl's murder. It was a terrible sight, made worse because I have seen so many films it didn't look real to me. I had to force myself to remember that it was. Or maybe it was just the shock of it all. After all we grew up in the same area, went to the same high school and even though I n

Hurricane Katrina

"Imagine there's no heaven It's easy if you try No hell below us above us only sky Imagine all the peopel Living for today -- a-haw Imagine there's no countries It isnt' hard to do Nothing to kill or die for And no religion too Imagine all the people Living life in peace -- a-haw Chorus: You may say I'm a dreamer But I'm not the only one I hope someday you'll join us and the world will live as one. Imagine no possessions I wonder if you can no need for greed or hunger A brotherhood of man Imagine all the people Sharing all the world -- a-haw You may say I'm a dreamer But I'm not the only one I hope someday you'll join us and the world will live as one." Available on the album, Imagine by John Lennon I am not a big Lennon fan. I enjoy a lot of what he did, but I have never seen him as this symbol of peace and happiness that others

F**king Austria

And on the lighter side of things. LONDON, (AFP) - British tourists have left the residents of one charming Austrian village effing and blinding by constantly stealing the signs for their oddly-named village. While British visitors are finding it hilarious, the residents of F---ing are failing to see the funny side, The Sunday Telegraph newspaper reported. Only one kind of crimimal ever stalks the sleepy 32-house village near Salzburg on the German border -- cheeky British tourists armed with a sense of humour and a screwdriver. But the local authorities are hitting back and with the signs now set in concrete, police chief Kommandant Schmidtberger is on the lookout. "We will not stand for the F---ing signs being removed," the officer told the broadsheet. "It may be very amusing for you British, but F---ing is simply F---ing to us. What is this big F---ing joke? It is puerile." Local guide Andreas Behmueller said it was only the Briti

'The Blues Brothers' marks 25 years with new DVD edition

One of my favorite movies of all time. "It's been 25 years since the release of "The Blues Brothers," a manic comedy crammed with music, dancing and action scenes, filmed largely in Chicago, directed by Landis and starring John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd as music-loving brothers who find themselves "on a mission from God." As Jake and Elwood, the "Saturday Night Live" led police, Illinois Nazis and a furious country act on spectacular chases ("Our Lady of Blessed Acceleration, don't fail us now") and reunited their band to raise $5,000 to save their childhood home -- the St. Helen of the Blessed Shroud orphanage. And while the cult classic appeared on screens in the summer of 1980, its influence is still felt -- in the various musical ventures in which Aykroyd remains involved, its influential soundtrack, the countless times it airs on television each year, and the boost it gave to Chicago's then-dormant film industry.

Looting In New Orleans

I was really disappointed with this story , but one line in particular struck me. "Mike Franklin stood on the trolley tracks and watched the spectacle unfold. "To be honest with you, people who are oppressed all their lives, man, it's an opportunity to get back at society," he said." What the hell is wrong with him. That is so twisted and so wrong. I hate people who make excuses like this. There are a lot of people who have grown up with next to nothing that do not resort to stealing.

'Winning a Debate'

I have no problem admitting that I like to get the last word in. You can call me a controlling last word freak , ok you cannot call me that because someone already did. But the reality is that in a real debate you must agree to use facts. Because it is only with factual support that you can make a determination of the truth of whatever you are debating. All too often people use their opinion as a substitute for fact. It is a nice idea and I wish that people would accept my opinion on all matters, but it is not real. There are few instances in which a person is considered to be an expert on a topic and in those few cases their opinion may carry more weight. But in practice debates should be limited to fact and not fiction. The current climate in the US and in many other places around the world seems to ignore this as all too often we see very angry people blathering on about this and that and what they think should happen. That is all fine and dandy, but without fact, it gen

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt

Why, oh why do I keep seeing your faces on magazines and in the news. I don't care what you do or where you go. Angelina is clearly nuts. There is something not quite right there, maybe it is the incest thing with her brother and Brad Pitt is just a pretty face with limited acting ability. Go away.

Egypt vows to work for full Palestinian 'liberation'

Of course no one mentions that Egypt occupied Gaza from 1948-67. At no time did they ever offer the land to anyone. Strange how things work, or perhaps not so strange. GAZA CITY (AFP) - A senior Egyptian envoy told the Palestinian parliament that Cairo would work "hand in hand" with the Palestinians for an end to Israel'soccupation of all territory seized in 1967." I have the pleasure of being with you to convey the congratulations of President (Hosni) Mubarak and his commitment that we stay hand in hand with you until all Palestinian territory, in the West Banknd as well as Gaza, is liberated," Egypt's intelligence chief Omar Suleiman said on Tuesday. He was addressing Palestinian MPs on behalf of Mubarak during a visit aimed at shoring up a de facto Palestinian militant truce and discussing border crossings after Israel's landmark pullout from the Gaza Strip. He said Egypt supported Palestinian efforts towards "the complete and total

An Old Post Revisited- The Akedah

I wrote this last month but decided to dig it up again. The Akedah- All Sorts of Questions I have been engaging in a discussion outside of the MOT circles about the Akedah over here that brought up a number of questions for me that I have mulled over the years. 1) Old Abe fought with G-d about Sdom and tried to save the city, where is argument here? 2) How can you sacrifice your children? 3) What happened to Yitzhak afterwards? Now I suppose I can kind of buy into the line that discusses this within a historical context in which it may not have been seen as being completely meshugah to be asked to sacrifice a child, but that is a little tenuous for me. I have wondered if this experience is part of the reason that Yitzhak was the father he was. Here is what I mean by this and some of this may stem from ignorance of the text, but I don't recall hearing much that makes me think of him as being father of the year material. Clearly his relationship with Yaacov and

Blog Fatigue

I am tired and cranky and not really in the mood to blog. I owe a couple of people a meme and should respond to your comments. I apologize, I just don't have it in me today. I may tomorrow, or I may end up taking some time off from blogging, or maybe not. I try not to make decisions when I am irritated. I learned today that my rock is leaving LA. We met on the first day of kindergarten and now 31 years later he has decided to move to D.C. It may sound silly, but I am pretty upset about this. When all hell broke loose he was there and even if things were fine it was reassuring knowing that the old man was around. We have been through a lot, but today is not the time to review it. If you don't see any updates entertain yourself with the links to my personal favorites or alternatively you can tell stories that end in non-sequiturs and get the same affect as you would reading my stuff. Back tomorrow or maybe not.

The Search For Answers About Our Ourselves

One of the things that I love about blogging is the opportunity it affords to search for answers about the questions that bother me. The web is filled with similar blogs, thousands of souls like mine searching cyberspace a communal quest to find that thing or thing that provides fulfillment. Some are looking for something to fill the empty space in their beds, some in their hearts and others are not quite sure what they are looking for, they just are. I have had my heart broken several times. It was ripped out from behind my ribs and my chest was sown back up, devoid of the thing that made me human, or so I thought. I grew accustomed to being sad, to looking at others with a longing to just be normal again, to wonder how they could laugh and how they could still see a world full of colors. And then one day I woke up and realized that I had lost a companion, a old familiar friend had left me. The pain that I carried with me was gone and I hadn't realized that it had left me. I no

Me & The Ultimate Fighter- Road Rage

In my younger years we would have looked at the greasy haired guy and called him a hesher. Tall and skinny with long dirty blonde hair and a shirt that said Detroit Rock City he looked like he hadn't bathed in months and he drove that old Camaro like an angry New York City cab driver. It was his driving that garnered my attention. He was weaving in and out of the lanes fighting to get ahead. A big man in desperate need to get somewhere quickly he only managed to force me to slam on by brakes three times in three minutes. By the third time I was ready to forcibly remove his head from his shoulders and turn it into a hood ornament. I told him so at a stop light and forgot about him, but he didn't forget about me. He followed me down the street to my the parking lot of my office and confronted me in the lot. When he unleashed a string of profanities in my direction I turned to face him. He as a few inches taller than me but not nearly as broad. Callused hands on small wrists

Hurricane Katrina

This is just wild. I hope that no one gets hurt. Hurricane Peels Holes in Superdome Roof By MARY FOSTER, Associated Press Writer 37 minutes ago NEW ORLEANS - Hurricane Katrina ripped away part of the roof on the Louisiana Superdome as thousands of storm refugees huddled inside Monday. Strips of metal were peeled away, creating two holes that were visible from the floor of the huge arena. Water dripped in and people were moved away from about five sections of seats directly below. Others watched as sheets of metal flapped visibly and noisily. From the floor, more than 19 stories below the dome, the openings appeared to be 6 feet long. "The superdome is not in any dangerous situation," Gov. Kathleen Blanco said. General Manager Glenn Menard said he did not know how serious the problem was. "We have no way of getting anyone up there to look," he said. Aside from the tear in the huge roof, the 77,000-seat steel-framework

Teach Your Children to...Swear

We rambled and ambled on into new territory this week when I found out that my son had picked up on some of my favorite sayings. I had thought that I had been good about keeping these from him, with few exceptions I was certain that I hadn't said anything in a tone louder then a whisper. Of course my voice is just deep enough that my whiser is more like a dull roar and so my son's vocabulary now includes the following: Jackass, moron, asshole, oh fuck, dammit and some kind of guttural yell that he says I make. I can't say that I am pleased or proud about this, but I would by lying if I wasn't proud about his ability to use the words properly. Example A) We are on the THE 405 (yes, I said THE and you know who you are) when I was forced to swerve because of a "semi" who was trying to enter my lane. My son belted out: "Oh fuck! You stupid jackass." We had a conversation about what language is appropriate and how to use words. I thought that

Zarqawi focusing sights on Europe

Why do they speak of a terrorist attack and yet call him a militant. The definitions are different. Militant suggests that he might be justified in his attacks. This moral ambiguity is very troubling and it is part of the problem we have in fighting the war on terror. " WASHINGTON (AFP) Iraq's most wanted militant , Jordanian Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who as Al-Qaeda's pointman in Iraq has claimed responsibility for dozens of attacks, is overseeing preparations for a major attack in Europe. Citing European intelligence reports, Time magazine said Zarqawi "has been overseeing preparations by highly trained operatives for a large scale terrorist attack in Europe." Time did not specify the origins of the intelligence reports, but said Zarqawi has spoken of sleeper cells in Turkey and Iran "in communications with another Al-Qaeda leader." The reports imply that these cells may be in contact with European jihadist groups that previously had no links to Al-Q

I'd Like To Buy a Nap

I'd like to buy a nap but not at these prices. BLOOMINGTON, Minn. -- The Mall of America has a 74-foot Ferris wheel, a shark tank and a dinosaur museum. But if that puts you to sleep, a new nap store will sell you some shuteye for 70 cents a minute. The store, to be called MinneNAPolis, is aimed at weary travelers who need a nap after a long flight but aren't staying long enough to book a hotel room, or spouses of shoppers who are traversing the mall's 4.3 miles of storefronts. "We think it would be really good for husbands at Christmas, when their wives are power-shopping," said mall spokeswoman Julie Hansen. Founded by PowerNap Sleep Centers Inc. of Boca Raton, Fla., the new store will include at least three themed rooms: Asian Mist, Tropical Isle and Deep Space. Each will have walls thick enough to drown out the sounds of squealing children at the indoor amusement park. The 70 cents per minute fee works out to $42 an hour. Some pointed out that it would b

Feeding the Troll

I made a mistake and began feeding the troll. Or maybe it is not a mistake, maybe it is a smart thing to do. I am undecided about this. The term troll in this context refers to someone who intentionally posts inflammatory remarks with the hope of generating responses that turn into flame wars. Some of you are probably wondering what I am referring to, so here is a short summary. I post on a number of blogs. One of my posts was met with a number of remarks by an anonymous poster. Most of the people that frequent this particular blog would consider these comments to be inflammatory. And many of them would recommend that the best way to deal with said troll is to simply ignore him. Initially I had intended to do so, but I engaged him in a dialogue because I like to debate and I think that sometimes ignoring someone like creates other problems. I should add that I am not convinced that he is a troll, I rather think that he believes what he is posting to be true, and that is more

Children

My children are my finest work. There is nothing better in my life and I will not ever be able to surpass being a father. In some ways you could say that it is my life's achievement, but at the same time it is a work in progress. I am responsible for bringing them into the world and helping to make them people of integrity and good character. Sometimes it is really hard. I know that there are people out there who have bigger challenges and I am appreciative of that, but this is my challenge and there are moments in which I tear out large clumps of hair. At the moment I have two kids, a 4.5 year-old boy and a daughter who is 13 months. My son has reached the point at which he has decided that he is tired of sharing attention and is working hard to garner as much of our time as he can. In this house it means that he is obstinate, insubordinate, determined, relentless and willing to accept most consequences. Friends and family laugh because they say that he is a clone of myself,

More Weird Stories

Here is why you shouldn't argue with the man giving you a tattoo, not to mention another reason to drink beer later and not during. "Walnut Cove, NC -- A Pine Hall man is in Baptist Hospital, recovering after an attack involving a butcher knife. Stokes County Sheriff's Deputies were called to a home in Walnut Cove around 3:30 on Wednesday morning. When they arrived, they found Tony Wagoner missing both ears and suffering from a butchered penis. The Sheriff's Department says Wagoner went to get a tattoo from 29-year-old Gary Thomas Johnson. After a few hours together and after consuming alcohol, Sheriff Mike Joyce says a fight occurred between the two men and 18-year-old Jennifer Arlene Robbins." They need more exciting activities in Canada. Rocking to a world record "Suresh Joachim is rocking his way to his 31st world record. The 36-year-old Mississauga man, who holds 30 Guinness World Records, is working on his next feat: 75 hours of continuous roc

Man forced to have sex at gunpoint

This happens to me all the time, but I never bother to report it because who would believe it. In other news tourism in South Africa just quadrupled. " Johannesburg : The hunt is on for three women who ambushed a 30-year-old man and forced him to have sex with them at gunpoint. According to police spokeswoman Paula Nothnagel, a case of indecent assault had been opened and identity kits would be released soon. The man cannot be named because of the nature of the offence. Nothnagel said that on Saturday night the man was walking through Roodepoort when the women pulled up next to him in their maroon BMW. They asked him for directions to the Savoy Hotel and he got into the car to show them the way. At the hotel the women persuaded him to join them for a drink, before asking him for directions to yet another hotel. While on the road to the Station Hotel the women suddenly changed direction and drove to a dark and empty field near the Durban Deep mine. "

Frantic Blogging Comments

I received an email a short time ago in which I was asked to slow down the frantic blogging because I wasn't giving people enough time to keep up or catch up as the case may be. This is an area I addressed several months ago but I cannot recall exactly when or what the title of the post was to refer to it, so I'll just start from scratch. There is merit to the suggestion of slowing down somewhat and spending more time on making sure that the posts I put out are of the highest quality. I compose on the computer and almost never rewrite anything. I usually make it work without too much trouble. But there is the QA issue and I have to admit that if I wanted to I could slow things down and raise the quality of some posts by rewriting them. There is a simple reason why I do not do so. I don't want to. I like rambling on about whatever thoughts are in my head and commenting about the various stories that catch my eye. I find it to be enjoyable and oftentimes r

User Friendly Blogs

I underwent Lasik surgery a little more than four years ago. It was great! After 20 years of glasses/contacts I was finally able to see again and see quite well. I know from the experience of the past several years that my vision is excellent. It is superior to many of the people around me which is why I get especially irritated when I encounter blogs that are not user friendly. They have strange colors, fonts that are intentionally mismatched and all sorts of other crap that just gives me a headache. In my book they are right next to the people who constantly have to blog about their cats, which is to say not very high.

Seven Years Ago Today

On August 25th, 1998 one of my closest friends died. Three brain tumors and the issues surrounding them robbed him of the opportunity to get married, become a father and experience so many things. I debated whether to mention this on the blog and obviously opted to make it a public remembrance. I am not willing to spend much time on this because it feels a little more raw this year. I don't know why, but this time just catches me in a way that I haven't felt in a while. And so I want to end this by saying with the hokey but true acknowledgement that I am ever so thankful for the 15 years we had together. That includes time spent in Israel, driving across country, flying and more mischief than anyone should ever be privileged to engage in. Tonight I'll go to bed with a rueful grin and a bittersweet feeling in my gut.

Bulletproof vests not fail-proof

Oh this makes me ever so comfortable. "Bulletproof vests similar to those still worn by thousands of police officers failed to stop at least one of six bullets fired at them 58% of the time, according to a new analysis by the Justice Department. The findings from the department's review of 103 vests containing the fabric Zylon comes two months after the nation's largest vest maker, Second Chance Armor, urged police agencies to replace nearly 100,000 vests containing the fabric. The company - which two years earlier recalled 130,000 vests partly because of problems with Zylon - said the fabric could break down, weakening the vests and potentially resulting in deaths. Of the vests that were not penetrated in Justice's tests, 91% showed "excessive deformation," indicating that an officer with one of the vests would have been at risk of an injury, the analysis said. The report led the Justice Department to issue an alert Wednesday to law enforcemen

Rough Toilet Paper/Getting Dressed in the Dark

I got a rough start to the day. Due to circumstances somewhat beyond my control I didn't go to bed until a few minutes after one and I distinctly remember looking at the clock at 1:15 am and wondering why my eyes were opened. My daughter is teething now. She is 13 months an until the other day had about three teeth, or at least those were the ones we could see. She is now intent on proving that she can cut new teeth faster than sharks and has moments in which she turns into the Exorcist baby. She screams and flails and is generally miserable. Most of the time these bouts hit her somewhere in the middle of the night, ok they hit during the day too, but since I am working I miss most of them. But I sure didn't miss her at 4 am this morning. Tried hard to console her and make her feel better but by 4:30 I was relatively certain that sleep was unlikely and by 5:15 had confirmed it. Left the house shortly afterwards to go to work and was midtrip when I realized that nature was

Bathroom Etiquette- A Follow Up to The Courtesy Post

Last week I wrote about my elevator experience so today I thought that I would share my latest experience with the growing lack of courtesy in society, but most specifically in my office building. This afternoon I headed off to the restroom. Long time readers may recall that this past January I wrote about a man whose odor nearly forced evacuation of the building or at least the purchase of a new Hazmat suit. I kind of like the one in white. It is traditional and somewhat elegant with a bit of a modern feel to it. But the one on the left is cool too. I do enjoy a nice blue. It goes so well with my olive skin. You may also recall another bathroom themed entry a few months ago. In that one I discussed a number of other issues related to bathroom activities. But today I have a new one to share with you, a new experience that needs to be presented to the world because surely I am not the only person to have this happen. It was almost the end of the business day and three cups of

The Class of 2009 Grew Up in a Different World

I found this article to be pretty interesting. "BELOIT, Wis. - For this year's crop of college freshmen, Starbucks has always been around the corner, "America's Funniest Home Videos" has always been on the air, and men named George Bushave been president for more than half of their lives. Born in 1987, the freshmen attending their first college lectures around the country this term grew up with pay-per-view television and voice mail on their phones, dirty dancing at school proms, and the United States as the only superpower. Those are some of the cultural landmarks on the Beloit College Mindset List, an annual compilation that offers a glimpse of the world view of each incoming class. The list was released Wednesday by the private school of 1,200 in this southern Wisconsin city. The Class of 2009 has never known Andy Warhol, seen Jimmy Swaggart preach on TV, or watched Arsenio Hall. Jimmy Carter? "That's just another name people throw around,&qu

Pat Robertson Backpeddles

Yesterday I wrote about Pat Robertson's call to assasinate Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. As you'll recall Robertson said this: (CNN) -- Conservative Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson has called for the United States to assassinate Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, calling him "a terrific danger" bent on exporting Communism and Islamic extremism across the Americas. "If he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it," Robertson told viewers on his "The 700 Club" show Monday. "It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war." But today he claims that he was misunderstood. Read this: " I didn't say 'assassination .' I said our special forces should 'take him out.' And 'take him out' can be a number of things, including kidnapping; there are a number of ways to take out a dictator from power besides killing him. I was misinterpreted by the AP [As

Tour de France director: Armstrong "fooled'' the sports world

More charges against Lance Armstrong and claims that he used illegal substances to enhance his performance. There is no doubt that he is an exceptional athlete and I suspect that this would be the case no matter what. PARIS (AP) -- The director of the Tour de France claims Lance Armstrong has "fooled'' the sports world and that the seven-time champion owes fans an explanation over new allegations he used a performance-boosting drug. Tour director Jean-Marie Leblanc's comments appeared in the French sports daily L'Equipe on Wednesday, a day after the newspaper reported that six urine samples provided by Armstrong during the '99 Tour tested positive for the red blood cell-booster EPO. "For the first time -- and these are no longer rumors, or insinuations, these are proven scientific facts -- someone has shown me that in 1999, Armstrong had a banned substance called EPO in his body,'' Leblanc told L'Equipe. "The ball is now in his cou

The XBox

My neighbor decided that he didn't want his XBox anymore and gave it to me. Yes, he gave it to me. Oy. I love video games. Always have. When I was a much younger lad, so much younger than today I never needed any help playing a video game, but that is not longer the case. The old Atari 2600 looked like the unit below. It used a simple joystick and paddles. It was very basic and quite a lot of fun. This XBox is insanely cool and complicated. Look at the controller. It has so many buttons. I feel like such an old fart. I am slowly growing accustomed to it, but it is taking time. Tonight I purchased a game, Madden NFL '05. The '06 version is out but it costs an additional $18 so I said screw it and saved the money. I am 36 and playing video games again. I love it. I feel like that little boy playing Pong or Space Invaders. I can't wait to play with my son. I better start now while he is only 4.5 because pretty soon he'll be better than me. But in the meant

Dear Palestinian Bomber

I shouldn't laugh at this story, but I can't help myself. Thanks to David for tipping me off to this one. Too bad they didn't contact me because I could have a field day with this kind of thing. You know that I love telemarketers . WASHINGTON, Aug. 22, 2005 — Officials at JP Morgan Chase have apologized and promised to improve their screening policies, after a credit card solicitation letter sent to a 54-year-old naturalized American citizen came addressed to "Palestinian Bomber." The form letter for a Visa Platinum card arrived earlier this month at the home of Sami Habbas, a grocery store manager from Corona, Calif. The words "Palestinian Bomber" appear above his address and the salutation reads, "Dear Palestinian Bomber." The document included the signature of Carter Franke, chief marketing officer for Chase Card Services. Habbas is a naturalized U.S. citizen of Palestinian heritage. He told ABC News he is "extremely ups

I like To Debate, Or Should I Say Argue

Longtime friends, acquaintances, family and colleagues will all tell you that I enjoy a good conversation. I mean debate, I mean argument. Or maybe I mean all of the above. I just like digging into the meat of a discussion and pulling it apart. It is one of those traits that can be viewed as a positive or a negative. Most of the time it all depends on which side of the fence you are standing on. If you are in agreement with me it is positive, but if you disagree it can be viewed as a huge negative. Or should I admit that I have been told more than once that it is not endearing and that it is ok to give in. Ok, I admit it. I don't like apologizing and I don't like being wrong. The beauty of getting older is that it is much easier to admit that I am wrong, but still challenge to offer an apology. Usually you'll get "you were right, I was wrong" but don't expect the "I am sorry" to go with it. I am working on it, but it is a long and arduous

Wake-Up Drug Could Help the Sleep-Deprived

' TUESDAY, Aug. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Shiftworkers, hospital staff clocking long hours, and other sleep-challenged Americans may someday have a means of restoring full alertness even if sleep-deprived. Researchers at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C., say an experimental drug called CX717 temporarily improved performance and reversed the effects of sleep deprivation in the brains of monkeys. The drug works on a type of brain receptor involved in cell-to-cell communication, boosting the action of the neurotransmitter glutamate. Reporting late Monday in the online edition of the Public Library of Science-Biology , the team first taught alert, well-rested monkeys to pick out specific images from a range of others flashed on a computer screen. Use of CX717 improved test scores of these fully alert monkeys to near-perfect, the researchers report. They then had the same monkeys take the test again after being deprived of sleep for 30 to 36 hours -- the equi

And The English Scream Foul Again

In yet another display of the lack of sportsmanship exhibited by some athletes Diego Maradona admits to using his hand. My apologies to my US readers who are already bored reading this. BUENOS AIRES, Argentina - Diego Maradona acknowledged that he struck the ball with his hand in the famous "Hand of God" goal against England in the 1986 World Cup quarterfinals. Speaking on his local television talk show Monday night, Maradona called one of soccer's most controversial goals "something that just came out of me. It was a bit of mischief." Maradona appeared to punch the ball into the net, and officials allowed the goal to stand despite protests by the English team. Argentina went on to win the 1986 quarterfinal match 2-1 and then win the World Cup. In his most detailed comments yet, Maradona said he was unable to reach the ball for a header when he went up against the taller English goalkeeper, Peter Shilton. Shilton "was very tall. He didn

Pat Robertson- Let's Just Assasinate Him

Boy, you have got to love men like Pat who are willing to speak their minds, even if most of it is nonsensical blather. (CNN) -- Conservative Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson has called for the United States to assassinate Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, calling him "a terrific danger" bent on exporting Communism and Islamic extremism across the Americas. "If he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it," Robertson told viewers on his "The 700 Club" show Monday. "It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war." You know, he is right, it is cheaper than starting a war. Of course there are other tactics and strategies to be explored before we investigate more serious options. Maybe G-d left that out of their last conversation. Of course Pat has a history of making outlandish comments. Within that same article the refer to one of my favorites: "In May, during an ABC int