Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Fuck, I Jogged!

I really jogged today. Hot diggity dog! It wasn't far. Just a quarter mile on the treadmill, followed by a cool down fast walk for another quarter mile. But I jogged and it wasn't a total struggle.

Now some folks may think I'm crazy for being pleased about this, but I am. You see, in addition to fighting my weight down, I'm also an ex-smoker (8+ Years) and because of my past habit, I have a touch of early stage COPD which stands for "pretty crummy lungs." So jogging is a good thing. Today. I hope to go further. Tomorrow.

Unlike one of my sisters who was born running, I was born lounging with a come-hither look in my eye and a book in my hand...

Net Neutrality

Please see Act for Change -- in the US, major telecom companies like AT&T and Verizon are lobbying to get control of the bandwidth for internet access and to control access to content. This is unfair and I believe internet access should remain as open as it is today.

Please join and counter the telecommunications lobby and encourage any of your friends who use the internet to do so also.

Click on the title or picture for the link to Working Assets' Act for Change. Thanks!

Monday, May 21, 2007

In The Market For A Cell Phone?

Things You Should Ask Yourself

Cell phones are a luxury that has become almost a necessity. Ever since 9/11, the mobile phone industry has boomed in the US. While they've irritated the crap out of us, they've also proven to be inordinately useful as well.

So here are some things to consider before committing or jumping from company to company.

1. Why are you getting a mobile phone? Is it for personal or business use? How much time do you spend on the phone every day at home and at work? What is your best guesstimate?

2. Have you ever used a mobile phone? Do you know how mobile phone technology works or are you one of those people who operate on the "it's magic and I don't gotta understand it!" principle?

3. What do you need your mobile phone to do? Do you need "just the basics" or are you a gadget nut who likes the latest and greatest? If you like the latest and greatest" then # 4 is for you!

4. Do you have what it takes to support your phone? These days, a lot of cell phones (especially smart phones like Palm, RIM's Blackberry and HTC's line ups) require Windows-based computers and installation of supporting software applications on those Windows-based PCs. This is not a trick question because smart phones are not substitutes for computers and don't have the same capabilities computers do. Also these kinds of smart phones usually require that you pay extra for "add-on" features so that you can use the internet/chat/picture messaging/downloading functions of the phone. Some add-ons are specific to the family of handset models you choose.

If you got a Mac, then third party software may or may not be available, so you will probably have to hit up a generous friend who owns a PC on those occassions when you need to fix device issues and re-install or upgrade handset operating systems.
If you don't have a computer, for your own sake, don't buy a smart phone and then expect your carrier's tech departments to be able to fully support what you're trying to do with it -- they can't take full remote control and the things they can do remotely are limited. Besides, would you really want your carrier to get remote access to everything on your cell anyway?

5. Have you really read the manufacturer's limited product warranties and do you really understand them? Do you know that your mobile carrier is NOT the manufacturer of the cell phone you get (whether it is offered promotionally as a "free phone" or is one you pay part or full rate for)? That the product warranty is not with them, no matter how much or how little they may help you with your warranty related issues?

6. Do you understand that the sales people at the store cannot guess at every little question you might have and cannot anticipate all of your needs unless you spell them out carefully? Do you also know that the carrier is NOT entirely to blame when your unspoken questions lead to misunderstandings?

"Could I travel overseas with my phone? I"m thinkin about taking a trip" really isn't the same question or statement as: "I want to sign up for a service plan which includes, or has, with an add-on, international roaming. I also want a phone that can be used both in North America AND overseas in Europe AND Asia. What services do I need? "

"Sure, you can travel overseas and go everywhere you want with it! " is an answer you could hear and it's true. So far as it goes. Think about it. Yes/No questions posed as a hypotheticals to the average person seldom leads them to assume or to anticipate a more immediate need, want, or desire.


7. Are you willing to accept the limitations of mobile phone use?

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Run To The Rock

This is a great short film by James Cavanaugh and came out of the Impeach Beach out in San Francisco.

My very dear friend of 38 years, Windy and his friend Z are in the top of the H on the second horizontal bar of the letter.

Click on the blog title to see the film.

Friday, May 18, 2007


Good Morning! How're you all doing today? Hope you're all getting ready for a wonderful weekend!

Shreck 3 is coming out! Fractured fairy tales are great, but I gotta tell ya -- Antonio Banderas is hot. Even playing PussInBoots! Wowie!

Wednesday night, over at our friends Su & Kenn's, we watched the movie Stealth. S had decided she needed to see a movie with a lot of things getting blown up. K disappeared back to his office & computer. Su, Jim (aka DH) & I watched the movie. It was fun! Things got blown up really good! No spoilers here. Speaking of things getting blown up, there is a new chapter to be released in the Die Hard franchise! Yippie, ki-yay!

Last night's cliff-hanger season ending for the original CSI was cool. Will Sarah be saved? We'll find out next season. Ah well, re-run season means I get to catch up on other shows I also enjoy. OTOH, I do spend more time on the computer than watching the telly.

My friend Su is going to teach me to knit with double pointed needles next week. My project will be a "sock" for my Nano.

Didn't really exercise much yesterday - on my break at work, hit the work out room for a quick 20 of lateral pull downs. Good way to stretch out a back. After that, nada.

I'm working on clearing my backlog of books to be read, so I'm in the first 3rd of The Ethical Slut. So far, so good. I'd recommend it. I'm sitting on two book store gift cards, but am not gonna spend them until I've taken my to be read stack down 2 feet. (It's only 3.5' stack.) I've also gotten the first chapters of David Sirota's "Hostile Takeover -- How Big Money & Corruption Conquered Our Government - and How We Take It Back."

Have a great day out there, be careful and watch out for the crazies on the road!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Down The Road and Up The Road

I'm riding passenger in the back of my friend Su's car with Jim to my left, Su driving and her hubby Kenn riding shotgun. As I wrote this, we were east of Show Low heading into NM where we'll pass along the plains of San Augustine, through Quemado, then thru to Pie Town, up to Socorro with the Very Large Array radio telescope then home to Albuquerque. Along the way back I've seen part of the Salt River, any number of flickers diving in an out of their Saguaro cactus nests, a large red tail hawk soaring on the early afternoon thermals, and a golden eagle with its limp catch gripped in its talons. Ummm, the scenic route home. Happy stuff.

Last night's concert with Lorenna McKennitt was an intimate setting in Scottsdale's civic center amphitheater. The programme had a nicely worded request to not take pictures which I was happy to honor as the reasons were to keep the mood of the night and to respect the artist's right to the control of her image and hence her privacy. Seemed reasonable to me. (I don't think artists "owe" fans unlimited access to their lives anyway.) I did get a snap of the stage set before the festivities began, though. Seating was open on a nice lawn fairly close to the library. We spread our blankets and settled down with anticipation.

A little after 7 Lorena and her troup of 9 musicians took the stage launching the nights show with a gentle welcome followed by a song from her newest album with her playing Celtic harp and then moving to electric piano while her breathy soaring soprano voice flowered in the night air to the accompinaiment of divers instruments including lute, Greek lyra, tabla, hurdey gurdey and even castanets. Against a backdrop of a blue & gold with ornate brass lanterns, together they lead us on a musical journey inspired by the Celtic diaspora - a journey that goes from as far back and afield as Mongolia to the waves of Irish immigrants spreading through the new world up into Canada. We were.... captivated.

For more about Lorena McKennitt and her music, and current tour please see her official site at

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Shrub Again

Gosh, I sure miss Molly Ivins. I was reading that Time Magazine new issue of the 100 Most Influential People In The World and "George Bush is not listed!" What fun Molly would have with that choice little nugget! She was the first to call Georgie boy Shrub, by the way.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


A few nights ago, 4.19.07, I was watching a PBS broadcast of Crossroads In America and there was an excellent episode "Faith Without Fear; Struggle for the Soul of Islam." It was brilliant and as a westerner, as an American, I realize all along that what I had grown up appreciating about Islam in the first place came out its accomplishments -- like in the Alhambra in Spain, through "idjihad" It was based on reason and critique rather than tribalism and warfare. It was that culture that gave the world the tools of algebra, early chemistry (alchemy), and medicine. I remember myself as a starry eyed young reader of imagining Scherezade's 1001 Tales, rapt in the romance of it all. I can understand Muslims who want the practice of "idjihad" to come back in this modern era. But, then I've always been an ecumenical soul anyway. But still, wouldn't a little extra tolerance be nice these days?