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Showing posts from July, 2010

Google Calendar

My wife and I use Google Calendar to coordinate our events and activities with one another. It started primarily when I was on one coast and she was on the other, as it was a simple calendar option that we could both access at all times and use to see what the other was doing or had planned.

One thing that I haven't seen on any electronic calendar, but that I would love to see incorporated into Google Calendars, is a "diary" function. Let's face it, most of use write things into calendar entries that are not activities or things to do lists. We often will put a quick summation of something wonderful that happened, or mundane things like the reps and sets we did for our workout that day, or the mileage on our walk/run, or even a quick note to our loved ones. Yet most electronic calendars assume we only use them for meetings, lists, and events/activities.

I see it working like this:

Right now, when you click on the day, you get the option of entering a task or event f…

Anonymity and You

There have been recent articles about situations in which people did something "anonymously," were found out, and reaped huge consequences from it. In one noted case, an 11 year old girl posted an acidic, obscenity-filled rebuttal to rumors she was dating the lead singer of a band. People on the web trolling site 4chan found out her real name, phone number, and address, and en masse decided to make the girl's life a living hell. She is now banned for a time from any internet activity and she is in police protective custody. The police are building a case against some of the 4chan people as it appears they may have broken the law in their relentless pursuit of this girl. Or the teacher who was fired for posting comments about a student, even though she didn't name the student directly. There are even articles that are now poking some fun at the issues.

As the humorous article points out, many of us choose anonymity not because we're criminals, but to hide simple e…

Christopher Nolan's Decisions

I am a fan of Christopher Nolan. I have enjoyed pretty much all of his movies and I expect a certain amount of quality and care if he's involved with a picture. However, I'm not going to say everything he does is gold; I have reasons for my opinions and I'm willing to back them up. What I respect most about Nolan's film-making are his choices as a director.

A director can make or break a script with poor decisions on actors, mood, music, and editing; a movie with the advice he gives his actors; and a film with his oversight of the editing process or with his choices for cinematography. So far, in every film he's made, Nolan's choices always seem like the right ones.

When he wanted to reboot and restart the Batman franchise, he went out of his way to tell studio bosses that he was going to use CGI effects as minimally as possible. He wanted to use predominantly all real effects with real stunt men. He felt that doing so would ground the character in the world an…

A New Look

I decided to try a new look. I think the results show the theme I'm going for more clearly than previous designs. I had to tweak it a bit -- the original template has a lot of orange lettering involved. It looked good, but I found it to be a little hard on the eyes with the dark background. So I went for something blue that would, hopefully, be easier on the eyes against the background. I may tweak some more before I'm through, but I like this template a lot so far.

Update: Some of the orange has returned. And I tweaked the post backgrounds so they were a bit more readable. I think I'm going to like this new template.

Media Context

I would hire Shirley Sherrod in a moment. A woman who admits to having preconceived notions and prejudices, but then learned to overcome them? A woman who speaks honestly and openly about race relations and the need to move past them? A woman who has grown and changed and become a better person through her experiences? I'd hire her in an instant!
But, politics being what they are today, instead we get a much-edited, out-of-context clip that seems to show Ms. Sherrod as a racist and getting cheered by the NAACP for it. The Tea Party should be ashamed for it. And Fox News should be even more ashamed for picking it up, doing no research or fact-checking at all, and running with the story without verification.
I feel bad that Shirley Sherrod had to go through this episode in her life. It is too bad that her bosses and the federal government were lied to by this news channel (and the Tea Party) and also didn't do any fact-checking before asking for her resignation.

This is the third F…

Obama is the Next Carter?

Many Presidential scholars consider Jimmy Carter one of the smartest people to have ever been in the office of the President for our country. He is praised for his compassion and the way he handled monumental tasks and problems that occurred just prior to and during his Presidency. Yet he is considered a "failure" for the most part by the majority of Americans and was only given one term due to those perceived "failures."
Carter was a little-known Democratic candidate when he decided to run for office. His position as an "outsider" and an agent of change helped to push him quickly to the top of the polls for the Democrats and to the eventual win over Ford for the office.

The scholars point out that many of Carter's initiatives and plans started bearing fruit at the very tail end of his Presidency and into Reagan's first term in office, but it is Reagan who gets the credit for those successes. They mention that NO one who was in office during those f…

LeBron James

I knew that whatever choice "King" James made except for staying in Cleveland, he would be vilified for. I was not prepared for the vitriol I am seeing today from sports writers and fans, however.
James has proven that he is no Jordan. Hell, he's proven once and for all that he's no Kobe! For all the incredible talent LeBron has, he simply does not have the competitive fire that the great superstars have.
On top of this, James has proven repeatedly that he is immature. Gee, do you think that may come from having skipped college and the opportunity to get some good life lessons learned there? James' overall comments basically broke down to "I can't do it myself" and "I need others to pick up my slack" and "I am too immature to do it on my own." Which, frankly, a lot of us who watch the NBA already had figured out.
I've been wondering about James most specifically since he lost to Orlando and refused to shake hands and congratulat…

Passport Fees and Canada

Fees for US Passports are going up by a large amount. While it is true that new technology and the addition of a lot of people to work for the State Dept to help process and review passport requests caused an increase in costs, I have severe doubts on those costs equating with an across the board 35% increase. Some passport-related items, which have always been free services, are going up by large amounts (in one case, from free to $450!).

In general, I have no issue with raising costs. However, the requirement for passports hurts our closest ally, Canada, and those states that rely on Canadians and Americans crossing the border regularly (like New York, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Washington, et al).
I know from personal experience that Canada does an excellent job patrolling and protecting its borders. Canada is concerned with terrorism to a similar degree as America, and is vigilant in scrutinizing those that come in and those who might sneak in to its country. The people recognize…