Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Uncomfortable Questions: Was the Death Star Attack an Inside Job?

Excerpts from James Randi's new book, Uncomfortable Questions: An Analysis of the Death Star Attack, which presents compelling evidence that we all may be the victims of a fraud of immense proportions.

The cover of Uncomfortable Questions: An Analysis of the Death Star AttackWe’ve all heard the “official conspiracy theory” of the Death Star attack. We all know about Luke Skywalker and his ragtag bunch of rebels, how they mounted a foolhardy attack on the most powerful, well-defended battle station ever constructed. And we’ve all seen the video over, and over, and over, of the one-in-a-million shot that resulted in a massive chain reaction that not just damaged, but completely obliterated that massive technological wonder.

Like many Americans, I was fed this story when I was growing up. But as I watched the video, I began to realize that all was not as it seemed. And the more I questioned the official story, the deeper into the rabbit hole I went.

Presented here are some of the results of my soul-searching regarding this painful event. Like many citizens, I have many questions that I would like answered: was the mighty Imperial government really too incompetent to prevent a handful of untrained nerf-herders from destroying one of their most prized assets? Or are they hiding something from us? Who was really behind the attack? Why did they want the Death Star destroyed? No matter what the answers, we have a problem.


Uncomfortable Questions about the Death Star Attack

1) Why were a handful of rebel fighters able to penetrate the defenses of a battle station that had the capability of destroying an entire planet and the defenses to ward off several fleets of battle ships?

2) Why did Grand Moff Tarkin refuse to deploy the station’s large fleet of TIE Fighters until it was too late? Was he acting on orders from somebody to not shoot down the rebel attack force? If so, who, and why?

3) Why was the rebel pilot who supposedly destroyed the Death Star reported to be on the Death Star days, maybe hours, prior to its destruction? Why was he allowed to escape, and why were several individuals dressed in Stormtrooper uniforms seen helping him?

4) Why has there not been an investigation into allegations that Darth Vader, the second-ranking member of the Imperial Government, is in fact the father of the pilot who allegedly destroyed the Death Star?

5) Why did Lord Vader decide to break all protocols and personally pilot a lightly armored TIE Fighter? Conveniently, this placed Lord Vader outside of the Death Star when it was destroyed, where he was also conveniently able to escape from a large-sized rebel fleet that had just routed the Imperial forces. Why would Lord Vader, one of the highest ranking members of the Imperial Government, suddenly decide to fly away from the Death Star in the middle of a battle? Did he know something that the rest of the Imperial Navy didn’t?

6) How could any pilot shoot a missile into a 2 meter-wide exhaust port, let alone a pilot with no formal training, whose only claim to fame was his ability to “bullseye womprats” on Tatooine? This shot, according to one pilot, would be “impossible, even for a computer.” Yet, according to additional evidence, the pilot who allegedly fired the missile turned off his targeting computer when he was supposedly firing the shot that destroyed the Death Star. Why have these discrepancies never been investigated, let alone explained?


7) Why has their been no investigation into evidence that the droids who provided the rebels with the Death Star plans were once owned by none other than Lord Vader himself, and were found, conveniently, by the pilot who destroyed the Death Star, and who is also believed to be Lord Vader’s son? Evidence also shows that the droids were brought to one Ben Kenobi, who, records indicate, was Darth Vader’s teacher many years earlier! Are all these personal connections between the conspirators and a key figure in the Imperial government supposed to be coincidences?

8) How could a single missile destroy a battle station the size of a moon? No records, anywhere, show that any battle station or capital ship has ever been destroyed by a single missile. Furthermore, analysis of the tape of the last moments of the Death Star show numerous small explosions along its surface, prior to it exploding completely! Why does all evidence indicate that strategically placed explosives, not a single missile, is what destroyed the Death Star?




See also...

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

song lyrics

First thing I did when that plane finally landed was kiss the ground;
The next thing I did was to go find my friends down at the old hang-out.
We drank some beer and talked a lot about old times
But when the booze finally hit Billy Joe Grimes
He said, "I don't know what it is but you seem different to me."

I said, "I just came back from a place where they hated me and everything I stand for;
A land where our brothers are dying for others who don't even care any more.
If I'm not exactly the same good old boy that you ran around with before,
I just came back from a war.

The very next morning I took a walk through the neighboorhood.
I thought it's been so long since Ive been in a place where everything is good;
People laughin' and children were playing,
And as I watched them I found myself praying,
"Lord, keep them safe here at home in the land of the free"

'Cause I just came back from a place where they hated me and everything I stand for;
A land where our brothers are dying for others who don't even care any more.
If I'm not the same little freckled-faced boy that grew up in that house next door,
I just came back from a war.

I hope you cherish this sweet way of life, and I hope you know that it comes with a price.

I just came back from a place where they hated me and everything I stand for;
A land where our brothers are dying for others who don't even care any more.
Chances are I never will be the same, I really don't know any more,
I just came back from a war

I just came back from a war.
You don't know me, you don't know me...
I just came back from a war.
You don't know me, you don't know me...

-- Darryl Worley

What What?

Lori and I have become thoroughly hooked on Yahoo! Answers. It's really somewhat sad, since so far the only thanks either of us has gotten is they offered Lori an extremely lame wallpaper background for the computer. Thanks, no, we'll stick to Bora Bora or wherever it is.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Analyze This

Nevermind, I chickened out and deleted the post. Sorry, nevermind. Though if you've already formed an opinion, you can still post your thoughts about what's wrong with me.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

The Great Cingular Experiment, Day 3

Amazon has dropped one phone, now offering 42. I've reduced the choices to four:

LG CU400
LG CU500
Motorola KRZR K1
Motorola RAZR V3i

Lori's concerned about her propensity of dropping phones or having them stolen by toddlers who drop them in toilets. Will have to research cases.

What Are You Doing Here?

Top 10 Cities Who Visited in the Past 30 Days:
Federal Way, Los Angeles, Tacoma, Bellevue, Whittier, Pico Rivera, Bejing, Redmond, Seattle, Macon

Searches:
Secret MS Word "The Brown Fox"
ghost onstar palm hack
Robin Gillispie
Susan Carvey
Margot Morrell
Lord Have Mercy Jim Ladd
What does mentally challenged fathers say about themselves?
goofy chopper pilot
myspace Jim Ladd
Frank Sontag

Top Referring Sites:
http://burntfudge.blogspot.com/
http://www.bttf.com/forums/showthread.php?t=32737&page=2
http://tvjames2006.livejournal.com/
http://cindycrawford.blogspot.com/
http://www.larkfarm.com/search_voyeurs.htm

Crazy Houses

Thanks to Marcus for this link to weird houses.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Time-Lapse Bridge

Here's some cool time-lapse photography of the deck sections being raised into place on the new Tacoma Narrows Bridge. (More bridge info.)

At least they're done

For the past few years, I haven't minded doing my taxes. It meant taking a rainy Glendale afternoon and heading a few blocks to Sears where Vittorio would take all of our forms, chit-chat and we'd watch him carefully as he typed in everything into the H&R Block computer and print out our taxes. It took probably 90-120 minutes and we walked out, knowing that in a week or so our bank account would see a nice bump as the IRS and the Franchise Tax Board returned to us what was ours all along. My dad always considered refunds an interest free loan to the government, and thus, a bad thing. We considered it forced savings -- a chance to finance a larger purchase like a vacation, furniture, home improvment with cash.

This year my dad was rumbling about the costs of paying someone to do your taxes and extolling the virtues of doing one's taxes by hand, on paper! (Yeah, no opportunity to make comments on this post.) And he was offering his assistance to me!

To head him off at the pass, I went ahead and did them on TaxCut.com. Oddly enough, it looked incredibly similar to what Vittorio used the past few years. Last year he got us from the 25% tax bracket we were in to an effective 6% tax bracket. This year, I didn't have his expertise to find little deductions, but we had less income and gave a lot to churches and charities after we sold the house, I was able to take us from 15% to 2%. I'm pretty proud of that.

Now... if you haven't done your taxes yet, and like Starbucks, let me know. If I send you a referral e-mail, we both get $5 when you do your taxes through TaxCut.com.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Go, Old People!

MSNBC.COM -- A group of seniors on vacation in Costa Rica are held-up while riding on a tour bus by three guys, one of them armed. A 70-year-old retired GI puts the armed guy in a headlock and others seniors fend off the other two assailants who ultimately flee. The guy in the headlock dies. The seniors are questioned and then released by the Costa Rican police who applaud the seniors for defending themselves and say that the assailant had a prior record of violent crime. They were returned to their cruise ship to complete the cruise. More...

While I suppose it sucks that a life was lost, doesn't this feel like justice was served? A bonehead tries to take advantage of people from another country, miscalculates and they fight back and the authorities investigating the situation make the right call. No lawsuits for the ultimate victim (as of yet), no automatic bias against the foriegners (Americans, no less!), no needlessly putting old people into jails in a foriegn country. No long, drawn-out legal proceeding. Low-life with a history of crime makes another poor choice and pays dearly for it. And if he was the only one in the group armed, it would suggest the others weren't as deep into the crime-thing as he was and hopefully this might just scare them straight. And as for the original victims, they're sent along their merry way, maybe asked never to return to Costa Rica, maybe not.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Worst. Rap. Ever.

Yeah, I think if you're dropping ref to "Whole Foods" and the shape of the Audi logo, your rap's kind of a lame sell-out. Is it supposed to be clever? It's, well, not.

I said, "what time you get off?"
She said, "when you get me off"
I kinda laughed but it turned into a cough
Because I swallowed down the wrong pipe
Whatever that mean, you know old people say it so it sounds right
So I'm standing there embarassed, if we were both in pairs
I would have grabbed her by the waist and kissed her, but
We in the middle of whole foods, and those foods
Ain't supposed to beef, but you'd think I hate tofu
Check-in line got rowdy, my vision got cloudy
I started seeing some circles like some audi
Emblem, I'm hearing them say, come on man
Do this own your own time, get the hell on, man
I walked out, hm, I got bout
Half-way to my car when I heard shorty shout
"3000, forgot your credit card, smart move
By the way, my little sister loves your cartoon"
Well, here's my name and numb
If I ain't the one, lose it, if I am, use it
If a man chooses, and he can, do's it
And he don't, don't take it personal, he might be might be swamped
With making mozarella - no, making laws bettter
Cheese will come, believe me, I'm, never focussed on the cash
Ask Mel Gibson, Jesus Christ, I'm bout the pass... ion

The bridge, though, is brilliant. (And by bridge I mean "chorus, second stanza.")

Ahh, ahh, ahh-ahhh, ahhhh...
She's fine too, but I want you...
Ahh, ahh, ahh-ahhh, ahhhh...
She's fine too, but I want you...

Does sample a song I like. But the minute he says "Whole Foods," I'm like, yeah, no you didn't. Awful. Thanks for that, LaunchCast.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Huh?

Guess I need to do some research to see what it was I just watched because I feel like that was the least informative episode of LOST I've seen yet. On the other hand, it didn't seem to really raise any new questions. (Lori wants to know why Jack got beat up in the flashback.)

The Great Cingular Experiment, Day 2

I eliminated two phones for not offering Bluetooth. It wasn't intentional, I was just looking at their reviews. They were also described as "cute" by female reviewers and "too small" by male reviews. I also consolidated models with the same model number (but of differing colors) into single entries. And I eliminated the Smartphone because it's actually too much phone... would require a fancier plan to really take advantage of all of the phone's features. And two of them at $75 a piece plus tax would be a little more on the pricey side. I also researched the rebates, because some phones on Amazon are listed as negative $100 final price. Those are mail-in rebates. So that means I pay nothing for the phones and then file for mail-in rebates and get cash back. Of course, we know how those work... probably only valid on the first phone and takes about 32 weeks to get the rebate check. There's 3 Samsung models, 1 Nokia, six Motorola models and 3 LG models. I'm hoping to not get a Motorola, but I'm going to try to keep an open mind. Looking just at the little photo of each phone, I'm drawn to the LGs.

Monday, February 19, 2007

pureevilbluepants

Argh. Was absolutely sure I had a pair of black pants in my hand. Get out of my car at work and I'm wearing dark blue pants. And a black sweater. Ruins the entire look. Does look far better with black dress shoes than the sneakers I was wearing at the time. And granted, I could pick out my clothes the night before when I have light to work with. But I think the easiest solution is to charitize all of my blue pants and buy a few more pairs of black pants. From now on, only black and shades of khak. No more impostor blue pants. Yeah, sure, this is a dumb worthless post better for my MySpace blog, but it's too early in the morning to be on myspace with all its tacky advertising and time-out errors.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

The Great Cingular Experiment, Day 1

On August 23, our contract with Verizon Wireless ends. We've had Verizon wireless for most of our marriage and with the exception of one trip to the East Coast where they messed up my billing. (Ultimately fixed.)

Sadly, since moving to the new state, we've come to find out that we live in a "known trouble area with no planned fix" and I work in a "known trouble area with no planned fix."

So, I have six months to figure out what to do next. I've opted to go with Cingular also known as AT&T. I've not heard the best things about their customer service, but their actual service is supposedly top notch in our area. And in our office building, they have a repeater for Cingular so it works flawlessly.

On Amazon.com, they're selling phones for a penny that cost $100 on Cingular's website, so I've opted to purchase the plan from Amazon.com.

Amazon.com lists 43 phones. Lori and I prefer flip phones, so the first order of business was to eliminate the non-flips. That's taken the list down to 22. That's where I'll stop for now.

Links and Quacks

Paul Pressler's Fall at the Gap -- aka What was GAP thinking?

Too Many Periods - L.A.M.B.. clothing line... 1 and 2

I Wanted to Like Them...
Lamb, the band

Old but still entertaining... Chili Cook-Off and 8 Simple Rules for Dating my Teenage Daughter



Quack


Part 1: When is a duck not a duck?

Part 2: Water Buffalo: Worst Possible Christmas present?

Part 3: What if you actually gave someone a water buffalo?

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Happiness

It's a sunny 58 degrees out. That's warm enough to have the windows open and make everything smell clean and fresh with a refreshing breeze. Unlike California, it's quiet enough to have the windows open.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

All Day Blog (almost)

9:12 am - I decided this morning on the drive in to do another all-day blog. And then came into work, created a file and then didn't start writing in it. I'm not feeling stressed, but there's so much work to be done. I've either found my zen or I'm so helplessly behind. Actually, I'm just incredibly tired, to the state of almost being comfortably numb, blissfully unaware. A fast-paced Irish instrumental song from Kathryn Tickell is playing now and blocking out all the surrounding noise. I'm in my own little world. Well, back to work.

10:28 am - Well, I'm definitely more awake now. Maybe the coffee helped. Although now I'm starving. Thankfully Lori sent a bunch of food with me a few weeks ago. Especially since I also forgot my lunch. So... diamonds made in a lab... fake or real? Apparently they use processes that mimic nature, but just do it much quicker. Not sure how that's different from designer roses or cultured pearls. Makes them less rare, but that means less expensive, right? I'm all for that. Also sounds like it might be better than the environment. Article I was reading says "Mining removes several hundred tons of earth to extract one carat worth of diamond." NEWS.COM)

1:40 pm - Difficult to post regularly when you're not at your desk. I just sat in on my second meeting about an issue. Sadly, at least 20 manhours have been wasted in meetings (and numerous others in discussions) about a problem. The solution is nine words long. I said it at the last meeting. This meeting they came close to deciding that was the solution (apparently not remembering that I offered it up last time) but then diverted away again. It may ultimately be the solution, but not before more meetings are held. In other news, it's such a slow news day that MSNBC has had a top feature all day about how the new Wal*Mart in town doesn't look like all the others. Complete with a then/now gallery. If they've also cleaned up the customers, I might have to go and check it out. What does that do to the other Wal*Mart two blocks away?

2:23 pm - Cool. I just signed paperwork for someone to get their New Zealand citizenship by filling out a form attesting that I've known them since the day they were born. While she and her mom were in here doing the paperwork, my boss brought someone over to talk to my cube-mate. So this tiny cube that really only should have one person had four people and a baby holding two distinct conversations. Annoying.

4:46 pm - Ok, so that was somewhat of a failure. Just way too busy today.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Problem with My iPod


With my iPod approaching its first birthday, I figure I should post my gripes now instead of waiting a few days until it actually dies, because at that point, these issues will be moot.

I post these not just to whine, but in the hopes that (a) another iPod user will tell me that I'm dumb and then give me instructions on how to do what I want to do or (b) someone from Apple will visit my site (and I don't mean a lawyer protesting my use of the term iPod in this post) and realize that maybe what I want is a decent idea.

And, as it turns out, I'm a big podcast consumer. Besides redeeming gift cards I receive, I am a big consumer of podcasts. So my complaints largely surround podcasting shortcomings in the iPod and/or iTunes.

First off, Video Podcasts... I hate how if you click on a video podcast from the Podcasting menu, it just plays the audio while showing the cover art. This isn't intuitive. It should play the video. Why, oh why, do I need to go into the Video category and then into Video Podcasts. Is not a video podcast a podcast? (Is not a square a rectangle?)

Second, playlists and podcasts... I subscribe to several short podcasts (weather, news) and some longer podcasts. It would be supremely ideal if I could drag a subscription into a playlist. So that any new podcasts from that subscription automatically populate the playlist. The clickwheel is not the easiest thing to use when driving. It would be cool if I could build my own "news station" by having it play through a playlist made entirely of podcasts.

And again, podcasts... If I'm looking at a list of songs and I click on a song, if I want to move to the next song in that list, I press the forward arrow key. Why can't I jump from podcast to podcast within a subscription in a similar fashion?

It really feels like the podcast portion of the iPod user interface is not as intuitive as the rest of the iPod experience and that the fixes would not be that difficult. Can someone get tasked with the 30 minutes of coding and 8 hours of testing this would need so it could be pushed out to iTunes?

Please, please?

And again, if I'm just a moron and these things are all currently doable with an iPod, please let me know.

Cookie Blues

It's not easy being gingerbread.



Cookie Blues - video powered by Metacafe


Originally found on Cankuhn's Lagoon. (And how did I find that site? Someone viewed it and then clicked on "Next Blog" at the top of their blog.)

Kill The Calls

MSNBC.COM -- Apparently there's some decent money to be made if you're getting bombarded by telemarketers and your number's on the do-not-call list. Suggests minimal time and investment, but you'll need to choose your targets wisely. More...

Monday, February 12, 2007

Global Warming, Rah Rah Rah.

FAREED ZAKARIA.COM -- Global warming is here to stay*. Might as well break out the sunscreen. More...

* Not applicable in New York state or where prohibited by law.

Warning on Valentine’s Day festival

GULF-TIMES.COM -- A Qatari scholar has warned Muslim youth against celebrating the Valentine Day saying that it is an un-Islamic holiday which has nothing to do the with true meaning of love.

“Under Islam, any forms of celebration of the Valentine Day are prohibited. It is a pagan holiday when the Western youth give free rein to their sexual urges and indulge in promiscuous activities,” Sheikh Ahmed al-Buainain said at the Al-Wakrah mosque in his Friday sermon.

Al-Buainain has also criticised what he called the shopping spree and propaganda which he held responsible for creating such festive atmospheres accompanying the holiday. “It is the shopping spree of the Valentine items which promotes such holidays and make it more popular among people,” he said.

Al-Buainain also warned against being deceived by such fake festivals saying that Muslims have only two festivals, namely Eid al-Fitr and the Sacrifice Eid.
“Muslim dealers should not participate in such holidays which are always rife in adultery and promiscuous acts,” he said.

The scholar said that “There is no other religion which encourages people to love and be friendly with one another like Islam. But Muslim are prohibited to share with the infidels their holidays. This holiday is only meant for promoting profanity among Muslim youth,” he added.

Staff Reporter // Published: Sunday, 11 February, 2007, 08:27 AM Doha Time

(My friend living in Qatar tells me that all the shops are decked out all festive-like in red and selling Valentine's Day products)

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Bad Christians

We ate at Coco's tonight. They seated us right next to the entrance to a banquet room. There was a group ending their night and they all congregated near the door while the server was working on their receipts. Then, they all stood outside the door, right by our table in the otherwise empty room, gabbing. It was incredibly frustrating... I couldn't even concentrate enough to decide what I wanted to eat. It was finally at the time that we were about to say something (we had already said something to our waitress during one of the times she came over and we sent her away) but we were about to say something to that group when they did finally disperse, but it had to be a good 15 minutes easy. Very disappointing when a group of Christians can be so oblivious, so rude, such bad witnesses by their inconsiderate behavior. A really poor testament.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Sexy Harrassment

So here it was... day two of new employee orientation. (No, not a new job... just finally ran out of excuses to avoid attending.)

At the end of day one they had said "On day two, please sit at a different table with different people." So I did my part and sat at a table with two women my age. Eventually the table filled up... with more women my age or slightly older. Granted, this is a female-heavy employer, but still... I didn't mind, except that I quickly remembered that a big portion of the morning would be spent on the state-mandated sexual harassment anti-training. I guess the big key to whether or not it's sexual harassment -- at least the "hostile workplace" type -- is if it's (a) unwanted and (b) repeated, intimidating or severe, as determined by a "reasonable" person.

Not a huge deal, I guess. But there was some table discussion time and they began to all talk about how they'd been harassed at previous jobs. I think they were overdoing it. But eventually they realize I was sitting there fiddling with my pen and so they all turned to me and inquired as to whether or not I'd ever been sexually harassed.

I thought about it and then said "Well, I guess if 'unwanted' is the operative word, then no." They asked me to elaborate and I stumbled through an explanation of how guys enjoy the attention. They were surprised and one, brand new to the company, about my age said "So if I came in tomorrow and said 'Hey, James, you're looking sexy today -- that wouldn't offend you?" I said "I might think it inappropriate, but I'm going to still appreciate the comment." They were surprised by that.

As always, I was able to better unpack my thoughts on it long after we'd moved off the topic.

But as far as I see it, there are only a few ways that a guy can really be sexually harassed, at least in the "hostile workplace" version. (The other "this-for-that" is probably more of an equal opportunity offender.) But for "hostile workplace," you'd have to be (a) negative in an embarassing way (in the video they showed two women giving a guy a playboy magazine and a bottle of enhancement pills) or the aggressor would have to be (b) a dude.

For me, the rule is... "how pissed is my wife going to be if I relate [whatever] to her?" And she trusts me to shut down anything that's questionable, if women out there want to stroke my ego, I don't think anyone's going to have a problem with that.

Seriously, this session had them scared. Fortunately, I was able to educate at least the women at my table of how guys are willing to be treated. And now you.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

At Work

Gray, white, black and tan.
Random flecks arranged in rows.
Gray stands out from otherwise dark carpet.

Long day, all day training.
Informative with several entertaining speakers.
But after eight hours I'm ready to sleep.

Mauritania? Where's that.
It's a Muslim country.
I'm not familiar with it.

Tonight I have a men's Bible study.
Someone will bring unhealthy snacks.
I've already eaten quite poorly today
    and don't want to go.

Oh. Mauritania is near Senegal.

35 minutes to go, but some if it
    will probably be Q&A.
Am I evil for watching the clock?
At least I'm still awake
    and paying attention.

Powerpoint, powerpoint, powerpoint.
All with handouts. Some in color.
Slides so small you can't read.
What a waste of paper. And ink.

We saw a lighthouse this weekend.
It was kind of small.
And didn't look much like a lighthouse.
Disappointing.

It's a good thing I can't check my e-mail.
Because I would.

Oh yeah, now I'm starting to struggle
    to stay awake.
My eyes are trying to close.
And I have to shake my head.
Must. Stay. Awake.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Meep

Kevin's spotted news of an (autonomous?) (interactive?) Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker two-wheeled robot that wanders around joking with people. Apparently not yet visible in the parks, but wow, they've come a long way from the original animatronics.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Bit By Bit

I wonder what would happen if I added up all the "there's x minutes of my life I'll never get back." I'd probably get really depressed. Here's something Lori sent me for its sheer awfulness value. Probably the most talented thing in it is Ryan Seacrest, if you can believe that. (I stopped watching American Idol and moved out of L.A. -- has he come out of the closet yet?) For your viewing displeasure... Gwen Stefani.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

FWD: Lord Have Mercy: KLOS streaming live on the net


After years of negotiating with the radio engineer unions, KLOS 95.5 FM can now be heard and enjoyed outside of Southern California. KLOS is everything that Jack isn't. It is a community station staffed with people who know about the music they play. The DJs (yes... they have actual DJs) are veterans of Rock FM.
For those who live in an area where morning show hosts Mark Thompson & Brian Phelps are not yet syndicated, check out their show 5am-10am (all times PST). M&B are at their best when they are spontaneous... their prepared bits are perhaps the least entertaining parts of the show, but still better than any other area morning duo. Also, from midnight Sunday until 5am Monday morning, M&B's sidekick Frank Sontag hosts a weekly talk show called Impact which is serious, insightful, and socially relevant. There is no one on the planet with a more comprehensive, encyclopedic knowledge of rock music than Joe Benson. Uncle Joe has written volumes on every aspect of the industry. With a deep, resonating voice that put James Earl Jones to shame, Joe actually knows about the music he's playing... a rare quality in a modern rock jock. The pinnacle... the top of the heap of rock radio is none other than the legendary Jim Ladd. He continues the spirit of the free-form FM revolution that began in the era of peace, love, & long legged ponies. Ladd has been behind the microphone longer than I've been alive and is better than any modern contemporary. You might have heard him as himself in the film "Say Anything" or on the Roger Waters album "Radio K.A.O.S." If you feel you've heard all there is to hear on the radio, I urge you to give Ladd's show a try. One taste and you will be hooked. There is no one on radio today more in-sync with his listening audience. Songs are themed and used to weave a nightly story... musical theater at its finest.

No, I don't get a dime for promoting KLOS, but support of this station will benefit me in-as-much as I am a longtime listener who dreads the day the format changes, the DJs fade away, and the tribal drum that keeps the beat of Southern California stops. Jim Ladd and the rest are the mavericks who refuse to let quality rock radio go the way of the dodo. And that is worth supporting. It is officially streaming live on their website ( http://www.955klos.com ). So, when you get a chance, check out what remains of a little bit of radio heaven.
--
Kevin M.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Superbowl losers will be winners overseas

This is pretty cool... in order to capitalize on the game, ahead of time all kinds of memorabilia has been created heralding the Colts -- and Da Bearssss -- as the winners of Superbowl XLI.

Wasteful, no?

Well, not exactly, but you'll soon learn why it costs so much for that winning jersey or cap. In reality, you're paying for two... one with the Bears logo and one with the Colt logo.

In the past, the losing team's merchandise was destroyed. But for a number of years now, the NFL has donated the merchandise to World Vision where it's shipped overseas to provide clothing to those who otherwise don't have.

Also, apparently when the U.S. Customs seizes counterfeit products (sports memorabilia or other), if it can be reused, it's given to World Vision. In the past, the Customs agency was responsible for the cost of disposing of the seized goods. Now, it, too, is turned over to World Vision. For counterfeit goods the first order of business is to remove the labels and then tag all the merchandise with the World Vision logo so it's identifiable later that it wasn't legitimate goods in the first place.

So, saving the U.S. Government money (aka us taxpayers), keeping stuff out of landfills (or incinerator smoke out of the air) and helping to clothe the rest of the world. That's pretty cool.

Thursday, February 01, 2007