Saturday, February 28, 2009

Just some random, meaningless things:

I have been emailing with my niece, Ashley, who moved to the Quad-Cities last year from stays in Kansas and the Washington DC/Virginia area. I had not had much contact with her and am quite happy to say she is an extremely thoughtful and bright kid, not to mention a knock-out. She sends great reviews on movies and life and I am richer by her correspondence.

The most overused words I hear nowadays are:

"absolutely" (why say 'yes' when we can throw out a 4 syllable word instead)
"exactly" (why say yes when we can throw out a 3 syllable word instead)
"no question about it" (mainly from sportscasters who claim supremacy over their thoughts)
"wow" (I am an offender, please forgive me)
"uhh" (Ron Santo, every third word of every sentence, usually incomplete) Oh, and Ron and Chicagoland, after 30 years and innumerable votes, you ain't gonna go into the Hall. It is because your were a very good player, but not great, and it is a vote on baseball ability not likeability.

It was exactly one year ago today Nancy and I moved out of our big old Victorian at 515 Chambers in Galesburg. It was a Hell of a day.

Fantasy baseball is back again. The Metros will be defending their championship of the last 2 years. Three-peat!! We declare our keepers on the 18th with March 25th Draft Day. There are only 4 owners left of the original 10 teams we started a long time ago at the Mary Davis Home.

Brendan didn't make it back this week. Looks more like next week, maybe Tuesday or Wednesday. Final Army stuff that has to be processed, evidently. Like Brendan said, "There is Bullshit, then there is Army Bullshit." We are planning a fun 3 weeks and possibly a quick 3 day trip to Florida.

I have just started the 6th and final season of the Sopranos. Generally like the series a lot, but still think it slows down when he is in therapy. Thinking of starting my own family over here in BFE. All "earners" welcome to apply.

The Oscars bored me by 9:30 so I went to bed and read.

I need a Burgess night.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Missy's New Trick


Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks! We have been working on a new trick...smiling! She is doing very well, and we are thinking of running away and joining the circus. Or the county fair.
Besides urinating on command, shaking hands, and playing dead (napping) this pretty well exhausts her talents.

Monday, February 23, 2009

I Hereby Declare...


Nascar is running, baseball players are steroiding, Oscars are glitzing, and the robins have landed, right outside my house. Therefore, I hereby declare Spring officially here. I will allow brief dustings and a flurry here and there, and maybe some chilly days, but I will not allow any further blizzards, 1" or more snows, drifting roads into or around BFE, high power bills, or any worries regarding travel, by vehicle or plane. Feel free to shine up the bikes, tune-up the lawn mower and order your gladiolas. Spring Is Here.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Sites To Check

http://www.bigrigtravels.com/

The above address is a truck driver who installed a web camera in the cab of his semi. Mindless and a total waste of precious time, but oddly fascinating.

http://www.matchpractice.com/game/

This is one of those games that float around, usually with Santa chucking elves into a mountain or some such thing around Christmas. This is courtesy of Pat who is a closet golfer. Try it out, its fun.

http://monsterkookies.com/

Interesting craft site of someone who came up with an idea and now doesn't have enough time to keep up with the orders. Particularly neat are the anatomically correct mechanical hearts.

Friday, February 20, 2009

I have been telling friends and foes alike about Jott for a few years now. It is/was a wonderful, and free, small item that makes life more efficient. On your phone you would call Jott and then leave a voice message. Jott would then turn that message into an email. You could be driving along and have a random thought that you would want to investigate or deal with later, and voile, it would be there to remind you next time you checked your email messages when you got home.
Well, I received word about a month ago that they are no longer a free service, that now you have to pay basic rate of around $4.00 a month or a "pay-as-you-go" plan. Therefore, I am telling friends (not foes) that a small, neat little electronic sticky note has gone commercial. Too bad, I used it a lot.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Missy was diagnosed with a stage 2 malignant cancer over the holidays. The operation at that time was not successful and the growth has returned. Her Doctor has not recommended further treatment. She is doing well and seems pretty gosh darn frisky at times. She will be 13 in June and loves her daily walk to the Post Office, naps, chasing after Mr. Humperdink and Mr. Mallard and Bacon Beggin' Strips.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Just Something to Ponder...Yes, This Could Happen To You


Granted, this happened in India, and yes, we have no cobras here, but do you want to bet this could NEVER happen in the U.S.?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

One Less Reason To Go To Southpark Mall


Occasionally I would be asked to go with the girls to Southpark Mall in the Cities. I usually went: it was a different destination and the possibility of finding something fun to buy was enticing, not to mention the splendid company. Gordman's, Petco, and Best Buy were always included in the day's meanderings.

The Food Court was a favorite stop in between American Eagle and Victoria's Secret. I saw this notice in the QC Times yesterday, and its more than just a little sad. I always had Maid-Rites, never anything else. Then we'd have dessert at Whitey's. Just one less reason to go now.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Toy I Don't Have But Wish I Did

This is the Amazon Kindle 2, a devise that downloads books, magazines and newspapers. This is one Coooooool toy. I gotta get me one of these!...after an HDTV, laptop, chrome side covers, Garmin, and a sump pump.

Say Hello to The New Kindle

Slim: Just over 1/3 of an inch, as thin as most magazines

Lightweight: At 10.2 ounces, lighter than a typical paperback

Wireless: 3G wireless lets you download books right from your Kindle, anytime, anywhere; no monthly fees, service plans, or hunting for Wi-Fi hotspots

Books in Under 60 Seconds: Get books delivered in less than 60 seconds; no PC required

Improved Display: Reads like real paper; now boasts 16 shades of gray for clear text and even crisper images

Longer Battery Life: 25% longer battery life; read for days without recharging

More Storage: Take your library with you; holds over 1,500 books

Faster Page Turns: 20% faster page turns

Read-to-Me: With the new Text-to-Speech feature, Kindle can read every book, blog, magazine, and newspaper out loud to you

Large Selection: Over 230,000 books plus U.S. and international newspapers, magazines, and blogs available

Low Book Prices: New York Times Best Sellers and New Releases $9.99, unless marked otherwise


Kindle Features

Advanced Design

Sleek & Trim

At 10.2 ounces, Kindle is lighter than a typical paperback and as thin as most magazines. Barely a third of an inch in profile, you'll find Kindle fits perfectly in your hands.

Improved Ergonomics

Kindle is as easy to hold and use as a book. We designed it with long-form reading in mind. When reading for long periods of time, people naturally shift positions and often like to read with one hand. Kindle's page-turning buttons are located on both sides, allowing you to read and turn pages comfortably with one hand from any position. The page-turn buttons now flex inward to prevent any accidental page turns when picking up or handling Kindle.

New 5-way controller

Kindle has a new easy-to-use 5-way controller, enabling precise on-screen navigation for selecting text to highlight or looking up words.

Simple to Use, No Computer Required

Kindle is completely wireless and ready to use right out of the box--no setup, no cables, no computer required.

Even Longer Battery Life

25% Longer Battery Life - Read for Days Without Recharging

With Kindle's 25% longer battery life, you can read on a single charge for up to 4 days with wireless on. Turn wireless off and read for up to 2 weeks. Battery life will vary based on wireless usage, such as shopping the Kindle Store and downloading content. In low coverage areas or in 1xRTT only coverage, wireless usage will consume battery power more quickly.

Charge via USB

Kindle supports wall charging via the included Kindle power adapter, and charging from your computer via the included USB 2.0 cable. Kindle fully charges in approximately 4 hours.

Wireless Access with Whispernet

Fast 3G Network - Get Books in Under 60 Seconds

Whispernet utilizes Amazon's optimized technology plus Sprint's national high-speed (3G) data network to enable you to wirelessly search, discover, and download content on the go. Your books and periodicals are delivered via Whispernet in less than 60 seconds. And unlike WiFi, you never have to hunt for a hotspot.

Expanded National Coverage

We expanded Kindle's national coverage to include more cities and areas in all 50 states, enabling wireless downloads of books, newspapers, magazines, and blogs. Check our wireless coverage map for availability.

No Wireless Bills

No monthly wireless bills, data plans, or commitments. Amazon pays for Kindle's wireless connectivity so you won't see a wireless bill. There is no wireless setup--you are ready to shop, purchase and read right out of the box. See Wireless Terms and Conditions.

Carry Your Library in 10.2 Ounces

Holds Over 1,500 Books

The ultimate travel companion, Kindle weighs 10.2 ounces and holds more than 1,500 books. No longer pick and choose which books fit in your carry-on. Now you can always have your entire library with you.

Automatic Library Backup: Download Your Books Anytime for Free

A copy of every book you purchased is backed up online at Amazon.com in case you ever need to download it again. You can wirelessly re-download books for free anytime. This allows you to make room for new titles on your Kindle, knowing that Amazon is storing your personal library. We even back up your last page read and annotations, so you'll never lose those, either. Think of it as a bookshelf in your attic--even though you don't see it, you know your books are there.

Enhanced Reading

Lose Yourself in Your Reading

The most elegant feature of a physical book is that it disappears while you're reading. Immersed in the author's world and ideas, you don't notice a book's glue, the stitching, or ink. Our top design objective was to make Kindle disappear--just like a physical book--so you can get lost in your reading, not the technology.

Paper-like Screen

Utilizing the latest in electronic-ink display technology, Kindle provides a crisp black-and-white 6" screen with the same appearance and readability of printed paper. Sharp and natural with no glare or backlight, reading on Kindle is nothing like reading from a computer screen. Those who see it for the first time always do a double-take. The screen works using ink, just like books and newspapers, but displays the ink particles electronically. And unlike a laptop or smart phone, Kindle never gets warm so you can comfortably read as long as you like.

Sharper Display of Images and Photos

Kindle's high-resolution screen now boasts 16 shades of gray, so images and photos are sharper and clearer than ever.

Read in Sunlight with No Glare

Kindle's screen reflects light like ordinary paper and uses no backlighting, eliminating the glare associated with other electronic displays. As a result, Kindle can be read as easily in bright sunlight as in your living room.

Adjustable Text Size

Because one size doesn't fit all, you can increase the text size of your favorite book or periodical with the push of a button. If your eyes tire, simply increase the font size and continue reading comfortably. Kindle has six adjustable font sizes to suit your reading preference. Now every book in your library can be large print.

Read-to-Me Feature

Now Kindle can read to you. With the new Text-to-Speech feature, Kindle can read every book, blog, magazine, and newspaper out loud to you. You can switch back and forth between reading and listening, and your spot is automatically saved. Pages automatically turn while the content is being read, so you can listen hands-free. You can choose from both male and female voices which can be sped up or slowed down to suit your preference. Anything you can read on Kindle, Kindle can read to you, including books, newspapers, magazines, blogs and even personal documents. In the middle of a great book or article but have to jump in the car? Simply turn on Text-to-Speech and listen on the go.

Improved Newspaper Experience

Using Kindle's new 5-way controller, you can quickly flip between articles, making it faster and easier to browse and read the morning paper. Want to remember the newspaper or magazine article you just read? Clip and save entire articles for later reading with a single click.

Faster Page Turns

Pages now turn 20% faster on average.

Bookmarks and Annotations

By using the QWERTY keyboard, you can add annotations to text, just like you might write in the margins of a book. And because it is digital, you can edit, delete, and export your notes. Using the new 5-way controller, you can highlight and clip key passages and bookmark pages for future use. You'll never need to bookmark your last place in the book, because Kindle remembers for you and always opens to the last page you read.

Full Image Zoom

Images and photos display crisply on Kindle and can be zoomed to the full size of the screen.

Personal Documents

Kindle makes it easy to take your personal documents with you, eliminating the need to print. Each Kindle has a unique and customizable e-mail address. You can set your unique email address on your Manage Your Kindle page. This allows you and your approved contacts to e-mail Word, PDF documents, and pictures wirelessly to your Kindle for a small per document fee--currently only 10¢ per document. Kindle supports wireless delivery of unprotected Microsoft Word, PDF, HTML, TXT, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, PRC and MOBI files.

You can email your PDFs wirelessly to your Kindle. Due to PDF's fixed layout format, some complex PDF files may not format correctly on your Kindle.

If you are not in a wireless area or would like to avoid the fee, you can send attachments to "name"@free.kindle.com to be converted and e-mailed to your computer at the e-mail address associated with your Amazon.com account login. You can then transfer the document to your Kindle using your USB connection. For example, if your Kindle email address is Jay@Kindle.com, send your attachments to Jay@free.kindle.com.

Built-in Dictionary with Instant Lookup

Never get caught without a dictionary. Kindle includes The New Oxford American Dictionary with over 250,000 entries and definitions, so you can seamlessly look up the definitions of words without interrupting your reading. Come across a word you don't know? Simply move the cursor to it and the definition will automatically display at the bottom of the screen. Never fear a sesquipedalian word again--simply look it up and keep reading.

Wireless Access to Wikipedia

Kindle also includes free built-in access to the world's most exhaustive and up-to-date encyclopedia--Wikipedia.org. With Kindle in hand, looking up people, places, events, and more has never been easier. It gives whole new meaning to the phrase walking encyclopedia.

Search

Kindle makes it easy to search within a book, across your library, in the Kindle Store, or even the Web. To use the Search feature, simply type in a word or phrase you're looking for, and Kindle finds every instance in your book or across your Kindle library. Looking for the first reference of a character in your book? Simply type in the name and search. You can extend your search to the Kindle Store to find related titles you may be interested in. Explore even further by searching Wikipedia and the Web.

Audiobooks

With Kindle, you are able to download and enjoy more than 50,000 audio titles from Audible.com, including bestselling audio books, radio programs, audio newspapers, and magazines. Due to their file size, audiobooks are downloaded to your PC over your existing Internet connection and then transferred to Kindle using the included USB 2.0 cable. Listen via Kindle's speaker or plug in your headphones for private listening.

Whispersync

Have more than one Kindle? Our new Whispersync technology allows you to seamlessly switch back and forth between your Kindle devices while keeping your reading location synchronized--simply pick up reading right where you left off.

Experimental Features

The experimental category represents features we are still working on to enhance the Kindle experience even further. Try them out and let us know what you think.

Read-to-Me

Now Kindle can read to you. With its new Text-to-Speech feature, Kindle can read every book, blog, magazine, and newspaper out loud to you. You can switch back and forth between reading and listening, and your spot is automatically saved. Pages automatically turn while the content is being read, so you can listen hands-free. You can speed up or slow down the reading speeds or choose a male or female voice. Anything you can read on Kindle, Kindle can read to you, including books, newspapers, magazines, blogs and even personal documents. In the middle of a great book or article but have to jump in the car? Simply turn on Text-to-Speech and listen on the go.

Basic Web Browser

Kindle's Basic Web browser works well to read simple, text-centric Web sites such as Google and Wikipedia. Need to find a movie listing or look up a sports score? Now it's easier than ever to find the information you're looking for right from your Kindle.

PDF Document Conversion

You can email your PDF documents wirelessly to your Kindle, just like other personal documents. Due to PDF's fixed layout format, some complex PDF files may not format correctly on your Kindle.

Listen to Music & Podcasts

Transfer MP3 files to Kindle to play as background music while you read. You can quickly and easily transfer MP3 files via USB by connecting Kindle to your computer.

Included in The Box

Kindle electronic reader, power adapter, and USB 2.0 cable (for connection to the Kindle power adapter or optionally to connect to a PC or Macintosh computer).




Sunday, February 8, 2009

Riding In February

Saturday was a good enough day for a few of us to take a small ride on the bikes. The guy on the far right, hunkered down just got a new fix so he could ride from Ole's Harley Repair Shop (Kawasaki's never break down). It was a nice day and warm. Winter stopped that day and it was like Spring, so off we went.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Mets New Home

This is an artists rendition of new Met's ballpark, CitiField, which will be unveiled in April. There is some question if the name will still be associated with Citibank, but the important thing is to get to the World Series, again. It seems like a long time since we have been there, nine years! Lets Go Mets!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

This and That

A couple of days ago I accidentally cut my thumb with the box cutter I use at the warehouse. It was one of those things that you know is going to bleed, so I immediately went a few steps behind me to a 1st aid box that has band aid an gauze in it. I grabbed a couple items and then walked a considerable distance down a walk way to the bathroom to flush the wound and apply the band aid. Yes, I bled a few drops and I wet a napkin to retrace my steps and clean up the mess.
Well, it was the most excitement I have ever seen there, as I was walking back wiping here and there with my napkin. Little did I know that there are protocols. No one ever informed me that I am to stay where I am if that happens, wait for 1st responders, and then wait some more for haz-mat personnel to come and clean/disinfect the area. I was also told that if my arm is hanging by just a thread, use duct tape and DO NOT GO TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM. Evidently bonuses are predicated on safety goals.
Whoa. Yeah, I should have known, but I operate like an umpire: I consider it a good day if I am not noticed. Oh, and the week before I got a $25.00 gift certificate for being a safe/nonaccident employee for 6 months.

Brendan is coming back to BFE at the end of February. Not sure how long he will stay but it may be a couple weeks. We have to see Aunt Gladys, go to Burgess, check out Buffalo Wild Wings, and maybe, just maybe, go to Florida for a couple of days. It would also be nice if maybe we can get the family together to see him off to England. May the Country Club for supper and a couple of beers. Hint hint.

I have been watching past episodes of HBO's The Sopranos. I'm about to start the 4th season and I love it. The highlight of my days are around bedtime when I watch another hour. I wasn't aware there was so much humor. Of course I never had HBO so I never saw any of the series. It's really addictive, although I could do without the visits to the shrink.

One other can't miss TV show I watch is Friday Night Lights. My guilty pleasure, and I am embarrassed to admit it is with a show Brendan brought with him last time he was here. It is a comedy called Big Bang Theory. Everything about this says I shouldn't like it: it is fairly silly, with characters impossible to imagine, with storylines that are preposterous, and geared toward 13 year olds. But I really like it and laugh out loud, no small accomplishment.

Missy seems to be developing another cyst. She is still spry and seems to defy the aging process (she does sleep a lot, however), but these cysts are troubling. If anyone didn't get the Super Bowl prediction she stars in, let me know and I will email you a copy.

Speaking of the Dick Blick gift certificate...and coupled with a $50.00 rebate from US Cellular for a new phone, looks like I'm getting a sump pump pretty darn cheap here soon.

Noticed the weather for Friday: Galesburg will be 52 degrees and St. Petersburg will be 60. Usually there is a 30 degree difference in winter, but by golly, Florida will be just about as cold as us.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

O.K. Cats, Try This



One more example of why dogs rule, and cats, well, they don't bring much to the table.