Sunday, May 28, 2006
His whimsical designs have won international acclaim. His body of work in design covers everything from furniture to musical instruments to simply art for the fun of it. Check out some of his furniture (I love that nightstand!).
Saturday, May 27, 2006
Only in America......do people order double cheeseburgers, large fries, and a diet coke. !
Only in America......do banks leave both doors open and then chain the pens to the counters.
Only in America......do we leave cars worth thousands of dollars in the driveway and put our useless junk in the garage.
Only in America......do we buy hot dogs in packages of ten and buns in packages of eight.
Only in America......do we use the word 'politics' to describe the process so well: 'Poli' in Latin meaning 'many' and 'tics' meaning 'bloodsucking creatures'.
Only in America......do they have drive-up ATM machines with Braille lettering.
Friday, May 26, 2006
Way down the list near the bottom is one of my personal favorites: The CueCat. This was a stupid white widget that you plugged into your PC to scan special codes into your computer from magazine ads (!). So if you were looking at a travel magazine and they had a special CueCat barcode at the bottom of the page, you'd scan it and immediately get diverted to the right web page for more information. Interesting thought; but that meant you had to have the magazine in your lap with the page open to the ad, a CueCat in your hand AND an Internet connection. But wouldn't it have been easier for someone to simply TYPE the web page into their browser? Anyway, after raising millions (and I mean MILLIONS) from the likes of Radio Shack and Forbes Magazine along with numerous VC's, the company crashed. But not before their entire user database got exposed to hackers (I still remember that fiasco).
CueCat was probably among the list of the worst VC investments of all time as well (IMHO). Accordingto WIRED, it's clawing its way to a comeback.
Thursday, May 25, 2006
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Monday, May 22, 2006
I also enjoyed comic books a lot too as I was growing up, feasting on a wide range of goodies from Superman all the way to the entire Marvel comics like Spiderman and The Incredible Hulk. In fact, that's how I first taught myself to draw and paint.
In any event, what's all this leading up to? Well, Leif Peng (from Hamilton, Ont. Canada of all places) follows comic book illustrations from the 50's on his blog, Today's Inspiration. One of his recent posts talks about the Winchester Rifle ads from Boys' Life Magazines that extolled the virtues of guns to young scouts. One of the comic-style ads shows a couple of sharp young scouts shooting a hawk with a 22-cal. rifle. Check out the post here.
So does this mean we have to consult the list before we say anything? Ben and Jerry's recently had to issue an apology and changed the name of their new flavor, Black & Tan Ice Cream!
Sunday, May 21, 2006
Saturday, May 20, 2006
Well, the sections eventually outgrew his workshop and shed and -- well, you'll see. Check out his website. An incredible passion. And I still wonder why this guy spent the earlier part of his life as a coal miner when he could easily have made a decent living as a model builder.
Want to see the US Census Bureau's Population Clock? Here's the link.
Friday, May 19, 2006
An old man was sitting on a bench at the mall and a teenager sat down next to him. The teenager had spiked hair which was red, orange, yellow, green, blue & violet so the old man, being mildly curious about this apparition, looked at him for a long time trying to figure out what was what.
Having the old man staring at him made the teenager nervous so he finally said sarcastically : "What's the matter, old man, never done anything wild in your life?"
Without missing a beat the old man replied : "Got drunk once and had sex with a peacock. Just wondering if you were my son."
You can live in Phoenix, Arizona where.....
- You are willing to park 3 blocks away because you found shade.
- You've experienced condensation on your butt from the hot water in the toilet bowl.
- You can drive for 4 hours in one direction and never leave town.
- You have over 100 recipes for Mexican food.
- You know that "dry heat" is comparable to what hits you in the face when you open your oven door.
- The 4 seasons are: tolerable, hot, really hot, and ARE YOU KIDDING ME??!!
- You make over $250,000 and you still can't afford to buy a house.
- The fastest part of your commute is going down your driveway.
- You know how to eat an artichoke.
- You drive your rented Mercedes to your neighborhood block party.
- When someone asks you how far something is, you tell them how long it will take to get there rather than how many miles away it is.
- You say "the city" and expect everyone to know you mean Manhattan.
- You can get into a four-hour argument about how to get from Columbus Circle to Battery Park, but can't find Wisconsin on a map.
- You think Central Park is "nature,"
- You believe that being able to swear at people in their own language makes you multi-lingual.
- You've worn out a car horn.
- You think eye contact is an act of aggression.
- You only have four spices: salt, pepper, ketchup, and Tabasco.
- Halloween costumes fit over parkas.
- You have more than one recipe for moose.
- Sexy lingerie is anything flannel with less than eight buttons.
- The four seasons are: winter, still winter, almost winter, and construction.
- You can rent a movie and buy bait in the same store.
- "y'all" is singular and "all y'all" is plural.
- "He needed killin' " is a valid defense.
- Everyone has 2 first names: Billy Bob, Jimmy Bob, Mary Sue, Betty Jean, MARY BETH, etc.
- You carry your $3,000 mountain bike atop your $500 car.
- You tell your husband to pick up Granola on his way home and he stops at the day care center.
- A pass does not involve a football or dating.
- The top of your head is bald, but you still have a pony tail.
- You've never met any celebrities, but the mayor knows your name.
- Your idea of a traffic jam is ten cars waiting to pass a tractor.
- You have had to switch from "heat" to "A/C" on the same day.
- You end sentences with a preposition: "Where's my coat at?"
- When asked how your trip was to any exotic place, you say, "It was different!"
- You eat dinner at 3:15 in the afternoon.
- All purchases include a coupon of some kind -- even houses and cars.
- Everyone can recommend an excellent dermatologist. And a superb plastic surgeon.
- Road construction never ends anywhere in the state.
- Cars in front of you are often driven by headless people.
- The 4 seasons are: tolerable, hot, really hot, and snowbirds.
Thursday, May 18, 2006
Cans Recycled For About $800
OGDEN, Utah -- When a Utah man moved out of his townhouse, his landlord found quite a collection -- an estimated 70,000 beer cans.
The landlord said the man had been living in the home for about eight years and never threw away a single can.
After a massive clean-up effort, the cans were recycled for about $800.
All of the beer cans were Coors Light. The man said he has quit drinking and now has a job.
I spent five years working in Mexico.
I worked under a tourist visa for three months and could legally renew it for three more months. After that you were working illegally. I was technically illegal for three weeks waiting on the FM3 approval.
During that six months our Mexican and US Attorneys were working to secure a permanent work visa called a FM3. It was in addition to my US passport that I had to show each time I entered and left the country. Barbara's was the same except hers did not permit her to work.
To apply for the FM3 I needed to submit the following notarized originals (not copies) of my:
1. Birth certificates for Barbara and me.
2. Marriage certificate.
3. High school transcripts and proof of graduation.
4. College transcripts for every college I attended and proof of graduation.
5. Two letters of recommendation from supervisors I had worked for at least one year.
6. A letter from The ST. Louis Chief of Police indicating I had no arrest record in the US and no outstanding warrants and was "a citizen in good standing."
7. Finally; I had to write a letter about myself that clearly stated why there was no Mexican citizen with my skills and why my skills were important to Mexico. We called it our "I am the greatest person on earth" letter. It was fun to write.
All of the above were in English that had to be translated into Spanish and be certified as legal translations and our signatures notarized. It produced a folder about 1.5 inches thick with English on the left side and Spanish on the right.
Once they were completed Barbara and I spent about five hours accompanied by a Mexican attorney touring Mexican government office locations and being photographed and fingerprinted at least three times. At each location (and we remember at least four locations) we were instructed on Mexican tax, labor, housing, and criminal law and that we were required to obey their laws or face the consequences.
We could not protest any of the government's actions or we would be committing a felony.
We paid out four thousand dollars in fees and gratuities to complete the process. When this was done we could legally bring in our household goods that were held by US customs in Loredo Texas. This meant we rented furniture in Mexico while awaiting our goods. There were extensive fees involved here that the company paid.
We could not buy a home and were required to rent at very high rates and under contract and compliance with Mexican law.
We were required to get a Mexican drivers license. This was an amazing process. The company arranged for the licensing agency to come to our headquarters location with their photography and finger print equipment and the laminating machine. We showed our US license, were photographed and fingerprinted again and issued the license instantly after paying out a six dollar fee. We did not take a written or driving test and never received instructions on the rules of the road. Our only instruction was never give a policeman your license if stopped and asked. We were instructed to hold it against the inside window away from his grasp. If he got his hands on it you would have to pay ransom to get it back.
We then had to pay and file Mexican income tax annually using the number of our FM3 as our ID number. The company's Mexican accountants did this for us and we just signed what they prepared. It was about twenty legal size pages annually.
The FM 3 was good for three years and renewable for two more after paying more fees.
Leaving the country meant turning in the FM 3 and certifying we were leaving no debts behind and no outstanding legal affairs (warrants, tickets or liens) before our household goods were released to customs.
It was a real adventure and If any of our senators or congressmen went through it once they would have a different attitude toward Mexico.
The Mexican Government uses its vast military and police forces to keep its citizens intimidated and compliant.
They never protest at their White House or government offices but do protest daily in front of the United States Embassy. The US embassy looks like a strongly reinforced fortress and during most protests the Mexican Military surround the block with their men standing shoulder to shoulder in full riot gear to protect the Embassy. These protests are never shown on US or Mexican TV. There is a large public park across the street where they do their protesting. Anything can cause a protest such as proposed law changes in California or Texas.
Please feel free to share this with everyone who thinks we are being hard on illegal immigrants.
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Monday, May 15, 2006
Sunday, May 14, 2006
A new company called Zeno has taken a high-tech approach to zapping zits. Their gadget sort of looks like a cigarette lighter/taser that you press up against the offending spot for 2 minutes. The heat from the tip apparently helps to dry up the zit in 24 hours, all without those creams and ointments. Cool if it really works!
Saturday, May 13, 2006
Friday, May 12, 2006
Thursday, May 11, 2006
- "I'm gonna pump you fulla lead!"
- "Give me a stiff one, barkeep!"
- "Don't fret---I've been in tight spots before."
- "Howdy, pardner."
- "You stay here while I sneak around from behind."
- Two words: "Saddle Sore."
- "Hold it right there! Now, move your hand, reeeal slow-like."
- "Let's mount up!"
- "Nice spread ya got there!"
- "Ride'em, cowboy!"
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Apparently, he uses different colors of gum to create his palette (nohing is added to the original color of the gum) and he sticks the chewed wads on to a plywood background. You can also read his bio on the site. Click here for the Gum Blondes site.
The photo illustration's from the article: "Capgras Syndrome leads sufferers to believe a significant other, such as a parent, spouse or other relative, is being impersonated by an imposter." Wow!
Monday, May 08, 2006
From the Intro page: "Riders on two custom fabricated machines compete in the "Funny Car" class at San Francisco's fifth annual Power Tool Drag Races. Races were held Sunday afternoon at the Ace International Speedway, better known as Ace Auto Dismantling, a junkyard where dilapidated cars, tractors and tires are piled high in an industrial no-man's-land at the southern edge of the city. The races allow only handheld power tools such as belt sanders, angle grinders, circular saws, drills, chainsaws, weed whackers and vibrators. Machines that are on rollers are barred from the event."
I especially love Slide 8 showing the refreshment stand; check out how they heat the hot dogs!
Bellevue Barbie: This princess Barbie is only sold at Nordstrom. She comes with an assortment of Kate Spade handbags, your choice of a BMW convertible or Hummer H2 and a long-haired foreign lapdog named "Honey." Also available is her cookie-cutter development dream house. Available with or without tummy tuck, facelift, and breast augmentation. Workaholic, cheating husband, Ken, comes with a Porsche.
Tacoma Barbie: This recently paroled Barbie comes with a 9mm handgun, switchblade, '78 El Camino with dark tinted windows, and a meth lab kit. This model is available only after dark and can only be purchased with cash - preferably small bills, unless you're a cop, then we don't know what you're talking about. Boyfriend Ken is in jail. Available at many pawn shops.
Everett Barbie: This tobacco chewing, brassy-haired Barbie comes with a pair of high-heeled sandals with one broken heel from the time she chased Beer Gut Ken out of Auburn Barbie's trailer. Her ensemble includes low-rise acid-washed jeans, fake fingernails, strawberry lip gloss and a see-through halter top. Purchase her Mustang convertible separately and get a Confederate flag bumper sticker absolutely free. Boyfriend Ken is in treatment. Available at Army Navy Surplus.
Monroe Barbie: This pale model comes dressed in her own Wrangler jeans 2 sizes too small, steel-toed cowboy boots, a classic Metallica 'T' shirt and a Tweedy Bird tattoo on her shoulder. She has fake fingernails, a six pack of Budweiser, and a Hank Williams, Jr. CD set. She can spit over a distance of 6 feet and kick mullet-haired Ken's ass when she is drunk. Also available is the gold-toned cubic zirconium ring that Ken gave her after another one of his "episodes" with his boss's daughter. Comes with Barbie's Dream Double Wide Trailer. Available at Wal-Mart.
Puyallup Barbie: Pregnant at purchase, this Barbie comes with a stroller and bus pass. Also included is a G.E.D. and a completely filled out food stamps form. Construction worker Ken and his '82 Caddy are optional. Available at Value Village.
Vashon Island Barbie: This Barbie is made out of recycled plastic and tofu. She has long straight brown hair, archless feet, hairy armpits, no make-up, and Birkenstocks with white socks. She does not want, or need, a Ken doll. If you purchase the optional Subaru wagon, you will receive a free rainbow flag sticker. Available at REI.
Olympia Barbie: This versatile doll can be easily converted from Barbie to Ken by simply adding or removing snap on parts. Walks to work. Likes to "experiment," but will never commit. This model is being phased out and is only available from the manufacturer.
Sunday, May 07, 2006
Anyway, here's a list of links:
VARaces claims to be a database of Car Chase scenes from movies;
Strong Opinion's Blog (from Hollywood, no less) posts his Top 25 Car Chases (complete with pics);
The WikiPedia even has its own entry on The Car Chase;
And unfortunately, Popular Mechanics Great Hollywood Chase Scenes (1990) is no longer easily available (except in used VHS format on Amazon). Only 37 minutes in length and narrated by the late James Coburn, it includes the car chase scenes from classics such as Bullitt, To Live and Die in L.A., Vanishing Point, etc.)
And here's a bonus: Susan Encinas wrote THE definitive inside scoop on how they filmed Bullitt, The Greatest Chase of All (from Muscle Car Review, March, 1987).
Saturday, May 06, 2006
Let's see. You're a student confined to a small dorm room so you need to pack a lot into a small space. Or you're a geek who loves to be close to his work. Or...? From FlyingBeds.com in Europe comes the computer desk/bed. Or was that a bed/computer desk?
Check out some of the clips.