WordPress 2.3 – Dexter

I had to upgrade to this version, because it’s named after Dexter Gordon, the great jazz tenor sax man.

It also has an improved text editor, which allows even more silly formatting tricks. And the spellchecker is grate http://lab.woodward.edu/bus/Mail/cialis_india.html!

¿Does it support foreign language characters? You bet.

And WordPress finally supports tags!

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A few things that happened when I wasn’t blogging

In a recent post, I caught myself griping about my schedule. What is particularly ugly about that is one of the things I included in that list of “things I gotta do” ended up with me getting to go to an Auburn University football game. In the skyboxes.  Auburn v. New Mexico State, you say? Regardless, the first half was very exciting, more so than the final lopsided score would indicate. My friend who had tickets also had a parking pass that allowed us to park less than one city block from the door we used to get into the stadium.

Any time you can get parking that close, you should go, regardless of your interest in the event. Read more

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Hello, Computer

“hello, computer!” 

 (hat tip: memory-alpha.org)

I suppose everyone has them (if not, I suppose I’m in trouble) – those signature lines from books, movies, and discussions with your parole officer that burn their way into your consciousness and become THE go-to line that always plays in your head during certain situations. Often (as I discovered when I found the clip, which I embedded below) “the line” has grown larger and funnier in your head than it was in its original context. Read more

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See America by Bus

Or at least central Alabama. My son and I went with his school class to the Blue Bell plant in Sylacauga, AL. It was a very long way by bus. What I discovered today is that a group of 2nd-graders pumped up by a day out of school (and raw sugar) simply never stop talking. And yelling.

At one point on the way home, I dozed off. That condition was remedied by a girl sitting across the aisle from me, who shouted as if to raise the dead.

Which is what I felt like. My life lately has been a conspiracy to get me out of town. I went to Alexander City Tuesday night, Nashville and back on Wednesday, this trip today, and I may go to Auburn Friday and again Saturday… ugh.

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Old Cigarette Ads

Perhaps nothing illustrates old-school marketing like old cigarette commercials. James Lileks posits that irony as we know it today didn’t exist in the culture of this period. How else would the audience sit still for this kind of earnestness?  About cigarettes? Whatever the state of irony in those days, the public attitude about cigarettes was certainly different. People knew smoking was bad for you; why else would it be important for doctors to plug certain brands? Nevertheless, there wasn’t a Surgeon General’s report, or a warning printed on every pack, and there was a lot of opportunity to be in denial.

Let’s not forget – before the advent of relatively cheap, mass-produced cigarettes, lung cancer was practically unknown. I think people inside and outside of marketing kind of stare at this stuff in disbelief because it’s a relatively pure form of badness dressed up by some highly creative, talented minds. In a word, propaganda.

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More Morbid Driver’s Education Films

Part Ohio State Patrol propaganda, part ’50’s nostalgia, part blood and guts – the Driver’s Education Film! Surely they’ve retired these by now, but I was shown similar films in 1983 in high school driver’s education. They were pushing 30 years old even then! Note the bad acting on the part of the dispatcher, and the jaunty background music.

(note: possibly not as bad as network TV these days, but not for the squeamish)

Signal 30, Part I

Signal 30, Part II

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O.J. Simpson – deep, deep, deep undercover


“Simpson told the Associated Press that he was conducting a sting operation to collect his belongings at the Palace Station casino.”

That’s our O.J.  When he’s not working to find the real killers or writing thoughtful volumes on what, hypothetically speaking, he would have done if, hypothetically speaking, he did it, he’s assisting local law enforcement to write wrongs like a casino displaying sports memorabilia that probably once belonged to him before he had to sell it to pay the lawyers who kept him out of jail so he could continue working to find the real killers. Read more

If you didn’t get enough of these in school – films from avgeeks.com

I stumbled into this treasure trove of old “educational” films at www.avgeeks.com – I thought these kind of films were ancient when I was in school, but now they seem from long, long ago… here’s a sample. Too bad they had never heard of bicycle helmets…

That’s hot (TM)

Apparently, Paris Hilton trademarked “That’s hot.”


R-ight. I can understand being miffed over her likeness being placed on a greeting card (after all, she’s conducted her life with a priority on maintaining her privacy), but come on. I’ve looked into trademarking my business name, and I thought there were some hoops to jump through. So is she going to sue every 14-year-old girl that uses the phrase, or will a reasonable royalty scheme be developed? I thought the RIAA was bad…

Madeleine L’Engle 1918-2007


Her book A Wrinkle in Time was one of the first books I remember reading. I remember identifying with Meg, and feeling that Camazotz, the place where everyone and everything was exactly alike, had some resonance with the people and places I was growing up with. It did not, and does not, compare with anything I read as a child except the Narnia books. Read more