Sunday, August 24, 2008

Facebook - From the Future

Political action site claims numerous success over the years. Their most astounding claim is that in December 2008 (Yes - 4 months in the future from the date of this post) they will successfully lobby Facebook to reverse a privacy gaff that it will make. All I can say is, sign me up for, ace manipulators of future history!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Fruity Oaty Bar - Not for River

Why Hempfest, Seattle 2008 Sucked

Hempfest sucked as all attendees had to run the Gestapo-JesusFreak-HoneyBucket gauntlet before even entering the highly commercialized event.

The Gauntlet:

1. Security Gestapo - located at the south entrance. Unpleasant, unprofessional. Forcing attendees up a steep path with no explanation. No please, just gruffly delivered instructions. I asked one why: "just get up there" was the reply...

2. Jesus Freaks - all attendees were berated by the barely coherent bellowing of the anorak squad (sans anoraks). Apparently there is no alcohol in hell, but that's OK as we're all going to burn there anyway. The indiscriminate accusations were actually quite hilarious. Do these people actually think that they are doing any good. Sorry, do these people actually think?

3. Honey Buckets - not tucked away unobtrusively, rather lined up as privy's on parade. For a short while I thought the blue houses were the main attraction. They were very valuable for shy tokers though...

Special mention goes to the "No RFID" protesters. As I was leaving the even I overheard an exchange between a pedestrian and a lady holding a "No RFIDs" sign. It went like this:

Pedestrian: "But I just want to ask you a few questions about why you object to RFID's"
Clueless Sign Holder: "No - I'm just being paid to hold this sign"

I doubt the sign holder would know an RFID if it chewed her in the ass.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Rant: 5th Avenue Theater, Seattle - UnCool

August 15 and I find myself with a balcony seat to watch the world premier of "Shrek the Musical" at the 5th Ave. Theater in Seattle. The show program includes a very informative article "From the Desk of David Armstrong - Producing Artistic Director" announcing the opening of the fabulous 'Downstairs at the 5th (DAT) Rehearsal and Education Space". It's 14,730 square feet of studios, a green room, stage management and visiting artist offices. David goes on to positively gush about investment made in this space and to thank the grand folk involved.

David, I always thought that theater was about the audience experience and their enjoyment of that which is being presented. Take my advice, go sit in the balcony (in fact go sit in "GT CTR Row: C Seat: 10") for an evening performance of Shrek and then tell me how much you enjoyed the show. That's if you are not then ensconced in a cold shower for the remainder of the evening trying to get you core body temperature below the 25 gazillion degrees to which it has risen as the 5th ave theater has *terrible* air conditioning. I don't just mean a little warm and uncomfortable. I mean sweat pouring down my face and me tossing a mental coin every couple of minutes to determine if I should just bail. And it wasn't me. Lot's of folks sweating the night through Shrek's swamp.

A suggestion. Redirect any money left over from the DAT5 space and invest it in the enjoyment of your visiting public (who do, after all, pay the bills). Sorry if your fancy "visiting artist office" won't get painted this season -- but the theater-going public will appreciate watching your productions in something that doesn't resemble a Thai sauna (without the happy ending).

The good news. The Shrek show program made a passable fan for a good percentage of the audience.

Let's extensivley raise goats in all families

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Rant: USPO No help at all

I need to post a birthday card to my Mom in the UK. How much does it cost in postage I wonder? Try asking the USPO. In order to get a price calculation you need a scale that will weigh your mail. Sorry USPO but I don't keep a freakin' postage scale at home. Now that may amaze you but it's the honest-to-god truth. I bet lots of other people don't have a postage scale at home either. While I know that this must astound you (how reckless that the mailing public could possibly be sending missives without accurately determing the weight of said communication) perhaps you could help me (and probably lots of other folks) by, oh I don't know, listing the costs for mailing popular items. Like birthday cards. I bet you carry a few of those each day.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

I Finally Succumb to Propoganda

Knowing how information can be easily distorted and manipulated by the proponents of either side of an argument, I tend to apply a critical and somewhat cynical eye to everything I'm told. After seeing the latest Pam Anderson video - which is shocking (and not in the way you may expect ;-) I'm sold. I'm a true believer that KFC is the physical manifestation of the Antichrist (or at best are a bunch of scumbags than deserve the same treatment they meter out to their "product"). I've been a vegetarian for about 10 years now. This just allows me to walk around with an even smugger grin on my face... Really folks - don't eat at KFC.

Watch more videos at

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Rant: Plastic bags; oh the Humanity

The Seattle City Council, in a wondrous decision that is sure to be reversed within a few months, have slapped a 20cent charge on plastic shopping bags (effective 1 January 2009). Why? Well they want to encourage the use of reusable bags, reduce landfill oh, and generate some revenue for the city (I suspect the latter reason is the real driver behind this decision). I have a pretty big problem with nanny-state politics. I employ reusable bags for the majority of my grocery shopping, however I do revert to plastic (or paper) shopping bags when I'm caught short. After the initial use of the plastic bags they get recycle via GreenScapes (for which I pay a tidy sum). So as far as I'm concerned, I pay for the recycling of the plastic bags that I use. Charging me 20cents per bag is charging me twice for recycling. No thanks. Oh, and the bags hitherto have been "free" - their cost has been baked into the cost of groceries. Will the cost of the groceries be reduced now that the stores are no longer giving out "free" bags. I can say with almost 100% confidence: Ha!

It's not the 20 cents. It's the principle. I'm sure I'll forget about this until early in January when I'm in my local Safeway and will be facing a charge of a couple of dollars for plastic bags ("no - you can squeeze one more item in that bag - I don't need another 20cent bag to carry a 50cent newspaper..."). Sorry Safeway, but I'm going to be walking away from the stack of filled bags. I don't pay for plastic bags just to line the pockets of the city council. I know you didn't pass the law - but you didn't lobby sufficiently strongly against it. And perhaps if enough folks get pissed off you'll get the message and pass it on to the city council. Or I'll just buy from Amazon Fresh...;-)

Monday, August 04, 2008

Delhi. Wost. Airport. Ever.

Since I'm still fuming over the rank ineptitude of the management responsible for Delhi airport I'll just give you the blow-by-blow account.
  1. Arrive at Delhi on flight from Chennai, de-plane and board airport bus.
  2. Drive the full length of the runway, cross end of runway, drive full length of runway in the direction from whence we came (total time about 20 mins). [During this time there were no takeoff's or landings - clearly Delhi airport personnel have not learned the skill of using a raidio to get clearance to traverse an active runway]
  3. Approach international terminal transfer desk to, well, transfer. Told to pick up luggage that I had checked all the way through to Seattle. Only airport in the world where I have had to transfer my own luggage...
  4. Picked up luggage, went back to transfer desk to be pointed (somewhat vaguely) in the direction of a bus.
  5. Exit terminal building onto ramp. No directions to follow. No one pointing the way. Many random buses from which to select. No security. I could have gone wandering off within the secure ramp area with no challenge.
  6. Found bus. Boarded. Encountered familar pattern: Drive the full length of the runway, cross end of runway, drive full length of runway in the direction from whence we came (total time about 20 mins). Correct. Back to the terminal from where I had just de-deplaned.
  7. So bottom line is that it took about an hour and a half for me to travel, with luggage, about 100 yards.
  8. And it was hot. And humid. Very, very humid.
  9. Conclude the Delhi airport authority is run by Bozo the clown and several close relatives.

Weeks Outage for BofA

Attempting to login to my online Bank of America account at 3:29am, Monday 4th August I was presented with the following message:
Online Banking is currently unavailable in your area due to scheduled system maintenance. Online Banking will become available beginning at 7:30 A.M. Eastern Time on Sunday
So I have to wait until next Sunday until I can conduct on-line banking? Nice work Bank of America...

As a long time customer I thought I'd do the right thing and send them e-mail about this mistake. Of course you can't send e-mail to Bofa unless you are logged in, hence there is no reasonable way to report problems logging into the site. Nice.