Our cat, Filo, brought us a present today.

mouse and cat

It is a cute little mouse, don't you think?

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I saw Ben Stein in Person Once . . .

I recently got an email about a commentary Ben Stein gave on CBS's Sunday Morning. Since I both like Sunday Morning and Ben Stein I read through it. Something didn't strike me quite right, so i went searching and found the original material. Here is the link:

I went to California once, on Spring Break. March of 2001, I think it was. We visited Hollywood, and wondered into a theatre, and Ben Stein happened to be the host of some kids knowledge challenge sponsored by Kraft cheese. We sat in the audience a while, but it was rather boring so we left to look at the stars on the sidewalk instead.

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Line Climber

Today I finally sat down and figured out how to use the line climber I had bought in Mackinaw City, Michigan back in September. I didn't get to try it out on a kite, as we had really strong winds and gusts today.

It is in the shape of a bat. Which seems appropriate for the fall season. Not a design I would have normally chosen. It was the only one they had in the kite shop, and I really wanted to try it out. (It turned out that we didn't fly kites that day.) The line climber is called Ferry, and is made by Gunther Flugspiele.

I think my first mistake in trying to figure it out about a month ago, was that I tried to put the pieces together while out in the wind. The pieces wanted to blow away, and then it got dark, and then the wind stopped. The second mistake was probably not taking the time to read the directions. :)

Today I pulled it out when I saw the trees swaying in the wind outside, and it made me think of kites. I sat down and followed the directions, and figured the system out. Basically you have a stopper that is placed near where the line attaches to the kite. Then some rubber bands are used to hold tension on the "wings" to the part that rides the line.

The wind pushes it up the line, where it hits the stopper, which flips the wings 90 degrees, and it slides back down the line. I can't wait to see it in action. Hopefully I'll have time soon, to go out to Lake Michigan and take advantage of the breeze out there.

As for the design, I think I would prefer the one I found at Into The Wind, called Kite Popper.

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America’s Future

I found this article from the BBC an interesting read:

Blub from the website: "Barack Obama's emergence as a presidential candidate in the US represents a profound change in the American psyche, distinguished historian Simon Schama argues in his new series for the BBC, The American Future."

Have you read it or seen the series?

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“wuz up ahmedinejad?”

Being a Facebook user, I was highly amused by this comment I read on the Dilbert blog :

"How about this? What if world leaders all had a facebook account and
formed a group. Daily communication like "wuz up ahmedinejad? just
sitting around the oval office" could drastically reduce the impulse to
attack each other. That'd be the day...facebook saves the world. Face
it, it's better than a red telephone with every world leader. I guess
communication has gone out of style."

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If you ever wanted a screen saver . . .

The above link has a good list of screen savers.

Here are my favorites:

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I am known as a Troll


n. A supernatural creature of Scandinavian folklore, variously
portrayed as a friendly or mischievous dwarf or as a giant, that lives
in caves, in the hills, or under bridges.
I live under this bridge:
Mackinac  Bridge

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Focus Group Politics

"The point about focus group politics is that there isn't one, because people are contradictory and irrational. and so you have a problem in terms of deciding what you are going to do if all you do is listen to a massive individual opinion-they are forever fluctuating and don't really have any coherence, and crucially are not set in context.

"And so that is why people can say - you know- I want lower taxes, and better public services. Of course they do. - you know - You say "do you want to PAY more taxes to get better public services, people are less sure. And then do they believe that if they pay more taxes that they will be spent on better public services?

"So you end up in this quagmire where -- and the truth is a politician has to say, 'the truth is, this is what I believe. I believe you should pay slightly more taxes to make better public services, and I pledge that I am competent enough to actually use that money wisely. Do you want to now vote for me yes or no?'"

Derek Draper
Assistant to Peter Mandelson 1992 - 1995

From part four of the BBC production "The Century of Self" as found on Google Video (54 min. 34 seconds into it)

It has proved very interesting watching "The Century of Self" for class. I can't help thinking of the current political campaigns for U.S. president. I want to be an "inner directed" as the jargon from the film would say. I want to be a person that makes decisions based on values and principles I hold. However, I'm afraid I'm just as manipulated by political propaganda as I am by Apple's advertisement campaigns. (i.e. I believe that Apple's products are hip, cool, fashionable, and are a great accessory to everyday life.)

Does it count for anything that I don't own an iPod?

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Not watching on Netflix

I found it interesting to learn what people put in their queue, received, but never watched for days, months, and in some cases years.

Personally, I watch movies with my thumb on the fast-forward button. I think the only movie I actually stopped watching without skipping to the end was M.A.S.H.

Betcha didn't know there was a M.A.S.H. movie huh?

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Adventures in Odyssey

I can hardly believe that it has been over 20 years since I first started listening to Adventures in Odyssey. I listened to several radio programs regularly. Most of them from the radio station in Zarapath, New Jersey. What was it called? A quick google search ought to tell me.

99.1 FM in Zarephath NJ. Apparently they've rebranded themselves as STAR 99.1 FM

Anyways, I would listen to Unshackled (a radio drama out Chicago), Stories of Great Christians (from Moody Bible Institute), and Adventures in Odyssey (Focus on the Family). I would also listen to kids programing on WLIX (I think?, a kind of public radio radio station for kids based in NYC).

But I was sure to be home in time to listen to Adventures in Odyssey at 5pm.

I listen to my CDs of Adventures in Odyssey, and also an internet radio station Life Talk Radio for kids, through iTunes on my comptuer.

All these shows probably influenced my own forays into writing radio scripts. Although my most popular show "The Vegetable Exchange Show" probably shares the most similarities with CarTalk than any of the others.

Not too long ago I found a series of podcasts, a Humphrey Carmadella production ( ), where I can listen to old time radio shows. I enjoy the Agatha Cristie radio mysteries quite a bit. I find them really nice on long road trips. I get car sick if I try and read in the car, but books on tape or radio dramas are a good way to pass the time.

What do you do to pass the time in the car?

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