Wednesday, March 30, 2005

The Birth of A New Baby

Yes folks, Charlotte. Greensboro101 mastermind Roch Smith has teamed up with Dave Beckwith and Darryl Parker. Together they gave birth today to two headed love child Charlotte101. Check it out. A little different design and some new features. The baby shower is going to be September 17th, location TBA. Best of luck to Dave and Darryl.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Funny Easter Bunny

In Michigan, the Easter Bunny got his ass kicked. Story here.

The Big Link 2

Check out this weeks BIG LINK.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

In Case You Ever Need A Muffler

This is a story on why you should go to Quality Muffler in Burlington. Just as money gets tight again(thanks to the endlessly increasing price of gasoline), we have a car problem that we just didn't need. My wife's car started making loud noises, losing some power, and shaking violently out of the blue, yesterday. My first thought was something with the exhaust system. I was right. Looking under the car, the exhaust pipe behind the resonator was severed in half and hanging. I called around and everybody said the same thing, "I need to see it, before I can tell you how much it cost." I took it in this morning to Midas on Battleground, here in Greensboro. They looked at it and quoted me $270 to replace the section with a prefab part and two gaskets. Under my current financial situation, $270 was out of the question.

Luckily for us, one of the girls at my wife's place of employment has a husband who is a mechanic. He recommended that I bring the car to Quality Mufflers in Burlington and tell them that he sent me. I called them first to see about how much and then proceeded to Burlington.

When I got there they took a look and proceed to fix the car. When I say fix, they didn't put any prefab part on, they custom built the part right in front of me. They took straight pipe and custom bent it, added a resonator and welded it all together. What I witnessed wasn't work it was craft. This is how they used to fix cars, before Midas and Meineke. It was very cool to throwback like this. The best part is it only cost $100. These guys at Quality handcrafted me a new part and fixed my problem for $170 cheaper then a prefab part and labor. I highly recommend Quality Mufflers in Burlington. They are located on Maple Ave(exit 145 off of I-40/85 eastbound) across from the Burger King. You can call ahead at 228-1928.

By the way, the car runs more silent then when I drove it off the lot in 1996, some 118,000 miles ago.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Celebrities Blogging

I found out today that my favorite Director, Kevin Smith is blogging. Well, it isn't necessarily a blog, he calls is an "informal log" of his daily activities. Check out Kevin's My Boring Ass. It is funny at the very least.

A while back I found out one of my favorite musicians, Dave Navarro(Mr Carmen Electra and ex-guitarist for Janes Addiction), is blogging. It is updated daily. Where he finds the time, I don't know. Highly recommended. Go check out 6767. There is links to other west coast blogs as well.

Thought you might enjoy these sites.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Price Gauging and Gasoline

Today oil closed at $56.62 a barrel. There are 35 gallons of gasoline in a barrel. Lets do the math. 35 into 56.62 is 1.6177... let's say 1.62 a gallon. Lets add 20% for manufacturing and profit(0.32) and we get $1.94 a gallon. So why is gas no cheaper then $2.03 a gallon? I have seen regular unleaded as high as $2.09. Can anyone say price gauging?
It's more like economic rape if you ask me. I hope gas gets to $50 a gallon, so we are forced to seek other fuel sources. Tell me what you think, and if you drive an SUV you are part of the problem and have no right to bitch!!!

UPDATE: Doing new math using the info at about taxes and what is a barrel of oil, I have come up with new figures. They say a barrel of oil averages 42 gallons not 35, and that only 42% of a barrel is used for gasoline. So at 56.62 a barrel, 23.78 is for gasoline. divide by barrel size and you get 0.5662 a gallon. Add 7% sales tax 0.6058 and the mandatory state .175 a gallon tax and you get .7808 a gallon. Add 20% manufacturing and mark up and you get 0.9369 a gallon. You pay 2.09 on average in Greensboro. The 1.1531 extra is the problem. Where does it go and why? Big oil allowed to get bigger by a big oil guy.

Terri Schiavo

I am all for trying to save peoples lives. Let me just get that out there, so you all don't think I am heartless. I do believe the US Congress has overstept it's bounds. Changing a jurisdiction for one persons case is again a flagrant case of ignoring the constitution. Under the same circumstances, if I was in Terri Schiavo's situation, I would want to die. I would expect that if I told my wife that I didn't want to live, and I was in the same medical condition, that she would pull my feeding tube or pull my life support. I would not care what my parents thought. What I see as the bottom line is, Terri Schiavo does not have a good quality of life. She is not going to get better. I would think that Terri being out of pain, her family not suffering through this, and her husband not having to live through this any more, would be the way to go. The US Congress voted tonight to thumb their nose at the Constitution and butt into private family affairs. Again I ask, when does this stop? Where does it stop? I am afraid that until the GOP is out of power, we will continue to lose our freedoms, liberties, and ways of life. Can you smell what the GOP is cooking? Yeah, the constitution!

UPDATE:(1:24 am)You must check out Hunter's take on this at Daily Kos. I warn you it is laden with tons of swearing, but it is exactly how I feel about this. Here is the link.

My Promise Kept

I told you I'd post a picture later. Here it is:

Pricey and Me

Sunday, March 20, 2005


Yesterday, the Greensboro Teach-in was held. This was an event aimed to help elected officials, who want to learn new tools , learn to blog. Roch Smith and Sue Polinsky ran the show, and did a wonderful job. I feel that the event went over very well. The participants have asked for more, and Sue says we will oblige. I wanted to thank everyone involved, both mentors and mentees. The mentors from yesterday were: Ed Cone, Jerry McClough, Chewie, David Hoggard, myself, The Shu, and John Mark Brown. The mentees from yesterday were: Tom Phillips, Diane Davis, Sandy Carmany, Mary Johnson, Rep. Pricey Harrison, Bert Jones, and Dr Claude Barnes (NCA&T). We also had help from Juan Vasquez, who showed up in case we needed more mentors, and we put him to good use. A big thank you to Mark Hagenbuch, director at the Nussbaum Center, for use of the computer lab, and Ben Hwang for helping set this up.

I had the honor of mentoring NC House Representative Pricey Harrison. I all a firm believer in Pricey and what she is doing down in Raleigh. I think her blog will prove to be an invaluable tool in her legislative efforts and conecting with her constituants.

I'll post a pic later. You can check out all the pictures(via link) and Sue's live blog of the teach-in here .

Friday, March 18, 2005

The Big Link

Check out the BIG LINK .

Harry Reid Takes Our Side

Senator Harry Reid today introduced legislation, that would nip in the bud FEC Chairman Thomas's upcoming vote on regulating the internet, in regards to campaign finance reform. Daily Kos has the whole story. If you don't want to go there, here are the important links: Harry Reid's Legislation and letter to Chairman Thomas. The Nevada Senator, Harry Reid, has taken our side in what I see as a 1st amendment fight for our rights. Kick their asses Harry.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Murder. Why Must We Kill?

There have been a lot of high profile murders and murder cases in the last few months. Today, two of the biggest murder trials came to a close. Scott Peterson was sentenced to death for the murder of his wife and unborn child. At the same time as this decision was coming down actor Robert Blake was acquitted on the charge of murdering his wife. Scott Peterson had less evidence against him and Robert Blake had more evidence against him. The outcomes were shocking to me. I expected Peterson to get life and Blake to be found guilty.

This past week, a judge in Atlanta and three others were killed by a man who was up on his second trial for rape in two weeks. The first trial was ruled a mistrial. In Wisconsin, a man opened fire on his church. He killed seven. The only motive so far is that he was upset with the sermon at his church. Some kids in California were caught planning a Columbine type assault on their school. A cat kills it's owner. (The gun was knocked off the counter by the cat and went off) So much killing and everyone is asking why?

I am sure you all know, but we are mammals. I think the old adage, "Back an animal into a corner and he will fight his way out", is in play here. I say look at your surroundings. Gas is a penny from an all time record high price, war and killing on your evening news(over and over), inflation is happening faster then job growth and pay raises, and the outlook on the future of our country is helping the rich man get richer. The latest Bush administration bitchslap of the poor man is the Bankruptcy Bill. Clearly, this bill helps the credit companies stay rich and the people they make poor stay poorer. These events, weighing down the middle-class and lower-class Americans, is the cause of such mayhem. People take it as long as they can, and then they snap. Church going folk, supposedly so passive and righteous, are killing each other.

The public says it is violent television and video games. I'll tell you all, I watch violent movies and play violent video games. Ask anyone who knows me, I am the least violent person they know. The problem is all of what I mentioned before. Top that with rising health care cost, outsourcing jobs, and removing our freedoms one by one, and you get a nation that would rather kill then be killed. I am pretty sure that everyone has thoughts related to murder at some point. The people actually going out and killing have just been pushed a little further.

I am not inside these peoples heads. I don't know what they are thinking. I do know that they were pushed by something and responded like they did. I would say the real murder is our current administration. They have sent 1500 US kids to death and killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi citizens. Never any accountability for the Bush Administration. But what do you really expect.

Friday, March 11, 2005

The Online Coalition

A bi-partisan coalition of bloggers are addressing the FEC issue. I saw a draft of this the other day and decided not to push mine as hard. Please go and sign, or you may not blog again. Here is the link: . If you would also go read and sign my petition at . This is important to our future.

Funny National ID Fiction

Via Mr and Mrs Shu's e-mail:

Ordering pizza in 2008

Operator: Thank you for calling Pizza Hut. May I have your national ID

Customer: Hi, I'd like to place an order.

Operator: I must have your NIDN first, sir.

Customer: My National ID Number, yeah, hold on, eh, it's


Operator: Thank you Mr. Sheehan. I see you live at 1742 Meadowland
Drive, and the phone number is 494-2366. Your office number over at
Lincoln Insurance is 745-2302and your cell number is 266-2566. E-mail
address is: . I see you're calling me from home.

Customer: Huh? Where'd you get all this information?

Operator: We're wired into the HSS, sir.

Customer: The HSS, what is that?

Operator: We're wired into the Homeland Security System, sir. This
Will add only 15 seconds to your ordering time.

Customer: (sighs) Oh well, I'd like to order a couple of your All-Meat
Special pizzas.

Operator: I don't think that's a good idea, sir.

Customer: Whaddya mean?

Operator: Sir, your medical records and commode sensors indicate that
you've got very high blood pressure and extremely high Cholesterol.
Your National Health Care provider won't allow such an unhealthy

Customer: What?!?! What do you recommend, then?

Operator: You might try our low-fat Soybean Pizza. I'm sure you'll
Like it.

Customer: What makes you think I'd like something like that?

Operator: Well, you checked out 'Gourmet Soybean Recipes' from Your
local library last week, sir. That's why I made the suggestion.

Customer: All right, all right. Give me two family-sized ones, then.

Operator: That should be plenty for you, your wife and your Four kids.
Your 2 dogs can finish the crusts, sir. Your total is $49.99.

Customer: Lemme give you my credit card number.

Operator: I'm sorry sir, but I'm afraid you'll have to pay in cash.
Your credit card balance is over its limit.

Customer: I'll run over to the ATM and get some cash before your
Driver gets here.

Operator: That won't work either, sir. Your checking account
is overdrawn also.

Customer: Never mind! Just send the pizzas. I'll have the cash Ready
.How long will it take?

Operator: We're running a little behind, sir. It'll be about
45minutes, sir. If you're in a hurry you might want to pick'em up
while you're out getting the cash, but then, carrying pizzas on a
motorcycle can be a little awkward.

Customer: Wait! How do you know I ride a bike?

Operator: It says here you're in arrears on your car payments, so Your
car got repo'ed. But your Harley's paid for and you just filled the
tank yesterday.

Customer: Well, I'll be a #%#^^&$%^$@#

Operator: I'd advise watching your language, sir. You've already got a
July 4, 2003 conviction for cussing out a cop and another one I see
here in September for contempt at your hearing for cussing at a judge.
Oh yes, I see here that you just got out from a 90 day stay in the

Correctional Facility. Is this your first pizza since your return To

Customer: (speechless)

Operator: Will there be anything else, sir?

Customer: Yes, I have a coupon for a free 2 liter of Coke..

Operator: I'm sorry sir, but our ad's exclusionary clause prevents Us
from offering free soda to diabetics. The New Constitution Prohibits
this...Thank you for calling Pizza Hut!

Or on second thought it's not that funny, but it may become reality.

AP CEO Backs Open Government

Frequent commenter on this site rolly polly sent me an e-mail today with a very interesting link. The Associated Press' CEO Tom Curley and 50 other news organizations are calling for a open government policy, to end the secrecy that realy steped up after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Check out the whole story here.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Larry King Is A Journalist, Are You?

Scott Rosenberg has an interesting story over at Salon on blogger Vs. journalist. He points out that CNN/US president Jonathan Klein comments (on Klein's belief that Larry King is a journalist) "I define a journalist as someone who asks questions, finds out answers and communicates them to an audience." Rosenberg is quick to point out that "By that standard, a hefty proportion of today's bloggers qualify." I agree, wholeheartedly.

Monday, March 07, 2005

A Petition For Freedom

I have started a new blog page. It is dedicated to my online petition asking the FEC to back down on campaign finance reform regulations for the Internet. Check it out here.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Blog While You Can

The GOP is trying to pass a law stating that Freedom of the Press rights do not apply to website publishers(bloggers) that are not connected to the mainstream media. Apple says we are not protected here, at Kos Armando has this story, and a FEC report on internet use for campaigns.
Captain's Quarters has this piece and Mike Juliano at Paradigm Shift has this definitive story.

National ID Cards, potential loss of our 1st Amendment rights. What is next? Think about this, the National Guard was originally created to protect the citizens from the government. Unfortunately the NG is overseas in the Mid East protecting our President's freedoms and morals. Gun control is keeping the guns out of the citizens hands. When this is all said and done, I fully expect a third term for Bush. Huh? The GOP is threatening changing the filibuster laws on the Democrats to get the Bush judges, that were already denied, through without any opposition. What is to say the GOP doesn't just scrap the Constitution all together? They are after all trying to tear it apart piece by piece. Aren't they? Where does it stop?

Friday, March 04, 2005


Wikipedia has a definitive page on RFID Technology, history, uses, controversy, industry links and opposition links. Check it out here.

Hunter S Thompson- Not A Suicide?

Not that the NY Post is a really great source but they don't think it was suicide. The Phoenix New Times has this to say about "Gonzo". Interesting reading if nothing else.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

National ID Poll

Apparently, this issue ruffles a lot of feathers in the nest. There is a poll up at . Should we have a National ID Card? Yes, No, and undecided. Go Vote.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Charlotte Bloggercon Coming Soon

Via Anonymoses. David's asking for Greensboro for help. I'm in, how about you?

National ID Card, Passport to Police State?

This past week, the House of Representatives passed bill HR 418, the bill that introduces the Real ID Act (National ID card). I see this move as a passport to a police state. A few tidbits on the National ID card:
1)States have the option to opt out, but that means they would not receive grants from the government for their DMV and licensing divisions.
2)If you do not get a National ID card, you can not enter any federally owned building, board an airplane,etc... you get the point.
3)This is the scary part, there has been discussion about a homing chip (RFID chip, Radio Frequency ID Chip) to track where you are as well as what you buy, etc... The implement of Biometric Info such as retina scans and DNA info. Big Brother not only watching but recording into a database who you are, what you do, etc...

Freedom is slipping away. The irony is that President Bush, in Russia earlier this week, is displeased with Russian PM Vladimir Putin's view of democracy. The truth is that what we are doing here in the US is regressing to the Police State that the former Soviet Union had, before the end of the Cold War. The Patriot Act, the FCC's need to take away our right to choose, and now a National ID card that tracks who we are and what we are doing. We are heading towards National TV, Abolishment of the First Amendment, and our governments ability to have full control over what we do and where we go. I can see the states cracking down on licensing practices, but the government imposing their way or the highway for states to comply to this somewhat communist system, I don't think so. If this bill is enacted into law the terrorist have won. We have raised the white flag on our liberty and turned over our rights. The very rights that define the US as who we are and what we stand for. We have done to ourselves what Al-Qaeda could never do without our help, change our definitions of Freedom and Liberty. Our way of life has changed from a Democracy to a Republic and that is the fault of the fear driven Republican right wing. Eventually, they will cross the line further and I can only hope the people take back what is rightfully theirs, their Freedom.

Here are links to related coverage:
Congressman F. James Sensenbrenner (R) Wisconsin, introduced the bill. The bill can be found here, all you have to do is enter HR 418 at the search box. This is what the Honorable Ron Paul of Texas said in front of the House of Representatives on February 9th,2005. Here is what Larry Abramson at NPR's take on the Real ID Act is. Cybernews Service covered the story extensive breakdown of HR 418, including the co-sponsors of the bill(5 from NC), the money trail, and who voted for or against it.

More to come... stay turned and stay free.

Censor This Asshole

Reuters is reporting that Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Ted Stevens (R) Alaska, wants indecency fines to be imposed on pay TV(cable) and subscription TV(satellite) and radio(XM and Sirius). I urge you to contact him and give him a piece of your mind. I say go back to your igloo and FUCK YOURSELF, leave peoples choices with them. If people don't want to see or hear something they can turn the channel. If I want to watch vulgar TV I will tune in and I have that constitutional right. I would like to be the first person to introduce the ignorant portion of our public that likes to impose their standards on others to a little device called a remote. It has buttons with options like turning the channel or turning the TV off. If you don't like what you see turn it and leave my rights up to me to govern. This country is turning slowly into what was the former Soviet Union. I lose rights, what seems like, daily and I am tired of this new trend. I can't believe I am saying this, but props to President Bush for saying that parents are the first line of defense and can just turn it off. I stand with you on this.
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