Thursday, October 26, 2006

Last of the Floppies


Last of the Floppies
Originally uploaded by Candlemaker.

I haven't touched them in a couple of years but I'm just now getting around to throwing them away.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Electronic Voting Screwup - Diebold Involved

Computer Voting Disks Likely Made For Testers - washingtonpost.com

Publicly Traded Death Service Industry Stocks

stockbee: James Altucher , water and theme investing

AWGI,Alderwoods Group Inc
CSV,Carriage Services Inc
SCI,Service Corp Internat
SNFCA,Security National Financial Corp Class A
STEI,Stewart Enterprises Cl A
STON,Stonemor Partners L.p.

The Most Important Quote From Google's Conference Call - SeekingAlpha

The Most Important Quote From Google's Conference Call - SeekingAlpha: "Over half of local businesses don't have websites yet, based on the estimates we see, and our local business center helps those businesses easily create a web presence so they can advertise online."

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Ben takes a photo of himself everyday

Nicely done. :)

Microfinancing - Citigroup To Help The Poor

Won't their stockholders be surprised.

"People have a longer term view, and a responsibility for doing what they can deeper in the markets where they operate, and we are in a 100 countries or so," he said, adding that the challenge is to lower the costs of running microfinance institutions and charges to the poor.

"This is an investment that is beginning to serve a much wider population than we and banks in general have done before," he said. "Banks should enter this with complete humility."

...Robert Annibale, who heads banking heavyweight Citigroup's own special microfinance group...

In as much as Grameen Bank is concerned with fighting poverty and Citigroup is concerned with their responsibility to stockholders I wonder how that will affect their new customers.

World Crises | Reuters.co.uk

Sunday, October 15, 2006

China Stance On N. Korea Bomb Test

>>The following is Chinese administration’s reactions before and after the nuclear test delivered by the newsmagazine.

They were in a great shock when North Korea had the nuclear test-

Russian Ambassador to North Korea Andrei Karlov was informed of the plan and its background two hours before the nuclear test. However, China was informed just 20 minutes earlier.

The Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee led by President Hu Jintao urgently called the extra meeting in the period of sixth general meeting of 16th central committee of Chinese Communist Party.

Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs published their statement two hours after the nuclear test, “We firmly object to them and strongly insist,” with an expression of “outrageous action” in a very strong nuance. Those expressions were barely used in the relationship between the two countries in 50 years’ history.

This reveals that China resented North Korea’s nuclear test and exposed their feeling that they were betrayed by North Korea. Such foreign ministry statements are subject to approval of President Hu. <<

I think China may be the best hope of containing this problem. Size and proximity give them a very strong presence in the region and a large scale conflict in N. Korea would certainly affect Chinese interests.
donga.com [english donga]

Friday, October 13, 2006

New Orleans Jazz Fest and A Note From A Friend

Hey Anne and John, great to get the Ninagret fest
site...just checked out the pics gallery... The Jazz Fest was pretty special this year...very emotional for
a lot of folks..George Wein included. Springsteen was
GREAT doing the Pete Seeger tribute set. VERY
emotional scene..nere a dry eye in de place...crowd
left, sated and drained..extremely quiet recessional
that night...everyone kinda picked up their stuff and
shuffled out, reflectively..I and some of my guys got
stopped on the track en route to lighting up worklight
stations (for night time work) by some people...we
often get harangued with requests for rides, etc.; but
these people were in tears, thanking us for getting
the "Resurrection" fest up and looking "Normal"...
It was strange and wonderful...I mean, for
Chrissakes, I'm ususally the Irish kid, Y'know, the
one who cries at card-tricks...but I was feeling good
-sans maudlin ...and all these people were VERY
emotional...lot of that goin' round. A LOT more
locals than in the past...comments in the paper about
how the Fest was the ONLY thing back to normal in the
city etc........
Springsteen and his Krewe may have played a part
in getting us a bonus this year (unheard of in the
past)..The other night, the site producer (old friend
Tague) and the construction Foreman (old friend
Garnet) called me up and said they had something for
me...and some King Crab sent in from Alaska...so I
went over and they were all puffed up and lit...I
mean, puffed-up proud...as well as otherwise haha...
They handed me an envelope(nice bonus) and a
personalized letter from Quint Davis (another old
friend, sense a theme here?)
and George Wein ....this is a VERY heart-felt letter,
with US(Fess Gator Krewe)...I suppressed the urge to
say "It's about freakin' TIME!"...and read it...They
had all read it before, and were awaiting my
response...I read it, and folded the envelope up in my
pocket..They all said, "Dude, look in the envelope,
Man!"
I said, " It doesn't matter what's in there, this
is enough"...Garnet's wife Linda started to
cry...Lots of hugging and brotherhood ensued...
Anyway, they told me that Springsteen's tour
manager had sent an e-mail to Quint from the plane,
saying that their crew was all talking about how cool
their experience had been. They were impressed with
what a bunch of characters our Krewe was, and how they
too had been together for YEARS, and how amazing it
was that we had gotten the largest festival in the
world built-tight, right, and outta-sight; all in an
environment of a city that is still 3/4 unoccupied,
where 75% of all businesses are still closed..traffic
lights are still out etc...........I think we all had
lost sight of the enormity of the task...because most
of us are in the process of re-building under these
conditions on a daily basis...going 40 miles for
shingles is all in a day's work, for instance...
I was "Mentioned In Dispatches", so to
speak.....The day Springsteen played...weird morning,
that was...Big rain and wind had torn up the site(as
it ususally does) so we were out early , putting it
back together...A large(40' x60') booth-shed had
overturned right out in the crowd area of one of the
big stages...our Pole-driving crew had disintegrated,
disappeared (bad hiring mistake, a guy from
Connecticut who CLAIMED to know pruduction, and a
section-8 reject from the army, and his helpers) so
that week I had taken over that detail(along with my
other shit).....
Anyway, we were in the process of dis-mantling
twisted steel and splintered wood, shredded tarps etc.
(Another day In Paradise as i told some FNG's -new
guys) and re-building this structure and others,
re-setting poles to fly sound cables balah, blah blah
and here comes a crew bus along the road...so I
"expedited " the process with a chain-saw and sledge
hammer...due to frustration with some of the younger
cats on our Krewe who were hung-over , lame etc. to
get the bus by...just normal abnormal stuff...kinda
like we have been doing down here for years(and in the
streets lthis year)
So we got the road cleared, and I got the "Kids"
motivated and moving, set about their tasks, and the
booth was getting re-done and re-decorated...with me
on the radio and up in the steel, being the Type-A
Yankee Irish S.O.B. that these people have come to
rely on....and I didn't notice the car sitting there,
watching all this crap that for us has become "What We
Do"....
We moved on to a different area of destruction,
and I didn't give it a thought...and I noticed that up
on the stage, they were playing Bruce's new
CD...EXCEPT it wasn't the CD....it was his
SOUND-CHECK...that's how into the job at hand I
was...I was unaware of it until I heard frome the
stage, this voice that sounded familiar....saying some
really complimentary things about us...so I drove my
truck right up to the front of the stage, and realized
that Bruce was up there, doing what amounted to a
private show for the Krewe....pretty fuckin' cool it
was!

Later on, as i was running through the
punch-list of things we had to do to open that day, I
heard of a riser that needed to go to the big stage,
so, as I usually do, I turned my truck around dropped
some kids off to do some stuff, called a forklift to
meet me , and went off after the riser....No
biggie,...I delivered the riser , and the stage
manager asked, "How the hell did you know I needed
this?" (My buddy Flip had overheard them talking
about it and had made the call on the radio). I said,
in my typical Phillyese, "It's all FM"
"All FM??, what ?" he asked.
"Fuckin' MAGIC", I dryly responded
So, I walked up on stage, grabbed two
stage-hands, and got them to carry the riser up to the
stage. As I'm coming down the ramp. some geeks asked
mr if I had any sandpaper. For some reason, I
responded with this dissertation on the relative
primativeness of our infra-structure, and the lack of
necessity for any such finish on our materials, but I
was very certain that I, or one of my brothers or
sisters on the Krewe would have something that would
be able to accomplish the task...Oh, and what, by the
way, IS that task?
"Our guitar-tech needs to shave down Bruce's
guitar-picks"
"Of course he does" , I responded
So, off to my toolbox I went, and returned with
a collection of devices sanding blocks, papers, foams,
and a power set-up(with a special clamp that I
rigged). Once again I heard "How did you know about
this?"....it gets old, after a while lol
So, I helped the tech get his little pick-sanding
world set up...showed him a better way of doing this
weird task...He told me that this was his first
pick-sanding...I had remembered hearing about
flat-pickers doing this in some magazine...so we did
the deed. I split, down the ramp and was stopped by
the PA geeks and a manager-of-sorts type and lavishly
praised and thanked for my attention to their
needs...It had been an ass-kicking morning, and I
still don't know why, but I gave them a gracious
speech about us being there to assure that their needs
were taken care of etc. and thanking them when they
mentioned seeing our little show on the road that
morning,,,I wasn't being obsequious, but I was laying
it on pretty thick(mostly due to exhaustion, I'm
sure)..so I finish my little BS show, turned around,
and there is Reggie Toussaint(music director), Quint,
George Wein, and a short, curly-haired dude from
Asbury Park , N.J....all smiling broadly, Quint came
up, and I noticed there were tears in his eyes
(probably from stressing-out over what I was gonna
tell these folks, HAHA) and hugs me(nothing new),
says"Marco,(he has always called me that), I love ya'
man", and plants a KISS on me(definitely new)..Reggis
gives me a hug and thanks for everything that morning.
George Wein shakes my handand says"I am PROUD to be
on the same team with you ". I, of course,
immediately deflect the praise onto the whole Krewe,
and tell him that I have some of his Blue Note
records...and turn to take the extended hand of the
Jersey dude, who goes on about how COOL it was this
morning, watching us work like madmen etc. I
commented that while I was familiar with Geoge's work,
I didn't know who HE was...and then waited a second..a
LONG second, before saying I saw him at the Main Point
in 74 or 5 (a club that seated 120) , and that Yeah I
knew who he is etc. We talked about me being from
Philly, and Quint told some Marco stories that that
were from the heart and embarassed me....and about how
you-wouldn't-believe-it-this-guy -has-had 2-freakin'
-TRANSPLANTS-and shit- and-man-what- a-guy- and I had
to stop him and say that our entire KREWE were amazing
and that we were almost ALL homeless at the beginning
of production and all that shit blah, blah,
blah...........Like I told the kids that morning when
they were whining....Another Day In Paradise,
indeed...
So the Springsteen people were all jacked-up
about the entire event and the family that puts it up,
on, and away...They said you could really feel the
FAMILY vibe...yes, we ARE a family...but so were the
Addams' and Mansons.................and we got a nice
bonus.......long story LONG

US House Representative Admits To Corruption - Prison Likely

Republican Bob Ney could get as much as ten years in prison after admitting he had taken luxury bribes in the areas of food, travel, music, gambling and sports related activities.
Practically everything he could get his hands on from the sound of it.
How much time will he actually get? I'm guessing ten is unlikely but I think it would be great. Anything less than four would be a shame.
E Canada Now � Republican lawmaker admits corruption

Top Of The Cancer Market? - Forbes.com

Top Of The Cancer Market? - Forbes.com

Friday, October 06, 2006

MySpace Populated by Elderly and Infirm: comScore

ClickZ Internet Marketing Solutions for Marketers: "ComScore reports this afternoon that MySpace users are suddenly a bunch of codgers. The audience researcher says more than 40 percent of the site's unique visitors are between 35 and 54, and eleven percent are 55-plus. "

Good! All those little fucks were getting on my nerves anyway. All that excess energy. I think I'll go take a nap.

Sex, Sexy Screensavers and Discount Travel

And a guy who said he wanted to go to medical school in America. I’ve been allowing strangers to ‘Skype Me’ recently. So far it’s been a bunch of promotions and a couple of people who have called and then not had much to say.

Kids Can Get Guns Directly From The Teacher

Channel3000.com - Education - Lawmaker Appears On National TV, Touts Arming Teachers: "MADISON, Wis. -- Republican state Rep. Frank Lasee went on national television Thursday morning to weigh in on school security.

The lawmaker from Green Bay is calling for teachers to carry guns at school as a precaution."

"If a gunman comes to their school, there are people at the school that would be able to fight back and disarm them," Lasee said.

This guy needs to be voted out of office, immediately.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Joe Lieberman Doesn't Care About Handicapped People


From LamontBlog via Wonkette, Joe Lieberman doesn't care if you are a crip. Hell, a little extra walking will probably do you some good.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Bernie Ebbers Does Hard? Ti me

Well he certainly got a long sentence but I don't think that really counts as 'hard'. Jeff Kreisler of The Street.com has the rundown.

Funny Money: A Little Caviar and Sympathy:
"'Hey! Who does a VP have to downsize around here to get a sundried tomato and pesto omelet?'"

Execution of a Corrupt Chinese Official

Former lawmaker executed in NE China for corruption
www.chinaview.cn 2006-09-29 23:49:18

CHANGCHUN, Sept. 29 (Xinhua) -- A former Chinese lawmaker was executed Friday in the northeastern Jilin Province after being convicted of bribery, misappropriation of funds, rape, illegal possession of weapons, organized crime and organizing prostitution.

Sang Yuechun, former member of the Ninth National People's Congress, was convicted of taking bribes and misappropriating 120 million yuan (15 million US dollars), but court officials did not provide details of his other crimes.

He was executed following approval by the Supreme People's Court.

Xinhua - English