Only in NJ 
Yes, in New Jersey, the state that can't even manage itself well enough to keep casinos - an excellent source of free money - open; comes this story:

It's Raining Dead Birds in New Jersey

So let me get this straight, one of only two states where you can't pump your own gasoline, people are expected to clean up poisoned birds from their property? Sure, they say the poison used poises no threat to people but I can assure you that animal carcasses will bring a crowd of nature's scavengers, especially given the cold weather. Go ahead, pick up that decomposing animal or fight off that rabid raccoon for that dead bird, But, pump your own gas? Never! It's not safe!

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Democrats Oppose Progress 
So much for being "progressive."

Senate OKs 4-month delay to digital TV changeover

Unbelievable; and the follies have just begun. They've been advertising this change for two years plus.

The irony is that if people don't understand this changeover, making their TV's unusable would actually be doing them a favor.

Update (01/28) House defeats bill to delay digital TV transition

from the article:

The defeat is a setback for President Barack Obama and Democrats on Capitol Hill, who maintain that the Bush administration bungled efforts to ensure that all consumers — particularly poor, rural and low-income Americans — will be ready for next month's analog shut-off.


Of course Bush bungled it. It's the government's responsibility to make sure you have a television that works. But, hey, I guess if people can't understand what "get out, now" means when a Category 4 Hurricane bears down on them, they certainly would not understand what "Analog television sets receiving free TV using an antenna will not work after February 17, 2009. Television viewers with these sets that are not connected to a pay TV service need to take action now. Most consumers who purchase a converter box today can connect it to their existing television and begin enjoying the benefits of digital television immediately." means.

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Cold 
...very cold. So far, nearly every day has been below normal this month. Take a look.

It's not just local, either: Deep Freeze Chills Florida

UK's Met Office sees cold winter continuing

Abnormally cold winter among issues facing utilities (Iowa)

Northwest MT cold means bigger energy bills
(really? who woulda thunk)

MA, RI take on more snow, cold temperatures

I much prefer the 'warming' part of global warming to the 'cooling' part.

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Championship Sunday 
For what it's worth, here are my picks:

Eagles 27, Cardinals 24

Ravens 20, Steelers 16

Seems like the consensus is that we are going to see a Turnpike Superbowl. I don't think so.


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Decadence is OK, if it's Obama 
Where is all the outrage over the excessive costs of BHO's inauguration?

Obama's inauguration set to be the most expensive in US history

Surely, we all remember the furor just four years ago.

It's his party ...and it costs $40 million
Change "Bush" to "Obama" and edit the current events, and I wonder if the tone would be the same? Didn't think so.

Inauguration: Bush's Corporate Donors

I like this line from that one: "The country is at war. Many at home are out of work and struggling financially just to survive."

Laura Bush Defends Gala in Time of War and Disaster
Will there be any stories about Mrs. Obama defending the partying during this time of war and disaster? Don't count on it.

Some Question Steep Inauguration Price Tag
Will Obama cancel his festivities to set an example? Will any prominent liberal or Democrat ask him to? Ha.

FLASHBACK: Liberal Hack Was OUTRAGED at Cost of Bush Inauguration, Not So Much About Obama's
LOL

AP Slammed Bush’s ‘Extravagant’ Inaugural in ’05, but Now It’s Spend, Baby, Spend
LOL

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In The Times Today 
From today's NYTimes:

Intelligence Court Rules Wiretapping Power Legal
Surely we will have calls for impeachment of Obama, Biden, and calls for resignation of whoever the attorney general turns out to be. Surely the outrage will be as vehement and vociferous from the same people who called for the heads of Bush and Cheney. Yeah, right. Nothing to see here, move along.

Wisconsin: Racine Mayor Is Arrested
Hmmm, I wonder what party Becker belongs to? When a high-profile Democrat is charged with something and party is omitted, the defense is "everyone knows (Kilpatrick, Spitzer, Blagojevich, et al) is a Democrat." Sure it's small potatoes but if he were a Republican, he would get more coverage and incessant reminders about his party. [saved links: NYTimes, MSNBC]

Geithner’s Skill May Trump Tax Issue
Can't help but admire this puff piece. *gag* If this guy were a Bush nominee, he'd be toast. VP-elect Biden once said it's patriotic to pay higher taxes. Look for the spin to say that paying them late with interest qualifies as "higher" taxes.

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Misnomer 
New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services removes Adolf H----- Campbell, sisters from parents' home

The reason is still unclear and the article mentions that local police had no reports of the children being mistreated, but just imagine the irony if the children were taken simply because their names, no matter how inappropriate and offensive it may be.


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100 Books 
Five years ago, I set out on a challenge to read 100 books in five years. I topped that number by three. Here's the list.

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Don't blame them 
Someone sent this email, copied and pasted from the company's website, to a mailing list I subscribe to:

Welcome to the MadTux Store

We regret to inform you that economic conditions have forced us to close our doors after eight years in business.


Should read: "..that our inability to adapt to economic conditions..."

Many companies, believe it or not, survive recessions and depressions and sometimes companies go out of business during good times as well. The media won't tell you that but it's true.

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'09 
A few things to look forward to in 2009:

1. In 19 days, BHO takes office. Look for the MSM to go into BDS mode when BHO can't fix something with a simple hand motion.

2. George Snootupobamasass will need to invest in a thicker makeup nose-covering cream.

3. Rising oil and gasoline prices. Around mid-May, we should start seeing "When Obama took office, gas was $1.xx a gallon" bumper stickers on the same cars that had the "When Bush took office, gas was $1.46 a gallon" stickers. Yeah, right.

4. Another year of the failed war on poverty. Well, more accurately, another year of fighting poverty by continuing the war on the self-made.

5. It would be funny to watch this Keystone Cops Congress bumble and fumble about, except that they should be running the country, not ruining it. Someone ought to call for change.

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Big Loser 
...but I know that I am not the biggest loser. Even though I proudly watch no prime-time TV, I must admit am familiar with that television show and I must admit of all the reality TV out there, that show is probably the only one that encourages people to better themselves.

As I wrap up one year of a dedicated diet and exercise routine, one that has shed me 30 pounds, I will make a few observations.

1. Don't wait until you have a problem. Start a diet and exercise regimen today. Walking and cutting the salt and sugar are good ways to start.

2. Salt - cut salt from your diet. Whenever I tell people that I cut salt they usually reply "I never salt my food." Ha. Neither have I but I was taking in waaaay too much. If you do salt your food, that's nothing compared to the salt that's in processed, and all the frozen, foods out there. Let's not forget soup. A can of chicken noodle soup itself accounts for 80% of the recommended daily allowance. If you eat at restaurants more than once a week and never order off their 'healthy' (snicker) menu, fast food vs. sit-down makes little difference, you might as well as inject yourself with a salt IV. Salt is in everything that pre-packaged. Everything. Read the labels and cut the intake, now.

3. Sugar - cut that, too. Switch to wheat and whole grain bread. Start eating wheat pasta, too. Soda? Soda is instant weight-gain in a can. Diet? hahahaha yeah right; no sugar, maybe, but no sugar != instant weight gain. Trust me. I don't think I've had a glass or can of soda since August.

4. Stairs - if you have to go to the fourth floor lower, take the stairs. I have always adhered to this. It my not be much, but it does add up. I work in building that has four floors and I refuse to use the elevator and over four years, I'll admit that have used it a few times, but only if there is a reason, like a mild sprain or pain. The library is on the fourth floor and always hike it (and I always beat those to the top to who I see getting on when I enter the stairwell too).

5. Drink water. Drink a lot. Drink it with every meal. I do.

6. Beer/alcohol: my biggest weakness. Some people like candy, some like potato chips, I like my beer. I have noticed that light beer does make a difference but being kind of a beer snob I don't like light beer very much so I alternate - one case normal beer and then the next light beer.

7. Strive for the "five a day." Fruits and vegetables are good for you, to say the least. Potatoes and derived products don't count. Neither does ketchup.

8. Stay away from fast food. Not only is it a salt overdose risk, it's expensive. Regular restaurants, while usually better in taste and quality, aren't much better when it comes to salt and glop either.

9. Beef - I have significantly cut back the amount of beef I eat. While I love a good hamburger (we only buy 90/10), more often than not, hamburger night has turned into turkeyburger night. We use ground turkey or ground chicken for lasagne, sloppy joes, tacos, and so on. Ground turkey and ground chicken are more expensive than ground beef but it's worth the extra cost. Going vegan is an option, too, just not for me.

10. It's OK to treat yourself. Moderation is key.

11. I never thought that by the end of the year, I'd be running regularly and realistically looking and being able to run a 5K within six months. Your goals may be different but even if you start small, like I did, try it and build yourself up and see what difference a year can make.

Have a happy and HEALTHY new year.

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Print 
Earlier this year, I received a copy of Linux Pro Magazine instead of Linux Magazine. Linux Magazine ceased printing and went online-only and Linux Pro completed the subscription. Yesterday, I received the last copy of PC Magazine. They are going online-only too and I will have to pay for the online content.

Recently, it was announced that the Detroit News and Detroit Free Press were cutting delivery back to three days a week and readers will have to go online to get news on the non-delivery days.

I suppose some of this is inevitable but, honestly, online news and magazines hold nothing against a good paper or magazine, even if they are 75% advertisements. Of course, nothing tops a good tangible book. Ebooks? No way!

Some benefits to print over online content:

1. Once printed, the content cannot be changed. Good for holding people accountable and good for being used to prove that certain things were at one time considered true and undeniable and to disprove what's "true and undeniable" today will always be so. The fact that the news can constantly be updated, i.e. changed, is not necessary a good thing. We've always been at war with Eastasia.

2. They don't require electricity or other power source to work.

3. They are more portable than any portable device. They can be dropped and if they get wet they will work again once dry.

4. Book burnings are more difficult to organize than hitting the delete key.

5. Google, or any search engine, cannot selectively hide content from searches of old books, newspapers, or magazines that exist somewhere in physical form.

If everything goes electronic, and I fear someday it may, people's rights will be abridged and thoughts will be completely controlled by some other entity. We've already seen this in a similiar form on television during the most recent elections.

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