Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Holiday Cheer

Okay, I can't keep silent any longer. I'm sick of hearing people like the Catholic League and Jerry Falwell complaining about the use of "Season's Greetings" instead of "Merry Christmas" in retail shopping centers and "Holiday Trees" instead of "Christmas Trees" on public property.

It's not that I'm against Christmas or Jesus or anything--I'm not. I just think these people need to focus their energy on stuff that's important, like pedophile priests or deforestation of the Amazon.

Let's face it. Not everyone in America is Christian. Some are Jewish, some are Buddhist, and, yes, some are even Islamic. While these other religions make up a smaller percentage of the population, it is still in most retailer's interest not to offend these groups with religous endorsements.

As for "Holiday Trees", this is going a bit far, but I understand why government agencies would use this terminology, what with all the lawsuits going on. Still, I feel silly calling a tree a holiday tree.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


Surface is probably my fourth most favorite show on TV right now, behind Commander in Chief, Lost, and Desparate Housewives. Last night's episode was pretty thrilling, just as it has been all season. Then, as the credits were rolling, instead of showing a preview for next week, it simply just said "New episodes of Surface are coming in January". Why, NBC, do you taunt me like this!

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Nick and Jessica Split!

Omigod! Nick and Jessica just split up. I'm so distraught. What is this world coming to?

Just kidding. I'm really thinking I don't give a shit and neither should you.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

XBox 360 is Here

And it's in my hands--for the moment, at least. It's going on eBay later.

But boy was it a spectacle last night. One of my co-workers tipped me off about one of the local Wal-Mart's so I went there and got in line just a few spaces behind him. I was number 42 and they had 48. So, four hours later, I had one in my hands.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Cougar Spotted in Broken Arrow Park

The local news is reporting that three separate witnesses have seen a mountain lion in the Ray Harral Nature Park in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.

A professional trapper has been hired to capture and remove the animal. I hope they don't have to kill it.

Sirius Customer Service is AWESOME

After having installed my Sirius receiver, it became clear to me the remote control did not work properly. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't. I tried a few things with the battery, to no avail. So I took the unit back to Circuit City and exchanged it for an identical unit.

I called Sirius the other day to see what I would need to do when I swapped units. They told me to call them once I had the new unit and they would just switch out the serial numbers in their system. No big deal.

So I called them. The agent I received on the phone was super pleasant. However, he was unable to pull up my account because their systems had just gone down or something. Sensing my disappointment, he said the system would probably be back up in less than 30 minutes and he would call me back if I wanted him to. I said sure. I figured that would give me time to re-mount the new unit in the car anyway.

Two minutes later the phone rang, and it was the same Sirius dude. He asked me for my new serial number and said within 5 minutes I would see a message saying it was activating. No sooner than I had hung up with him, the unit did indeed activate, and I was good to go.

So far, I love Sirius. Perhaps I love it too much. Now, I want to go somewhere in the car--doesn't matter where--all the time just so I can listen to it. Maybe I should write the marketing department and pitch some commercials to them.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Sirius Radio

Okay. I have a sickness. I admit it. I love all things electronic. But it's not merely enough to admire these gadgets...I must own them.

Recently, one of my co-workers bought a Sirius radio for his car, and he's been playing some of the Sirius streams on his computer at work. Now, everyone in Tulsa knows the radio stations here suck, so this has piqued my interest. But the real kicker is that the idea of satellites beaming music into my car gives me pleasure that is probably illegal in Oklahoma. So, tonight, I added a Sirius receiver to my car. Installation was must easier than I expected it would be. These things truly are plug and play.

Just a few days ago, I aquired a Tivo and a new PalmPilot. My collection is almost complete. The only thing left is a high-def TV. That's the last thing I can't live without, but it should be a while before that happens because it's becoming too costly to support my electronic habit.

Lost Aggravates Yet Again

Spoiler alert!

When the screen went black at the end of Lost last night, I was upset and pissed off more than I have been with any previous episode. Sayed (spelling?) had just pronounced his love for Shannon and he'd never leave her. Then she ran off in the woods and got shot, and then apparently died in his arms. Shannon, the spoiled little rich girl, had really been showing signs of growing up, and then they whacked her.

Or maybe they didn't. We didn't actually see Shannon die. It was implied. The teaser for Lost had said one of the characters would be lost forever. After thinking about it, there are three possibilities:

Shannon could be lost forever because she died. But maybe she didn't.

Sawyer could be lost forever because he slipped into unconsciousness and did not recover. Seems unlikely.

Or the one survivor they lost in the woods about half-way through the show could be the character lost forever. That character was essentially a "red shirt" character like they used to have on Star Trek. I'm thinking this one seems the most believable.

Finally, the other bad thing about Lost is that next week is going to be about the people in the tail section of the plane, so we probably won't learn of Shannon's fate for at least another episode.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Scratch-Offs Not Generating Expected Avenue

Well, perhaps Oklahomans are smarter than lawmakers thought. The "Education Lottery" is just not generating the revenue lawmakers thought it would. An education lottery is a paradox anyway. Presumably, as more money is fed into the lottery, more money goes to the schools and children receive a better education. But, as children receive a better education, they will be less likely to play the lottery as they get older because they realize what a waste of money it is, and less money will go into the lottery. In other words, it'll never solve Oklahoma's education problems.

Monday, November 07, 2005

A Delightful Dream

Last night I had the most delightful dream. There was this tree in this old woman's yard that was a mythical strawberry tree. The strawberries it produced were nearly as large as a grapefruit. They were delicious and sweeter than any strawberry I've ever tasted. Each morning the neighborhood kids would gather around the tree and pick the latest ripe berries off the tree.

I'm not sure if the dream means anything, but I was one of the best dreams I've ever had.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

International Lottory Scam

I received a letter in the mail yesterday from Canada. When I opened it, I found a check for nearly $4,000 in it and a letter saying I won an international lottery (which I did not enter). The total prize is $75,000 but there are 4 other winners I have to split the winnings with. Anyway, the check is to cover the taxes I owe the federal government. To get the rest of my money, I have to call a toll-free number and hand over my bank account number.

I knew this was a scam from the first sentence. But the check looks absolutely authentic. Just to confirm my suspicions, I did a search on the internet. I found talk of similar scams. One helpful site had this to say:

If you want to be sure you're not the next victim of a foreign lottery scam, here are five tips:

1. First of all, playing any kind of cross-border lottery system is a violation of Federal law, and law enforcement officials ARE paying attention. IOW, it's illegal. Don't do it!

2. You can't win a prize in a lottery if you didn't buy a lottery ticket.

3. Real lotteries don't ask you to pay a fee. If you have to write a check to win a lottery prize, it's a scam. IOW, never, ever send any money for 'processing fees,' or share any other financial information, in order to claim a prize.

4. Never fill out any prize forms or 'claims' either through snail mail or online -- you may end up on scammers' 'sucker' lists as a result, which means you'll just get more solicitations.

5. Don't believe -- or pay for -- any 'secret systems' that will help you win lotteries. If someone really had a foolproof secret system to win lotteries, why would they sell it to you?

So, don't be fooled if you get the same thing in the mail. You can read more here.

Palm Z22

Well, last night I gave up on my Sony Clie. It won't hold a charge, and I can't be sure if it's the battery or the charging cradle. I wasn't willing to spend any more money on it to find out.

I thought about PocketPC, Windows Mobile, or whatever the hell they are calling it these days, but these devices are still too expensive. History has shown I don't use my PDA frequently enough for me to justify the cost.

So, I'm now the proud new owner of a Palm Z22. This is my first Palm-branded PalmPilot. It only does 160x160. I sorta miss the Clie's 320x320. But the Z22 has other features lacking on my Clie. The one that I'm most thankful for is non-volatile memory. If the battery runs down, I won't lose my data.

Episode III on DVD

Most places around town have Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith on DVD for $19.99. I found it at Target last night for $14.99 through November 5, for all those who are interested.