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Musings and Meanderings

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Turning out the lights on Verizon

After a long and eventful relationship with Verizon, Radio Shack turns the lights out at Midnight and becomes a Cingular Partner on Jan 1.

I documented our changeover on the FlickR blog (link is at the top of the menu to the right. Verizon has been a good sales vehicle for me, but due to the non renewal of contract they have been understandably slowly strangling us with a lack of phones to sell.

The most mature business gesture award however goes to Verizon for cutting off our ability to purchase "top up" pins for Pay as you Go Verizon customers. A final parting shot.

I'm hoping Cingular has fixed it's abysmal customer service reputation since it was Cell One. They are one of the few phone companies in the US that uses SIM cards, thus allowing people to use their phones overseas. Also their network protocol (I won't bore you with the details) is basically superior to Verizon's as well as Sprint's in being able to deliver faster service.

Well time will tell, and you know me, its the sizzle not the steak. Other cliche's that come to mind are ice to eskimo's but I won't go there. I do look forward to being able to offer the popular Motorola Razr as well. We are open 10 to 5 on New Years day so I'll be at work tomorrow. Will stay up to watch the ball drop, have a dollop of Champagne and go to bed.

Happy New Year.
posted by Mike 9:57 PM

Friday, December 30, 2005

The Friday Five

1) What was the first album/CD/Cassette you ever bought?
Vinyl - Longfellow Serenade - Neil Diamond
Cassette - Really Not Sure
CD - Soundtrack to Batman the movie - before I had a player

2) What was your first fave song?
Perhaps Saturday Night by the Bay City Rollers. Might have been Sugar Sugar by the Archies. It was a long time ago.

3) Which song gives you that "funny nostalgic feeling" everytime you hear it?
1979 was a "golden" time for me, and Egocentric Molecules from JLP Cosmic Messenger really brings that out.

4) Name the first concert you ever went to.
I THINK it was Rush Moving Pictures tour. I had tix for Yes Tormato but Mommy would not let me go

5) What do you consider the worst song of all time?
Oh gosh so many bad pop tunes.

1) Name your fave song at the moment.
God is God by Juno Reactor. This changes daily.

2) What is the most recent album/CD/Cassette you purchased?
Take me To your Leader. New Hawkwind

3) Which song will you never get sick of hearing?
Incense and Peppermints. Pure 60's psychadelic.

4) What is your current fave music video?
I really don't "do" music vids, but the new Green Day DVD is really great.

5) If you could be a famous music artist, what type of music would you produce? PROG ROCK MAN.
posted by Mike 11:09 PM

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The year in Review
From Earth number two
thanks to George for this one


The year 2005 was bright and shiny on Earth II, where George Bush lives.

And why not? News of reality from Earth I never makes it to the
president's desk on Earth II.

On Earth II, Brownie did a heck of a job, and poverty was wiped out in
America when all the poor people were sent to live like cattle in an

No child was left behind, freedom was still on the march, and a
brain-dead woman in Florida trumped a heartsick mother in Texas in
getting the president's attention.

Creationism was renamed Intelligent Design in a stunning public
relations move.

"Plan for Victory" won the 2005 White House Slogan of the Year,
belatedly, but finally replacing "Mission Accomplished" as the
definitive Earth II commentary on the Iraq war.

Bush decreed there's no such thing as global warming, thereby solving
that problem once and for all.

Plus, word definitions were agreeably changed. "Deficit reduction plan"
on Earth II, for example, actually means "deficit growth plan" here on
Earth I.

Prisoners (called "detainees" on Earth II) can be tortured there, and so
can the English language. Oddly, Bush is entirely coherent in his
alternate universe.

Thus, we present highlights of 2005 on Earth II - in George Bush's own

Much to the relief of God, Bush began the year with a surprise,
albeit tortured, announcement that he is not God:

"We are in no way, shape or form should a human being play God."
(Jan. 14)

In February, we learned that Social Security was the top crisis on
Earth II. Who knew? And Bush had a plan to save it:

"Because the - all which is on the table begins to address the big
cost drivers. For example, how benefits are calculate, for example, is
on the table; whether or not benefits rise based upon wage increases or
price increases. There's a series of parts of the formula that are being
considered. And when you couple that, those different cost drivers,
affecting those - changing with personal accounts, the idea is to get
what has been promised more likely to be - or closer delivered to what
has been promised."
(Feb. 4)

Bush also clarified his position on Iran in February:

"This notion that the United States is getting ready to attack Iran
is simply ridiculous. And having said that, all options are on the
(Feb. 22)

In March, the nation breathed a sigh of relief when Bush made it
clear that not only does he not play God, he also doesn't talk to
pictures of dead people:

"In this job you've got a lot on your plate on a regular basis. You
don't have much time to sit around and wander, lonely in the Oval
Office, kind of asking different portraits, 'How do you think my
standing will be?'"
(March 16)

Bush also explained his Social Security plan for those who die
before they die:

"If they pre-decease or die early, there's an asset base to be able
to pass on to a loved one."
(March 30)

In April, Bush announced that the coal supply was plentiful and that
it was good for the environment on Earth II:

"We have enough coal to last for 250 years, yet coal also prevents
an environmental challenge."
(April 20)

April was also a big month for progress in the war in Iraq, as Bush
explained again and again. Among his announcements was the noble decree
that terrorists should be kept safe:

"It's in our country's interests to find those who would do harm to
us and get them out of harm's way."
(April 28)

In May, the Social Security crisis made a comeback as Bush appealed
to young folks by either making or breaking promises to them, hard to
tell which:

"I think younger workers - first of all, younger workers have been
promised benefits the government - promises that have been promised,
benefits that we can't keep. That's just the way it is."
(May 4)

Despite the fact that nothing he said about Social Security made any
sense on Earth I, he also promised to keep saying it:

"See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and
over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the
propaganda." (
May 24)

In June, Bush explained that, happily, Earth I's coal supply had

"Do you realize we've got 250 million years of coal?" (June 8)

In July, Bush suspended all formal rules of grammar in his fight
against an increasingly unruly press. Not only was freedom on the march,
so was his syntax:

"The best place for the facts to be done is by somebody who's
spending time investigating it."
(July 18)

During August, Bush got a peek at reality when he flew over Earth I
in his flying saucer to see the hurricane damage:

"It's totally wiped out. It's devastating. It's got to be doubly
devastating from the ground."
(Aug. 31)

In September, he finally responded to the hurricane crisis by
rolling up his sleeves for a photo op. Also, he cautioned EarthIings to
quit hoarding gasoline:

"Don't buy gas if you don't need it." (Sept. 1)

Also in September, we learned that the five senses are different on
Earth II:

"We look forward to hearing your vision, so we can more better do
our job."
(Sept. 20)

With the October nomination of Harriet Mires, Bush illustrated that,
on Earth II, inexperience is the very BEST qualification for a Supreme
Court judge:

"It's important to bring somebody from outside the judicial system,
somebody that hasn't been on the bench and, therefore, there's not a lot
of opinions for people to look at."
(Oct. 4)

In November, Bush visited the southern hemisphere on Earth I and
learned a little geography about our planet:

"Wow! Brazil is big." (Nov. 6)

Finally, in December, Bush admitted that maybe the war in Iraq
didn't need to happen. Except, on Earth II, it did need to happen:

"Whether or not it needed to happen, I'm still convinced it needed
to happen."
(Dec. 13)

And so, Bush parties on in his Earth II White House, blissfully unaware
that the jig is up on Earth I, where New Orleans is still in sorry
shape; where the war in Iraq grinds on to no purpose; where the rich get
richer; where the uninsured get sicker; where the former presidential
nickname Bubba has been supplanted by Bubble Boy.

It's been a heck of a year, Bubble Boy. And always believe your Imagines
when they tell you:

Fairy tales can come true,

It can happen to you,

If you're on Earth II.
posted by Mike 11:05 PM
Nice to see the photo blog is being viewed

Feel free to list comments at the pictures. The FlickR site is the one being maintained, so click on that if you are interested.

I have a weird week this week. No teaching obviously. Off Monday, worked a 2 - 930 yesterday. Today, 5 to 930. Tomorrow Cingular Training plus a full day: 12 - 930. I have to work on New Years Eve and New Years Day as well. Not a happy camper about that at all, but there is some small consolation that I'm "needed" by the manager.

The "Paul" in the photoblog got is re-promotion to Manager and left the store this week, he was a closer and key person, so my hours have been adjusted accordingly. See above. I got an indirect compliment from the District Manager, in that he suggested that Paul take me to his new store to "get things in order". Paul deferred as Alex really needs me, but it a nice compliment.

So I have been able to stay up late and get up late that last few mornings. This has been nice.

As mentioned previously we had a wonderful local Christmas, though it was sad for me not to see my side of the family. I had a chance to go to NH on Mon but needed the 24 hours off. I don't get many of those.

In Febuary brother Andrew and clan arrive from France for a week so we are gonig to do "Chrismas in NH" in Feb. It should be fun.
posted by Mike 11:02 AM

Sunday, December 25, 2005

First Pics up

Make sure to check out the FlickR page for the most first pics from Christmas, from the cell phone cam.

Remember you can click on a pic to see it bigger, choose a set, or do a slideshow of all pics.

Merry Christmas

Click Here please
posted by Mike 8:43 PM

Friday, December 16, 2005

Friday Five!

Who is your favourite superhero?

Spiderman Spiderman friendly neighborhood Spiderman. MUCH longer than the movie has been out mind you.

If you were a superhero, which one would you be?

Probably Superman. Even though he is DC. I prefer the marvel universe.

Justice League or Injustice League?

Justice League, though I am not a big fan of DC.

Which supervillain would you be?


If you could have superpowers, what would they be?

X ray vision. Flying. Super strength. Sounds like Superman doesn't it
posted by Mike 12:23 PM

Monday, December 12, 2005

What do you think?


I said I'd look around for other photo logs. Well FlikR seems to show the pics in a better way. Tell me what you think in the posting spot on the side menu. I have posted the links to both on the top of the side menu. As always when you click the link you will get a new window, so as not to have to navigate back to the this one.

posted by Mike 10:00 PM

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Tree Trimming Night

Came home to a tree up with lights on, and a nice Smorgasbord type dinner of clams, shrimp, pot stickers and Crudités.

What I came home to

Alex trimming the Tree

The finished product

Don't forget to go to the fotoblog (link on side panel above) for a few more pics.
posted by Mike 11:20 PM

Saturday, December 10, 2005

3 quick things

1) John Lennon - where was I 25 yrs ago

As you know this week was the 25th anniv of John's shooting. For people of my generation this event is to many of us what JFK's assisination was to the Boomers, in that we will always remember where we were when we heard.

For me I was walking back from the McConnell Dining hall when someone said that he had been shot. I really figured that this was a horrid joke and said so. But alas it was true. I remember sitting on the balcony of my suite on campus and someone was playing the Long and Winding Road extreemly loud. Vivid, like yesterday.

John's death was not as much about a crazy stalker trying to impress a celeb. It was about the tragic irony of this life, that a man of peace would be gunned down violently. I wonder what he would have to say today with the Dogs Of War running the country. I'm sure he would be in the front lines of the opposition.

2) I got a New Phone

I was fooling around online at the Verizon Wireless site last week and discovered you can "upgrade" your cell phone online at their site. Just a quick clarification - every 22 months regardless of changes in your 2 yr agreement, you can replace your phone with a "upgrade" credit of up to $110. I have done this once before and this new phone makes it my third with Verizon.

I had wanted this phone but it was too much money at the Verizon store, and since things are tight I gave up on the idea. It had a camera (1.3 Megapixels) and a camcorder function, web 2.0 and lots of voice recognition programs. It's also capable of storing up to a gigabite of information via a mini-sd card flash memory, thus storing thousands of pics or MP3's.

So lo and behold cruising around online I discoverd with my upgrade discount and online discount I could get the phone for free. For you geeks here are the specs at the LG site - LG VX8100

3) Photo Blogging

Following closely on the heels of #2, I thought it would be fun to randomly document the day on the daily basis and put them in a photo blog. I didn't really do much research so I may change the site but for now I am using FotoBlog, which I think is a Google subsidiary. I put the link at the top of this blog so it's always there for you to check out. The RSS feed is this, just copy and paste:

posted by Mike 11:47 AM

Friday, December 09, 2005

Friday Five

1. What did you want to be when you grew up?

Variously: Experimental Fighter Pilot, CIA Operative, Stock Broker, Psychiatrist, Psychologist. Now: Teacher. I've not grown up yet.

2. Did you follow through? If not, what happened?

Now that's just being silly! Finally becoming a Teacher

3. Is your life turning out the way you thought it would when you were a kid?If not, is it better or worse?

Not at all. I figured I'd be retired by now. Living in sunny California with three kids. Not all things turn out as you fantasize, but I'd not trade it for the world.

4. Paradoxes aside, if you could time-travel back to when you were 10 years old, what would you tell your 12-year-old self?

First, turn around right now and go get that Jean Jacket with all the patches you left in Biology! I mourned the loss of that jacket for months. Second, Stay the course, life has ups and down, but the even out. Third, look for that really cute brunette with the curly hair in Chi-Chi's in about 15 yrs, and don't let her get away! Her name is Liza

5. Do you think the child you were, would like the adult you've become?

Well the Senior in HS would be disappointed as to how I've taken care of the temple. He was a vegetarian and lean and mean. But I'd just slap him upside the head and say respect your elders!
posted by Mike 11:15 PM

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

I really should have done better

Congratulations! You scored 78%!

You've been paying attention in class, but have a ways to go before
going through the loom. Not as obsessed as many, but with enough
practice, you're bound to improve. Buy more audio dramas and start
reading your BBC fiction.

My test tracked 1 variable How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 85% on docwho
Link: The Doctor Who Test written by johnharker on Ok Cupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test
posted by Mike 12:19 AM

Monday, December 05, 2005

Life of a Substitute part _____

It has been a couple of interesting weeks for me. Some get into subbing for the pay check, regular or irregular, as you don't have to take an assignment. These “teachers” tend to show up and baby sit mostly. And some get into it for the teaching. You know why I did.

So as previously alluded to below, Thanksgiving week had only two teaching days due to being sick. So the last time I had actually "taught" per se was the Monday of Thanksgiving week.

I got my call on Sunday for a 6th grade class for Monday, and it turned out Tuesday as well. As I was looking for the lesson plans a woman walked into the class Monday morning and explained that she was the student teacher and all I had to to was sit back and watch. Sigh. Wednesday was Pre K of all things, which frankly was very fun, cute kids, but not at all challenging.

Thursday I had promised Lansingburg that I would work in the Middle School here because they were having Special Ed meetings all day with individual teachers and I would be needed to cover classes. So I arrived bright and early and met the Principal and Vice Principal, both great people. But my schedule ended up with only two classes, one of which I was not needed in. So I ended up patrolling the halls for two periods, helping the Art teacher for two periods and watching the Media Center for two periods. Not exactly a big teaching experience. However it was amazing just how many kids I knew and recognized because of my association with the local Soccer league and of course the Boy Scouts. Very edifying.

I realized also the day before that even if I was considered for a "permanent" sub position in Lansingburg it would actually be to my disadvantage. This is because the certification program I am looking at would place me in an inner city school district. Read Schenectady, Albany or, yes Troy. So as I am ingratiating my self with the Principals of the Troy SD I am increasing my likelihood of actually being hired after my certification.

Friday was great, I had a 5th grade class I really got along with, and did a lot of real teaching. In fact I'm pretty sure I'm going to have them again on this Friday. As for the rest of this week I had Kindergarten today, and I'm doing AIS (special reading and language arts instruction) tomorrow, wich involves lots of one on one with phonics and such, very enjoyable and fulfilling. Wed and Thu I am sitting in with an intern (who will be teaching most of the time) for a 5th grade class. I was requested for this coverage so I don't mind that much not "teaching" per se.

So that’s life up to the end of the week. Hope you are enjoying the weekly commentary.
posted by Mike 11:10 PM

Thursday, December 01, 2005


To which race of Middle Earth do you belong?
brought to you by Quizilla
posted by Mike 11:53 PM

The musings and meanderings of an overworked and underemployed mind