Tag Archives: sphere

A lost world — rest in peace, Michael Crichton

I started reading the works of Michael Crichton in late middle school and freshman year of High School. I read his stuff voraciously and found myself falling ever so joyfully into his worlds of tension and tech.

While I enjoyed the book version of the movie that had pulled me into Crichton’s world (Jurassic Park), it wasn’t my favorite book of his (though I found it wonderful when I did get around to reading it). Sphere, Congo, Eaters of the Dead (now known as “The 13th Warrior”) all entranced me. Disclosure, The Andromeda Strain… They both kept my mind tripping and the pages turning.

Of course, when I finally saw some of these movies on the big screen, I cringed. I scowled. I changed the channel. But when I read them, I fell into the works and was safe in a womb of fiction.

I think the only book that I couldn’t stand from Crichton was “The Great Train Robbery” — and at this point I cannot recollect the reason why I hated it so much. Might have to pick it up again sometime soon.

I heard the news that Michael had passed and was absolutely shocked. He was a talent, and he will be missed.

The last book I read and reviewed of his was Prey, you can check that out here.

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Bonus for Boltsmag

So for 3 years I have been toiling (off and on) away at Boltsmag. It’s got a reputation as the Lightning Weblog, it’s renown around the hockey blogosphere…

And as of a few days ago it’s linked to on Sports Illustrated’s Tampa Bay Lightning team profile page. How is that for a birthday gift?

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Note to self — if you gotta blog, blog here

You know, I get my thoughts out pretty well on here. It might be snipping about personal matters, it might be poetry, it might be just re-listing song lyrics (which seem to be popular with the Search Engines) or quoting movies. Whatever the case, I blog here not-so-much but I do blog here from time to time.

I also blog elsewhere… And tonight I figured I would blog on DFA-link int he Pinellas County DFA group about my fondness for Al Gore and how I am holding out for him to enter the 2008 Presidential primaries.

The only thing I didn’t expect when I blogged this was the fact the post was going to get wider exposure than what I was aiming for. Much wider. Hugely wider.

Blog for America front-paged wider.

More than three years ago, I never would have dreamed in my wildest imagination that I would be featured on the front page of Blog for America — the then-It blog of the Howard Dean for President campaign. Dean failed in his attempts, but he founded Democracy for America in an effort to organize Democratic support better. Blog for America lived on and is still highly thought of on the liberal/progressive blogosphere.

And at 11:45 PM ET, on February 12th 2007 — yours truly has made it to the front page. Whodathunkit?

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Don't let these lapse

(x-posted over at the Sticks)

Last year, I purchased a couple domain names – TampaBayRail.com and TampaBayRail.net. I intended to launch a web site on mass-transit and address the Tampa Bay area as one region. Not a separate-but-equal take that local government has had in the past on transit solutions. But those plans were soon forgotten as other issues worked into my life (including hand surgery, political campaigns and walking the dog).

Now, for those of you aware of what the local blogosphere has to offer, you already know David Pinero has Tampa Rail.org up and running. Pinero’s site is a great civic orientated pro-rail web site. The plan in my noggin’ with my own blog/site were just to ride the “rail” names but talk about all transit issues in general. But all of this is really beside the point, so let’s move on.

Basically, time goes by, the seasons change, the Gators were champs and John Grahame sucks. A few weeks ago I got notification from my domain registration company that both domain names were soon going to expire. I could renew the domain names for however-many-years I’d like or I could simply let them disappear into the digital tumbleweeds of the interweb. They’d likely be snatched up by a spammer or domain-name broker with no interest in Tampa, Tampa Bay, transit in Tampa Bay or rail in the region.

The whole thought reminded me of what happened to the previous official website that the city of Tampa and Hillsborough County operated regarding a rail system. A few years back (2002), those governments held the rights to TampaRail.com (check the wayback machine). For some reason, the powers that be (City of Tampa? Hillsborough County?) let that domain name expire around 2003. The name was quickly snatched up and exploited by a Russian domain name broker. The web site and url shifted to BlueHeronMedia.com, then ended up drifting into oblivion before being removed from their servers. Tampa’s official rail website was as dead as the pro-rail movement in the region. But the movement is now stirring again.

This past summer, we were all witness to the grand spectacle of the Hillsborough Expressway Authority trying to launch a new sprawlway through the region. Along with Mayor Pam Iorio (and the Tampa Bay Partnership and Tampa International Airport) renewing a push for a regional rail system through the Tampa Bay area. Emphasis on the Tampa Bay regionalism of their presented interest.

So, what’s a guy to do? I have control of TampaBayRail.com and .net. I could sell them and possibly recoup some of the costs of the domain names — eventually. Instead, I decided to do some good. I offered both domains to the City of Tampa. You entrepreneurs may see this as a waste of money on my part, but just consider it a good deed.

Suffice to say, the city was receptive of the idea, so both names are now controlled by Mayor Pam. I don’t expect you to see a regional rail website any time soon, but there is the possibility for a united Tampa Bay rail effort on the web — with TampaBayRail.com potentially it’s base location on the web.

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Wal Mart too cheap to handle it's own PR

Blogwood and the blogsphere is how I found out Wal-Mart is buying naming right sto a local ER that will be built….

Yet Wal Mart is too cheap to spend some of their own billions of dollars on the 5 million dollar investment. They have to siphon cash off their employees and their customers to do it.

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Dining experience

Can someone tell me what the rule is when it comes to going to a restaurant and acting like a total asshole? Or totally snobbish?

It seems the last two times I went to a finer restaurant — not a fine restaurant where there is a proper dress code, but nicer, finer restaurant where sandals and tank tops still find there way into the building — I’ve been told to act like a pompous prick and seen family do just that when things go weird. My mom especailly…

Maybe a year ago I went to a restaurant in downtown Dunedin with family. Nice place, nice atmosphere, forgot the name of it though so you’ll have to forgive me. While dining I dropped my fork and family insisted that I not pick up the fork…. Well, not much family, just my mom. When other things happened, I was told that the waitress will handle it. It drove me insane to be waited on over mundane things. This wasn’t like “Let the waiter put a napkin on your lap” type stuff. This was just normal “I’m not a lazy slob” type stuff.

Skipping over that event and finer details of the event — we jump to last night and my dining experience at Sam Seltzers Steakhouse in Clearwater. Not fine dining but it was a hell of a nice place to go to and a hell of a long wait to have. We must have waited an hour and a half for seats (which I’ve always told my parents “Get reservations to that place if you insist on trying to eat there sometime”) and in some ways it was worth it because it was just a nice place to go to…

But then my mother’s pomposity came into it.

Maybe she’s getting eccentric in her age or maybe I’m just too damned sensitive to others. A waiter was trying to handle some dishes — i didn’t pay attention to the fact if they were dirty or clean plates he was handling. What happened was, he tried putting them on an assistance tray/table next to one booth and slipped — he had the plates come crashing down. And my mom clapped and applauded him.

She applauded him with the attitude of a pure-spirited “I don’t give a fuck” woman who was stuffing her face and trying to have a good time at others expense.

Rage bubbled up from within me in embarrassment. I wanted to get up and actually help the guy with the mess but the gimp known as Me can’t quite handle that. I fumed and started telling my mom exactly what I felt. “I can’t believe you did that! Lift your nose up a little higher, mom, lift it up a little higher for everyone to see you’re the most pompous person in the building.”

Yes, that was disrespectful… And who knows, maybe I was over-reacting…. But then again? I’ve been the guy who has to face a crowd after an embarrassing episode and I do NOT want other people to experience the humility of it all — especially when one prick goes off and tries to make me feel worse than I already do. Maybe the waiter didn’t care? Maybe he’d been through this a thousand times already? In any case, wrong is wrong and acting like a asshole in a restaurant is a no-no. You’re supposed to do unto others a you want done unto you right? So why do you start exploiting a persons goof / mistake in embarrassing circumstances instead of trying to help the situation?

If I was at my friends house and that happened — where my friend is the one dealing with dishes and what not, or someone who knows who I am and what I stand for is handling the dishes — I’d possibly do what my mom did and start exploiting it because it’s in jest, it’s good fun and people around me know I don’t mean any harm by it. I’d tell the person (if it wasn’t a person totally familiar with me) that I was just kidding around and teasing and try to help them out after… That’s the type of person I am after all.

I’m not going to act like a dick, however, in the company of strangers and make one person feel like complete shit…. That’s just plain wrong.

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Tis the Season – ho ho ho – help me out here…

So this is Christmas, and what have I done?
I’ve been newly cut open, now living as a bum…
So this is Christmas, and what do I get?
Another day older and leaning towards debt….

It’s Christmastime ladies and gentlemen if you have been living under a rock the past few weeks. Tis the season to spread jolly good vibes towards your fellow man and all that good stuff.

Personally I am a little perplexed this year as to what to get my family for Christmas. Specifically my older brother who I really want to slay with a gift — slay in a good way. I don’t mean overspend for a Christmas gift, I mean give him something sentimental that he will cherish.

See, Mike is someone who flaunts capitalism and debt in how he operates. He is already going to be giving several thousand dollars worth of gifts jointly in my name to people this year. That tweaks me because I really feel like an invalid shit not being able to pay my own way with certain gifts.

At the same time, it’s nice someone else is picking up the tab of course…

But the thing is, I want to show him that I care. I can’t buy something that will make him say “Oh wow, thanks!” unless I find something that he really wouldn’t have thought he would like. I can’t MAKE him something he would admire, in my humble opinion, because Mike has always given me a tough time with things I do as not being good enough or not as good as it COULD be.

I have the thought of buying him a domain name — as he is currently running a blog on http://foreverlad.diaryland.com — and giving him an MT treatment and web space of his very own, but he doesn’t want to be COMMITTED to anything. I got a bit of shit from him recently because of my birthday gift to him, and Ecosphere, and the fact he doesn’t want to be responsible for these living creatures inside the sphere (feels guilty when they thing doesn’t get proper light, etc).

Should I just say “The hell with it?” and get him a card? What are some of your off-the-cuff ideas for Christmas gifts? Input would be nice here…

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Interaction #2 — Part Three: Inter-answers

Keith Asked

1. New York Yankees, or New York Rangers?
Rangers. They spend all that money and STILL suck!

2. If you were told you could be rich and famous, but would die in 10 years, would you want it?
I don’t know… Sometimes I feel like I only have 10 years to live anyway… So I’m really not sure. IF I could be rich, make everyone financially secure and better off financially and pass away in ten years – not knowing how long I had to live myself… I’d have to seriously give it consideration.

3. Rosie O’Donnell nude, or Oprah Winfrey nude?
Oprah nude… I don’t think I could take all the skin folds on Rosie

4. Would you rather be destitute and in love, or rich and in a meaningless relationship?
Destitute and in love, any day.

5. Onions are the root of all evil, explain why. :wink
Hmmm, this is a tough one, a good one at that. You see, Onions tend to cause gas in people and that adds methane to the atmosphere – from all the people breaking wind because of Onions in their meals. Methane gas helps global warming and making the earth a less hospitable place to live. If, because of all the onions we eat, we end up making the Earth unable to sustain life, we could put enough blame on Onions for it… And for one vegetable to cause that much death and destruction that would come from global warming, it could be easily concluded that Onions are the root of all evil.

PPH Asked:

1. What’s your favorite color?
Blue or green

2. When do you give up on someone?
You only give up on someone when they have given up on you or stopped showing interest, or pushed you away so much it’s quite visibly their move. If someone turns a blind eye towards you or stops talking to you or just puts you off in general, you get to the point where you might have to just give up on them because the hurt that it causes becomes too much. Then again? When you love somebody, you it’s hard to bring yourself to stop trying. It’s gotta be mutual in the end, though. This goes for friendships too.

3. Paper or Plastic?
Paper. Renewable resource that biodegrades. Call me a eco-freak.

4. Skankiest entertainer?
Madonna with Christina Aguilera a runner up. Britney is coming up the back awfully fast too.

5. Will Howard Dean win the election? :o)
He sure better. We need him.

Sarah Asked

1. What’s better, rambling or silence? Rambling, but conversations that go on and on and everything else falls away during them isn’t rambling.

2. If you want to speak to someone, what reasons can you think of not to?
Depends on what the deal is with that someone. If there are things left unsaid, or things that were never apologized for, that might be a reason… If a person won’t get back to you, that might be a reason. If you’ve been treated poorly and that’s been unacknowledged, that might be a reason… You can still very much want to talk to someone, but when they build a wall to keep you out of their life, you’ve got to build a wall of your own to keep your sanity.

3. When things go wrong, who’s fault is it most of the time?
It’s not about blame but it’s about making things right again – and that takes an effort from all parties. That’s the problem in this country because people won’t take steps to make things better (government, corporations, people in relationships)… They can assess blame and finger point real well, but they can’t rectify situations – or chose not to because it would compromise their ambitions or their ego. Why get involved in the muck of trying to fix things when you can keep going and come back to the problem after it’s been fixed by itself? Why not try to fix it or get involved in resolving the situation instead of avoiding it?
When someone avoids dealing with a situaiton, that’s when blame gets dumped on them.

4. Life’s ________ so __________. (fill in the blank)
Life’s a song, so sing. Life’s but a dream, so someone’s having a nightmare. Life’s a journey; so don’t treat it like a destination.

5. Who’s closer to the truth, the scientist or the religious man?
I think it’s right in the middle between them where the truth lay – both men are close to the truth, but only to a point. There is only so much physical before the spiritual comes into play and only so much spirituality before the physical explanation comes into play. I think God has a helping hand in Science and Science has a helping hand in God.

Melanie Asked:

1. Out of all the Shakespeare plays, what is your favorite tragedy AND your favorite comedy??
I haven’t read that much Shakespeare in order to give you a good answer but I know my favorite tragedy is Hamlet. Comedy? It’s tough to say this because I don’t have much to gauge but 12th Night.

2. Who in your opinion was the greatest president of the US? And Why?
I thought you didn’t do politics? :p This is a tough one because I don’t know everything about every president who has been there. There’s Clinton who lead us through prosperity, but he had partisan politics and scandals malign his term in office… We had Abe Lincoln who did his damnedest to preserve the Union and had his life tragically taken from him. We had JFK who taught us to aim high and to try, and also had his life tragically taken from him… But I think the greatest president in US history is one that others might think of as the worst president of US history – Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He presided over the toughest time of the 20th century – the great depression and World War 2. He handed the US a new deal and did what he could to bring the nation back from the depression. It was a long hard road, but it eventually happened. He overcame disability to achieve this, and was elected for more terms than any previous US president, showing the People were behind him.

3. Would you rather pop a can of Pringles or pop a cherry?
“Once you pop, you can’t stop.” It just depends on who, and what type of Pringles. To decide between a person and some potato chips, that’s pretty pathetic right? That’s how I work though, I guess.. It’s not the body part but who it’s attached to…

4. If you could be any age, what age would you be and why?
18. That or sometime in my teens. Everything was in front of me and I just had so much optimism how it would play out, I was angry and yet I was interested in finding my niche. Being able to look forward more and not look around and feel like a failure, it would mean the world to me.

5. If you were a hamburger, what toppings would cover you?
Anohter patty so we can have some meat on meat action, spread some ketchup over both of us for added sensuality, and then onions to further prove that they are the root of all evil – not only do they help spread methane gas, they are a key part of burger-on-burger carnal pleasure. Put a bun on and take a bite and you will taste the pure ecstacy brought on by the hot burger patty action.

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More Dated Material

So it’s Wednesday and I’m still thinking about last night. I didn’t talk so much about the date itself as the similarity between the girl in question and someone from the distant past.

Though I can’t get over the similarities.

She came over to my place and we then went out to Insomnia — or were planning to go there — when we found out that Insomnia (local coffee house, pretty nice atmosphere) is now closed. FUBAR. We sat around inside her Camaro for 10 minutes talking and then decided to go to Applebee’s because she hadn’t eaten yet. No problem — off we go and then I find out two very important things:

1) she’s a vegitarian
2) Home Depot reminds her of her younger brother almost losing his finger in an accident

Applebees menu is a lot of meat on it with salad on the side. Shit. Should have gone to Carrabas or some other italian restaurant instead. Didn’t matter though. She ordered a chicken salad and most of the time it wasn’t focusing on eating between us anyway, it was talking. Though I admit I did most of the talking (on the account of my hearing).

I like rambling like that. I mean, we were talking for 20 minutes before we even ordered our food (of course, our waitress didn’t help things out too much either by taking her damn sweet time getting back to us). It was a lot of talking and it’s just what I wanted to be hoenst. I’m interested in the girl from the little bit that I learned about her when we talked online and I’m moreso now that I know more about her.

Of course I’m reporting too much of my personal life in here. Some people might say “What do you mean? That’s what makes it interesting.” while the few and the proud know first hand just what has happened to me in the past by reporting too much in here.

So anyway, had a friend over here again today and we shot the shit up – just talking, ended up surfing the web for a bit for jokes. Always a blast.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m starving, time to grab some grub.

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