Monday, June 23, 2008

Please note - I may be moving my blog to another service!

I hate to start off on a negative note, but I may have to move this blog to another service.

Blogger, which is a Google product, is having some significant problems with "spam blogs" which, as I understand it, are blogs that are run by robots and repeat nonsense just to screw up the search engines.

Should this blog move, the new address will be

I am sure that spam blogs read like some of the political blogs that are out there lately, but I digress.

Anyhow, in their infinite wisdom, the Blogger robots decided that my blog was a spam blog and so they locked it pending a review by real, live humans.

After about 10 days, Google finally released my blog from their idea of probation.

Judging from what I have been reading in some of the Blogger support groups I am far from being alone. Many people are commenting that they are experiencing the same problems and there are no human beings available to review and unlock the blogs. Google's Blogger product, it seems, has zero telephone number or email addresses with which to reach a real, live human being. Talk about frustrating!

Even worse, it appears that many blogs will get unlocked, and then, a few days later, get locked again and the cycle of inaction repeats itself as Google's software just won't learn.

Needless to say I am not impressed. For those of us who are trying to stay in touch with friends literally worldwide not having a working blog is ... well ... not very biznesslike.

Assuming that my blog gets unlocked long enough to send out this note to my faithful readers I am going to move the blog *IF* they lock this one again. Fun's fun, but it's time to move on if Blogger/Google cannot get their act together.

Once again, *IF* I have to move the blog, the new address will be

Hopefully that won't happen, because I feel that Blogger has a good product. Just lousy customer support.

And for those of you who just cannot miss my periodic posts (that's "periodic," not "idiotic" or at least hopefully those are your feelings;) I usually announce a new post on my joke list, the Humourlist.

I've done the HumourList for something like 15 years with the goal of delivering an office-safe joke daily 4-5 times a week. The list is for adults, but I avoid anything that would be obviously offensive in most workplaces, like nudity, political, or ethnic jokes. I do very few ethnic jokes although I do enjoy laughing with, but not at, my Irish ancestors.

Back in the Olden Days when jokes by email was a newish phenomenon the HumourList had a pretty good following. Playboy Magazine published my jokes a few times and a number of radio stations used them. I well remember flying into Guam and one of the first things that I heard on the radio was the DJ reading my joke for the day on the air.

Bizarre. Must have been a slow day in Agana.

Times change, and jokes by email are no longer anything that unique. Still the HumourList continues. So if you want to subscribe to the HumourList (and that will keep you in touch with this blog, no matter where it moves to) you can subscribe at


Technology changes too. Remember when the Sony Walkman came out? Kind of a chunky device that played back music on cassette tapes and later from CDs? If that's your frame of reference then you need to get thyself over to Circuit City ASAP and take a look at the new music players. The iPod generation has arrived, and it's already having some really brilliant grandchildren.

Apple's iPod was the original revolutionary innovator in this segment but I needed an MP3 player that had a built in FM radio and that eliminated the iPod from my selection. Thankfully there is no shortage of competitors willing to sell 2, 4, and 8 gigs of storage space for $60 to $150 with a sleek form factor, just to keep Apple honest these days.

In the final analysis I wound up getting a SanDisk View, which is meant to be a tiny video player as much as an MP3 player. I needed something with a form factor that was large enough that I could handle it while wearing gloves and I needed to be able to actually see it when I was riding my motorcycles and bicycles without inadvertently riding off the highway. That eliminated the tiny, tiny MP3 players that are on the market, at least for my purposes, 'cause I can't read the displays on those things without reading glasses. Yeah, it sucks getting older.

My little 8 gigabyte MP3 player isn't the tiniest one out there by any stretch. Still, it's amazing that the vendor can cram that much storage plus an FM radio into an ultra thin little piece of plastic.

In the photo is my SanDisk Sansa. In the background, just for comparison purposes, is my old CD-playing Walkman and Deb's very tiny 2 gigbyte Sansa clip, which she picked up when I was looking for my own MP3 player.

Technology does indeed move on.


Movie reviews:

Ironman. Go and see it. Robert Downey, Jr. may enjoy a well-earned reputation in some circles as a jerk, but he's the right actor for this part and the movie has a ton of personality and quirky humour. Special effects are ... well ... believable for a science fiction.

The Incredible Hulk. If Ironman gets an A, give the Hulk a B. I enjoyed the flick and it's a ton better than the last Hulk movie, but not as good as Ironman. Still highly enjoyable however.

Incidentally, am I the only one who finds it either scary or disappointing that the best movies of the last decade or so are coming out of comic books? This stuff is good escapist entertainment, but as much as I enjoyed the X-Men, for example, when I was a kid it ain't exactly War and Peace.

Next, go and see Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Crystal Skull follows the same general theme as the original Indiana Jones films, but updated to the 1960's with a more mature Harrison Ford. This film is like visiting old friends, and if you've seen the other Indiana Jones films then there is little suspense in the plot, but it's still a pleasant romp.

Finally, Hancock got two thumbs up from Deb and myself. Will Smith does an excellent job of bringing some humility and believability to this tale of a lonely and bitter superhero who drinks too much and who has less than a sterling attitude. Hancock is a different sort of comic bookish figure, that's for sure. Hancock's advertising campaign is more comical than the film is, which has some pretty adult, gritty moments. There is a pretty interesting and surprising plot twist. All in all, a good film, but not really for youngsters.

Now that I'm on a non-conventional schedule, I am rediscovering all sorts of neat little things that you don't realize when you work 9 to 5. One of those things is that our local mega- movie theatre shows films for $5 during the day Monday through Thursday. If you too are working at home or have a schedule that gives you the time for personal errands during week days you might look into your local theater's policies.


Summer's here folks. Get your Walkman or iPod out and walk around your neighborhood. Or, for that matter, walk to your local theatre. It's time to get out and do stuff!


Topcat Rich said...

I know that cat in the picture...There is a girl looking for it and crying her self to sleep.

PyrateJohn said...

Yeah, yeah, yeah Rich. Siamese told me that she wouldn't look good in an FSU t-shirt and asked us to rescue her ;)

As things stand now the little varmint really enjoys traveling. When the BV is heading down the road the other cats hide but Siamese sits up somewhere and watches the scenes go by.