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Thursday, September 23, 2004

I'm a showoff 

I'm showing my coworkers how easy it is to post a blog!


Do something nice for a good cause 

In James Doohan's honor, a group has set up a walk-a-thon to raise money for the Alzheimers Association.
I learned about this from Wil's site. Occasionally, he's a wonderful conduit of information about "Good Causes." And he gets ooodles of hits.
So, if you can spare a few bucks... visit their site.


Sunday, September 19, 2004

Wannado City Details 

It's pretty hard to describe Wannado City.
It's a theme park for kids set up as a kid-sized city. It included a mini-Publix supermarket, police station, fire station, salon, courthouse, fair, pizza parlor, and lots more.
Kids earn play money for pretend jobs while their parents wear out their shoes trying to keep up. Parents and kids are tagged with bracelets that allow everyone to track each other at special kiosks. Kids can not get out of the city without the adult(s) they came in with. I was very comfortable with that security in place.
At first, I sat in the adult's lounge and played with this site (see previous post). Unfortuantely, they only had about four Macintosh computers set up and I am not fond of Macs. It took some time getting used to using it.

Then I wandered back into the city and tried to take some camera shots with my phone.
The phone's getting a bit annoying, too. I'd rather not use all that memory for lots of pictures, so I'd mail them to myself and then delete them. Unfortunately, some of the shots never arrived in my mailbox.
Gone forever.

I was a bit surprised to see a "serious looking" accident at the Publix-

The picture didn't come out great since I was taking it through a window. Same with some of the other shots, like this one of Alex getting her nails done-

While Alex was in the Plantation General Hospital Emergency Room (playing doctor) another group of EMTs barged through with yet another accident victim-

It's really sorta surreal to see all of these kids running around pretending to be crime scene investigators, firemen or cops. Once an hour, or so, the fireworks factory would go up in flames and a new crew of fighters would roll in on a mini-fire truck and hose down the blaze.
Marc's friend Tommy showed me the citation he'd recieved by a cop. The ticket included such infractions as: chewing gum, running, loitering (which I can't imagine happening), and wearing loud clothes! Both Marc and Tommy tried hard to get thrown in jail so they could make a jail break. Yup... they built the jail with a couple of rubber bars so the kids could squirm out and escape!
When Marc got finally hungry, he made himself a pizza. Dad had to pay real US dollars, for that treat-

The kids got to spend five "Wongas" for tickets to ride the kiddie rides at the city fair. When we left the place, Marc still had 150 wongas in his bank account and Alex had 160 wongas. They promise that the money will remain there until our next visit.
This place, at the Sawgrass Mills Mall, is going to put Junior Achievement out of business. Kids learn a bit about lots of different jobs, and how to save and spend money. Of course, at $25 bucks a pop for the kids and $15 bucks for me, we won't be going back all that frequently.

Damn! I only wish we had a place like this to go to when I was a kid!


Wannado Cool 

I'm sitting in a lounge in a new theme park called, "Wanndo City." this minature city is for the kids to play in, pretending to be whatever they want to be. So Marc and Alex and their friend Tommy are off being archeologists, miners and so forth. While I'm on a &^#$@in' macintosh trying to see what i can and can not do. It appears I can post to my blog, but I may not be able to format the text.
Now I will see if I can post a picture. I sent a picture of my dad from my cell phone to a websight that allows mac users to upload .jps. A bit of a hassle, since I first needed to save it to the computer, here, and then rename it and then upload it to flikr.
Let's see if it works:

If this works, I may post pictures of some stuff here in wannado City.

Addendum 7:44 PM, from home: Obviously, it didn't work. And I'm too lazy to try and figure out why.


Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Self Portrait 

Yesterday I went to a dollar store to find a cheap mirror for a team project at The Big A (a pseudonym for my place of employment). We're going to inset a mirror into the small flat box-car-shaped foam piece we were given. Trust me. It should look cool, in the context of our "team-building" Diversity assignment.
I peeled off the poorly glued together plastic framework and ended up with the perfect flat mirror for our project.
Here's where I became a temporary idiot.

I wanted to show the rest of my team, most of whom are at another facility, what our little display would look like. In Power Point, I reproduced a scale drawing of the box-car.
Then I searched for an online picture of a reflective surface so I could save it as a background and import that into Power Point to fill in the rectangle I'd also drawn to scale. I could find nothing I liked.

So I took out my new handy dandy cell phone, held the mirror in my left hand, held the phone in my right, and snapped a picture. Since we're really not supposed to use these cameras at work, I tried to do this surreptitiously, holding the mirror under my desk.
As you can see, I forgot how truly reflective a mirror is. Unfortunately, I am not a vampire.
I ended up using the "two-colors" fill feature to shade the rectangle from a pale grey to an even paler grey.
I have not shown this picture to my team. I don't really want to have to explain it.


Monday, September 13, 2004

No Whiner Wil 

To the Editor of EW:
I am an occasional news-stand purchaser of Entertainment Weekly. I have recently considered buying a subscription to the magazine. I weighed the cost vs. the accurate news I would get out of it and my available time to actually read it.
And then I read Wil Wheaton's report of the "nice blurb" that was published in your magazine:

""Whiner of the Week" In his blog-cum-memoir Just a Geek, the former Star Trek, TNG cast member, now 32, fills 260 pages endlessly lamenting, "I used to be an actor when I was a kid."

I must admit that I'm trusting Wil about his account of the communication between himself and the magazine, via his manager, as well as his quote of the blurb, itself. However, even if the reporter never lied to Wil's manager, the blurb is highly inaccurate. I have read the book in its entirety and I can assure you that it is not full of "endless lamenting". The book is, at times, funny and uplifting. Certainly, Wil covers some of the difficulties he's gone through as an actor. Wil writes a personal and honest account of his professional life, rather than writing shallow accounts of Hollywood glitz, as some others might do.
If the EW reporter did, indeed, read the entire book (which I doubt) then he or she missed the point.
Even if you and the entire staff of EW have decided that it sells more magazines to speak negatively of Mr. Wheaton (which I doubt, as well) I urge you to do three things:
1. Please read his book, yourself. You could probably read it in one or two sittings. Try to be as unbiased as reporters are supposed to be.
2. See if you agree with your reporter's assessment of the book and his or her over-simplified conclusions. If you do not agree, you may see why the "blurb" was inappropriate and inaccurate.
3. Publish a complete and fair review of the book or cite some of the many reviews available on the Internet. A fair review would comment on Wil's writing style, the book's readability, and the overall story. A fair review of this book might not be 100% positive, but it also should not stand as one very short misleading "blurb".
I am still in the process of deciding whether or not I should subscribe to Entertainment Weekly. At the moment, I am not impressed.
Chuck Field


Friday, September 10, 2004

Sherlock Holmes and the Texas Air National Guard Memos 

I just started reading a book by Larry Millett called, "Sherlock Holmes and the Red Demon." Near the beginning, the client shows Holmes some threatening letters that had been sent to him. Even Watson notices that a number of words are misspelled in the documents. However, Holmes notes that the misspellings are inconsistent and that the writer has impeccable grammar and punctuation. The great detective realizes that the writer is a clever sort who is attempting to fool the recipient into thinking that he is uneducated.
Sneaky trick, eh?
CBS’ 60 Minutes recently ran a report revealing memos that were allegedly written by Lt. Col. Jerry Killian, Bush's commander in the 111th Fighter Interceptor Squadron at the former Ellington Air Force Base.
Now, Killian’s son claims that the memos are fakes. He points out facts about the type of font used and the way the memos display superscript. Very few typewriters, back in the 1970s, could create that type of document. It appears that the memos were written on a word processor.
Sneaky trick, eh?
I think the republicans created the memos and then leaked them! Now they can claim that they’re obvious forgeries. They'll also try to make Kerry look bad by convincing naïve Americans that there’s some connection.
Yeah... right.

Just like Saddam's connection to Al Qaeda!


Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Badddd Ficus 

This is a lousy cell phone shot of a ficus tree that fell during Frances. The fence behind it surrounds a beautiful tennis court. I think the house on the property was used as Mary's house (during the high school years) in There's Something About Mary.

They also used the Plantation City Hall as the high school, itself.


Frances Skirts By 

I'd really love to find the perfect place to live. Obviously, Florida, the hurricane capitol, is not the very best place. But then, California has earthquakes, Hawaii has volcanoes (and no bridges off the island) Kansas has twisters, and northern climes have blizzards.
Hurricane Frances was pretty good to us, in Plantation. We barely had any rain and most of my family lost power for no more than a day. My Mom was an exception, losing it for over five days. I'm keeping the shutters up, though, since Ivan may be on the way.
Speaking of the shutters, I'm so pissed about how hard it was to get them on. The idiot who painted our house painted right over the bolts. I used turpentine and a wire brush to loosen the paint and force the nuts on. Some of the bolts came loose, and the nuts wouldn't go on all the way (picture the bolts just spinning in place). I should not have to bust my hump that many hours getting the damned things installed! (And that was with help. Thanks to my sisters Irene and Sue and my kids, who were more help than hinderance (most of the time)).
Hurricanes are pretty stressful, too. Until we're sure what Ivan's going to do, I'm not resting easy.
Check back, later, and I'll post a picture of one of the many shallow rooted trees that fell over when Frances blew through. Florida is cursed with a huge number of non-native plants that either ruin the environment, drink far too much available water, of fall onto homes, cars, and power lines in the mildest of storms.
Sorry. I guess I'm a bit cranky.
I'm really relieved that Frances wasn't worse for us.
Keep your fingers crossed!


Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Frances Looms 

If you notice a lack of posts for more than a few days, it may be because of Frances. She's bearing down on South Florida and we're very possibly in her path. Half of the state is preparing for her, since we have no idea where she'll hit.
Feel free to come by my house if you'd like to help haul in a bunch of bricks and other assorted loose objects likely to become deadly missles, should she strike.


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