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If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each person's life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.
~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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Merrell Moab Ventilator - Lightweight Hiking Boots

I LOVE THESE BOOTS! - Lightweight, comfortable, durable. These Merrell Moab Ventilator lightweight hiking boots are great! I'm using them to hike around a local steep trail with lots of gravel and rocks. I feel very stable and, since they are so lightweight, my legs and feet don't feel so tired as compared to other, heavier boots. I'm very happy with my purchase, and would recommend them to friends and family.

I've tried waterproof (Gortex) boots. But the problem with waterproof boots is that they are hot to wear, and if they do get wet (from water entering over the boot's cuff), then it takes forever for them to dry out (a guy did a test, and the boots took 4 days to dry). In moderate conditions, these Merrell Ventilator boots should dry out overnight (again, a guy did a test).

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Lisa (Watson) Coyle - Obituary

Lisa Coyle
Lisa Coyle

Lisa was a year behind me in high school, and while I can't say I knew her, I certainly admired her and the family she and John created.

I remember chatting with her at the last high school reunion, and she was so sweet and endearing. What a shock to know she is gone. Just doesn't seem possible or fair.

Copied below is the obituary that appeared in the Fresno Bee. Also included are the guest book entries, which the Bee said would be removed soon, and I felt the need to preserve them.

Oh, John...I am so sorry.

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"CAPTION"PicURL | BYLINE

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Beyonce "Bidet" CD

Beyonce Bidet CD - What the hell were Beyonce's marketing people thinking? B' Day?



Bidet - bi-'dA
A bathroom fixture used especially for bathing the external genitals and the anal region

About the last thing I think about when admiring Beyonce is...well, actually...

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World Map of Australia

Found at Pizdaus.com

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(I'm No) Superman by Lazlo Bane - Scrubs Theme Lyrics

Superman Zach Braff suggested this song by Lazlo Bane for the Scrubs theme, and creator Bill Lawrence saw the logic. I think the original is a little slower tempo than what's used most of the time on the series.

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Video: Johann Lippowitz Mimes Natalie Imbruglia's Torn

David Armand as "Johann Lippowitz" Mimes Natalie Imbruglia's Torn - Here's a fascinating and funny video performance of Torn by Natalie Imbruglia with mime/sign language assistance from David Armand (Johann Lippowitz). I was very impressed with how Natalie and Johann integrated their talents. Armand's Lippowitz character could have easily stolen the show, but Natalie managed to "get into the act." Excellent.

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"I Don't Believe in Happy Endings"

"I Don't Believe in Stories with Happy Endings"

I heard director Todd Field say this on AMC's Shoot Out program while promoting his film Little Children. The statement has stuck with me like an irritating thorn ever since. It certainly doesn't encourage me to see any of his films (I don't seek out stories with unhappy endings), but is he right? Or perhaps a better question: Is that perspective useful?


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Get One's Goat - Origin Story

Get One's Goat - Heard about origin of this phrase on NPR. The story starts with a horse's ass...actually, it involves the whole horse--a thoroughbred horse to be exact. Because of breeding, thoroughbred horses tend to be very jumpy, nervous animals. Goats are the exact opposite, tending to be calm and unshakable. Someone noticed this contrast and wondered if the goat's demeanor would have a calming influence on the horse. As a test, a goat was put into the stall of a thoroughbred horse. As hoped, the horse calmed a bit AND, most importantly, the horse ran better in the next race.

Next thing you knew, all thoroughbreds stalls had a companion goat.

Soon some unscrupulous owners began kidnapping (pun?) the goats of competitor's horses, hoping the disruption would help their still goat-calmed horses to win their races.

Out of this practice came the phrase "to get one's goat."

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Funny Newspaper Headlines


Newspaper Headlines - Found these at Funny Pages. They are all hopefully inadvertent. Some very funny. Some take a while to get what's wrong. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Death causes loneliness, feeling of isolation
  • Never withhold herpes from loved one
  • Farmer bill dies in house
  • Organ festival ends in smashing climax

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Unix Commands for Sex

Unix Commands for Sex - If you're not doing it right, try this...

 gawk; grep; unzip; touch; strip; init,
 uncompress, gasp; finger; find,
 route, whereis, which, mount; fsck; nice,
 more; yes; gasp; umount; head, halt,
 renice, restore, touch, whereis, which,
 route, mount,
 more, yes, gasp, umount, expand, ping,
 make clean; sleep

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Information Diet

I started an information diet about a week ago, based on the advice in Timothy Ferriss' book Four-Hour Workweek. Gone from my diet are the usual reddit and digg snacks. No news on TV or radio or "the Internets", not even NPR. It's all too much information--too much noise--that clutters my mind AND interrupts my day.

It's the interruptions that are the time killer. I'm accomplishing so much more, both at work and home. At work, not because of reddit or digg, but because I'm focusing on not letting myself get interrupted by email or instant messaging. Instead, I set about a task, and complete it before checking email or replying (for the most part) to instant messages. It's worked extremely well. It's the interruption that kill productivity. Many think multi-tasking is a good and admirable thing. Bullocks! Multi-tasking reduces productivity (if that's an important measure) and greatly increases stress. Interruptions disorient you, take your attention away from your task, so that you have to waste time re-orienting yourself to where you left off. Nuts to that.

Here are a couple things Ferris said that really struck me...

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Toast to the Absent Ones


It's a tradition in our family to say a toast at 2:00 PM on Christmas day. Here is the toast I gave this year, the first Christmas since my Mom passed away.

Here's a toast...

To the laughter of children on Christmas morning

To The taste of a meal shared with family and friends

To transcending grief with music, memory, and beer

To the journey we all take to the future,

a future without dear family members and friends,

We'll do our best to celebrate without you, even while we carry your spirits in our hearts

We miss you dearly, we love you so much it aches,

But we know that life is for the living, and our lives are so much richer because of you...

We raise our glasses in a toast to you all

A toast to the absent ones

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Aeroscraft Air Ship

Aeroscraft Air Ship - I find this a fascinating idea, a cruise ship for the skies. NY Nerds posted this picture with commentary. I thought it was a joke...and it may be...but it's still an interesting idea. A fighter jet it ain't, but the available space per passenger would beat the hell out of the airline's current cattle-car offerings. Also, could it be a fuel saver--relying on the helium (or hydrogen?) as lift?

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Low-Carb Diet Plan - Gary Taubes

Low-Carb Diet Plan - Found this list in Gary Taubes' book Good Calories, Bad Calories to be about right. He culled it from Herman Taller and and Robert Atkins. More-or-less how I am eating. I'm basically avoiding any processed foods and oils, though I do eat Leo Galland's Omega Blast Granola in the morning. In fact, I really love many of the recipes from Leo Galland's Fat Resistance Diet.

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Seven Blunders of the World - by Mahatma Gandhi

Seven Blunders of the World

  1. Wealth without work
  2. Pleasure without conscience
  3. Knowledge without character
  4. Commerce without morality
  5. Science without humanity
  6. Worship without sacrifice
  7. Politics without principle
~ Mahatma Gandhi


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Secrets of Stress Management


Photo by Adrian Sampson Received via email. Dunno who to credit.

Stress Management - When explaining stress management to an audience, the lecturer raised a glass of water and asked:

"How heavy is this glass of water?"

Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.

The lecturer replied:

"The absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends on how long you try to hold it.

"If I hold it for a minute, that's not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm. If I hold it for a day, you'll have to call an ambulance.

In each case, it's the same weight:

The longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.

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Suze Orman Will and Trust Kit

Suze Orman Will and Trust Kit - Here's a good intro to will, estate and trust law. Still should have a lawyer review your documents to be safe. I found it very easy to go through and understand. She has a lawyer narrate much of the text and provides excellent summaries of the main points to consider when putting together a will and living trust.

Includes all necessary forms, and seems to perform online updates. For a relatively simple estate, I think the Suze Orman Will and Trust Kit is a winner.

Suze Orman Will & Trust Kit (CD-ROM)
*NEW Suze Orman Will & Trust Kit Online Version (CD-ROM)

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Hell Explained by Chemistry Student

Rec'd from email chain

HELL EXPLAINED BY CHEMISTRY STUDENT

The following is an actual question given on a University of Washington chemistry mid-term.

The answer by one student was so "profound" that the professor shared it with colleagues, via the Internet, which is, of course, why we now have the pleasure of enjoying it as well.

Bonus Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)?

Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law (gas cools when it expands and heats when it is compressed) or some variant.

One student, however, wrote the following:

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Michael Berg Responds to Zarqawi's Death


Michael Berg

Michael Berg is the father of Nicholas (Nick) Berg, the young businessman who in May of 2004 was captured by terrorists in Iraq and beheaded. The terrorists videotaped the beheading and distributed the tape via their website. News services reported on the contents of the tape, showing the preamble of statements by Berg (and the terrorists?), but stopping short of broadcasting the actual beheading. However, besides the video, a still image of a terrorist holding up Bergs decapitated head has circulated widely on the Net.

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