Monday, June 30, 2003

What Do You Think?

Despite my better judgement, I have just added the ability to post and read comments. The thing I like about blogs and computers in general, is that you don't have to actually communicate with people. I can write whatever I want on my blog and not have to listen to someone telling me that I'm wrong. With a blog, I know that people are judging me, but I don't actually have to know about it.

Maybe the weekend full of music, relaxing, and funny smoke have caught me off guard, but Idecided to allow reader(s) to give their opinions -- just click the "Read/Post Comments" link at the end of each of my posts. You will first see the comments that have been posted, then a form allowing you to let everyone know what you think.

Now I'm nervous.

Now this is getting interesting!

The Do Not Call List FAQ page has now changed. As I previously mentioned, it said that long-distance phone companies, airlines, banks, credit unions, and insurance companies are exempt from the Do Not Call List. It appears they have removed that verbage. It now only says:

"Q: If I register my number on the National Do Not Call Registry, will it stop all telemarketing calls?

A: No. Placing your number on the National Do Not Call Registry will stop most, but not all, telemarketing calls. You may still receive calls from political organizations, charities, telephone surveyors or companies with which you have an existing business relationship."

I did some research and I think I found out the reason. The rules have changed, apparently for the better. According to an article on CNN.com, "The FCC voted 5-0 Thursday to add its authority to the do-not-call list and to plug holes in its protections. The registry will now also block telemarketers from industries whose calls the FCC regulates, including airlines, banks and telephone companies." Since the Do Not Call list originates with the FTC, it had no jurisdiction over companies regulated by the FCC. Since the FCC is now on board with this list, faxes and calls made from within a state are now covered by the list; FTC actions can only affect interstate calls. Nice job FCC! I'll sign up now.

Friday, June 27, 2003

Media Sucks

Ok, now I'm really pissed. I keep reading articles about the Do Not Call List and and the way home I heard a story about it on NPR. All of these said that the political organizations, charities, etc. are exempt, but NONE of these mentioned the phone companies, insurance companies, etc.! What is wrong with the media? I can't decide if they are just stupid or for some reason don't want to mention it. All hail Bush! To be honest, I would guess that they just didn't read up on it for themselves and are just re-reporting what they have heard elsewhere. Read this and find out the real facts.

Less interruptions by 10/1/03?

The FTC has started accepting registrations for a FREE national Do Not Call List. If you register by 8/31, they say that you will start receiving fewer telemarketing calls by 10/01/03. However, there is a list of exempt businesses. Guess who is exempt? Political organizations, charities, telephone surveyors, or companies with whom you have an existing business relationship. That's understandable. But that's not all...Long-distance phone companies, airlines, banks, credit unions, and insurance companies are also exempt! Long-distance phone companies are the worst offenders! Yeah, our government isn't controlled by big business...

Deal: DVD+/-RW CDRW Burner

Want to burn DVDs but aren't sure which format to get? Can't afford $300 for a burner? I just ran across this deal -- a Sony DW-U10A, which burns all DVD formats, as well as CDs for only $219 (including free priority shipping!). This is an update to their DRU500A drive, but has 4x dvd burning rather than 2x. I have the DRU500A and love it. Get it from LiveWarehouse.com


It couldn't have happened to a better person.

Thursday, June 26, 2003

Carmaig Article

Here's a good article about Carmaig (mentioned below).

Not your father's Ukelele

Soon after moving to Portland in 1995, we went to our first show in this area. It was in a tiny, now-defunct club on SE Burnside. The act that led us to this particular show was Bob Wiseman, a Canadian musician/producer/rabble-rouser. At this time, the only thing we new about him was from a bootleg Barenaked Ladies tape we had. Near the end of the show they thank him -- "Bob Wise-man!" That's all we knew about him. Well, the Bob Wiseman show was a perfect show. Not only was he surprising and amazing, there were two other acts who we have seen many times since -- Adam & Kris and Carmaig de Forest. Adam and Kris are a Portland locals and are also in a band called SweetJuice. Carmaig is a punk ukulele performance artist. His performances are always entertaining, thought-provoking, and at times uncomfortable (in a good way).

Recently, a documentary was made called Rock That Uke. Here's a quote from their website describing the intent of the film:
Interviewing alternative ukuleleists all across the continental United States, ROCK THAT UKE asks the probing questions: “Is there a ukulele personality?” and if so, “What compels a person to electronically distort this little instrument and play loud, aggressive music?” The answers reveal a fascinating Zeitgeist of irony, angst and impotent rage.

One of the featured artists in this film is the aforementioned Carmaig de Forest.

If you are living in Portland, this film is playing for a short time next week at the Clinton Street Theater. It runs from 6/29 - 7/2. Check it out. I will.

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

The First Casualty

I recently got a free year subscription to the electronic version of The New Republic magazine. It has a lot of great articles that you can read even if you don't have a subscription. Among them is this article: The Selling of the Iraq War. The First Casualty. If you are like me and are addicted to reading things that make you angry, check it out.


Welcome to the newest blog on the web, Whomp Power. [never mind, not the newest anymore].

Why do I have a blog? Who knows. Just another impulsive act, I guess. Remember that time you went to Fry's and got the Guacamole Lays before checking out even though you weren't hungry? Remember? It's a lot like that.

What is Whomp Power? When just a wee one, my friend who lived across the street (Tammy) and I had a rivalry with my brother Rick and her brother Carl. They were older than us, so they had the edge. However, after continually annoying us with their "borshka" language, we decided to come up with a simple rating system that could be applied to any person/thing/situation. Of course, the first rating that we developed applied to our brothers -- from that day forward, they were officially "whompers." You see, whompers are bad -- the worst of the worst. Next, we had to rate ourselves; hence the term "whomp." Whomps cannot be beaten -- they are the cream of the crop. Since the world is not black or white, right or wrong, tastes great or less filling, we had to continue our rating system to account for situations that didn't fit into the "whomper" or "whomp" categories. Therefore, everything else is "whompisine" (prounounced whompiseen). That about covers it -- best = whomp; worst = whomper; everything else = whompisine.

What does that have to do with your blog? My parents recently moved up and brought boxes of old stuff with them. A couple of days ago, we went through a box of old t-shirts. Turns out I had a shirt that immortalized the perfect rating system detailed above. It was a nice faded-orange and had fuzzy iron-on letters -- "Whomp Power." When creating this blog, this shirt was still in my mind. Since I am creating the blog, it seemed appropriate for this to be the name of the blog.

What will you post on this blog? Not too sure yet. Probably just interesting links that I come across throughout the day and rants about content in the linked pages.

What's with the ads? I know, I hate ads, too. However, I'm just trying this blog thing out and wanted to make sure I would actually post to it before taking the time to move it to my own server. Yeah, I know the blog "template" I am using is a BlogSpot stock template, but I plan on creating my own someday. Probably right after I do the other things I planned on doing soon -- writing an MP3 server in .NET, becoming a virtuoso on the guitar, becoming the world disc golf champion, etc. So, expect it soon ;)

On to the blogging! Now that the hard part is done, expect some hard-hitting, revolutionary blogging soon.

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