White House gate crashers

Does anyone actually care about these people? I’m sure the media will make it appear as though we do.

civil suits alleging non-payment for services, a long-running (and very public) feud with Tareq Salahi’s parents about ownership and control of their now-idle 108-acre winery and claims the couple made about accomplishments that can’t be verified. – washingtonpost.com

There appears to be some problem with locating the gate-crashers. Heaven forbid that the two of them were actually wanted.

Secret Service agents came to the winery Friday, seeking the couple.

Four important pages of the washingtonpost.com and article here. Nine staffers assigned to write the story. Kind of beggars the imagination, doesn’t it?

I could be wrong, but to me, the most important thing about this entire debacle is the fact that the Secret Service is now unable to locate the couple.

Leo & Lucy on cleaning up the environmental mess

You just have to love the environmentalists among us – even the ones in the motherland, if you’ll pardon the pun. Here are samples of the awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping, world-wide non-events that we should be concerned about, according to Leo & Lucy of the guardian.uk. Or, more likely, those items appealing to fast-disappearing newspaper subscribers in the internet age, apropos of a going-green column.

  • Pesky Christmas lights. Should we dump them in favor of, umm, something that burns less energy, but costs us more money to replace? Oh why not? It’s only money. And a class thing as well, if you light up your entire house. A class thing? What’s with that?
  • Now then, you’re wanting to be a tourist, are you? Planning on flying or taking a barge home for Christmas? With all that pollution you emit on your aeroplane, ocean liner, truck, van, automobile? Then find a sleigh, a horse, a feed-bag and a shit-bag and tour locally. Added bonus: What goes in the front end and comes out the back can be burned for heat.
  • After all that, are you still wanting to put up a tree? What about those poor Georgian natives, slaving away on treetops to ensure enough seed for Denmark to grow it for you?
  • Are you anxiously awaiting that Christmas card or parcel from a friend or loved-one? They don’t appear to have a green solution for that one, other than, Postman, tune up your vehicle. As for gift wrap, recycle those old scandal sheets.
  • Those pesky plastic grocery bags must be replaced by paper. Does anyone not know someone who doesn’t use them for garbage bags? Now that’s recycling.
  • Using a coal fire to stay warm? Nuh-uh. Use wood instead. That is, if you can find any in the forests of Great Britain, long-ago denuded by those eco-friendly ship builders of yore.
  • Santa and his reindeer are another problem entirely. How much does it cost NORAD to track this Christmas abomination from the North Pole to various and sundry countries around the world? Let’s give his animals back to the Laplanders and sweep Santa Claus into the dustbin of Christmas past.

Oh yes, I know. Canada has a monstrously huge carbon-emission footprint. Really? Just how huge would that monstrously huge carbon-emission footprint be, Canadian?

Why, it’s two per-cent of the world’s problem. Yes, you heard me right. Two per-cent.

Now then, just how much money should I be spending to reduce that to 1.5 percent? One percent? Zero? Is zero, in fact, realistic for any country? I doubt it very much.

Come on, how much should I be spending? How much should my government be spending to reduce an absolutely meaningless two per-cent emission problem to, say, one per-cent?

I’d bet good money that the cooking fires, tire fires, camp fires and dump fires in all of Africa emit more pollution than Canada. Let’s get those Dark Continent polluters to do their bit for the environment forthwith.

Oh wait, we can’t. They get a pass because they’re already living in filth and starvation, as they have for thousands of years. Perhaps we should send them a few of our extra plastic garbage bags and show those Africans how to clean up their act.

Good luck with that.

Library to go

Updated below.

Looking for some free books for your new eReader? Go here.

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There was a time in my life when, as a pre-teen (can I describe myself as once having been a pre-teen? Probably not, given my age.), and then as a teenager, I read anything I could get my hands on. I remember being in the local small-town library where I discovered a copy of On the Road by Jack Kerouac on the shelf. After briefly thumbing through it I decided that it was something I absolutely needed to read. I was probably 12 or 13 at the time.

Books about the holocaust also figured prominently at a certain stage, in particular those describing – complete with pictures – the horrors of Auschwitz, Buchenwald and other “work” camps. I was struck speechless at the inhumanity of it all.

I vaguely remember some worn volume describing the NKVD, subsequently renamed the KGB after the war (WWII). Given the book’s condition, it, like many other volumes in the library, was probably donated.

Space. Science fiction. Flying saucers. Yes, flying saucers were big back then. Now, not so much.

Indiscriminate in my choices? Probably, but I never wondered what the nice old lady behind the desk might have thought about my reading list. Nor did I particularly care. I was free to bring home whatever I chose to, and I’m certain that my parents would have descended on said nice old lady and raised holy hell had I been censored. I wonder how that would work today?

The Sony PRS-600 eBook reader

The Sony PRS-600 eBook reader

Now, all of that wonderful experience and the memories can be replaced with one of these. I wouldn’t have missed it for all the world – which, I might add, I have also experienced – but this reader is the cat’s ass! Check out the review if you’ve been wavering, like I was, until a couple of days ago.

Free or paid, there’s no limit to what you can find for this thing. Added bonus: it accepts dozens of formats. It comes with Sony’s own software, but I also downloaded a copy of this to help with non-Sony publications, such as newspapers.

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Update: I picked up an M-Edge Executive jacket for my PRS-600 Touch, and added a light to go with it. Review here. Link to M-Edge’s on-line store here.

XM radio has been replaced by the Myine Ira

Updated below for the Sanyo R227.

Well, almost.

I’ve been a great fan of XM satellite radio for years. In fact, I was an early adopter of the technology with the original Sony 5-channel receiver. It was a great unit for its time, but I eventually replaced it with an XM Roady some years ago. I think  it’s time for another change.

Myine Ira wi-fi internet radio

Today I added a Myine Ira wi-fi internet radio to my electronics. 11,000 stations, and no annual fee. Just about all of the stations I listen to on XM are available. Just about? Hell, all of them are! And yes, most of those 11,000 stations are available from a computer also, but what the hell. It’s the end of the ’00s, and I need updating too.

  • It comes without speakers, but I don’t have a problem with that. It’s plugged into my stereo, just as the Roady is.
  • There are no controls on the unit itself, but I figure the limited remote is good enough for me, just as it is with the much better Roady remote.
  • I already have the 40-channel presets on the Ira loaded and ready to go.
  • Setup was a bit of a bear with the entry of my wi-fi settings and passphrases, but now that I’ve got it set for both of my wireless modems, I’m good to go.
  • I checked some reviews, and noticed that some people have had problems getting it to locate their wi-fi networks. I upped the power setting on one modem, and for me, the problem went away.

My XM subscription is probably going to go the way of the dodo at some point in time, but that’s all right. I don’t do a lot of roaming any more. When I do, I can take this thing with me and keep current in style.

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Sanyo's R227 internet wifi radio

I’ve also added a Sanyo R227. It’s wifi or wired, has eight presets for wifi and eight for fm reception. You can add unlimited stations to a my favorites category when you go online and register the radio. They’ll all show up alphabetically. It also has an alarm if you want to use it to wake up.

Here’s a review.