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ARCHIVES: July 8-15, 2004


July 15, 2004 - Thursday

Unusual E-Mail Address

One aspect of my job is to answer e-mail questions from our site (GenealogyForum.com). I saw an unusual name today -- it was someone's phone number as their email address - similar to 0005551212@whatever.com. While genealogists usually want to leave an alternate way to be contacted, I hope this person never makes anyone angry.



Thunderstorms & a Tornado Alert

Late afternoon was a mess. The sun rapidly disappeared and it got dark outside in a just a few minutes. I knew we were in the jet stream yesterday - so anything could happen quickly, weather-wise. Tornados, high winds and flash floods are the major weather problems around here. Shortly after it got dark, the neighborhood tornado alarms went off. These only go off when an actual tornado is spotted in the county.


When I hear these alarms, I turn on the TV or radio to see where the funnel cloud is located. A large thunderstorm seemed to pop up out of nowhere on the radar. The possible tornado was north and east of our city -- whew! Fortunately, nobody was hurt. Well, that is not exactly true. Plenty of accidents happen in bad weather. We even heard the fire truck going down our street, but nobody was blown away by a tornado in our county, at least, and my husband made it home safely.


My sister, Jaynne, was at the bank when the alarms went off. The employees offered to let anyone wait out the warning in their vault. Bank vaults are good shelters in tornados. I remember when a large tornado hit south Huntsville years and ago and heard stories of how the people hiding in the vault were unhurt after the building was damaged. She declined, though, since the suspected tornado was not too close by.


My daughter called from the hospital a few hours later. She said they closed the doors, but did not tell them that there was a tornado warning. She figured they did not want to panic anyone and there is nowhere to move patients in intensive care, anyway. I resolved to send her a text message the next time she's caught at work with a warning going on. Even if there is nowhere to go, there's always prayer.


I did get a chuckle from all of this. A local reporter was standing outside in the storm and said something to the effect of, "Nobody should be out driving in this weather." Okay, how did the reporter get to that spot? Maybe they should have said, "Nobody should be as dumb as we are."


The weather here can turn bad so quickly. On a brighter note, I saw my first hummingbird along the greenway this morning. There are plenty of hummingbirds around - I've just never spotted one in our local park before. And the day before, I saw a crawfish in the creek -- hadn't seen one so close at hand for years.



July 14, 2004 - Wednesday

Bizarre News Stories

This came from Link Harvest. Here's a quick-loading list of recent bizarre news stories with a small photo and short explanation in an interactive slide show.


Bizarre News Stories




Chilling Fact of the Day

In today's news:


"Twenty years ago, the number of school-age children diagnosed with some form of autism was one in 5,000. Today, that number is one in 150."  MORE ...


What's going on? Obviously better diagnosis. This is still an epidemic, though. Also, almost every grocery store I go to has a mentally handicapped person bagging groceries or pushing carts. I am glad jobs are available, but it really does seem like more children are autistic or otherwise handicapped.


The article goes on to quote a complaint about how funding goes to more glamorous, but less-widespread causes. It's true. Look at breast cancer. While it is a worthwhile cause, the number of people dying from breast cancer plus all of the other cancers out there combined are just a fraction of the number dying from heart disease, yet we don't hear about heart disease nearly as often.



Dumb Question of the Day

I was watching an interview with Diane Sawyer and Will Smith this morning over the new movie, "I Robot." Diane asked Will something to the effect of, "Your movie is set in 2035, not too far in the future. If you could have a robot to do a chore you didn't like doing, what would it be?"


Will said, "What would I need a robot for? I have people to do those things for me."


Dumb question to ask of someone so wealthy. Even though I like Diane, Will and Disney, I thought that question made Diane look a little stupid.




Millan.net is a good source for funny GIFs and more. Here's one. I used some of these on my genealogy links and calendar pages.


Wheel of Misfortune



July 13, 2004 - Tuesday

Cute License Plate

I was out and about yesterday, grocery shopping, etc. At a stoplight in front of me was a very cute little red car. It's the license plate that makes it adorable - a good name for a red car.


Vanity plates (as they call them at the license office) can be cute, but maybe anonymity is better when driving.  Someone remembering a car tag that easily might not be a good idea. I don't know why. We don't keep bumper stickers on our cars, even though they can be pretty funny on other cars. I wasn't always this way. Once I wanted to put a neon light around the license plate. My husband persuaded me otherwise. Heh.


What I want right now are adult light-up flip flops or shoes. It would be funny to wear them to the movie theater.



July 12, 2004 - Monday

Kerry vs Bush Humor

Here's another popular and well-made flash movie. It jabs at both Kerry and Bush equally, but the scene with Clinton was the funniest.




I had a great discussion this morning with a walking companion who is on the opposite end of the political spectrum than I am. Its good to get another point of view and to see why people think as they do. She has very definite feelings on several topics and raised important points to consider.


I need to learn more about the issues. I think I end up not liking any of the candidates so I vote for who I dislike the least. Maybe that's just the norm with politicians. You can't believe any of them because they will say anything to get elected, whether they mean it or not, whether they can make it happen or not. Corruption and mistakes end up being associated with all of them. Oh well, call me cynical.



July 11, 2004 - Sunday


"Popdex crawls over 14,000 sites daily to determine the most popular links on the Internet," says Popdex.com. It's a quick way to find the top ten sites on any day. I found a site on that list today -- AngryAlien.com. It's a funny Flash reenactment of the movie, Alien, using cartoon bunnies.



Me and My Blog

Found a cute little JAVA program that I wanted to do something with. It's a smiling face with eyes that follow the cursor. Here's what I came up with: MeandMyBlog.com. (Pardon the grammar. It just sounded friendlier than "My Blog and Me.")



July 10, 2004 - Saturday

New Medications Approved by the FDA

Jennifer C. sent this list that is going around in e-mail. I am still chuckling over it.


New Medications Approved by the FDA

St. Mom's Wort: Plant extract that treats mom's depression by rendering preschoolers unconscious for up to six hours.

Empty Nestrogen: Highly effective suppository that eliminates melancholy by enhancing the memory of how awful they were as teenagers and how you couldn't wait till they moved out.

Peptobimbo: Liquid silicone for single women. Two full cups swallowed before an evening out increases breast size, decreases intelligence, and improves flirting.

Dumerol: When taken with Peptobimbo, can cause dangerously low I.Q. causing enjoyment of country western music.

Flipitor: Increases life expectancy of commuters by controlling road rage and the urge to flip off other drivers.

Antiboyotics: When administered to teenage girls, is highly effective in improving grades, freeing up phone lines, and reducing money spent on make-up.

Menicillin: Potent antibiotic for older women. Increases resistance to such lines as, "You make me want to be a better person ... can we get naked now?"

Buyagra: Injectable stimulant taken prior to shopping. Increases potency and duration of spending spree.

Extra Strength Buy-One-all: When combined with Buyagra, can cause an indiscriminate buying frenzy so severe the victim may even come home with a Donnie Osmond CD or a book by Dr. Laura.

JackAsspirin: Relieves the headache caused by a man who can't remember your birthday, anniversary or phone number.

Anti-Talksident: A spray carried in a purse or wallet to be used on anyone too eager to share their life stories with total strangers.

Ragamet: When administered to a husband, provides the same irritation as ragging on him all weekend, saving the wife the time and trouble of doing it herself.

NOTICE: Always consult your family physician before taking new medication, so that he will not fall behind on his Mercedes payments.



July 9, 2004 - Friday

Movie Mistakes

Apparently Spiderman 2 had many mistakes, says Leoville.com. So did a lot of other movies. (See the movie first, then check out this site - MovieMistakes.com.) This site is great. I would want to see the movie first, oblivious of the mistakes, or else I would be nit-picking through the whole thing. (Speaking of nit-picking, you may not want to lean your head back on the movie chair. See MedicMom's article about what you could pick up.)



Kitten Rescue at Sea

Aw! This is a feel-good story I found at Starting in the Middle (another cute blog name). Shame on whoever threw this kitten away like that.


Holiday Boaters Rescue Kitty Who Went to Sea

"A group of friends on a scalloping trip were cruising in Homosassa Bay more than 3 miles into the Gulf of Mexico when one of them spotted something the color of a plastic Publix shopping bag in the distance." ... READ MORE.



Domain Names

GoDaddy.com is the cheapest place I know to get a domain name or to see who owns what name. Domains start as low as $4.95 per year and include 100 forwarding e-mail accounts. Several family members are using easy-to-change-and-remember e-mail forwarding addresses.


I've been shifting existing e-mail forwarding addresses to my GMail account although the Matson.info account will remain the main account (its a real POP 3 address). Unfortunately, too many infected acquaintances had that e-mail address in their Outlook address books - the Klez & other viruses sent out mail in my name all over the place and now my e-mail address is on spam-blockers everywhere. While good correspondence comes in so I don't want to change it, I can't always use that name to answer every letter. GMail to the rescue!


When I hear a memorable phrase and have a little time, I like to see where it leads.


Clever names are usually taken. Often, they lead to companies that just want to resell them. Other times, they don't go anywhere. Other than reselling opportunities and to plan future sites, why would anyone get a catchy domain name and then ignore it? Do they use a domain just for e-mail? You'd think they'd want to forward the domain address itself to an existing site or an offer to resell, if nothing else. Maybe they just don't want anyone else to use the name, but I was looking up ordinary titles today and finding this. Its sad to get a domain and then forgo putting up any site at all to represent it.


Here's a few domain names I like that do not go anywhere or time out, but are owned by somebody: CatLover.com, OhNo.com, LookAround.com, NowSeeHere.com, MyBlog.com, JustMyBlog.com, ItsJustMe.com, LookyHere.com, IHaveNoLife.com (love that one) and then others: SoWhat.com and ThatBlog.com (up for sale), HiDad.com and BlogHeaven.com (coming soon, the screen says), HelloThere.com, BlogThis.com, and ThisIsIt.com (went to a default search engine for sites that don't actually exist on that server), and my favorite - KissMyBlog.com (a blank screen with nothing but the simple words, "Coming Soon") ... so many good names not in use! It's a tragedy... or the broadband connection timing out today.



July 8, 2004 - Thursday

Mosquito & Gnat Repellents

Since I spend about 2 hours a day walking in a wooded park, mosquito repellents have become important to me. They not only work for mosquitoes, but they repel gnats and other nasty critters. Gnats are the main problem out there. They can swarm all over you like a dust devil. You eat them (I have several times). They crawl in your ears and eyelids and otherwise make the outdoors miserable. I have even brought an umbrella and opened it to push the gnats away from my face.


I find Deep Woods OFF to be pretty effective (gee, I sound like a TV ad). Here's some notes I just read about them today -- useful information (from Nancy Kalish).


What Works

1. Deet - According to a New England Journal of Medicine study, Deep Woods OFF (25%) DEET prevented bites for nearly 302 minutes in mosquito-filled lab cages. Off! Skintastic (7% DEET) lasted 122 minutes.

2. OIL OF EUCALYPTUS - Repel Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent stopped bites for 120 minutes.

3. SOYBEAN OIL - Bite Blocker for Kids with 2% soybean oil stopped bites for 95 minutes.


What Doesn't Work

1. SKIN-SO-SOFT from Avon. Their Skin-So-Soft Bug Guard which smells better, only worked for 23 minutes.

2. REPELLENT WRISTBANDS - Didn't last even one minute.

3. CITRONELLA CANDLES - I guess this is one of those false folk-lore things. They don't repel bugs at all, according to the study. Oh well, at least they smell good.

4. HIGH TECH DEVICES like the Mosquito Magnet which is supposed to lure bugs away from human flesh -- sorry they don't really work, but they sound cool. Don't magnets cure everything?



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