observations from a slightly mad german-american

Monday, October 31, 2011


The seven-billionth baby was born.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Pandas are cool

Just sayin'.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


"Whatever you do repeatedly will shape your character."
--some Buddhist

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Padibe Blog - SummerCamp08

Please check this out:


Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Money and Family Values - Part One

If the GOP wants to preach about Family Values, they would do well to consider this:

A family earning $25,000 per year is twice as likely to divorce as a family earning $50,000 per year.

I'll delve more into this later, but in the mean time, please read this article from the Economic Policy Institute (and keep in mind that costs have gone up since it was written four years ago)

Basic family budgets: Working families' incomes often fail to meet living expenses around the U.S.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Living Paycheck to Paycheck?

I hate to say it, but I am.  There's no excuse for that in my case.  So this caught my eye:


Tuesday, August 05, 2008


I'm at a international blahbety-blah conference in Las Vegas to give a presentation. Just completed it.

As a reminder to myself and to others, don't forget the basic rules of public speaking:
  1. Ignore the ladies up front making ugly faces and focus on the people who want to hear what you've got to say.
  2. S-L--O--W D---O-----W-------N
  3. Practice practice practice. When you're done, practice some more.
  4. Get good sleep the night before.
So I could have done better. But there were some people with questions and positive feedback . That makes thing easier.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Testing the mobile waters

There's really nothing important. To say in this entry. Just trying to
see if I can send a post via email on my mobile.

Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

I'm Guessing These Parents...

...had to clean their shorts


Thursday, July 03, 2008

How do your rights rank?

YouTube has been ordered to hand over the viewing habits of *every* user. Video watched, user id, IP address from which you watched it, and more.

Interestingly, Viacom had demanded the source code for YouTube, but the court said that handing over Trade Secrest was unwarrented.

Nice to see where We the People's priorities are.


It's crap like this that makes me think that big media companies need to ... switch off.

Monday, June 09, 2008

self-inflicted torture

log into myspace. "you have new friends". click the notice. wait 3 minutes. "cannot find page".

gargh! how can you people stand myspace? and why do i even go there?

I did NOT just ask that, did I?

"Hey, that's Kurt Vonnegut. Wonder why he's got a cameo in this?"

That was me, yesterday, while watching watching "Mother Night" (1996, starring Nick Nolte).

Thank god I was alone.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

(Yet Another Brit-Rock) iTunes Free Download

For those who like the Wombat's "Let's Dance to Joy Division" - it's the free download of the week at iTunes USA

Sunday, April 13, 2008

We Ain't Hicks

I can't tell you how many times I've been taken aback when I'd see Milwaukee -- or more accurately, it's people -- depicted in the movies as a bunch of backwater hicks. ("Love Actually" being one example.) It does not mesh with what I see every day. Granted, we're no Paris or Berlin, but surely we're not that bad, are we? How did we get that image? What did the outsiders see? I think I figured it out. And I have a new rule: *NEVER* take visitors to the Cactus Club in Bay View. I think I'd find less facial hair at a ZZ Top show in the Appalachians.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Crazy Eights

If you use a Mac, you use Apple's Pages, and you have to export your document to PDF, then here's a little tidbit for you:

Futura 8-point font will come out U-G-L-Y on the PDF, with decidedly jagged text. Increase your size to 9 points and your letters will be smooth as silk.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

You Can Pay, But It'll Cost You

I've wondered about Hillary's campaign advisor. Why have Clinton stick it out until the bitter end? She's only looking more and more rediculous as the days go by. Why the problem with ending the campaign a little early? Now I get it...

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Holy Squeezebox, Batman!


This is hard enough to play on an organ...

(If you can't see the video, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBmajjf5WKE)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Padibe Essay


Thursday, January 10, 2008

Hoo Ha

Turns out that Supergrass is offering free download of Diamond Hoo Ha Man
performed live.



Hoo Ha Wha?

Ok. I like it. I shouldn't, but I do: "Diaomond Hoo Ha Man" by Supergrass.

The single on vinyl is due out next week (14 jan). The CD is out 24
march. No good... I want it now!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Pete is Free

Judge suspends final six months of Doherty's supervision.


Friday, October 19, 2007

Little things add up...

For anyone, who like me, wants to start making wise decisions with their money, a few links...

It's about the little things we do and how they hold us down. It matters. One of the things that I know about most millionairs is that -- contrary to popular opinion -- is that they are not spoiled recipients of daddy's money. They earned it themselves. And while most make a pretty good income, what separates them from the non-millionairs is that they watch what they spend. They clip coupons. They buy their clothes from Target or JC Penny. They buy used cars. They buy small houses. And they don't go to Starbucks for coffee.

SO... enjoy.

Little Splurges

10 Little Expenses that Add Up Fast

Save Big with the Flashback Budget

Thursday, October 18, 2007


Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names the
streets after them.
- Bill Vaughan

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Just testing to see if this successfully published.

Blogged with Flock

Smelly Onions

Dude, what are you doing, peeling onions?

What is it with these guys? Why do our IT help desk guys insist on bringing the most obnoxious-smelling foods to their cubes?

This is just painful.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Hey you, Smelly!

Hey buddy, I don't wanna smell your funk!  Don't wanna smell your junk!  Definitely don't want to smell your lunch!  Take your BBQ, onions, or tuna into the cafeteria!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Verify Yourself -- Save Human Knowledge!

How creative!

BBC: Anti-Spam Weap Helps Preserve Books


Friday, September 21, 2007

You *have* to check this out...


Friday, September 07, 2007

Abuse - Needle Ordeal

There are levels of cruelty that are difficult to understand. This is
one of them.

BBC - Chinese Woman's Needle Ordeal

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Instant Films Festival

I was trying to remember which video camera Steve Jobs touted when he was
announcing the new aluminum iMac and iWork '08. (It was the Panasonic

While searching for the info I stumbled across a couple goodies from the
Instant Film festival.

The Instant Films festival is a weekend affair in which, essentially,
people have 36 hours to make a short -- from writing to showing. Stories
are written, then drawn from a hat, and cast members randomly assigned.

These are brilliant!

You can watch the films at their website.


D N A for the U K . . .

A top UK judge is calling for a DNA repository of every person in the UK.

The government response? So far, it has been that there are no plans to create such a database, that there are serious privacy concerns.

But the Home Office minister also said, "I think we are broadly sympathetic to the thrust of what he [the judge] has said.

"I have said that myself in the past, that there is a real logic and cohesion to the point that says, 'Well, put everybody on'."

The UK has already amassed the largest DNA collection in the world, mainly of criminals. Its residents are -- I believe -- filmed more than any other people, thanks to the proliferation of private and public CCTV.

Also, I found this amusing: Authorities' powers to collect biometric data are spelled out in the "Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984".

The Guardian - Judge Wants Everone in UK on Database

Thursday, August 30, 2007

You know you want to watch this!

What does it say about me that I want to see this movie?


Meditation for Difficult Times

I wanted to pass along something that has helped to calm the inner storm
when in the midst of turmoil. Meditating on this has been invaluable.

I don't remember who originally penned it...


"Do not fear what may happen to you tomorrow.

The same loving father who cares for you today
will care for you tomorrow and every day.

Either he will shield you from suffering,
or give you unfailing strength to bear it.

Be at peace then, and put aside
all anxious thoughts and imaginings"

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

iPhone Must-Have

If you want, you can pay Apple a gazillion dollars for their bluetooth headset for their iPhone.

Or, you can get this

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Drowning in my .... mail

I *fear* my inbox.

That feeling of dread that consumes me when I start Mail is something I'd just as soon avoid. So I check it once per week at most.

Too many messages coming in... the rules that I spent hours (!!!) setting up to organize and highlight messages are marginally useful now... I just know going in that I'm going to be there for a while trying to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Add to that fact that I'm a hopeless pack rat -- I think I've saved 50,000+ messages -- and you have a need for manageability.

So much for this great thing that once made it easier for me to communicate with the world around me, and vice versa....

Well, I want the joy of emailing back!  So, I'll be watching Merlin Mann's Zero-Inbox talk at Google.


http://www.43folders.com/2007/07/25/merlins-inbox-zero-talk/ http://www.43folders.com


If you catch a writing bug and you don't want to go the route of big publishing houses to get your work out there, there are resources available to help you sucessfully self publish.

One of them is lulu.com

They can bind and print your books, and provide an online marketplace.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


Check it out: http://wakeuptiger.blogspot.com/2007/03/people-that-mind-dont-matter.html

Monday, January 22, 2007

Movie - Pan's Labyrinth

I have only three words to say about this movie

GO    SEE    IT

Blogged with Flock

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Milwaukee on CNN's Front Page

I was as work this morning and looked out the window to see this huge plume of black smoke. Obviously a fire, probably a mile away at most. I was wondering what was going on. Found this on CNN: One killed, 25 injured, in Milwaukee blast, fire - CNN.com

More Milwaukee on CNN's Front Page

I saw this on the front page of the Milwuakee Journal last night and thought "Good God.  Is this news?"  Apparently it's national news. Oi.

Salesman donates million-mile car to museum - CNN.com

Friday, December 01, 2006

Milwaukee December Greetings

December 1st. And how does it welcome Milwaukee?

Well, so far this morning, by dumping 6 inches (15 cm) of snow on us, with more on the way. Very strange storm today. I woke up to thunder. Upset me too, I was having a nice dream, enjoying a play at some theatre in San Francisco with my lover and friends.

I discovered something on the way to work: I really don't enjoy thinking I'm going to die.

I especially don't when some barely-endowed-dumb-f**k-with-a-truck is barrelling through a red light. When will these people learn that the four-wheel drive that gets them going in the snow does absolutely nothing for them when it comes time to stop. So, SUV owners: GET A CLUE! Slow the f**k down. Maybe you don't care if you kill one of us out there. But let me share one of my life's little pleasures: tooliing down the road and seeing you f**kers stranded on the side of the road in or in a ditch because your over-confidence spun you out of control.

Schools are closed today. Given that and the empty streets, I figured I'd get rock star parking at work. No such luck. The lots were full. Hardly anyone is missing.

I suppose that says something about the Midwest work ethic. It did have me pause and consider the oppressive nature of our brand of capitalism here in the good old U.S. of A. States. But that's another post.

Followed a certain stream of thought from there, and after a hundred twists and turns, you could come to the conclusion that most companies -- large or small -- are like horribly dysfunctional families. But that's another post too.

As unpleasant as the experience of trying to get around in this weather can be, once you're where you need to be, it is nice to stop, breathe, and just watch.  See the way the flakes flitter about in the wind, the white-capped rooftops, branches of trees drop slightly under the weight of the snow, the pristine desert with its wind-blown dunes in what yesterday was a park... it really is beautiful.

I see my lover's work number on the Caller ID. She made it safe.  Time to go.

Anyway, it's December 1st.  It's cold. 

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Wally World and Wage Caps

Monday, August 07, 2006

You Are What You Sponge

If you want to be a happy, energetic, sharp and positive person.... Hang around happy, energetic shart positive people.

You'll be smarter too.

It may sound silly. But there's science to back it up.

I was reminded of this when I saw an article I'd read a couple months ago. So check it out. (Hang in there through the first three or four paragaphs.)

Angry/Negative People Can Be Bad For Your Brain

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Little moments like this....

I love Earl. I love listening to him. He's been on my iPod since I cleaned up last August). My favourite talk by far one he gave at the 2003 Sunlight of the Spirit Conference in Iceland. During the dark hours, well... everybody sing now: "my headphones... they saved my life".

So anyways, I'm at work the other day listening to him, and something sticks out as he's talking. To paraphrase:

one of the greatest complemenets that i think i can give anyone, is that they're kind. it's a crazy world, and there's just not enough kindness out there.

Cool enought. I go on with the rest of the day. Later at home, my daughter is busy writing in *my* journal (ahem!). I was trying to decide whether to make her write in her own... no... let it go. She calls me over. Asks me to read it.

dear dad, happy fathers day. i love you. you are kind.

kids rock

Saturday, June 17, 2006

It's 1:15 a.m.

So this is all I'm going to say for now.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Interesting Social Phenomena

This rambles. It's quite random. But that's okay. A.D.D. boy is in town.

One wonders sometimes about the psychiatric and sociolical effects of more and more of our lives going online.

With the introduciton of the graphical web browser in the 90's, you suddenly saw an outlet for college students and scientists aross the world to become self publishers. The most common thing that I remember seeing? The "Home Page", which basically listed favorite bands, favorite movies, links to other friends home pages, and maybe a photo or two.

Then came the blog. Self-publishing really takes off with the click of a few buttons. Soon, it seemed *everyone* was blogging. And what were most of them? The Dear Diary variety, with people revealing not just the boring details of their daily life, but the intimate "secrets" that they would never talk about publically. But there it is for the world to see. (As a side note, and I'm guilty of this on MySpace, those are the dullest blogs. Give me something that's *about* something. Give me something to take away. Make it about the reader.)

And if they weren't online diaries, then they were technical or political blogs. (I'm guilty on both counts.) Fun to write, maybe. But boring to read.

Anyways, the main thing is that all of these people are sharing themselves in a BIG way online.

THEN COMES WEB 2.0. Say what you like about that term, but it's taken hold. By that I don't mean the whole interactive rich-client-like AJAX whatever business. I mean the social web. Web sites became dynamic, with their content updated by the users and visitors, not by the One Guy to Rule Them All. del.icio.us, MySpace, Tribe, dailykos, any CivicSpace site.

The Web as Meeting Place really has taken off. MySpace is at, what, 50 million users. That's a big "city". One where each user has their own home page listing -- hah! -- favorite musicians, movies, etc, with links to other friends home pages., etc. Except that this website is dynamically updated by its users. IT's a meeting place. People send messages there instead of via email.

The most intersting thing I've seen their is the way people user testimonials/comments there. Messages that once would have been sent privately are now out there for everyone to see. Often they are replies to private messages. I wonder what the ramifications will be, both for those who embrace this communication style, and for us fuddy-duddies that like old-school propriety.

Twill be interesting.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Darkening Milwaukee's Skies -- 2 July 2006

Milwaukee, USA... 2 July 2006... Bauhaus and Nine Inch Nails.... Tickets on sale April 8th... Must sell blood...

Friday, March 10, 2006

Developers and Databases

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

It's Great But.....

Eliminate enemy bogies before they get within striking distance. It works for the military. I like to apply that to depression too.

Thank GOD that I have been given thanks to help of some friends my... let's call it my Depression Early Warning Radar. I can feel it coming long before it grabs hold of me and sends me crashing into the abyss.

The only problem with it is that you can rely on it too much, and forget to look at WHY you have "enemies" in the first place.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

MySpace to get UK Site

It appears that Murdoch's minions will be creating a UK version of MySpace.

Related story

(Note: you may need to enable popups for this site to read the article)