Thursday, October 30, 2008

AOL Is Closing It's Doors...

How else to interpret this email received an hour ago, given the shutdown tomorrow of AOL Journals and AOL Hometown? Who needs some customers that can treat them right?

Dear AOL Pictures User:

We are sorry to inform you that, as of December 31, 2008, AOL will no longer provide the AOL Pictures online photo service. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you.

The good news is that AOL has partnered with American Greetings® PhotoWorks® to enable continued access to your pictures through the PhotoWorks service. PhotoWorks provides unlimited free storage, just like AOL Pictures, as well as a variety of options for making creations and sharing your photos. You can access your images on PhotoWorks simply by providing your screen name and password to register for a free American Greetings PhotoWorks account. Register for PhotoWorks now.

While we recommend the American Greetings PhotoWorks option, you may also:

  • Download your photos to your computer using a new tool that will enable you to quickly save multiple images and albums; or
  • Purchase a DVD archive of your images. Please note there is a charge for the DVD archive based on the number of images you select.

It is important that you take action no later than December 31, 2008. After this date, you will no longer be able to access your images through AOL Pictures. You may choose from or combine any of the options listed above, based on your needs, as long as you do so by December 31.

Please go to AOL Pictures as soon as possible to register for American Greetings PhotoWorks for continued access to your pictures or to save your images on your computer or to DVD. Here, you will also find more information and step-by-step instructions on each of the available choices.

We sincerely appreciate your being an AOL Pictures user. It has been our pleasure to provide you with an enjoyable online photo experience.


The AOL Pictures Team

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

HUMOR: The Husband Store

From my email...

A store that sells new husbands has opened in New York City , where a woman may go to choose a husband. Among the instructions at the entrance is a description of how the store operates:

You may visit this store ONLY ONCE! There are six floors and the value of the products increase as the shopper ascends the flights. The shopper may choose any item from a particular floor, or may choose to go up to the next floor, but you cannot go back down except to exit the building!

So, a woman goes to the Husband Store to find a husband. On the first floor the sign on the door reads:

Floor 1 - These men Have Jobs
She is intrigued, but continues to the second floor, where the sign reads:

Floor 2 - These men Have Jobs and Love Kids.
'That's nice,' she thinks, 'but I want more.'

So she continues upward. The third floor sign reads:

Floor 3 - These men Have Jobs, Love Kids, and are Extremely Good Looking..
'Wow,' she thinks, but feels compelled to keep going.

She goes to the fourth floor and the sign reads:

Floor 4 - These men Have Jobs, Love Kids, are Drop-dead Good Looking and Help With Housework.
'Oh, mercy me!' she exclaims, 'I can hardly stand it!'

Still, she goes to the fifth floor and the sign reads:

Floor 5 - These men Have Jobs, Love Kids, are Drop-dead Gorgeous, Help with Housework, and Have a Strong Romantic Streak.
She is so tempted to stay, but she goes to the sixth floor, where the sign reads:

Floor 6 - You are visitor 31,456,012 to this floor. There are no men on this floor. This floor exists solely as proof that women are impossible to please. Thank you for shopping at the Husband Store.


To avoid gender bias charges, the store's owner opened a New Wives store just across the street.

The first floor has wives that love sex.

The second floor has wives that have money, love sex, and love beer.
The third, fourth, fifth and sixth floors have never been visited.


Heavy raindrops plopping down upon the living room air conditioner outside my window. The "zzzippp..." sound the satellite receiver makes when the digital signal is deflected by those selfsame drops of rain. The "plop, plop, plink" of dripping water accumulating in the bucket on the stairs (no, I haven't even a tenth of the $20,000 it'll take to replace the leaky roof). High, wild winds are approaching. You can hear the pines east of the house moan in anticipation.

It is Autumn in Maine.

We, too, have lost all of the deciduous leaves and the Juniper needles have turned their sickly, pale yellow, so their drop en masse cannot be far away now. Snow flurries are in the forecast for tomorrow. It is time for this grasshopper to make provision for a return to a warmer clime. I have sworn off ever shoveling snow again...

And so it goes.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Voting Advice

Planning to vote early? Do so, but make sure it gets counted. If the opposition has targeted your demographic niche for whatever reason, you MUST document the problem with your political party, as well as on the Internet. I'm just saying... no matter which of the sides you are on.

Expect dirty tricks. No, the balloting is NOT postponed if it is raining, snowing or an earthquake has struck. Don't fall for that crap. And don't fall for the crap both parties and all of their special interest groups are shoveling with their robocalls. Make this your mantra and chant it as you listen to your answering machine... "It's all bullshit... It's all bullshit..."

Good luck. The field sucks and the choices are the same old same old. Neither of the primary party candidates offers anything new. The Congress will still control the budget process and the Senate will still control the foreign policy decisions, assuming the election isn't stolen (hijacked) by the existing administration placing us all under martial law.

Laugh if you want. Even paranoids have enemies...

Septic Truck Sign

Thursday, October 16, 2008

It's Kilt Day!

Just in case you forgot the most important day before my sister-in-law's birthday - it is KILT DAY.

And for all those ladies who know just why they like 'Men In Kilts' we have this hirsute example:

Here, it was a miserable day for a kilt. Cold, clammy and rain all day. I actually put some heat on this morning when feeding Iggy the Landshark. Maybe next year...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Orbit Files - Free Hosting of up to 6 GB - FREE!

All you AOL Journals authors looking for a new place to host your accumulated photos, web pages and other files have all sorts of options, some free, some cost money. Here's another free option (or, if you need more than 6 GB of free space, one can have unlimited storage for only $5 per month). It's called:

  • 6 GB of online storage space (with a 50 MB per file limit)
  • unlimited storage for $5/month
  • Orbitfiles makes it easy to share files publicly or with friends
  • access your files from anywhere
  • provides you a public landing page for all of your free (Creative Commons license) photos
  • provides useful Windows tools for embedding your files on your blog or web site
  • you can sell files through Orbitfiles' interface (for only a 2% commission)
  • Windows users also get a dedicated download client, Hercules, that makes the upload process much simpler for the novice or typical AOL user.
I make nothing from recommending this service. One of the big stumbling blocks to moving files off AOL was where to put your photos and widgets - here's your chance to control it yourself if you don't wish to use AOL + Blogger's tools and the Picassa service. It's all about you - not them.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

And this is how my wife would have me decorate our Airstream for Halloween...

Monday, October 06, 2008

Humor: Post Turtle

Making the rounds of blogs and emails recently is the following photograph and text(s). Enjoy!

While suturing a cut on the hand of a 75 year old rancher, who's hand was caught in the gate while working cattle, the doctor struck up a conversation with the old man. Eventually the topic got around to Obama and his bid to be our president.

The old rancher said, "Well, ya know, Obama is a 'Post Turtle'".

Not being familiar with the term, the doctor asked him what a 'post turtle' was. The old rancher said, "When your driving down a country road on you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that's a 'post turtle".

The old rancher saw the puzzled look on the doctor's face so he continued to explain. "You know he didn't get up there by himself, he doesn't belong up there, and he doesn't know what to do while he's up there, and you just wonder what kind of dumb ass put him up there to begin with".

Or, if you prefer, there is the J-Walk blog's version:

While suturing a cut on the hand of a 75-year-old Texas rancher whose hand was caught in a gate while working cattle, the doctor struck up a conversation with the old man. Eventually the topic got around to Sarah Palin and her bid to be a heartbeat away from being President.

The old rancher said, 'Well, ya know, Palin is a post turtle.' Not being familiar with the term, the doctor asked him what a post turtle was. The old rancher said, 'When you're driving down a country road and you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that's a post turtle.'

The old rancher saw a puzzled look on the doctor's face, so he continued to explain. 'You know she didn't get up there by herself, she doesn't belong up there, she doesn't know what to do while she is up there, and you just wonder what kind of dumb ass put her up there to begin with.'

I prefer the latter. Which version works best for you?

Calling All Mainiacs...

Want to make a quick $1000*?

Find LibraryThing a Maine employee, get $1,000 in books

That's right. Find us a Maine—or anyway within an hour of Portland, ME—employee and we'll give you $1,000 in books.

Read all about it here.

* in books

And a dip of the old fedora to regular reader Robbie for the tip. Thanks!

And Now For Something Completely Different...

A closer look at the life and career of John McCain reveals a disturbing record of recklessness and dishonesty

While I have been less than a stellar supporter of Barack Obama and Company, one shouldn't automatically assume I am a supporter of the McCain/Palin ticket.

No, that'd be a real stretch.

And if you must ask why, perhaps this Tim Dickinson, less-than-supportive look at the McCain record which appeared in The Rolling Stone in an article titled "Make-Believe Maverick" will give you a clue.

You can get a taste by reading the first page at the link above. Buy a copy or sign up as an online subscriber to see the whole article. Or, like me, visit the library to read through their copy.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

AOL Journals' Demise

Picture by Chadzilla (
It's about time.

While I have never wished ill to those who remained at AOL with their "journals" I have watched this corporate pig founder, flopping and spraying blood on the carpet of the interdweebs for far too long.

Rather than reading the writing hemorrhaged upon the wall, AOL has blithely gone on for months, years, selling its customers short and destroying a once great marque. In a 'which came first, the chicken or the egg' manner, the megalith has lost so many paying customers and short-changed its advertisers that it is a mere shadow of its former corporate greatness. Like the present fiscal crisis, it all comes down to one thing. Greed.

Easy come, easy go. Whether in the boardroom at Lehman Brothers or AOL/Time Warner the end result remains the same. Disaster.

So, to the relatively few AOL Journalers suddenly thrust out (Happy Halloween, kiddies) into the cold, cruel vacuum of cyberspace by their callous AOL overlords I say, "Welcome! Glad to see you."

I do hope you find the pain of adjustment to a new blogging platform worth the reaming you've been taking all these years from those buggers at AOL...

Missed it...

International Talk Like A Pirate Day, that is.

Had my head up my nether regions, general spelunking again, I guess.

Sorry 'bout that, Chief!

And I'd found this great joke to commemorate the day, too:

So, this pirate walks into a bar with a steering wheel shoved down his pants.

The bartender looks at him and says…”You know you have a steering wheel in your pants?”

The pirate replies, “Yar! It’s drivin’ me nuts!”

Friday, October 03, 2008

Post-VP Debate

Sarah Palin really needed to make a home run but she only managed a base hit. She came off as snippy and defensive. Too well rehearsed, too many by rote answers, very little of the originality she brings to the ticket. Is she really just a figurehead? It is sure starting to look like it.

On the other hand, I think that Senator Biden was too much the apologist for the Obama agenda without really achieving the goal of showing why we should make him one heartbeat away from the Presidency.

Overall, it was a waste of time...