A Brutally Long Post With Serious Stuff At The End

I am not a Carl Hiaasen fan. Sorry, Carl. I’m just wildly indifferent about his writing, but Dave sent me a link to the latest Hiaasen column and it’s priceless. This is what I call a WIN. Well done, sir. Well done. Bravo! A nicer piece of mockery I would be hard pressed to find. Speaking of mockery, Fake Michael Yormark continues to write scathing bits in his/her blog, though I am not nearly as entertained by his/her Twittering; it appears just to be there to send traffic to the blog. All my Panther buddies would do well to keep FMY in their RSS feeds. I do.

Over at my Flickr page, I posted some photos of a few of my authentic game-worn collectibles. I thought it might be interesting to for people to see this stuff. We’ve got two Brett McLean items, a pair of Trevor Kidd items, and a Mario Lemieux item. I’ve got tons of pucks and jerseys none of which are pictured — though a number are listed on my for sale page. Prices for friends negotiable. To see the Flickr pictures, just click the Flickr button on the left sidebar. I got the McLean stuff from Matt Redmond formerly of the Miami Matadors (where I was briefly ’employed’ as the volunteer webmaster). He’s got some great authenticated game worn stuff. If you’re interested, contact me and I’ll put you in touch.

The Tube has changed the route of the Circle Line. It used to be a circle, and formed (more or less) the boundary for “zone one.” It was called the Circle Line because it went in a great big (one hour) circle. I am all for progress usually, but I kind of think that maybe they should rename it since it no longer makes a circle. Here’s the re-route, and the most distinguishing thing is it has a start and end whereas originally it was a circle with trains running clockwise and anti-clockwise. I’m just objecting to keeping the name.

To my Facebook friends, there is a way to add a Dislike button now. You need Firefox to do it and anyone else needs Firefox to view it. Here’s the add-on. I’ve installed it and it works great. This is Facebook’s most requested feature, and it’s the least likely to arrive. Here’s your answer. You have to tick the “add experimental add-on” button but don’t be afraid. Quit your browser and restart and you’re golden.

A few of you aren’t going to like this one, but I am greatly amused — and keep in mind that I am opposed to Obama’s proposed Health Care Disaster Reform. To sum it up, an ultra-conservative magazine published an article about the alleged “death panels” and used as its example in their editorial: People such as scientist Stephen Hawking wouldn’t have a chance in the U.K., where the National Health Service would say the life of this brilliant man, because of his physical handicaps, is essentially worthless. Um, yeah, hello? Stephen Hawking who they claim wouldn’t have a chance in the United Kingdom was in fact born in the United Kingdom, has lived his entire life in the United Kingdom and lives there still today. Hawking himself responded, Like I said, a favour a plan. I just don’t favour the current plan. Go read my previous commentary from my 31 October post. You all know one of the largest peeves I have is the inability of people to use apo’stro’phe’s properly. From it’s/its to atrocities like their’s and banana’s, I get apoplectic over it. Someone else clearly does and has posted this awesome graphic. I wish all my readers would read it. In college I watched and liked the original mini-series “V” — though I will be the first to admit it hasn’t aged well and going back and seeing those episodes on DVD (I own the whole series) is painful.  I recorded the pilot of the new “V” on my DVR (aka TiFaux). I watched with some trepidation because I didn’t think there was much chance it would be any good. I knew everything that was going to happen, right? Is it great television? No. Will it be a hit? Yes. I liked it. It was entertaining. They made some major changes to the plot to keep it a little more interesting and a lot more plausible — and that same thing opened up a gaping credibility hole. I won’t spoil it for you by spilling. The bottom line is I’m going to watch next week’s episode too.

I’m sure you’re all sick of hearing about Hippo Burger, aka Hippopotamus Restaurant. I don’t care. I’ve got a little more to share with you. First here’s the actual menu is here thanks to the same guy who scanned the cover. He can be my friend because he made me really, really happy. And more importantly he’s got an old photo of the actual restaurant he mentioned to me.

This is where you need to pay attention. I’m going to talk about Google and Privacy (with a capital P). You all use Google. I’m betting I don’t have one reader who has never used it. We all knew Google stored a lot of information about what we did on-line and what it shared and with whom. If you use GoogleChat (which is part of GMail) every chat you’ve ever had is saved forever by default. Forever is a long time. Most people have never turned it off. Everything you’ve ever searched for on Google while logged in is saved. Everything. Forever. That search you did seven years ago for ‘hookers with big tits’ is still there. You betcha. Even if you use private browsing, if you are logged into any Google service, it’s all recorded. They know more about you than your spouse and parents. At first, I thought I was exaggerating to make my point, but after looking through it I’m not sure. Google has always let you manage your search history, but almost nobody knew how. Me, I never really cared — a little convenience goes a long way to making me happy in exchange for a little bit of privacy. But what I saw upset me more than a little. I have a Picasa account. I didn’t even make one. When I registered for Blogger and created a profile picture, Google made one for me and put my picture there. No shit. Blogger, YouTube, Google, Alerts, Google Calendar, Google Contacts, Google Docs, Friend Connect, Gmail, iGoogle, Orkut, Picasa, your master Google Profile, Google Reader, Google Talk, Google Voice / Grand Central. Those are all applications you can now control what information is stored, who it’s shared with. You can also delete stored information. Those, BTW, are all applications which I have supposedly used and/or set up accounts with. Some of them I know I’ve never used — like Picasa — that I assumed are set up by other Google products. At the bottom of my screen, it says “and 12 more applications” and those are ones which it’s not possible for me to control. That list is equally disturbing. And to those of you have something to hide, it’s even worse. I don’t much care — and I went through all of it, and you know what? I deleted barely a half-dozen things: mostly my medical searches. I don’t feel that’s public or should be. You need to go here  http://www.google.com/dashboard and you’ll probably have to log in. There should be a link under your accounts tab if you prefer. You need to go look at what’s there and change what you don’t like. Allow an hour or more. And prepare to be shocked, appalled, or possibly embarrassed. I am not picking on Google at all. They’ve made no pretense of hiding what they’re doing or why. And they’ve given us (way too late) the means to control what’s collected. Yahoo, MSN, and everyone else does the same thing. Google has gone boldly first in giving something back that shouldn’t have been taken away to begin with.

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