Thursday, August 31, 2006


Once again the house is infested with painters. We are doing a lot of wall geography this time - hallways and dining room. One wall must be 25 feet high. It's a big job. After just seeing their prep work I remain convinced I couldn't do this in 100 years. If we really did choose good colors, then this was a worthwhile investment. Those colors though... are worrisome, even though we've reviewed them again and again in all lighting conditions. Fact is, you never REALLY know till it's too late. Wish us luck.

Meanwhile I am trapped in my office. It beats a jail cell but just feeling the restriction wears on me. But there's no option. I should be around to check up and insure that the right color goes on the right wall.

These guys take long lunch breaks - but luckily we pay by the job.

I'll let you know how it turns out.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


Great Clips. Haircut. Cut it all to 1/4 inch. Takes 3 minutes. Nobody waiting. My turn immediately. Done. Pay. "$13. Or do you qualify for senior discount?" "How old do you have to be?" "65 or older."

My day, week, month, and ego are all ruined. I always thought I looked younger than I am, and I'm nowhere close to the senior discount, thankyewverymuch!

I think self-image is the propeller on the airplane of life. I need a quick recovery. Geeeez.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


We be chillin' and grillin'

I guess flossing is unnecessary.

Sunday, August 27, 2006


Boring. Snoring. I think I've blogged before how to fix these shows, but...

Thanking everyone then the family and the kids and the caregiver... it's just too self-indulgent. Nobody unnamed cares.

Dick Clark was poignant. The "World's Oldest Teenager" lost his title to his stroke. It's really sad. Yet he did get to realize his dream to be - and to be a big mover in - showbiz.

The Charlie's Angels reunion was interesting. Farrah looks bad, really bad. The curse of her early bloom? Jaclyn Smith looked as if she hasn't aged. Kate Jackson looked like she had a coat hanger in her mouth.

I don't hang on the red carpet but I couldn't fail to notice some lovelies looking very fine. Forgive the spelling if wrong - Kathryn Heigl from Grey's Anatomy will be talked about. Wow. And Evangeline Lilly shone tremendously brightly. Her smile and beauty just jumped out of the screen.

Typical lame banter among presenters except John Stewart and Steven Colbert were spot on - hilarious. Conan O'Brien was game. Other than the opening there's little for a host to do. The filmed/taped bit that ran from the top of the show was good.

Want to bet this was the lowest rated show yet?


I'd like to win an Emmy. Hard to do when you aren't involved with television, except to watch it. I have an idea for a show. It isn't my first. With a partner we had the Video Awards figured out just before MTV announced them. I also had thought up what was in effect COPS and RESCUE 911. And a different version of The Travel Channel before it hit.

My 'show' idea is simply about pitching shows to the networks. And as they are pitched, the boob network guys try to change essential pieces. We see the stories change with each interruption, showing the ridiculous changes. It'd be funny.

Scene: Network boardroom. 20 something execs in Armani. And the pitch team - two guys barely able to find clean T shirts to wear. They are desperate.

Pitchman 1: "It's a show... about a family. A family on a farm. It's full of family values. (audio fades into scene) Dad was a former advertising executive who gave it all up to be closer to the earth and his family"

Brief scene, bucolic, amber light shines down on happy Dad, with arms around Mom, brother and sister, arm in arm. Golden retriever romps alongside.

Network guy 1: "How about... if the dog is really an alien lifeform?"

Pitchman #2. "Great idea! An alien life form" Exchanges "the look" with partner.

Brief same scene - dog is replaced by slug like creature with CGI slime trail.

Network guy 2 - clearly inspired: "But the sister... is troubled... and a rebel... and she's got a meth lab behind the chicken coop."
Network guys all buzz about that.

Pitchman #2. "Great idea! A meth addict" Exchanges "the look" with partner. (Each look is a little more painful.

Brief same scene, daughter is now slutty, tattooed, sullen and pale. Parents look troubled.

Network woman 1: " The father should be well muscled and shirtless as much as possible..." Nods all around.

Pitchman #2. "Great idea! ...muscles" Exchanges "the look" with partner. (Each look is a little more painful.

Brief same scene, father is different guy, chiseled and shirtless... mother rubs his pecks.

Well, you get the idea, it rolls merrily downhill and then the scene gets longer, is interrupted by change after change, and picks up where it left off, growing more bizarre and stealing from other successful shows.

Here I am, networks, come get me. "...great idea!"

Friday, August 25, 2006


The FCC is now fining $350,000 for obscenities, and you can get nailed as an individual - it's not just the station or network that gets fined. Ah, what a nice safe world Bush has built for us.

Anyway, my friend Geoff Fox (see the link to the right) is a weatherman on TV - ooops - Meteorologist (certified, etc.) who has done many years in radio and various TV gigs, local and national. I found this post very interesting and he agreed to let me put it here. Note that "Damn" isn't obscene. Obscene, if I'm not mixing it up with indecent, is when you refer, at times when children might be present, to the act of excretory or sexual functions. At least that's the best the lawyers would ever say - they - and the FCC - would rather not be specific.

Here's part of Geoff's piece. I think it's interesting to see into the mind of the performer:

Back in my very early days in radio, my station had a fishing report. We'd call the woman who owned the bait and tackle shop (the sponsor of the report) who would report on current conditions.

One time, as she finished, I asked a question and opened her mike. Thinking she was done, she was already midstream in a cursing tirade worthy of Ozzy Osbourne.

My problem is, when I'm presenting the weather, everything is ad libbed. It's not stream of consciousness. There's a method to my madness. After all, I'm telling a story with pre-chosen maps.

Still, the individual words and sentences are formed on the spot.

Am I saying things before I 'think' about what I'm saying? Yes. And for me, always trying to get out one more (hopefully) clever line, that could be dangerous.

The closest I've come was using the word "damn¹." It was a very cold night and I somehow said, "damn cold."

I turned white as a sheet on the air, paused, and briefly apologized. There was not one call of complaint.

My on-air demeanor had changed so quickly, it was obvious to anyone watching that I had made a major faux pas, knew it and regretted it. There was no poker face here.

There have been other times when I've caught myself before saying a word. Those I work with, people who know me well, could feel where the sentence was going. I managed to self censor in time.

It's a difficult path to take, because 21st century interpersonal speech is often open and salty. My conversational speech is full of TV inappropriate words. My TV speech is not. How my mind understands and reacts at a level I'm not consciously controlling is beyond me.

I'm glad it does.

¹ - I know - we've all heard damn on TV a million times. Everyone has their own standard. To me, within the context of a newscast, it's a totally inappropriate word. For Letterman, Leno, Stewart, maybe even Keith Olbermann - fine. Not for me.


The electric garage door opener for my car only opens a foot; the upstairs refrigerator stopped working and some undercounter lights have begun flashing. Oh - and the cover on one strip fell off.

Is it serendipity? Or aliens? (No blinding lights seen - probably not aliens from outer space.)

Seriously, you've probably heard that things tend to come (or be noticed) in threes? I think things tend to happen immediately following the expiration of warranties. Whatever, we are under minor seige.

Later ---

So the guy comes to fix the garage door. I go to greet him. And the damn door works perfectly. He leaves.

And the door stops working. Just like before.

Thursday, August 24, 2006


I've been watching the DVDs of Season 5 of Curb Your Enthusiasm and realize I want to be Larry David. (I'd say "when I grow up" but I don't ever want to grow up.) Larry David wrote the first 5 seasons of Seinfeld and has his own show on HBO, Curb Your Enthusiasm. It turns out to be unusually ad-libbed, though the high points/comedic devices are worked out in advance. There are several interviews on the second disc in which cast members describe Larry as having unusual vision and a "let's just do it" attitude. Also that there's lots of laughter and mutual respect and fun as Larry puts his skew on everyday life, puncturing convention with humor.

Said Seinfeld writer Peter Mehlman of David: "Larry is very in tune with his own deepest, darkest, most embarrassing thoughts -- and he's utterly unabashed about sharing them." Indeed, since starting out on the NY comedy-club scene, the Brooklyn native's dry, off-kilter sensibility has been found in his writing as well as his (more infrequent) acting. In 1999 David wrote and starred in "Larry David: Curb Your Enthusiasm", a one-hour special for HBO which spawned the critically acclaimed HBO series the following year. The second season was nominated for an "Outstanding Comedy Series" Emmy®. The show's third season was nominated for ten Emmy® Awards including Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for Larry and Best Comedy Series. In 2003, Curb Your Enthusiasm received the Golden Globe award for Best Television Series-Musical or Comedy. David was also nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series-Musical or Comedy. more:

I remember - in my small way, by comparison - walking into the production room of the radio station I programmed in Houston, and saying to the production director, I wanted to do a promo, and let's just wing it - it's about this or that... let's start here and see what happens. He'd give me a look and humor me... and we'd come up with some wonderful stuff. Kindergarten compared to Curb Your Enthusiasm, but I 'get it' and I want to be Larry David.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Today the world turned.

I used to wonder what made that day when summer turned to fall. My guess was it had to do with the shortened days, but why one day summer, the next, fall?

Here in Austin, the temperatures have been and remain at 100 or even 100 plus. Everything non-irrigated is drought-brown. Leaves don't fall till much later in the year and some fall - I know, this is hard to understand unless you live here - in the spring.

But today feels like fall.

Is it the color of the sun, at an ever changing annual angle? (But there's less change farther south. Texas is south.)

I used to think maybe it was the delicious smell of fallen leaves. But they haven't fallen.

I thought it had to do with school cycles that framed the seasons when I was so impressionable. But school where I grew up didn't start till after labor day. And high school and college started a week or more after labor day.

Maybe 11 or 12 years of the annual Great Minnesota Get Together - the state fair - cycled my internal calendar. It's almost that time.

I haven't seen any apple cider, haven't smelt burnt leaves, haven't gone back to school, there have been no cool nights, days are only imperceptibly shorter, I still wear shorts and t-shirts and go barefoot around the house.

And yet, today feels like fall.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


Just a couple houses away. Last night. Now our hero Bob will tiptoe until this memory wears off.

I also posted this on the community blog I run, and some anonymous reader gave me grief, saying I was driving down home values with such stuff. Excuse me? Snakes in Texas? Denial? Whatever. I need thicker skin. Then negative comments AND snakes wouldn't be able to get to me.


I always liked Gino - this dates back to when I lived in Montreal in the mid 70s, ostensibly at Gino's commercial peak. Gino's uncle cut my (radio station) music director, Tony Spiro's hair. It apparently was a tight family. Mama Vanelli used to listen to me on the air and when I played her son, maybe I gave an extra something in what I said.

Later I was invited to the big show - Gino sold out the 17,000+ seat Montreal Forum. My seats - mama's influence, I'll bet - front row.

And since I had a backstage pass - not uncommon for radio program directors - I went to pay my respects after the show. Tony, my music director, introduces me to Mama, who freaks right out - "Booooob Wooooooooooood!!!!" She's ignoring her son who's standing there along with two brothers in the band, she's making a big fuss over me, after THEY got standing ovations. It was a strange moment. I loved it.

Why I bring this up is I just got Gino's greatest hits and it's playing in the other room and I am back in Canada in my mind... remembering only the good times, and there were many. I literally fell in love with Montreal my first night there - I actually roamed the streets almost overcome. It was such a great place!

I think the last album Gino put out had some opera on it which put me off. I wish he'd return to his roots - I'd buy that in a second.

Monday, August 21, 2006


I TiVoed it and only watched a half hour or so so far. Boy, it was cheesy. Aerosol cheesy. Not that funny. Lot of poor taste jokes (a la cable, I guess) - most aimed at Andy Dick or George Takai (spelling?) - both receiving lots of gay jokes. George just roared. He looked like he was on another planet.

I usually miss these things. Aren't they supposed to make fun of the roastee?

Shatner did seem up for it... and why not? he's doing his best work ever now in Boston Legal. I watched all the Star Treks and even remember him from the Loblaws' ads. (Loblaws was/is? a Canadian Supermarket chain and after Trek, they hired William to do the standup spots. He was good. And Canadian. Maybe that mattered.

Betty White (in her 80s) gave an outstanding reading of her jokes, even the ones in poor taste. She's a pro. I can't imagine many 80 year olders in her league.

More tonight. Like watching a train wreck, I guess.

The next day:

I watched the rest of it last night, and it made me very uncomfortable. Just not funny. Embarassing. What brain trust put that together? It wasn't edgy. It wasn't entertaining. It was dick joke after dick joke. It lowered everyone there - on the dais or in the audience, and even those who watched the train go off the tracks.

I realize that's the way of the Friar's club from which this tradition was spawned, but that was for club members and not for mass consumption.

I'm by no means a prude - but I do appreciate funny. Very little was funny. This was TV at its worst.


Wins again. Another major. The PGA champeenship if you aren't into golf. I'm not really, but it's nice to unwind and fall asleep watching beautiful pictures of beautiful golf courses on some Sundays (pre football). And yet this run was pretty amazing - he was so "on!"

Another million in the bank.

The point I wantt to raise is how much I enjoy the commercials Tiger is in when they are tilted just a bit in the fun direction. The guy is funny. Doesn't lose any dignity doing them either. There's a new series where 'real people' send him video tapes trying to get him to improve his game because now Buick has a deal where you can win the car Tiger drives if Tiger wins. The suggestions are wacky and the director cuts from the 'real person' video to Tiger trying the tip. Very funny. Very well done.

There aren't many commercials I'll look at willingly or remember. There are few that I'll back up on TiVo and watch repeatedly (the FedEx caveman commercial is another favorite - just perfect!)

I think these Tiger spots make him just a little more human and at the same time a little more special. You can't do better than that. But then it seems that whatever Tiger does, you can't do better. Way to go.

Sunday, August 20, 2006


I have a tracker that shows me how many people come to this blog - and it now even maps their location. TURKEY? ISTANBUL? JERSEY CITY? MEDIA OHIO? and many others where I have no known friends, that I know of. I realize that's the nature of the world wide web, but I cannot think what would draw those people. I don't have subjects which are controversial or sensational.

A friend has pictures - many pictures - on his site - and a collection of some sexy tennis star which apparently is part of the reason he just hit 1,000,000 views.

My life is too mundane for that kind of thing - even though there are some semi-famous folks down the street - you rarely see them.

I would like to say WELCOME to all those who happen in. I'll try to give you more in the near future - more clever or wry or pictures of spiders and other neighbors.
I can't imagine what brings you here, but thanks for the viewing! Please come back.

Saturday, August 19, 2006


Today I moved - piece by piece - about a ton of rock. We have two tons remaining. I am truly amazed that my back still works. I guess those exercises help! Stay tuned for part two! By the way - 3 tons of ("Oklahoma Chop") rock costs $1100. Can you believe it? (And we even shopped for a low price!)

Thursday, August 17, 2006


Out by the pool equipment is a breeding ground for monsters. In an alien world seen by few human eyes the monsters breed - silently - until some very brave man invades their space on a special mission to bring an image of the wild west to those who only dare to shield themselves in air conditioned SUVs and gated guarded compounds.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Dennis Leary and TV

Dennis is simply amazing in RESCUE ME. Sadly, there are only two more shows for the season. The show is raw and he matches it - but seems so REAL in every scene. It's/he's surely worth an emmy. Kudos.

And if, like me, you never liked him as a comedian, you are missing something special if you avoid the show for that reason.


Brian Williams has clearly advanced NBC nightly news. I think he's got the perfect tone and demeanor. I give him a 10. And Brokaw wasn't an easy act to follow.


I like pageants - not so much for the pretty girls (but that ain't bad!) but I enjoy watching the production come together or fall apart. There are many factors - director, staging, remote city locations, etc. Last night I popped on Miss Teen America for about 7 minutes (all I could take). Awful hosts, stodgy staging, C- production all the way. Boooo. Truly bad.


Josh Blue won Last Comic Standing - as much for his likeability as for his humor... look for him to have much more presence in the near future. He's already signed with a biggie. And deserves all that comes his way!


America's Got Talent scares me. That people watch it scares me more.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


I upgraded to XP SP 2.

It took 11 hours.

Not including driving around from store to store, looking for the free disc Microsoft says are out there. Not at Best Buy, Circuit City, not at CompUSA they aren't.

The original XP was set to become unsupported in October. Having just lived through major viruses (virii?), I figured there was no better time than now, before I get infected again. I do know EVERY TIME I've tried something like this I've regretted it, but:

men must mess
men must conquer (Kid Rock marries Pamela Anderson - that pretty much says it)
men want the fastest newest

and Microsoft will stop patching XP unless I do.

The milk hadn't even turned sour in the fridge at my apartment in the House of Rationalization, so I go for it. And, regret it. Feeling foolosh when you expect to is worse than when you don't.

1- The install hangs on a missing file.
2- The "skip this file and keep going" button won't.
3- I locate the missing file in two locations and try to insert it; it won't.
4- The install wizard says something in a box which makes little sense.
5- The install program seems to think I have the install disc, when in fact I've downloaded the SP2 from Microsoft.
6- The install wizard gives me no choice except to opt out "leaving the machine unstable, with the look of Mickey Rourke on a bender."
7- I try again. Another hour. Same result.
8- I figure maybe there are some patches I need to make before I try, and maybe one of those will find the magic missing file (even though I FIND the missing file, the wizard won't see it!)
9- I load the patches. I think I already have these, but I am desperate.
10- I reboot for the patches to take effect.
11- The computer starts, then turns off. Again and again.
12- I try all alternate boots (F8). None work.
13- To Best Buy for the free disc that Microsoft says wait for any and all. They have none, but offer me the new Home XP with upgrade for $99.95. $99.95 is the new free? I think not.
Hey, while I'm here, how much for Geek Squad help on this? $249.95. No. Not for me.
14- I realize the level of my addiction to my computer. I live on it. It's my iron lung.
15- To Circuit City. No free discs.
16- To CompUSA. No free discs.
17- I have an idea - reload Windows (original version)... maybe it got corrupted in all the virus nonsense. It takes hours.
18- Then I download and install 46 patches, most for security. Actual number - no exaggeration! It takes more hours.
19- I try to get a clean download of SP2 just in case. Microsoft's automated program says I have it installed already and won't give me another.
20- I try Microsoft help and they will respond by E mail. My E mail was blown out completely. Now I can get the computer to boot into the new-old-reloaded program of Windows, but there is no more Outlook Express (mail program.)
21- I nose around Microsoft, begging (okay, looking) for another shot at a clean download of SP2 and finally find it, tucked away in some sub-menu. Since I have their auto-loaded version, they don't want me to have another, but I somehow prevail.
22- It takes hours to load and install. Really.
23- I then have to immediately return to Microsoft for all the patches they've made to SP2. 45 of them (Actual Number).
24- I download and install 45 more patches.
25- Reboot to make them work.

And it works. I have escaped. An inch lower and my 'nads would have been shot off.

At least I think it works. Haven't explored everything yet - there must be settings which need adjustment, but mail and internet are back and at least the icons for the programs I use every day are there.

There's a moral to the story depending on your attitude:

a) Leave well enough alone
b) All machines must be subservient to man.

PS: I'm not spell checking this today because I spent 45 minutes on the first one and spell check took the story DOWN and threw it away. Do computers know revenge?

Sunday, August 13, 2006


The other day I was adjusting some of the sprinkler patterns and I leaned down into a patch of weeds and grass and noticed a bunch of tiny ants. Some crawled onto my wet skin (did I mention the sprinkler was on and that means soaking me? What the heck - it was 100 degrees!) I brushed a couple off then realized that others were the tiny nasty ants that bite.

Now the amazing thing is how much it hurts versus the size of the ant. I can't even find a good description. Sticking a pin in your skin wouldn't approach the pain. And a HEATED needle would hurt a lot, but it'd be a different hurt.

Years ago, a fella I worked with had a flat tire and pulled off the road to change his tire where he said his clothes became infested with these monster ants, and he stripped nekkid and drove home 40 miles that way. At the time I thought that was very funny.

Today I know it was nothing but very practical.

After the pain goes away you get a welt and it itches for days. And you scratch it and it itches more and you can't stop... because it... feels... so... good...

Saturday, August 12, 2006


By now you know I am not exactly handy around certain things. I have, however, proudly managed to take apart several sprinkler heads which the landscaper installed pointing backwards (they only come on in the dark - who knew?) And I also managed to lose a small set screw somewhere when the nozzle popped out on another. Two are defective.

Forecast is for green-burning 100 degree days for the foreseeable future and we've had 17 so far - brown is the new green.

Of course the one head is not standard and neither Lowes nor Home Depot carries anything to replace it.

The other I might have found a replacement for.

The others are okay though I will screw (literally) with their spray patterns now that I have the tool.

Last time I adjusted these things took some shots in the head but it's 100 degrees. It's okay.


Geez, I surprised myself. I fixed the broken rotor and reinstalled two and reset all spray patterns all by myself. I qualify to be an illegal alien landscaper.

Thursday, August 10, 2006


BP admits they held back on the anti-corrosion chemical which might have delayed the corrosion (wow what a concept!) in their Alaskan pipeline. That's the one which will drive gas prices even farther up the ladder and cost Alaska $1,000,000 in taxes each day it's down.

Yup. Big oil. Management at its finest.


I just uncovered 40 windows security updates which I must have missed somehow. Don't laugh. I do regularly look for these things. It's just that Microsoft wants me to load XP SP2 and I have been warned/scared off for years by many. Now I find out that Microsoft will stop supporting SP1 in October. Soon I will have to jump. I won't be alone. Where will YOU be?

I just can't afford to lose data or programs, and since that's the jolly warning you get before you load SP2 - 'backup anything you wish to keep!' - I have resisted.


Being completely paranoid, having lived through the 70s, and after my recent bout with the Virus du jour, I have left several anti-virus programs still running. One just said all was well, as if Febreeze had been sprayed into my operating system.

However, another one has located as many as 9 infections (it's still running) and claims it has found a trojan horse embedded within my program troops.

I did hear back from one anti-virus company which had declared all well during my last seige - I e mailed them - they announced that my problem was something they hadn't seen before. Well, duh. And they'd work on it.

Yesterday the computer did seem sluggish and I rebooted then things got better. But it appears the Woods are not out of the woods yet. Unless good old (free) AVG can slay this dragon.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


And why is that, you ask?

Because the newly replaced sparker on our outdoor grille still doesn't work. And while I waited for it to catch, I waited too long before I opened the lid and threw a match in.


And my right arm was treated to a dipilatory. Just ash, that formerly nice blonde hair.

That was close. Good thing I wasn't leaning in.

I can feel just a little rawness, and a certain smell haunts me.

Guardian angel? Fate? Luck? You bet!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


The clouds have drifted away. The computer works again. There's a new lightness in my attitude. The Virus has been cured. I can breathe again.

Monday, August 07, 2006


Really free? While I type this I wait for the dreaded VIRUS popup. I just spent several hours following very detailed virus removal instructions. The thing is, those popups were not immediate.

I just rebooted as the last step. Will they return? Or am I free? Did the .exe's I deleted hurt something else?

Why am I posting this - because you don't want it to happen to you, believe me! If you do, I can send you detailed removal instructions. I figure sooner or later the popular AV programs will have a fix, but till then it's a MESS you don't wish for.

--- so far so good ----

I had many anti-virus programs downloaded - two new ones, one new highly touted one, and a handful others NONE OF WHICH found the same "threats" (but I got rid of anything anyone of them found), which doesn't build confidence.

Example - after 2 or more hours, a program will declare it found XX threats. I eliminate them. I immediately run another program which says I'm free of virus. Then a third which finds more of them. And so on - for days.

--- so far so good ---

This is like waiting for the hammer to come down. This virus - purportedly selling antivirus (antivirus soldier) software, is supposedly a scam to get credit card info. It hijacks your internet tools, home page, task controller, and slows your computer way down. One of the popups is fullscreen and deleting it triggers others. You cannot effectively run a computer while it happens... except E mail for some reason.

--- so far so good, and I'm starting to believe. Also I notice the screen is keeping up with me, which is another good sign as I type pretty quickly.

Any other program would crash the computer.

--- my God, I think it's gone.

Am I really back in business? Only time will tell. And I will keep you informed.

If you see ANTISPYWARE SOLDIER popup, you are in for a world of hurt.

Saturday, August 05, 2006


My computer remains infected despite many measures I have taken. Irony: I just paid $30 for a program that found what appeared to be the problems, but the free trial only identified the spyware and virus, wouldn't fix unless you BOUGHT IT. And the cost was what the popups (which won't stop - more about them in a minute) are selling. I just couldn't give in to these bastards.

The popups continue - with rotating popups, one of which, no, two of which are full screen and hijack the keyboard - telling me my computer

is infected
is slow
is getting spam
is copying files for some bad reason
had an internet attack
security and privacy is at risk

all of which it proves by invading me with these non-stop popups.

If you get the popups they look like windows warnings, citing the windows security center (which won't help unless you convert to SP 2, which I have been advised by more than one techie to NOT do.)

Thanks, Microsoft.

I have a trojan downloader. I know that. My purchased program seemed to find it, but even though it claims to have stopped it, hasn't. I will reboot for the hundredth time soon as I finish this.

POPUP stopper - waste of time.
PC Doctor - Waste of time
PC Antivirus, nope.
AVG anti-virus - fails
Spybot Search and Destroy - doesn't
WEBROOT SpySweeper seemed promising - I bought it.

But still the popups, slowdowns and seizures continue.

And something disabled my restore-to-point even though I had it on last I looked. So, that doesn't seem to work either.

And on top of this, we went to the movies where I managed to run over a curb while parking and pulled the front of the bumper loose, then we went out to dinner where apparently I ate something that still doesn't 'agree' with me.

This comes across as whining - sorry - I am very frustrated!

And don't know what to do to the computer next!

Take pity on me. I bought ANOTHER program which is said to remove exactly what I have. Yeah, right. And comes with a satisfaction guarantee. Yeah, right. It claims to have found 121 worms and killed them for me - but the DAMN POPUPS CONTINUE, and now it asked for a deep scan which is underway. I can't believe I'm the onlyone who is fighting such a serious enemy. But so far when I search for it, I can't find other efforts to kill this same thing by name, only by description of its action.

Having now run maybe 8 programs... it seems they are unequal at best - each finding different 'threats' - real or - and this bothers me - hyped. I'll let youknow what happens.

I could be you.

Friday, August 04, 2006


I am holding my breath while typing this - in fact I am afraid to look at the screen (yes, I have to look at keys to type). That's because my computer had/has been taken hostage. It wouldn't allow simple operations. I kept getting an anti-virus network popup warning me. Oh crap, there it is again. I thought maybe by my starting in safe mode and deleting temp internet files it will go away.

Clarification: the popups are not related to my software programs AND at least one of them appears to be from microsoft. I don't trust such popups.

I have anti-virus and spyware checking going on. I ran both and deleted the malware found (only by spyware doctor - the anti-virus came up clean.) When you try to get rid of the first smaller pop-up window you trigger a larger one.

This also swapped my home page. I've managed to regain some control but I wouldn't fly on this plane, if you get me. All 3 popups are now rotating. I am screwed. And somewhere along the line system restore was turned off so I don't think there's a restore point to jump safely.

What a ^@#$#$%@!! monkey wrench this is.

I may have to employ the Geek Squad.

I've just found a file of internet cookies and deleted... and DAMN! there's the popup again!

... it's later - much later... I've downloaded and run another spyware program which is supposed to me meaner. I type, waiting for the $@%@!! popup to intrude. You know, like in the movies when the bad guy is shot then looms later when the good guy is with his woman? Well the bad guy just loomed. I haven't killed it yet. Back to work... god, this is awful...

Thursday, August 03, 2006


Yesterday I finished editing my 7 demos for my voiceover agent. 7 demos? Yes. Time for a new batch!

A demo is maybe 30 or 45 seconds of snippets of audio recordings that are cut up to show a range of ability to potential clients. Of course, being so close to all of it, it's really really hard to choose which phrases might impress. Even on older material that now sounds as if it's some anonymous person to my ear, it's tough to choose when it all seems that it needs to be SO PERFECT!

1- Commercials (radio and tv - what you'd expect)

2- Narrations; also called Industrials - usually flat voiced with little inflection; don't ask me why - they always sound intentionally boring to me, but many times I've been asked to turn down the personality while doing them. Think bad school teacher.

3- Promos (movie trailers, tv promos...) up the hyper ladder where everything is BIGGER and MORE EXCITING but not PUKEY. The direction usually asks for a REAL PERSON then contradicts that with enthusiasm real people don't have.

4- Automotive - I probably blew this one as I'm not the heavy voice yelling at you to SAVE SAVE SAVE; I did choose some softer stuff which I felt was an unfilled niche - or - one I do well. I have shouted from time to time. Hey, if they pay, I'll do whatever they want.

One of the things you learn is to not give your opinion unless asked.

5- Books - Yes, talking books. A sample of school teacher and narrator too. "X plus Y equals Z" and more. I like doing books becuase there's more script and I like performing.

6- Republican political - You try to do this without much sneer in the voice. That just sounds bad. Yet the script often has the sneer written in. I think my friendly sound works well to counterpoint the sneering copy. It comes out real, not creepy. I don't have the voice of god, but sometimes that works FOR rather than AGAINST as people have been trained not to really believe that voice. Unless, of course, the bush is burning.

7- Democratic political - I guess they might feel you actually CARE about the words you are hired to say, and want to hear you work both sides of the 'aisle.' Same idea as Republican, different bad guys.

With new digital editors like I have, the process is so much easier than anything that came before. And I do go back to cutting tape into strips you then would paste together. Even so, I had several heart stoppers this time out, when the screen went blank, or the computer said "no mas" in its cute Gateway (see below.)

If this all seems like it wouldn't take long - after all... it's about 5 minutes of edited material... it took about 10 hours.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


To the tune of I SHOT THE SHERRIFF

I choked the Gate-way
and it would not re-spond to me
I choked the Gate-way
and a right click proved it to me

Okay so I don't know the lyrics enough to keep going.

But I have a full gig of memory in the box!

Let's see - I had a lot of audio on the clipboard. A lot. I had 11 websites open, 12 word docs, three programs, mail (with thousands of Es stored) plus virus and spyware programs also running.

I guess that's just too darn much... but I hate to reboot. I lose things no matter how carefully I place them. And the restart triggers updates in spyware and virus downloads!

Now everything is back and the screen is slow to respond to my input. I can type faster than it can show the letters. Doesn't seem right.

Meanwhile, Spyware Doctor keeps reminding me to load updates. I've done three. Could it be the Doctor has been self-medicating?

Okay, on to bigger things.

I postulate that the same force that directs tornadoes to mobile homes also directs rain to freshly washed cars.

Today, the TV weather people (lame, all!) called for 0% chance of rain. And my car is freshly washed and hand dryed by aliens of unknown origin or legality. So where did it rain? On my car.

Okay - now back to my project... if I can find the files...

* another law: when you don't spell check, you will make an obvious mistake, and thinking to yourself "I was careful" will only make it more obvious!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


Interesting to see the way pros handle bad behavior.

1- Admit it
2- Ask for forgiveness/fix it
3- Rehab

Yes, I am thinking about Mel Gibson's DUI arrest/anti-semetic remarks, but this applies nicely to government or corporate America.

If you're old enough to remember the Tylenol scare many years back, that was another classic case. Some bottles were found to have been tampered with.

1- Recall ALL Tylenol everywhere
2- Destroy it
3- Put people's safety above corporate greed, design new tamper-proof label.

Today, those unenlightened souls who are caught with their industrial/congressional hand in the cookie jar do this:

2- ACCUSE those with 'an agenda'
3- Repeat

Even President Bill Clinton, or perhaps I should write especially Bill Clinton did the denial dance pretty seriously. "I did NOT have sex with that woman!"

There are so many distortions of reality oozing under the closed doors of political and corporate America, that the appearance of honesty is now a sacrament for those who worship at the altar rail of public opinion.

Mel - or Mel's people - got it right.