I'm on the radio

Adrian Bank has become the sponsor of Swap Shop, a call-in show on 92.1 KMOE in Butler, MO. We created a series of 60-second ads and I was asked to help. We recorded the ads on my laptop using Audacity. I wrote and voiced two ads about online banking:

Fourth Location

Id Theft

If you live in Bates County area, you can tune into Swap Shop from 11:25 am to noon Monday through Saturday.

Steve Balmer's two opinions of PCs in developing countries

Steve Balmer, CEO of Microsoft, needs to make up his mind. Out of one side of his mouth he says that there needs to be a $100 PC for people in developing countries, but out of the other side of his mouth he threatens that poor countries who use Linux may get sued. MS is now denying that this was really a warning, and they've had news stories that said so taken down, but I think his motivations for saying those things are pretty clear. FUD. How does he expect anyone to make a $100 PC that runs on Windows? Windows itself costs more than that. Even the ultra-cheap, pared down version of Windows that they're making for the Asian market costs $30. So, he's basically saying we should make a $70 PC. But wait, his idea for $100 PC isn't to make life better for people in poorer countries, it's to stop piracy of MS products. There's a reason that the real $100 PC project will be using Linux and other open source software. Oh, and in case you haven't figured it out yet, I think Steve Balmer is a jerk.

Meanwhile, Microsoft is planning to stop offering security updates for pirated versions of Windows. That's certainly within their rights, and I'm surprised they haven't done it sooner, but it's going to make the worldwide install base of Windows even less secure than it is now. It's also going to highlight the high prices that they charge for their software, and probably drive more people to alternative operating systems. ("Microsoft cracking down, making Linux look good" - ZDNet)

Orphans of the Sky

I just finished reading Orphans of the Sky by Robert Heinlein. This has got to be one of my favorite concepts for a sci-fi story. It's set on a giant ship that is making a voyage to a distant solar system. Several generations have passed since the launch and since there aren't any windows in most of the ship the people have stopped believing in the trip, earth and anything outside of the ship. They consider those things to be legends. When someone discovers the controls and the stars, he has a hard time convincing others that the legends are true.

When I first read this in junior high I really liked the religious undertones. It's always been one of my favorite from Heinlein, but for the longest time I couldn't remember the title, just the premise. Then I was listening to X Minus One recently and I heard a radio adaptation of the first half of the book. Then I was able to find the title, request it from the library and read it again.


Email: personman2@gmail.com

Skype: dannysaraemma

50 Gmail invites

I have 50 Gmail invites now. Anybody want one?

School board candidate interviews

I think I'm going to try to do email interviews with each person running for the school board in Adrian. I need you to submit questions that you want answered. I'll get the questions to the candidates and publish their answers here. Post your questions as comments or email me (personman2 at gmail dot com).


I think the web site may be working normally now. Comments weren't working and for a few hours this afternoon, the whole website was down (along with every website hosted by Powweb.com).

And now for something a little less ridiculous...

Today I was privy to an interesting conversation in my Sunday School class. Four Bible college students were arguing with my mother-in-law about the nature of God; specifically, about how involved he is in our lives. She said she believes there are two schools of thought on this issue: one, that God set everything into motion and, though he knows what will happen, does not meddle in the affairs of earthlings, making all consequences are earthly; two, that God is specifically engaged in each of our lives, and he orchestrates each and every thing that happens to us or as a result of us. She was of the first school of thought, the Bible college students of the second. Since I have absolutely no idea, I thought it would be fun to see what you thought. The floor is yours...

Duchamp Theorizes

I was getting ready for bed the other night when I realized that my toilet seat was up. Not being a regular occurrence at the Ferguson household, I realized one of our many guests of the evening must have committed the offense. I then delved into my memory bank of past toilet seat mishaps and realized that I have shut the lid many times when people come to visit. It is then tha tI had this revelation, which I will share with you now. First, a little background:

When I visit a person's house, I inevitably must use the bathroom. When the deed is complete, I ALWAYS shut the lid. I think I have always assumed this is what one should do after using the restroom, particularly one that is not yours. (There is of course one exception: the toilet that has no lid. College students, I feel your pain.) The reasoning behind this somewhat OCD pattern, I guess, is that it makes the bathroom look nicer (is that even possible?--everyone knows what goes on in there) and that I have always done it that way.

Anyway, I suddenly realized that I had made a judgment error. I finally understood--other people have totally different expectations as bathroom guests. Perhaps they even have well-planned bathroom etiquette such as mine, except they have arrived at a completely different conclusion. Maybe they leave the lid up for ease of use; a courtesy applied to the next commode visitor. Or maybe they prefer the open look, the outdoorsy type. At any rate, I realized that for far too long I have been slighting these well-intentioned persons and taking away their ability to serve others in this capacity.

So, from this day forward, I vow to not say those nasty things in my head as I close the toilet seat after someone has used it. (I would say that I will forevermore leave it open, but we just got a cat who is interested in all sorts of water containers and I would hate for it to fall in.)

Oh, and by the way, if you have ever been a guest in my house, this was not meant as an insult; I really wanted to share my newfound knowledge with the world. Please continue to visit, and leave the seat as you wish. As I would imagine Oprah saying, if I help just one person end their cycle of toilet seat shutting, I have done my civic duty.

Would you like large bills?

I worked the drive-through window at the bank on Saturday for the first time. We had a lot of customers come through, but one sticks out in my mind. He had a rifle setting in the passenger seat of his car. I wasn't really nervous because I knew that he was just cashing a check on his way to go hunting and he probably didn't think about what he was doing. And the bullet-proof glass made me feel safe, too. It's nice to live and work in a small town where I don't have to assume the worst about people.

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