Sunday, December 27, 2009

Hey Brain, what you want to do tonight?
take over the world?
No Pinky, Were Going to Map the Internet in Oregon.

Statesman Journal --

Pinky: what?

Brain: that's right pinky... I have a new plan?

Pinky: and what's that Brain?

Brain: the Obama administration created the American recovery and reinvestment act and were going to get $2.1 million of it.

Pinky: But Brain, that's an awful lot of money.

Brain: Absolutely Pinky. We will use $1.6 million of the funds to develop broadband service maps and $500,000 will analyze barriers and increase awareness of the technology and offer other digital literacy programs.

Pinky: that's wonderful Brain. Do you think they'll actually go for it?

Brain: they already have Pinky... they already have.

National Telecom and Information Administration American Recovery and Investment Act of 2009

"analyze barriers and increase awareness of technology..." like give me a break... this isn't some third world country out in the middle of nowhere. (well maybe, we are talking about Oregon with chief Kulongoski at the helm.)

And as for mapping the Internet... thanks to cellular companies such as Verizon I can connect my computer to the Internet just about anywhere in the state of Oregon.

and I would think that there is a pretty good chance that Verizon and others have already mapped the Internet in Oregon.

And finally the question that comes to mind... how many jobs is this going to create?

It's our money folks!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

“the IRS is unable to verify eligibility for the majority of Recovery Act benefits at the time a tax return is processed.”

The New York Times
Obama's administration's economic recovery plan passed by Congress in February as a means of stimulating the economy provides $252 billion in tax breaks to individuals and $74 billion to businesses.

According to a 17 page report by a watchdog agency, thousands of American taxpayers incorrectly claimed more than $500 million in tax benefits for first-time homebuyers.
"The watchdog agency also said Tuesday in a separate report that an I.R.S. program that has issued more than 14 million taxpayer identification numbers to immigrants is plagued with fraud that costs the government billions of dollars in improper tax refunds.

The report found that nearly 70 percent of such numbers should not have been issued because their applicants provided murky documentation. The numbers, called individual taxpayer identification numbers (ITIN), are typically used by immigrants who are not American citizens or by permanent residents who have entered the United States legally. "

As of July 25, the report said that 73, 799 taxpayers had claimed over $504 million in credits for the first time homebuyers program.

ITIN numbers are valuable because they can be used to claim federal tax credit refunds and obtain certain child tax credits. They can not be used to claim so security payments or earned income tax credit.

need I say it?

What I will say however, I looked up my Social Security number today and it turned out that my new name is "Heidi".

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Connie Hines from Mr. Ed, dead at 79

Statesman Journal--

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Actress Connie Hines, who played Wilbur’s wife on the popular 1960s television show “Mister Ed” has died. She was 79.
Her “Mister Ed” co-star Alan Young told the Los Angeles Times that Hines died Friday at her Beverly Hills home from complications of heart problems.

for those too young to remember, Mr. Ed was a talking horse and I thought it was a good series for what it was. Rest in peace Connie

Sunday, December 20, 2009

the politically correct crowd loses another battle

posting number 900!

The Oregonian --

Lebanon Oregon --

After a single complaint from a parent in the fall regarding the song "silent night" being too focused on religion, Pioneer School Principal Mark Finch removed this song from the holiday programs list of songs.

After the students finished their concert Tuesday, Lebanon School Superintendent Bob Hess told the Albany Democrat Herald that about 100 out of about 700 people in the audience began singing "Silent Night" anyways.

sounds to me like the political correctness crowd is starting to lose its grip area, and just like with the example of the Christmas tree being replaced with snowmen, just because one person has a problem with it don't ruin it for the majority.

Bravo for the people of Lebanon!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

ANOTHER NEW SEATBELT LAW-- Gad! when will it stop!

Well as we get ready to enter 2010, like with the beginning of each and every year, there is a bunch of new surprises in store for us and some of us are aware of it, while others is the first time we've ever heard of it.

Well this is the first that I've heard of this new law which requires all drivers and passengers to be wearing seatbelts in public areas, including parking lots and recreational areas.

Until now, you are not required to wear a seatbelt until the driver reached a public street.

the new law, which would be a Class B traffic violation of $142 for failure to use seat belts if anyone younger than 15 is not properly belted.

now gimme a break whose bright idea was this one?

Well let me point out just for the sake of argument, back in the days when I used to assist with traffic accidents that I have seen my share and there is no argument on my part that seatbelts can save lives. However, I think trying to regulate it in a parking lot is going a little bit too far.

I mean what is going to be next? Are we going to soon be required to wear a helmet while traveling in a motor vehicle due to the amount of head injuries resulting from accidents?

You know, it would not surprise me one bit that some idiot would actually propose that.

And why stop there, what about walking? Walking can be a very dangerous activity. Should we all be required to wear protective gear when we leave our house in case we fall? How many injuries do the hospital see every year from fall injuries due to walking?

Then maybe we should start regulating shoes. They did overseas. I believe in Japan, it is illegal to wear platform shoes while driving a car. But what about high heels. They are dangerous too. Especially the little spike high heels.

What about long hair? How many injuries has been caused because hair got tangled up in the machinery are like one article where a woman's got ripped off because her hair got sucked into a fan. And I think the one that I am referring to is actually in Eugene if I remember correctly.

I guess my point is, just how far are we going to go with this?

I grew up in an era where I could ride my bicycle with no helmet, no padding and yes I had accidents, got scrapes and bruises and maybe a few scars, but I learned from it.

Well, I can rant and rave for about five pages about something as stupid as this, but I will conclude by saying that it is really disappointing to me that in this RECESSION that laws like this are not only being introduced and passed an even more importantly with the public not being aware of it or even allowed to vote on it, it is no wonder why we are in such a disastrous economical situation as we are now.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Longtime Eugene entertainer and karaoke host Dan Henson died Sunday at age 58

Eugene Register guard--

Longtime Eugene entertainer and karaoke host Dan Henson died Sunday at age 58.

Friends and fans can visit www /visit/danhenson to get updates on a public memorial and how to help Henson’s family with medical bills incurred during Henson’s hospitalization for acute promyelocytic leukemia.

The Web site already has had almost 6,000 visitors since the family set it up in late November. Henson, the site says, never let a debt go unpaid. Henson’s adult children will keep his entertainment business going.

I knew Dan for years and he was a very talented person with a voice that was nothing but amazing for sure, and a talent for knowing that makes people get up to sing and dance.

He tried numerous times unsuccessfully to get me behind the mic, but my chicken feather came out, and I am sure that I did the crowd a big favor by not singing

The last time I spoke with him was when he was playing at the Red Lion on Coburg rd and he has mentioned that he was thinking very seriously about going back on the road again with his one man band.

Dan was one of the best in karaoke in Eugene, in fact some say that be made karaoke popular.

if any one can help the family with medical costs that would be really great.

Dan's celebration of life will be held on Sunday, January 17th between 1-5 at the Valley River Inn.

Some of his music may be heard at and purchased for $15.00 by e-mailing

Rest in piece my friend, you will not be forgotten.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

lets lower crime in Eugene by adding more private security guards

The Register Guard --

The "Downtown Safety Task Team" committee in which city officials formed in October after a homeless man was attacked and set on fire in downtown Eugene amid the dismay of area merchants, residents about public drunkenness, panhandling, drug dealing, vandalism and other crime are recommending more officers and jail time for offenders.

The committee, which consists downtown business owners, people connected with the arts, a nonprofit group, a downtown resident and a juvenile counselor [sounds like the beginning of a TV sitcom] are recommending assigning more officers to the downtown area, including at night when the area's numerous bars are open is on the committee's highest priority.

The second highest parity was to develop a "comprehensive, collaborative approach" to area crime, partly by changing the way private security firms operate downtown. The red capped downtown Eugene Inc. guides and different security firms that were downtown could better share information with each other and police.

Dave Hauser, president of the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce, which manages DEI, and a committee member, said the mentality among downtown security guards is that once a troublemaker leaves their area, “it’s somebody else’s problem.”

well duh! security guards getting paid minimum wage, what else do you expect them to do?

The committee also recommended placing parole and probation officers closer to the people that they oversee would help deter crime, for example they could be housed in a downtown police substation, which city officials want to build with Lane community college's proposed building.

Top five priorities of the Downtown Safety Task Team

More police officers downtown

Develop collaborative public-private approach for downtown security

Downtown-based parole and probation officers

More jail beds for downtown offenders

Improve downtown cleanliness

the first thing I like to address is the "red capped downtown guides" I have seen these people in my rare trips to Eugene downtown, and except for the red cap you have no idea who these guys are. In fact, I was kind of wondering if I should call the police myself on them when I've seen what looks like some types of weapons peering out from underneath their coats.

If these are so-called "guides" they are in the public interest, then unless I missed it, there should be some type of identification rather than just a red cap.

I've asked myself on many occasion, "who are these guys? street gang?

Secondly, like the old saying goes, "locking the barn after the horse got out", I applaud Chief Kerns for his efforts in forming the committee and I really do hope that they can find a way to solve Eugene's downtown problem. Unfortunately, I think it is going to take a little bit more than what the committee is proposing.

For example, I am not really a big fan of cameras in a public spaces unless the cameras are marked or identified as who the owner is, however in this situation it might not be a bad idea.

While cameras are not a solution, they might help as a deterrent. But then again, somehow you will have to bite the bullet and find some money for the cameras, installation, monitoring station and the personnel, etc.

which I will bet you could be found by better prioritizing the available money.

Like maybe, millions of dollars spent of the EmX boondoggle for starters?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

they're saying the recession is over... as food stamps numbers increase


Food stamps -- what really comes to mind when you think about food stamps, and the people that use them. How many times have you heard somebody complained that these people that are relying on food stamps are driving away in their Cadillacs?

The food stamp program in 2009 alone has seen an increase of 133,000 recipients bringing the total to 650,000 which include not only homeless people but people who are also underemployed.

People who never dreamed that they would need public help are now applying for food stamps.
“It’s real embarrassing when you have to go in there when you have been financially independent,” said Debbie McCollum. “I have worked all my life. I used to make over $30 an hour, and now I am poor.”

“It would make things a lot harder for me if I didn’t have it,” said Mike Silva, a 29-year-old waiter. “I can definitely see for other people that it would really be something major for them. It would really set them back or really hurt them if they didn’t have something like this.”

One other example is found in a bankruptcy filing were a man living in a $750,000 home in Portland, owns two BMWs and is now unemployed and receive nearly $400 a month in food stamps after he lost his job.

but how can this be? What were hearing on the news lately is that the recession is over, in fact, according to a December 2 report, "the University of Oregon Index of economic indicators in October shows that the states recession is over." now of course if it comes from the University of Oregon, it has to be true

With all kidding aside folks, like I have said for quite a long time we have a see no evil, hear no evil type of government that only cares about its own welfare, and they are enjoying the fact that with a tight economy, people don't have the time to get involved in politics which in turn pretty much leave the fox to guard the henhouse so to speak.

If the government doesn't get in there and tighten its belt like the rest of us have had to, and put money back in the hands of the people instead of increasing taxes, things are going to get a lot worse than they are right now.

Speaking of, I recently wrote Senator Ron Wyden and asked him the question in his opinion about the mindset of our representatives who are constantly focusing on raising taxes. The answer that I received back from his office, was the same old political BS form letter which of course did not even come close to answering the question. But then again, to be honest I really did not expect anything else.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

PC correctness be damned... we want our tree!

Daily Tidings--
Bellview Elementary School Principal Michelle Zundel, who decided to remove the schools Christmas holiday tree and replaced it with snowmen after a family and a couple students complained that the tree was offensive and a religious symbol decided to return the tree after more than 300 people were upset that the tree had been removed.
this is really great news... the majority have spoken!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

It's about Time

CNN Money --
Google today filed a lawsuit against Salt Lake City-based Pacific WebWorks, which is an application service provider and software development firm for allegedly using Google's company name and logo to promote fraudulent work-at-home moneymaking schemes.

these advertisements or spam appear in various places around the web when people are searching for items such as "work at home opportunities", and also appear in e-mail.

In 2008, the Better Business Bureau received over 3500 complaints against work-at-home companies, including 382 complaints regarding Pacific WebWorks.

Google commented the other names that users should be wary of are:Google Adwork, Google ATM, Google Biz Kit, Google Cash, Earn Google Cash Kit, Google Fortune, Google Marketing Kit, Google Profits, The Home Business Kit for Google, Google StartUp Kit, and Google Works.

when you see these ads, they're very tempting to sign up for them, especially if you're in a financial crisis. Unfortunately, a lot of people don't take the time to do any research on these companies and then fall victim to them.

I'm very pleased to see Google filing a lawsuit against the company and hopefully any other companies that decide to use their name illegitimately, and hopefully will send a message to these people that pray on others in that it will no longer be tolerated.

I can only hope.

Friday, December 04, 2009

... the kids go for their non-religious gifts under their nonoffensive snowman at Christmas

Mail Tribune

The holiday giving tree... Green... surreal and offensive.


Students returning from Thanksgiving break were surprised to find that there Christmas holiday gift tree had been replaced by a couple of snowmen where the tree had stood.

Bellview Elementary School Principal Michelle Zundel at Ashland, acting on a family's complaint and complaints from a few students, that the school's Christmas holiday gift tree was a religious symbol and therefore immediately ordered the offending tree removed.

After which, Zundel created new guidelines for school school sponsored holiday displays which effectively bans all decorations that are "legally categorized as secular" which includes Christmas holiday trees, Santa Claus figures, and dreidels.
"these children felt somehow less welcome at their own school, having that symbol so prominently displayed." Said Zundel .

Zundel acknowledges that the US Supreme Court has ruled that Christmas holiday trees are not a religious symbol and that they may be legally displayed in schools, however, for the sake of religious neutrality she felt that they should be taken down.
"Because we have compulsory attendance in our schools, we need to be more sensitive than the law requires," Zundel said. "The displays promoted by a public school should be religiously neutral."

Alison Hamik, a Bellevue parent who help organize the giving tree program said, "we didn't put religious symbols on it." Hamik said that she had spoken with more than 100 Bellevue parents who were upset from the Christmas holiday trees removal.
Under the new guidelines, wreaths, candles, candy canes, snowflakes and snowmen are acceptable for holiday displays and considered religiously neutral and boring .

and it starts again... one or two people who are "offended" ruins it for everybody else. These people need to get out and get a life and get real.

And for all those people who are offended about Christmas, I hope that you plan to go to work on Christmas day and not take advantage of the holiday, in addition, don't expect time and a half.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

you know the economy is bad when a local temporary jobs service starts laying off


According to the US Labor Department last Thursday, 542,000 people filed jobless claims last week. That's up over 27,000 from the week before. In Lane County alone, more than 43, 000, which is 12.4% of Lane County's population according to the 2008 US Census Bureau estimate of 346,560 people.

And unexpected casualty in these high Times of unemployment, is one of the local temporary services like so many other businesses in Oregon, has started laying off personnel themselves.

The story just does not end there for one of the individuals who recently lost their jobs at this temp agency. Sandy Harris now being faced with being unemployed herself, these cited to try something a little different.

She is going to try to make money by going green.

She contacted a California company which manufacturers bio-degradable paper products out of pulp from sugar cane and signed up to be a distributor and was sent samples of plates, napkins, and told the paper.
"I cringe if I go to a restaurant and they give me a 'to-go' box and my salad's in Styrofoam. I know it's never going to go away, so I need to get my product out there," Said Harris.

Bryan Rodney, local economist with the Oregon State employment Department sees money in going green.

"sometimes being laid off is an opportunity for people." Said Rodney, "business is the engine to the economy and if somebody is trying to get into green technology that's probably the way to go."

let's check back with him after he's laid off and see if he still feels the same way... remember Rodney, it's an opportunity

Although Harris has yet to require any clients, she said that she's not going to give up and is hoping to get her website up and running within the next couple days.

when you think about it, when things are so bad that a temporary agency starts laying people off due to the lack of demand for jobs in the area, then you really know things are bad.

But what is somebody to like Harris who used to work for temporary agency to do? Where do you go to look for work? Back to your own temporary agency?

Kudos to her for keeping a stiff upper lip and trying to find alternatives.