Monday, July 31, 2006

  • Moral Values & Decision-Making


    If there is a God, then there is right & wrong, good & evil (moral absolutes)

    If there is no God, life has no meaning or purpose, there is no right or wrong, and anything goes.

    In deciding what’s moral, there are 3 questions & 3 tests:

    >3 Questions…

    How will this activity affect me? (physically, socially, emotionally)
    How will it affect others? (will it cause them pain or tempt them)
    How will it affect the beliefs I stand for?

    >3 Tests…

    The test of secrecy (is this something I don’t want anyone to know I’m doing? What if everyone were to find out?)
    The test of universality (what kind of world would it be if everyone did this? My parents, friends, brothers and sisters, minister, teachers, etc)
    The test of prayer (can I ask God to bless it?)

    In making moral choices, our decisions are all about opposites; we choose:

    Right or Wrong

    Live for God & others…………………….….Care only for self
    Be honest, true…………………………………Lie, cheat
    Respect others’ property………………………………Steal
    Live chaste, pure………………………...Give in to sexual desire
    Respect/defend life………………………………Murder
    Healthy lifestyle………………………………Substance Abuse
    Care for Creation………………………………Pollute the Planet
    Seek beauty/light…………………………..Crave ugliness/darkness

    Peace, happiness, & joy comes from finding purpose in life (God’s will) and pursuing it.

    Special thanks to regular Cerebral Waste poster and my good friend "THE COLONEL" for sharing this!! If people followed this the world would be a much better place.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

The Future is in Your Hands BAHRAIN
By CerebralWaste Published: 30 July 2006 Gulf Daily News
I really do not give two fils about a candidate's particular party affiliation. What I care about, is does the candidate on the WHOLE represent me, my values and the values of society.

I do not expect to agree 100 per cent with him or her. We are all human and it is OK to disagree with a belief or idea a candidate holds and still vote for him or her.

Still, unsurprisingly many people do not feel this way.
Yes, there are a few topics that are potential deal breakers for my vote. Just as everyone else, I have beliefs that I hold firm to. But I try not to lose sight of the big picture. The picture we all, no matter where we live have, that shapes and molds our countries.

The right to vote is a precious one and one that should be taken very seriously by all. Every vote counts. Just ask Al Gore and Senator John Kerry. Both learned the hard way this very important fact.

As time passes, change in our beliefs is an inevitable part of life. What you believed and thought at 18 may very well not be the case when you are 36, married and have children.

When you buy a home, you may very well change your thought process in accordance with the politics of the day as well. You have then entered into the realm of having a substantial asset to protect.
Sadly, everywhere elections are held, many people will blindly follow a party line. When in fact, quite often that line is not in the best interest of the person voting or in the best interest of society.
Still, like obedient sheep, they blindly shuffle to the polls and cast a ballot for someone who does not truly represent their best interest. Painful but true. It is the same the world over. From Boston to Bahrain, people will cast their ballots for someone based on one premise .

With just a few months to election time in Bahrain, take some time and research the people you are thinking about voting for.Ask yourself does this person standing for office, represent me and what I believe ? Does the person standing for office have the best interest in his or her heart for the job?

Ask yourself what have they done in office for the good of the community. Or do they tend to posture and blow a lot of hot air ? As we all know, politicians are good at posturing and blowing hot air. That is the one common trait they all have!

For a Democracy to properly function the people must participate and do their part.
VOTE and VOTE wisely ! In the end it is you, the voter who is responsible for those that are elected.
© Gulf Daily News

Monday, July 24, 2006

New Greenhouse Up and Running!

I am proud to announce the acquisition AND INSTALLATION of Greenhouse #2. This new growing forum will allow me to fully and further expand the business as I need too.

After careful research I determined that I wanted a Sunglo Greenhouse. In my opinion, Sunglo has by far the best value for the money and I choose "The Expert" model. The greenhouse has been installed and the first cuttings have taken root and been sold. Within a year I expect to nearly double the number of plants grown and rooted to well over 9000. Not bad for a one man show!

It is so enjoyable getting up early in the morning and heading out to the greenhouse and checking my babies. Even more enjoyable when those babies are turned into to cold hard CASH!

So when I am not answering customer based emails or otherwise surfing the web, you can almost bet I am out working in my over grown "Club House" as my wife calls it. I agree. The big difference is this "CLUB HOUSE" is a CASH machine. Of course I have piped in Cable TV and a small FRIDGE stocked with my favorite amber colored beverages.

One of the biggest in terms of numbers that I propagate are Bouganvilliea. The parent plants just happen to be from Bahrain. Now if only I could propagate SHAWARMA!!! MMMM SHAWARMA. MMMMM

Friday, July 21, 2006


Several months ago I posted this.. Concerning my experience at the restaurant that took over when Toody's sold out. The response I got varied from the sublime to the raving rants of pubescent teenagers all lathered up with hormonal sweat of what "Hot and Sexy" Wakefield football player worked there. Like anyone besides local High School teenagers would or should care. I want good food. Period... End of discussion!

Yes it is true....TOODY'S is making a comeback in Wakefield. The old Daddy's Donuts in Wakefield, just before or after the Rail Road tracks (depending on your heading!) has a sign stating it is to become the FUTURE HOME of the reborn TOODY'S!! My prayers have been answered.. GOOD NEWS! GOOD NEWS! Even better there will now be PARKING!!!!

This news is wonderful to say the least and lets loose a much deserved smack in the face to the people who bought out the original Toody's to begin with. And boy did they try hard to destroy what 50 plus years of good food and service created!

If anyone know when the official GRAND OPENING is going to be please let me know. I want to be one of the FIRST in line! I would also like to interview someone from Toody's on what it is like have a LANDMARK resturant rise from the ashes like a PHOENIX. I can taste the meatballs and sauce right now...... Please hurry and get the dors open!



Sunday, July 16, 2006

CW Interviews.... BAHRAINI RANTS!
When push comes to shove as it often does and you need a good laugh, few sites can match Bahraini Rants! Quick witted and filled with humour BR can let loose with the best of them. A quick look at his tag line says it all.. "I RANT YOU RISTEN" sums it up and just about says it all about BR. Don't belive me? Take a look yourself!

No topic seems to be off limits with him as well. June of 2006 marked the 2 year anniversary of his blog and topics have ranged from enticing short stories to comical rants on the most serious of issues. Heck BR had the foresight to pick this years World Cup winner. If only I would have taken his advice I could have been RICH on that one! Who could argue with that kind of forsight?

Without a doubt his blog should be on everybody's daily visit list. And don't stop there. Sort through the archives as well. You won't be disappointed! His patented Vocabulario posts are a great way to get the gray matter between the ears stimulated to a degree that will get you thinking and make you smarter as well. There is something for everyone on his blog. I guarantee it!

So when I asked Bahraini Rants if he would agree to sit down and down an interview first comment was "Well it's about bleepin' time you asked!" So he agreed eagerly to step into the "Cerebral Waste Interview Hotseat" (tm) and fire back what I shot at him. I hope you enjoy it!

Tell us a little about yourself BR. Married? Single? Dating?

Unconventional Bahraini, involved with an amazing bit of amazing, loves cheeseburgers, trouble, and can keep excellent company. If you were my friend and wanted to say something nice, you'd say I'm a self-centered music junkie with a penchant for bands you've never heard of.. People that know me well, know that I have random conversations with myself, keep lists of everything, and can be a glutton at times with food.. and if you want to get into my pants, a box of "After Eight Chocolates"..

What professional field are you working in right now in Bahrain?

I'm currently a suit…

Did you have a hard time adjusting to life in the US? Or had you been in the US prior to going to University?

Actually the only problem I had to deal with in terms of adjusting was getting over the depression you'd get from the colder months.. I had one winter in particular in which I just couldn't cope with very little sunlight.. It's funny how important sunlight is to us, reminds me of Birdman and how the power of the sun was the only thing that kept him going, in a way, we were all birdmen, or birdpersons for that matter, I should just stop now shouldn't I?

What do you miss about Boston? Any plans to return soon? I have Patriots tickets you know!

Boston was a great city to live in.. There are a lot of things I miss about that city.. but I think if I had to name a few: Empandas from pizza ring, the enormous room in Central Square, quiet movie theatres in the suburbs, the "Improper Bostonian" newpaper, liquor stores that had bars on the windows, bookstores, summer grilling, the abundance of crack addicts and bums on my morning walk to work, the steak at the Franklin Café, Science Museum, walking around, Memorial Drive on a Sunday, bottega fiorentina, Harvard Square, road trips… plans to return? Someday I'm sure..

I know you follow The Boston Red Sox and The New England Patriots. How do you feel these teams are going to perform this season?

I don't really know much about the Pats anymore, the games are shown so late over here that I can't get into a football game at 12AM till 4 on a work night.. I still read up about them and hope they do well though.. I do still follow the Red Sox though.. Over the years, the main thing I've learned from being a red sox fan is that they scrape through the season, they make it to the playoffs, and then they break your heart, every season.. this season has started off on the right foot, the team looks solid and I feel that they've made some good trades. The management has made some excellent tactical changes and slashing down on the egos a bit.. I'm not holding my breath though..

Who are your favorite players on the Sox and Pats? Do you think the Pats and the SOX have a good chance at going all the way to the "Big Dance" this year?

I'll skip the gridiron question.. As for the sox,, I'm excited about Papelbon and how well he's maturing, Beckett's also one I've got high hopes for.. Big Papi has been our savoir this season.. and Mani is just a big big player, over 2,000 hits now? Amazing.. Jason Varitek has always been their pillar, or was the goatee the pillar?? We'll never know.. Youklis and Loretta have been consistent for us as well, Loretta's surprised me.. Will the Sox go all the way?? In order to avoid disappointment, I'm going to say no comment..

Do you follow the New England Revolution Soccer (Football) team at all?

The truth… no, I think the MLS is pathetic,, the fact that they changed the rules of the game to appeal to the American public is horrible and shows disdain for the game.. I believe they need to spend more money in promoting football.. The Ertugun brothers did everything they could to get the NASL going in the 1970s and funded the New York Cosmos (bringing players like Pele, Neeskens, and Beckenbauer), the MLS needs some football mad owners to get involved and bring more attention to the game..

What team is going to win the WORLD CUP?

Since this is a dated question, I'll just take a moment here and say that I was supporting Italy from the start.. I even won the office bragging rights pool..

Your have written often on your blog about music and your musical taste is quite varied? What are some of the bands or musicians you listen too?

Well I've got hurricane by Bob Dylan stuck in my head right now.. I'm currently stuck on this contemporary indie rock thing that I haven't been able to shake off, but it's a whole broad spectrum of stuff that I listen to.. I've been listening to dirty pretty things (Libertines without Pete Doherty, excellent), Hard-Fi, Gnarls Barkley, a house mix from this nightclub in New York city, and the Glen Miller Orchestra (all over the place I know)..

Do you play any instruments yourself? Or are you just an iPOD addict?

I would say I'm a laughable guitar player that needs to practice his scales.. I do write the funny lyrics when we jam though.. I also play a mean Caracas, and electric cowbell.. one of my resolutions for 2006 (that I've failed miserably) was to take piano lessons.. since we've got a piano at home I thought I'd make some use of it.. Daydreams of being the Bahraini Thelonious Monk got me to contacting some piano instructors.. Telling them you're a twentysomething lad looking for a private piano tutor didn't go down too well, they thought I was some pervert or something who lures unsuspecting piano teachers to his den of filth and then proceeds to seduce them as he practices playing "chopsticks" in the buff..

What prompted you to start blogging? Were you influenced by anyone in particular?

I started blogging because I needed a release for the voices in my head.. Not many people know this little bit of Bahraini blogging trivia, but Mahmood of fame got his first idea of blogging from me.. we were sitting down and I said, "Mak (I call him mak).. you need to do something with your free time, have you ever heard of this new phenomenon called blogging? I'm thinking of trying it out" and just like Neil Armstrong beat Buzz Aldrin to walking on the moon.. mahmood beat me to blogging, swiping me of my rightful title of the godfather of bahraini blogging... The first blog I actually got really addicted to was "Where is Raed" by Salam Pax.. I started reading it religiously in 2002, finding out about life in Iraq before the war.. Whenever he went missing and wouldn't post for a couple of days, we'd (his readers) all get worried fearing the worst.. being able to read about what was happening in Iraq at the time, during the war and the aftermath without the spin that the media put on it was incredible.. Salam's now moved to bigger and better things and has signed a book deal..

Do you go through any particular process prior to posting? Or are your posts more spontaneous in nature?

I don't really have a set format in which the posts are published.. sometimes I write and then save and close to come back to at another time, other times I just write something real quick and post.. no real format.. I do have an inner circle of first press readers who tell me whether the post is fine or stupid or whatever..

How would you categorize yourself in the Bahraini blogging world?

I'm a nobody in the realm of Bahraini blogging.. nobody loves me.. nobody comments, nobody links to me.. I'm suffering from a case of "poor me" can you tell?

Have you ever considered blogging in Arabic or doing a "Mirror Blog" of your own?

I don't think my ramblings would come out right in Arabic… instead of just misunderstood eccentricity, I think people would think I'm certifiably insane..

Are you close to any of the other Bahraini bloggers?

I've been taken off so many blogger emailing groups and stuff, I don't think they like me too much…

Do you have any big plans to expand your blog?

If I can bother to get off my lazy ass and find someone who'll help me, yes.. otherwise, maybe..

I had the privilege of attending one of the "Bahraini Blogger Meetup's" when I was back in Bahrain and I had a wonderful time. Have you attended any of these "Meetup's"? Did you come away from it like I did with a stronger appreciation of the power of the blogging world like I did?

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to attend the blogger meetups, mainly due to timing issues.. to be Frank, Shirley, blogging in bahrain has become a little stale with the hype having died down and updates becoming less frequent.. Everything started so strong with regular posts and interesting points of view, and now, we're left with a graveyard of dead blogs.. Personally, I feel that in order for blogging to survive, it's gotta have a purpose and be well defined (that's why my blog stinks). If you want to blog about politics, then you need to be at every single Parliament session, you need to keep everything focused on politics. If you want to post pictures about life in Bahrain, then focus your blog on pictures. If it's shawarma stands you'd like to rate, then make it the Bahraini shawarma blog.. (just remember I started it here first)..

You have posted some very well written pieces on your blog. Including that wonderful beginning to what could be called a short story or perhaps a full fledged book. Have you considered expanding on your talents and look deeper into writing as a career?

Thank you for your comments on some of my posts (the check is in the mail like we talked about).. do I consider myself a writer? That short story I wrote was just a brain fart lingering around a little too much.. I'd love to eventually write something epic, but until I find the time to do, you're going to have to bear with me..

How do you feel about the current political and economic reforms that are taking place in Bahrain? Mark, you know I don't do politics.. I'm hopeful and optimistic, much to the chagrin of my colleagues.

What is one thing the US could do to help the current situation in the Middle East?

The US could go into a period of splendid isolationism like it did in the 20s and teach the rest of the world a lesson about globalization and how everyone needs everyone else, and then come back and we can all be one happy family... just a thought..

And the single most important question. What is you favorite shawarma place on the Island?

I don't really have a favourite shawarma place in Bahrain.. if I had to choose the popular choice it would have to be Burgerland.. funny isn't it? The best shawarma place comes from a place named after burgers.. that's like me saying the best tofu vegan sandwich comes from bobs butchered burger shack.. well not really like it.. but close enough.. Actually the best shawarma in Manama right across from Awal Cinema, can't remember what it's called, but they have great shawarma.. I think a shawarma blog would be a good idea.. (ed's note... ME TOO!)

Thursday, July 13, 2006


I HATE SPAM! Detest it. Show me a spammer and I will be happy to flogg him or her. Email means business for me and business is my life blood. SPAM with GMAIL is out of control.

As if this wasn't enough, take what has happened to my friend and CW HOT Seat interviewee Ali Al Saeed and his GMAIL NIGHTMARE

(On the bright side Ali NO MORE GMAIL SPAM MESSAGES for you!)

Couple that fact, with my little used Gmail account that receives close to 2000 spam emails a MONTH. Pleas for help with the asswipes at GMAIL have failed to even generate a response let alone a canned one. For all of Google's MIGHT the mighty will fall if they don't take care of the customer. A very simple rule, yet one so often overlooked.

2000 emails a month roughly translates to over 66 per day. Simple math for those who can't handle it! Granted most do wind up in the so called "SPAM FOLDER" but still the volume is out of control and GMAIL is doing SQUAT about it.

I had hoped to slowly transfer my email usage over to GMAIL and DUMP AO HELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL. Alas GMAIL makes AOL look good when compared to the sheer volume of SPAM.

Has anyone else experianced this much SPAM with GMAIL?

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

What is the truest definition of Globalization?
Answer: Princess Diana's death.

Question: How come?
Answer: An English princesswith an Egyptian boyfriendcrashes in a French tunnel,driving a German carwith a Dutch engine,driven by a Belgian who was drunkon Scottish whisky, (check the bottle before you change the spelling) followed closely by Italian Paparazzi, on Japanese motorcycles; treated by an American doctor, using Brazilian medicines.

This is sent to you by an American, using Bill Gate's technology, and you're probably reading this on your computer, that uses Taiwanese chips, and a Korean monitor,assembled by Bangladeshi workers in a Singapore plant, transported by Indian lorry-drivers, hijacked by Indonesians, unloaded by Sicilian longshoremen and trucked to you by Mexican illegals.....That, my friends, is Globalization!!!

Monday, July 10, 2006

This week while I was watching The World Cup, Ro and I were discussing life and death.

I told her point blank, "Just so you know, I never want to live in a vegetative state, dependent on some machine and fluids from a bottle. If that ever happens, just pull the plug."
She promptly got up, unplugged the TV and threw out all my beer. Some days I just hate being married to a smartass Red Headed Italian. But I love her anyway!


Friday, July 07, 2006

A Year Later....

Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of the UK as they mark the 1 year anniversary of the London Bombings.


Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Torture is accepted and even expected in the Arab world. Yes, I know what you're thinking - that's not politically correct in most mainstream media. And you know some nice Arabs who have immigrated to America. But it's the truth in the Arab world. Might makes right. Real men don't eat quiche. They prove their manhood by the way they treat their enemy. After all it's what Muhammad did to the unbelievers - Christians, Jews and Zoroastrians in the Quoran - the 'holy book' allegedly mishandled in Guantanamo prison.

Arab Muslim men gain honor by shaming, belittling, abusing and torturing their enemy in the most horrific ways. Just look at how the Palestinians treat so-called collaborators by disemboweling them and hanging them upside down in Manger Square in Bethlehem. Look at the terrorist torture chambers that the coalition forces recently uncovered in Iraq.

When people refer to the prisons of Saddam Hussein and his regime they think he is the extreme exception. Not! The truth is his torture tactics are quite the norm in the Arab world.
If you want to see torture that is beyond what any Westerner can ever imagine please go to IMPALEMENT. Yes, you read it right, impalement. You'll get a glimpse of what the Arabs do to their own people.

As someone who came from the Arab world and knows how they think, it frustrates me to see self-appointed righteous minded politicians and media pundits - oblivious to Arabic culture and thinking - criticizing America's actions at Guantanamo. These are a bunch of al Qaeda jihadists who were captured while bent on killing us - the kaffirs or unbelievers. They laugh watching our government bend over backwards, forwards and sideways trying to appease the critics. The more we stumble over ourselves questioning our goals and tactics, the more they think we are weak and easy to defeat.

They smirk because they believe that Americans have demonstrated how stupid and weak they are by caving in to stories about maltreatment of Guantanamo detainees. They are watching our critics in this country and counting on them to embolden the radical Islamic cause and weaken our resolve.

Actually, Gitmo is a joke as far as the Arabs are concerned. Prison? You call that a prison? Let me tell you what some of the prisoners call Guantanamo, “Al muntazah al-dini lilmujaheden al Muslimin,” The Religious Resort for Islamic Militants. They are given three halal meals a day in accordance to their religious dictates. How many kosher prisons are there in the Arabic world? None. Jews captured in the Arab world are butchered like those obscene pictures taken in Ramallah during the frenzied slaughter of two Israeli reservists who got lost. Remember the Palestinian man holding his red, Jewish blood dripping hands, high above his head in victory? Remember Nick Berg's head being held high also?

Most of these detainees never had three meals a day in their entire life. They are gaining weight, and are living in what they refer to in Arabic as “Al-Jannah,” paradise. They have radio, television, soccer games, air-conditioning, clean clothes, and “servants” - meaning American GIs who wait on them hand and foot. They have Islamic chaplains and are handed Qu'rans, the social hate guide against Infidels, by people so concerned as not to offend that they wear latex gloves and carry the book with two hands.

Many Muslims in the Middle East would gladly give up their poverty, dictatorial governments, corrupt leaders and social bondage to enjoy the relative luxuries Guantanamo offers. They have free medical care - better than millions of uninsured Americans and our military men and women serving on the jihadists' battlefield. Some of them who couldn't afford to see an optometrist now have glasses and can see and read their Qu'ran. Others who never had the opportunity to see a dentist now have a free dental plan. It has become such a joke; we even stop interrogations to let them take prayer breaks demanded by their religion.

As an Arab, I can tell you that Illinois Democratic Senator Richard Durbin is aiding and abetting the goals and strategy of Islamic jihadists who have declared war on the United States.
Where was Durbin's comparison to the Nazis when we found the torture chambers in Iraq?Where was Durbin's comparison to Soviet gulags when we found the hundreds of thousands of bodies in Saddam's mass graves?

Where was Durbin's head when he compared prisoners captured on the field of battle to the internment of Japanese American civilians during WWII? OK, apologize to unarmed citizens, not fighters with weapons in their hands.Where was Durbin when he compared Gitmo and Abu Ghraib to the industry of death that murdered 6 million Jewish men, women and children during WWII?If anything, his heart and mind were in the jihadists terrorists' camp.
If you see what story is being downloaded and shared by viewers of the al Jazeera web site you will find the story on Durbin's comments the winner.

If I were an Islamic terrorist I would be thanking Durbin and forwarding his views to all my fellow fanatics. His reckless comments fuel the fanatic frenzied jihadists, motivating them to blow themselves up in the midst of innocent civilians, savagely cut the heads of helpless hostages and devote themselves to killing the infidel who could be your neighbor stationed in Iraq. Just like the Quran says they should.

Dick Durbin was an unwitting champion of Islamic radical fundamentalists. His comments should be known from this day forward as a “Durbinization” of the facts. To demonize something grossly out of proportion to what the enemy is doing is to Durbinize. Gitmo and Abu Ghraib have been Durbinized and the Arab world loved it. They laughed at Durbin because he was supporting their belief in the destruction of our country and civilization.

The shame is Durbin didn't have a clue as to what he'd done. As far as he was concerned, he did the right thing for the Islamic radical detainees living high on the proverbial hog in Gitmo. What he really did was make them laugh. Laugh at us for being fools and not real men. Now it's time to see if the voters in Illinois and his fellow members of Congress are men and women enough to tell the Moslem world Durbin isn't our real man. Written by Brigitte Gabriel

Brigitte Gabriel is a native of the Arab world and a former news anchor of World News for Middle East Television. She is now a contributing editor of Family Security Matters and founder of American Congress for Truth. During her childhood, radical Islamists destroyed Gabriel's home because she was a Christian. She spent 2-1/2 months in the hospital and then lived under ground for seven years with no electricity and little food. Bridgitt eventually became a news anchor, and later moved to the U.S. where she's a true American success story - own business, husband, two kids, etc. Forwarded by BG Bob Clements, USAF (RET)

NOTE:I found this to be a very interesting and fascinating article by a woman who is writing from her own personal experience. I do think she paints the picture harsher in some instances than it is, but those are her words, not mine.

My intent in publishing this is not to paint Arab Muslims as "barbaric" or "uncivilized". Rather the opposite. That despite all the horrors they have been forced to live and work in they remain some of the nicest and sincere people I know. Instead of leaving their homelands, they stay. They stay in hopes of making their respective nations better. They, like 99.9999999 percent of all other Arabs want and desire for the same things we want. They want a family. A home and peace among all Nations.

I hope that some from the Arab world will read this and post their thoughts and reactions. I am sure that many have probably already seen this before. To me it is new, and despite my connection as an American who has spent some time in the region, this article filled in a few gaps in my mind and in an odd manner gave me a renewed sense of respect for my Arab friends. THANKS! CW
The Laws of Combat
*Ten-second fuses only last seven seconds.
*Anything you do can get you shot, even doing nothing.
*Claymores are labeled “this side toward enemy” for a reason.
*Don’t draw fire; it irritates the people around you.
*A Purple Heart means you were smart enough to think of a plan, crazy enough to try it, and fortunate enough to survive.
*If the enemy is in range, so are you.
*Don’t look conspicuous; it draws fire.
*If the pin is pulled, Mr. Grenade is not our friend.
*If your attack is going well, you have walked into an ambush.
*Incoming fire has the right-of-way.
*It is generally inadvisable to eject directly over the area you just bombed.
*Make it too tough for the enemy to get in and you can’t get out.
*Mines are equal-opportunity weapons.
*Never share a foxhole with anyone braver than you.
*Professionals are predictable; it’s the amateurs that are dangerous.
*The easy path is always mined.
*The only thing more accurate than incoming enemy fire is incoming friendly fire.
*The quartermaster has only two sizes: too large and too small.
*All emergencies happen only at night.
*Anyone who volunteers to help you set up your tent wants a ride.
*The grid coordinates for the unit you need to find were changed an hour ago.
*The batteries for your night vision goggles are in the supply truck.
*Nobody knows where to find the supply truck.
*Weather forecasts are always wrong.
*Your tent will leak only when it rains.
*When in doubt, empty the magazine.

-Compiled by Chaplain (LTC-Ret) Bob Leroe aka "THE COLONEL"

Monday, July 03, 2006


Cheers to all on this wonderful 4th of July. May everyone have a SAFE and FUN Holiday!


Sunday, July 02, 2006

Apple faces the music as public discord with iPod grows
Sun 2 Jul 2006

IT IS the gadget that no fashion-conscious bright young thing can afford to be seen without. But two years after Britain fell in love with the iPod there are signs that the pocket-sized box that transformed the way millions listen to music is beginning to lose its shine.

Internet chatrooms are carrying accounts of "unreliable machines", while questions are being asked about working conditions in the Chinese factories where they are made. The "very significant" fall in public confidence is highlighted in new figures from YouGov's brand awareness index, which show a steady fall in the popularity of the Apple brand. More than 50 million have been sold since its launch in 2001, and the company insists that the quality of its products is not an issue, with the iPod remaining the most popular portable music player.

However, Apple's share price fell to an eight-month low last week after an analyst predicted that the launch of several new models would be delayed.

Sundip Chahal, of YouGov's BrandIndex team, said: "The overall brand index is showing a definite downward trend up to the beginning of April. The index for quality is going down - from a rating in the high 30s in October to the mid 20s, which is a very significant drop." The gadget's fall in popularity could be linked to bad publicity. Shortly after the launch of its iPod Nano last year, Apple admitted that some models had faulty screens that scratched too easily.
There have also been complaints on Apple's internet chatroom about the iPod Shuffle, its smallest and only music player without a screen.

YouGov claims that the decline in the brand's reputation may be a consequence of the company's early dominance in the MP3 player market. "Apple used to stand for corporate reputation and quality, and people were prepared to pay more because they got it back in quality," Chahal said.

However, Apple denies that it has a problem with quality. Greg Joswiak, vice-president of iPod marketing, said the company had a first-year failure rate of 5%. He said: "A lot of products don't enjoy such a low failure rate - mobile phones can be up to 30%. The vast majority of customers are extremely happy and have never experienced a failure. "Most problems are caused by mishandling. They are complex electronic components and they can be broken if dropped or mishandled."

Apple needs to learn a lesson that SONY learned very painfully in the 80's. Proprietary items rarely succeed past the initial phase of public curiosity. Sony if you remembered had a great product in the early late 70's early early 80's with the BETA MAX player. It was vastly superior to VHS but SONY would not license the technology to other firms. They choose to hold the patent and reap the rewards. They failed. Even with the movie studio backing they had. VHS on the other hand offered nearly everything BETA MAX did as far as functionality. In the long run Sony lost millions trying to hoard the market as well as consumer confidence.

The iPOD has more or less been a cash cow for Apple and its sole financial life raft. Without the iPOD Apple would have been in bad shape. The company in my mind is too dependant on this one product. Their stock price is showing it as well.

Don't get me wrong I like Apple computers and had been strongly considering buying a laptop from them and would have if the deal of a century hadn't come along.

Wake up Apple and get with program. License out the technology and open up iTunes to other users of MP3's and reap the rewards. In the long run you will be a better company for it. ~CW~