Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Back in my day

The longest day of my life is when I was like 18 or so. It was the day I had my wisdom teeth removed. It did all of them at once. This is the one day of my life I was forced to do nothing but lay back and watch TV in dull by powerful pain. This was still in the early days of the Information Age, before serious portable games, smartphones and the Internet. I've had no days longer since that day. I've had many days that have left me wondering where the day has gone.

It's weird now to discuss a time before the Internet. Sure, it kinda existed before 1994, but not in any way that is meaningful to us today. What makes this kinda ironic is that my generation is one of those generations that is going to be able to talk about how things used to be. Not in some silly way like "candy used to cost 5 cents", but in a real paradigm shift sort, like those old-timers that used to talk about the horse and buggy in times before cars. From those old-timers we get the stereotypical story of having to "walk 10 miles in the snow to school up hill both ways." What will my tale be for my grandkids? I imagine it would be something like like "Back in my day, we didn't have the Internet. I used to have to drive in a car in bumper to bumper traffic to get to a building called a library in order to use my library card just read a book." I'm sure the question from my posterity will be, "What's a car, grampa?"

Monday, December 15, 2008

Death penalty reconsidered in Mexico

Coahuila lawmakers last week sent a bill to Mexico's Congress to change the constitution to allow the death penalty for kidnappers who kill their captives. -MONTERREY, Mexico (Reuters)

The moral high ground that Mexico once prided for themself is not being reconsidered. Mexico has chided the U.S. for our policy regarding the death penalty. Now that they are actually dealing with the problems they've fostered for so long. Now, they realize the death penalty is a deterrent to crime, and the lack thereof is an open invitation for criminal activity of heinous acts.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Holiday Report

As long as the holiday feels, it never lasts long enough. Allie and I split Turkey Day between my aunt's and her parents'.

Friday, we did a little late morning shopping. Got some great deals. Then we headed up to the auto show in SF. We looked at practically every car being made today. I walked away with a better impression of Saab, and a worse impression of Audi. I'm also left wondering why someone would pay $60K for either a Lexus or a Cadillac, so I understand why someone would spend that much for a Mercedes.

In the evening we saw Australia. It was a throwback to classic romantic movies with an Australian twist. Pretty clear. The story backdrop is the Japanese attack on Darwin, though this is almost minor to the story, as it is really about ugliness of racism.

On Sat, we spend time with my friends Ronie, Fern and Miriam. It was nice being able to get together. It's been too long. Everyone has just been too busy.

Sunday was spent cleaning up a bit around the house.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Lunch Hour Rush

Today was one of those days where I spend the lunch hour running errands. First, I headed to the post office to mail off a package for my sister, then to the bank, then to Kragens to return a part. Fortunately, the location of each made for an easy loop around central Sunnyvale. I got lunch at In and Out Burger on the way back to the office.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

What car did I end up getting?

I was at a Buick dealership on fine, early summer day checking out what Buick had to offer. My opinion is that this is a brand whose audience is quickly disappearing. I tried both major 2008/2009 offerings. I cannot image anyone under the age of 70 (currently) buying one of these cars. There is no attempt to even pretend to be modern. I cannot imagine myself being interested in these cars even when I reach 70. I imagine this brand will either need to be reinvented or will go the way of Plymouth.

Anyway, while I was at that dealership, I noticed this new car in the show room. I didn't even know what it was or what brand. It turned out to be the Pontiac G8 GT. I liked the car a lot. It had a lot of amenities while sporting one of the biggest engines on the road. Quick, tons of power, and very maneuverable. All that for a price tag in the high 20's to low 30's. By far, this car is the most bang for your buck! It is both fun and practical at the same time.

My wife and I didn't buy it that day, but it was definitely added to our list of options. We continued looking around for cars, as we've been doing for about 18 months so far. Near the end of summer, we were literally within a day or two from by the Chevy Malibu LTZ. This is another great car that is tremendous value for your money. It is more equipped than many luxury cars that cost 2 times as much, even sporting a reasonably powerful V6. But then I found out that the 2009 Pontiac G8 had been added to the GM Employee Pricing program, and the deal was sealed. We got a brand new 2009 Pontiac G8 GT that week.

It is a decision where we did not have to take as a comprise. This is something we really wanted, and for a great price. We tried several brands of the Japanese and American varieties. (Neither of us will touch European or Korean, though we prolly wouldn't mind getting a new BMW for free.) The only two makes that seem to make cars that interest us for the right prices are Infiniti and Chevrolet/Pontiac.

As part of my purchase, I traded in my old Acura TL-S. I liked that car, but I love my new Pontiac G8 GT. Given the huge problems I had with my not so old Acura car, I'm not too worried about the American vs. Japanese quality argument. Especially since the G8 is made in Australia anyway.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

No on 8

I don't mean to turn my blog into a serious of videos and images, but this issue is important and needs to be considered. Please join me (and Dianne Feinstein) in voting no on prop 8!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Just so the point is clear

Ok, just so the point is clear, I am against any law discrimates between citizens, regardless of how those laws are worded. Keep marriage straight, No on 8.

Keep Marriage Straight, No on Eight!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Mark Walberg Talks to Animals

This is one of the best SNL skits in a long time (not counting the Palin thing, which landed in their laps): Mark Walberg Talks to Animals. This is so dead on!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Vroom vroom Ren Ren

So, I dragged poor Allie to the Renaissance Faire at Casa de Fruita. This is the first time she's been to one. She was a good sport about the whole thing, and I'm sure found it to be a bit over the top. Though she didn't get into it, she was taking in all the sights.

In the past, the quality of the headliner events at the Ren Faire have degraded. There was a time when they had actual knight melees held by the local reenactment groups and actual jousting. Then, main event become a show where the players would pretend to joust and battle. It turned out to be a silly WWE style show. I wanted to go this year to see if they got be on track. Though they didn't have the melee's of olde, they did have full on jousting again! It was more fun to watch than the fake show in years before.

The show that Allie liked best was a juggling show with a guy and his kid brother. The kid knew how to sell it. They put on a good show.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Car hunting

Allie and I have been car hunting for a long time. We’ve test driven a multitude of vehicles. We’ve given a second look at a myriad more. The reason for all this is the fact that I currently have a rather nice car, with a rather nasty habit. My Acura TL-Type S 2003 is a great car except that it needs a new transmission every 11,000 miles or so. Not good for the long run once the warranty is up. At this point, I don’t mind the nickel and dime costs associated with the average car once off warranty. I just don’t want to get hit with a $4000 repair bill and a week long car rental every 10 months or so. So, we need to trade in my TL for something else.
While car hunting, I’ve discovered features that used to be special only to the higher end cars are now included in the average cars. Of particular note, the high trim of 2009 Chevrolet Malibu has more features than my old TL, all for 10K less than what I paid for my car 6 years ago, and for nearly 15K less than the current price for a new TL. The level of quality across the mainstay brands keeps going up. Reliability is something that fluctuates, so it’s a good idea to always keep an eye on Consumer Reports and other sources. Right now, it appears some GM brands are doing well, while others haven’t quite got things figured out yet.
Given what I’ve been looking for, GM cars have been attracting my attention more than others. This surprizes me. Then again, I pretty much hate all the car brands for one reason or another. In general, I tend to gravitate towards American and Japanese, and show less interest in Korean and European cars. OMG, have you see the Smart Car? How dumb is that? Anyways, we think we know what we will end up with soon.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Weeks are flyin by

As October approaches, it really seems the weeks and months of 2008 are flying by. It dawned me recently while I was reading something terribly unimportant that I was literally wasting my time. I could be reading something more important, or doing something to improve my self, skills and what nots. I'm not wasting all of my time. I'm glad to spend time with my family.

This week, my cuzin is in the hospital awaiting labor. I visited her and her new husand in their room. It's funny I call him that. Her sister, myself and her all got married within the past year or so. Funny how that works. We were all in long term relationships and it just all kinda turned out that way.

On my way to a business type meeting thing, I visited my aunt and her husand yesterday. He was also in the hospital a recently for a serious matter. He was released quickly, so I didn't get a chance to visit him at the hospital, so I stopped by yesterday to see how he was going.

Man, why the heck did my parents move to some place that is literally more remove that the infamous Bumfuk, Idaho. I haven't seen then in aeons now.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

What? Someone is VP pick for McCain?

Let’s patronize women in the 21st Century because it worked so well in the 20th Century. McCain’s pick for his running mate is one of those things that says, “See, I listen to you women. I know what you want because I’m smart like that.” It is an idiotic move that may have already backfired. For all the phony praise Palin got for her convention speech, in reality, she came off as seeming like she doesn’t really belong there. Her energy was strained and her message was without substance. I noticed very few people talking about the message itself. Most of the praise was about her poise. Joy. It weakens the McCain bid for the presidency.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Los Gatos Fiesta de Artes

Allie and I ended up having an enjoyable weekend. On Saturday, we got out into the fresh air and did a little cycling. I've been threatening to do it for a long time. The goal was to go down the path I would take if I rode my bike to work. I thought I could use my street bicycle because one leg of the trail is paved. Unfortunately, I discovered that a significant portion of the path is very gravelly, covered with rocks that are far too big to be safe for my street bicycle. So, in order to ride to work, I'm going to have to brave some rather dangerous city streets, or change the tires on my bike to handle rough terrain. I guess I can borrow Allie's bike (which is a "man's" type too), though it will need some adjustments. Anyway, I'm not cycling to work any time soon.

Instead of continuing down that path, we opted to head down to the local shopping center for a relaxing after-lunch smoothie break.

On Sunday, we meet up with my mother-in-law for some Dim Sum (and 'den some) at her favorite rest'rant. I can never comfortably eat Dim Sum on an empty stomach, so I ate some cereal before going. I don't know how good of an idea that was since I ended up eating too much Dim Sum.

Allie and I planned to head over to the Los Gatos Fiesta de Artes. We invited my mother-in-law to join us. A co-worker's son was at one of the booths that I was interested in (WinePod), so we planned to at least meet up there with them.

The day was warm and sunny. Maybe a little too warm. After going around the faire twice, I finally found the booth. My co-worker had just arrived as well. My wife used to work with us, so there was some catching up him and his wife.

Afterwards, Allie and I took her mother to a rest'rant that we hadn't tried yet, called Steamers Grillhouse. We had a rather expensive, yet tasty lunch. Of course, at this point, I had not yet fully processed the Dim Sum earlier in the day, so I ended up getting somewhat uncomfortably stuffed.

After we headed out and dropped my mother-in-law off, we went home to watch a rental, There Will Be Blood. In case you haven't seen the movie yet, here's a spoiler: Someone bleeds at the end. The rest of the 2.5 hours of the movie don't really lead up to that moment very well. It was about as organized in thought as my blog taken on the whole. The movie needed some serious editing.

Sometime around when we started watching the movie, Allie asked if I wanted dinner. My emphatic "No!" surprized her a little bit. The moment pasted quickly. In fact, I still feel kinda stuffed just thinking about how stuffed I was Sunday evening.

She didn't really watch most of the movie because a friend of hers called up to do some catching up. She talked to her about an hour or so. When she came back, she asked what happened. I was like, "It's too much to go into, and yet, it doesn't seem like anything at all." I didn't feel like going into detail since it didn't really interest me all that much. She asked again, and I relented, telling her about some of the uninteresting events that lead to nowhere. It almost didn't matter since there was such a big jump in time during the last scenes, it was like watching a whole other film; perhaps an independent short film that itself wasn't edited enough. Did I mention that There Will Be Blood of boring?

Well, I'm glad the bulk of my weekend was enjoyable, regardless the movie.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

I'm am a Search Assist search item

It appears that I am now a Search Assist item on Yahoo! I was a little surprized at this discovery. The search item is "fcsuper rebel". This is completely unexpected. I wonder how often a term has to be searched before it is added as a search item. More amazing is that "fcsuper rebel" is a Search Assist item, yet "fcsuper" is not. It might seem more likely that just "fcsuper" is searched more often rather than "fcsuper rebel". Weird.

The term still gets a "do you mean" statement at the top of the page with a suggestion for "fc super". I still own the top spot of that search too. It's a little lonely at the top, as the gaming product "FC Super" now dominates the search of that item. I have to wonder if someone at that company named it after me. :) What are the chances of something as unique as FC Super showing up twice in the our world in my lifetime? I got a feeling that I should be glad to get the website when I did. At least I own my name sake's web address.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


Last night was a night of serious discussions about the importance of mastication. It all started with four of us in a SUV on the way to a sex toy shop, after dinner. Miriam was offering gum for the purpose of mastication. She's all, "Ya'no, that [masticate] is latin for `to chew'". Secretly, I knew it is actually English based on the latin word and I now know that it was derived from Greek, but I digress.

At that point, it was the word of the evening. Almost every other sentence made reference to mastication. We discussed the woes of over-mastication, including the threat of blindness. Also, the dangers of deprivation from under-mastication were brought up. Someone mentioned that mastication should be done in private, while another extolled the virtues of doing it openly in public.

Later in the evening, we relaxed at this other restaurant at an outdoors table. I'm masticating my second piece of gum for the night. I ordered Coke, and immediately realized I needed to demasticate it. The napkins where the fancy reusable ones, so I couldn't expel my gum there. Cor suggested that I demasticate it under the table, then he preceded to look under to see if others had already thought of this (and they had...yuk). In the end, the waiter brought out some restroom paper towels. I demasticated rapidly, to the amusement of both Cor and Miriam.

I can say that it was an evening filled with a healthy and open discussion regarding mastication. Someone should did a public service announcement on TV about masticating. Oh wait, they have!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Testing the Publishing Waters

Here's my start at writing and publishing on Amazon for the Kindle and Mobipocket for Palms and such:

Amazon: My Start as a publisher

Mobipocket: My books so far for Palm

Written times

Writing isn't coming easy to me right now. It's not for any particular reason, just that I've been doing a lot of it. Not on this blog obviously, but in other venues. So, even now there's nothing really on my mind. I mean, I had another pretty good weekend and all, but reading though my past entries, I find that I talk a lot about weekends. I don't think I will stop. Just not in the mode today for that. Other topics that interest me are being covered in other areas, such as my SolidWorks Legion website. It's been taking of much of my writing energy. Even now, I'm have a couple of article projects that are waiting to be penned on that site.

At this point, I'm mostly rambling, but then again, that's what a journal is for sometimes. As I write in this blog over time, I've discovered things about myself, and my writing style. I talk about myself a lot, but that's a given since this is about me. Also, I tend to write in contrasts. I'll make a statement, then mitigate or offset it with a "but". I wonder how many "buts" I've writing, not just on this blog, but in all my works, and even in my daily speech. As someone famous once said, "But, there be no buts." Not true here.

That's really all the thoughts I have today, other than to say this is likely one of the few truly personal thoughts diary-like posting I've ever made on this blog. Well the inner thoughts be surfacing here? Hmm...

Saturday, June 28, 2008

My Wife is a funny one

So, Allie gets a week paid vacation for the whole week of the 4th of July. I've had this in mind for quite some time. Few months ago, I asked her, "Do you want to get away or do anything the week you have off in summer?" Her response was, "I don't know." A couple of months ago, I ask "What would you like to do during your time off this summer? I can take the week off with you." Her response was, "I don't know." A couple of weeks ago, I inquire yet again, and yet again, "I don't know."

I wake up this morning and snuggle a little bit with Allie. She turns to me an asks, "Do you want to take some time off next week to spend together?" Arg!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Miriam's BD and such

Welp, there was some fun last week. Allie and I met up with Miriam and some of her girlfriends at PF Changs for a diner for her BD. Save for her older neighbor that joined us with this wife, I was the only guy...something that Allie made sure to point out.

Afterwards, we all headed up to SF to a club to meet up with some more people of various varieties that one might expect to meet in SF. Thangs where fun. We were at this one roof top club with a fairly ok view of the city and a large number of drunk people, and some not so drunk people too.

Allie and I headed out home around Midnight, as did several others. Miriam and several of her girls partied on and didn't get home til about 6am.

On the recent movie front, Allie and I have seen The Happening. Funny how nothing happens in a movie with that title. It was OK. Save for rental.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Patent exhaustion rule upheld

Yet another blow for customers' rights last week via the Supreme Court which just handed down a ruling that upholds Patent Exhaustion regardless of a patent holder's notices or attempts to put limitions on the purchaser. I recommend this more detailed article found at Electronic Frontier Foundation. It provides many links on the topic along with a detailed description.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Infection: Bigotry

As a Californian, I am oddly in the minority on the particular issue of acceptance of "gay marriage". It seems odd to me that so may people are so dead set against marriage between gay partners, particularly when their is no finiancial gain from such a ban. In fact, allowing gay marriage would help the ecomony by providing more jobs for people who are in the wedding industry. It is silly for people to look to the government to tell other people who they can and cannot marry. The Court here recently did its job. Life long conservative and liberial judges alike determined that their is clear discrimation. In fact, even though the vote was 5 to 4 by the judges, the minor opinion wasn't that gay marriage was wrong, but that it is ok, though a matter for the people to decide. I respectivefully disagree with that logic, of course. The rights of the minority must be protected regardless the opinion of the majority. When discrimination is institutionized, the majority will always side with it originally. We look to the courts to correct wrongs in our lawmaking. At one time, the majority felt slavery was acceptable. At one time, it was felt that banning interracial marriage was acceptable. Those laws not only banned blacks from marrying whites, but at one time also banned Asians from marrying anyone at all (even other Asians).

Even if you don't agree with the idea of allowing marriage between same-sex partners, there's no point in preventing them from having the same privileges and status as you. No one is harmed. It is a matter between each couple, and not for society to dictate with bigoted laws. Finally, it will help boost the Californian economy. Being the only state that allows gay marriage and that also allows anyone to marry from any other part of the country will create a new industry of Wedding Tourism. New money will flow into the state as a result of this Court ruling.

It's time to just let this happen. Just let people live their lives without asking the government to interfere just because we have personal beliefs. Imagine if the shoe was on the other foot. Imagine if gays where the majority and we the minority. Wouldn't we be running to the courts to protect our rights to marry if laws where passed to prevent breeders from joining in marriage? Every right we take hold back from a minority is ultimately a right taken away from everyone, including ourselves.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Current Cell Phone Cancellation Fees Legislation

I wrote this to my Representitive in the U.S. House of Representitives. I recommend everyone send something similar to their Rep This is in response to a recent article reported by AP.

Rep *** *****,

I voice my opposition to the current cell phone cancellation fee legislation going through Congress right now. The bills in their current configurations represent a free pass to the cell phone companies to get out of taking responsibility for their egregious actions in charging hellaceous amounts for cancellation of their service.

I agree with the following statements.

"If this plan goes through, the nation's largest cell phone carriers get a get-out-of-court-free card," said Chris Murray, senior counsel for Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports magazine. "We have long opposed limiting consumers' rights to sue, and that seems to be what we're doing here."

"The consumer protections are an inadequate fig leaf to justify federal pre-emption," said Patrick Pearlman, a lawyer with the consumer advocate division of West Virginia's Public Service Commission. "The FCC is not an adequate policeman."

"It's Christmas in May for the companies," said Pamela Gilbert, an attorney with Cuneo Gilbert & LaDuca, a Washington-based law firm working on one of the class-action lawsuits against the industry. She said if the FCC agreed to the proposal, it would save cell phone companies hundreds of millions of dollars. The people left holding the bag are the millions of people who paid illegal ETFs (early termination fees) and now will never get their money back," she said.

We do not need to punish these cell phone companies for taking advantage of American consumers, per se. However, we just need to prevent them from continuing to do so, with reasonable reconciliation to those consumers who have already been ripped off or forced to maintain plans by the industry.

Do not give the cell phone carriers a get-out-of-jail card. Hold them accountable for their actions and prevent them from abusing fellow Americans.

Any new bill about this topic should maintain State authority to decide how to regulate billing for services. It should also establish a national prohibition against any cancellation fees what-so-ever.


Matthew Lorono

Monday, May 19, 2008

Politics 2008 (Part 1?)

I'm going to cover a couple of topics here.

Just some quick opinions about Props 98 and 99 for the June 2008 ballot here in California. Prop 98 is a load crap from special interest groups trying to sneak in their agendas guised as something beneficial. It is supposedly about emanate domain, but it's more about reduction of a city population's rights to affordable housing. Prop 99, supported by Democrats, is an over reaction to use of emanate domain. Emanate domain, of course, is the power of government to force the sale of a property for the benefit of the general population. It is useful for building large scale projects, to improve city structure and for urban renewal. Both 98 and 99 will make it very difficult for cities to conduct this sort of activity. 98 is especially bad because it has a bunch of special interest riders attached to it. I'm voting NO on both. I will wait for a better emanate domain prop to come along that addresses the issue of urban renewal.

Also, California Supreme court has just overturned two bigotted laws regarding those who can marry. It's about time. The idea that the government still has the right to dictate who can marry is still possessed by many. I just hope more people understand the issue now than before, so that our state constitution doesn't get raped by bigotry in an attempt to make gay marriage illegal.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Seattle IIII


May 8, 2008 to May 14, 2008 with Alice for the wedding of  Miriam and David 

Visited Seattle, Washington and Federal Way, Washington

(Original post, backup link)

Something in the Air

I recently wrote an article about the platypus species being the most primitive of all mammals. Funny that only a couple months later there is now a news story about this vary same thing. The news story is originally from here. There is new interesting information about the fact that although the platypus has the X and Y chromosomes, these are not the sex chromosomes for the platypus. Instead, the platypus has about 10 other chromosomes for that purpose. Strange animal, this platypus

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

It's Starting Again

Something is stirring in Silicon Valley again. I drive around and still see a lot of empty commercial lots in the industrial area where I work. Even still, larger new buildings are being built around me. Even weirder, the lunch crowd is becoming larger. I've been noticing this slow change over the past 6 months or so. Where lines at the local Togos and Subway used to be easy to get through, they are now extending well out the shop door. More people are starting to work in the area. The job market looks like it's starting to pick up.

The old days of semi-conductor giants springing up over night are gone. The new industries of the valley are Biotech and Solar. Solar is starting to take off so fast that a new nickname for the valley might end up being Solar Valley. Biotech is growing rapidly too. It's contribution is a little more dispersed thoughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Either way, you cannot throw a rock without hitting someone that is currently working in either of those fields.

Another thing I've noticed is that the Ward Cleavers are back. These are the slightly older guys that wear slacks and shirts that make them look like they just stepped out of a Leave It To Beaver episode. I guess they think they are dressing up. Or maybe their wives are picking out their clothes thinking that the old rules from the 50's still apply. Either way, they are filling the lunch lines with their open discussions of confidential information about their new jobs.

Late last year, I overhead this one group of younger guys. They were not the Ward Cleavers, but they were dressed up a bit in the way that younger guys dress up (all name brand clothes, but not well coordinated). Anyway, they were going into very exact detail about the technology of their start-up Biotech company. Let's just say I understood what they were talking about. I heard so much that the only piece of information I needed to make the information useful would've been their company name. I tried and failed to catch a glimpse of their door badges. I think they figured out I was eavesdropping at that point, so they smartened up. They really shouldn't have been talking about the proprietary matters in line at a sandwich shop in the first place.

The lull in the crowds and traffic was nice while it lasted. It looks like we have another boom cycle getting ready to take off and soon as the economy turns more favorable.

Friday, May 02, 2008

It's about me

It is easy to think one’s life has not measured up to the expectations one’s own heart and mind. Accomplishments made diminished are held low. Even the proud braggart is ultimately over compensating for feelings of inadequacy. Yet each person must face the truth that we are here for a reason. Accomplishment is not measured by comparison to others, but on the merit of the deeds and thoughts of the inner person. Each person must admit to themselves that they are worthy; worthy of love, joy, and peace; worthy of that which we earn. In this, life is a calm excitement. It is the excitation of living in which having a calm spirit brings success.

We are blessed with our time here on Earth. This blessing is a chance to us. But extension, our responsibility here is for our self. We earn more than each of us can possible know in one life. Many lives must be experienced to gain the full value of our being. We reside beyond existence, yet held in stasis within this world, within this Universe. It is more than what we can see, but much less than our lifespark. The universe cannot be held equal to the value of my life, or the lives of any other. Yet, somehow we are all contained within its ether.

It’s about me. Each of use can say this for our self. It is about me. This world is not so random. It is intertwined, full of incidents, but never accidents. The world revolves around me. At the same time it revolves around each of us equally. Our paths lead one place; that which is beyond the infinite. In this, the minor day to day living, the rut, and the daily grind are nothing less than us inching towards our ultimate destination.

Even though each of us is on our own journey, we are collectively moving together. Each of us a cell in the greater organism; a piece of the whole that so much greater than what we can possibly see. It’s not our need to know full extent of things. Knowing would hinder and distract too much. We must focus upon the task laid before us. Life; its purpose is to live. Me; this is my purpose, to live my life. Is it really so simple? The answer to that is up to me.

Thank you to the Cosmic Consciousness for the time and worlds in which to speak. Enjoy.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Nice Weekend, Nice, Three Days a week

I know I talk about my weekends more often than any other day. I may have mentioned before that to me there's like three days a week. Monday through Thursday is just one blur that counts as a single day. Friday is Friday. And the Weekend, which consists of Saturday and Sunday.

This weekend, Allie and I had a nice relaxing afternoon. We like to head up to Burlingame's downtown area on nice weekend days, though this weekend I think we actually know what, I can't even remember now. Man oh man. I believe we did go to Burlingame last weekend, which is why I think my memory is confused. Oh well.

On Friday, we had dinner with her folks. Her mom cooked yet another tasty Chinese dinner. We had to leave around nine to catch an independent film called The Visitor. I enjoyed the movie and was rather impressed with the quality. Sunday night we watched Lars and the Real Girl, which blows the lid on the Real Doll website that both revolts and entices, often OCT. It was another good movie, though it didn't surprize me. The one similarity between the films is they both had a lack of closure to varying degrees, while still having good endings.

It was a relaxing weekend. In fact, it was another weekend we didn't do nearly all we should have around the house. ::sigh:: There's always a plan, but when the weather turns nice, Spring Fever onsets.

Monday, April 28, 2008

GenPets, what are they?

Someone just sent me a link for this new product that is due on the shelves very soon! It's call Genpets.

Genpets ...Bioengineered buddies!

So, I wonder if they are editable? If so, you can donate them to a local food bank after they die and get a tax write-off for their amortized value.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Works of Art (Part 2 of 2)

To continue on from my previous discussion, I had two other surviving shoe polish on card stock paper works from my time spent bored working in a mall shoe store when I was a kid. Girl catching upThis one can have a multitude of meanings. The title Faeryland Coitus only reflects one interpretation. I believe I did this one as contrast to my shear boredom. I created excitement from nothingness. There are many objects in the painting (or should I call it a polishing?). In some views, it could be seen as a lot of different fairies doing naughty things. From another perspective, it could be a hands smashing something between them as they clap together. It could also be two figures engaged in acts of carnal lust with tornado like movement. It ultimately represents my desire to be freed from my imprisonment.

The long evenings would wear on. So much so, it felt like I could turn to dust and melt away into the wind.Girl catching upThis is what my last surviving work depicts. This is why this work is titled Blown. Here I am a disappearing face that is dissolving, even as I grin outwardly. The image could also been seen as my acceptance of futility, like the rock battered by ocean tides. The colors show my despair and anguish. Are there other figures in the background mocking me? Is that my blood polluting a body of water?

Of course, I've not touched this medium since that time. It represents a very specific period in my life in a form of expressed that was based directly on the experience itself. It would be like a gardener making works of art out of garden tools instead of the flower arraignments or garden features. I couldn't make works out of the shoes themselves, so I used the next best medium available. For me, this is how art is. Something that represents a moment in time, but not only that, it is also derived directly from that moment, created to record the moment from the very material that makes the moment what it is. These moments are somewhat spaced out in my life. It's just when something strikes me a certain way; that's when this part of my nature materializes.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Works of Art (1 of 2)

I once worked at a shoe store in some mall. It was a small store. Most of the time, I was the only person. This was around the time when I was about 17 or so, and likely sometime during the period following the start of the Persian Gulf War. The day the war started, the malls where empty. Attendance at the mall never really recovered while I worked there, even after the war's end. I had many long hours to do nothing. I was supposed to look busy to make it seem as though there was always activity within the little store, but there was no one in the mall for which I could look busy.

Being 17 and being stuck, I began to explore my limited surroundings. For whatever reason, I started playing with the shoe polish. I don't know how or why I got started with this. In secret, I started making miniature paintings with the shoe polish. I still have three of those works. Girl catching upI don't consider them half bad for what they are: shoe polish on card stock paper. I may be the only person in history to explore this medium. Here is one those surviving works.

This one is Girl catching up. It depicts one girl running after another that is impatiently waiting. The color represents the angst between the two and perhaps a bit more. In modern terms, one might call them frienemies. The inspiration may have been some of the girls that frequented the mall.

I may display the other surviving works soon.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Identification of years

How many people actually know that there is no year zero on the common Western (Gregorian) calendar. This creates logical problems that are hard to deal with in the lay population. Most people assume an understanding and use of zero. I would even catch myself thinking in terms of having a year zero had I not known a little more about our calendar than the average bear. Bottom line, on our calendar, the year 1 BC is followed by 1 AD.

Just as there is no year zero, there is not zero century. Our 21st Century is 2001 to 2100. The last year of the 21st Century is 2100, not the first year. That's fairly counter-intuitive. This does force me to think when I talk about periods in the 16th through 19th Centuries. It is very easy to think that 18th Century is the same as the 1800's.

So, there is no year zero, no matter how confusing that ends up being. Until we choose another calendar system, this will be a contentious issue.

Another point to discuss is how to identify years. The most common method for years counting backward is B.C., and A.D. for our current era (years that count forward). These two abbreviations refer a previously accepted date for the birth of Jesus Christ. It is now commonly agreed that if Jesus Christ did exist, his birth was more likely between the period of 8 and 4B.C. This means the start year of our calendar is pretty arbitrary, as it is not associated with any particular event. Yet, we still use terms that directly reference Jesus' birth. Alternative terms that have been proposed are BCE (Before our Common Era) and CE (our Common Era). This turns the arbitrary date away from being Christian centric, but in a way, it still attempts to enforce that old world calendar on others. I see BCE/CE used more frequently these days, but I do not believe it will ever become the norm.

To accept the arbitrary nature of our calendar and to establish some Information Age standard, those Europeans have come up with a supposed standard ISO-8601. This document is meant to be an international standard, but isn't really in common use. The problem with ISO-8601 is that is renumbers the years that count backwards. 1BC becomes 0000 and 2BC becomes -0001. Unless every history book ever written is updated to this new attempt to renumber the years, I doubt ISO-8601 will ever be in common use by anyone other than software programmers.

Month of buzyness

It's kinda funny that "business" cannot be used to describe busy-ness anymore, and that's where the word comes from. Oh, any way does that U sound like a long E?

Anyway, yes, I've had a moth of busy-ness. In-laws were visiting town from out of the country (Hong Kong/Austrilia). Not to mention, it is tax season. Also, I've been busy with work, and my technical blog over here. Also, fitting time in for friends when I can.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Drug Pushers

I used to be in favor of allowing drug companies the right to directly advertise their products to consumers. However, the more time that goes by, the more I realize the misguided ideology of this line of thinking. History now bares witness to the facts that reveal several truths about this matter.

Pharmaceutical companies do not do nearly the research that they need to in order to determine the effectiveness of their drugs before they start selling them to customers. Also, when such research is not favorable, they delay the release of the information to the public in order to drive more sales. The most recent example of this is Vytorin (and its component Zetia). These drugs were proven to reduce bad cholesterol. However, a dangerous assumption was made that this inherently also reduced the risk of heart attacks. The fact is that the drug does not reduce the risk of heart attacks. The drug companies of Schering-Plough Corp. and Merck & Co. marketed this nearly useless drug for two years after they knew it did not work for the purpose it was intended, according to AP in their article.

Pharmaceutical companies spend hundreds of millions of dollars on marketing campaigns. This is taking money way from research and development. In my opinion, it is also likely the major reason that drug costs are raising drastically since the band on drug advertisements was lifted.

Advertising drugs directly to the public encourages self-diagnosis. People are trying to be their own doctors. Advertising, along with the establishment of the Internet has given hypochondriacism new life and even legitimacy. Self-diagnosis is very dangerous.

Given these reasons, I am now in favor of re-establishing the restrictions on advertising for proscription drugs. This will help reduce the chances that corporate greed will take advantage of Americans. It will help reduce the cost of drugs. It will help provide for more R&D funding into new treatments. And, it will help reduce dangerous hypochondriacism and self-diagnosis.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Life Confuses Me.

My simple statement about me: "Life confuses me and I'm comfortable with that confusion."

I don't need to have beliefs about things I don't know or can't confirm. I tend to develop notions, but I generally understand that these are just ideas that should not be taken as more than that. So, yeah, there is a lot about this world I don't understand; and I don't need to understand them to live my life.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Earth is Flat and the Heaven supported above us?

There is a misconception that the bible states the world is a sphere.  There is no evidence for this misconception.  However, some interpret Isiah 40:22 to mean the bible says the Earth is a sphere, but that scripture does not say this.  In fact, that scripture makes other false statements about the nature of our world and the Universe.

From the King James Version:
"It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:"
First, a circle is not a sphere.  Second, it makes reference to the heavens as being a curtain stretched over the Earth as a tent.  This is actually in line with the beliefs at the time.  The surface of the Earth was viewed as flat, and the heavens were assumed to be stretched out over it, like a bowl turned over being placed on top a support, or like a tent covering. Many scriptures refer to the heavens in this manner. Check out Genesis 1:8, 2:4, 11:4, 28:12, just for starters.

In fact, some translations of the first creation account in Genesis 1:8 describes god as calling into existence the firmament of the heaven.  A firmament is a support or pillar.  To extend the simile of Isiah 40:22, it is the tent pole upon which heaven is held up above the Earth.  This is intended as literal, not poetic.  This was the literal belief about the nature of heaven used throughout the Bible's Old Testament.  It is a holdover from Egyptian mythology which stated that a large mountain was arisen from the sea to support the heaven.[1]

To further the bowl reference, this word firmament is an interesting derivative.  In the Hebrew, the word used for firmament is raqiya which means an extended solid surface or flat expanse.  Raqiya is derived from the Hebrew word raqa, which means beaten out or to spread material by beating, hammering, or stamping.  This is a reference to the process of making a metal bowl by hammering metal flat.  Thus in Job 37:18 we read about Elihu asking Job "Can you beat out [raqa] the vault of the skies, as he does, hard as a mirror of cast metal." (From the Kings James Version: "Hast thou with him spread out the sky which is strong, and as a molten looking-glass?")  Additionally, Job 22:14 makes reference to the "vault of heaven", sometimes translated as "vault of the sky" or "arch of heaven" in the context of discussing where god resides.[2][3][4][4 backup link]

To get back to the idea of the Earth being flat, many scriptures make references to the Earth being built upon a foundation. Note Job 38:4, Zechariah 12:1, Hebrews 1:10, Revelations 13:8 and Revelations 17:8.  The Earth is also described as being fixed in place in scriptures such as 1 Chronicles 16:30.

All of these promote the idea that the ancients had false concepts about the nature of Earth being flat and heaven being placed over the Earth and supported somehow so that is does not fall.  It shows that the writers of the bible showed an acceptance and believed in these false concepts.


Though not used as a resource for this article, I also recommend reading The Three-Story Universe (backup link).

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Evolution of Mammal Traits

Sometimes I'm fascinated at how mammals become mammals. Most mammals are so similar to one another in our number of traits that it amazes me to think that the diversity of mammals today came from a very small number of species in the past. One trait the most people don't even know about is our acute hearing. I imagine most people never think about how we mammals hear differently than other species. We have three bones in our inner ear, two of which are unique to us. (Most animals use parts of their jaw bones to hear.) Another unique adaption is the fact that we feed our young with milk from the mother. This is such as complex function, I can imagine why some people find it easier to accept we are just "made" this way. However, there is evidence that shows the path of evolution, and it isn't in the form of fossils.

The platypus is likely the most primitive mammal alive today. It lays eggs. It does feed it's young with a milk-like secretion, but not with nipples. Instead, it has a hairy patch its underside. The secretions not only serve to feed their young, but apparently, it also adds an additional layer of protection to the egg shell before the hatchlings emerge.

Then, the path to marsupials is given to us in the form of the second most primitive mammal, the echidna. This is a group of a few species that also lay eggs. However, when it lays its eggs, it places them into a pouch. This likely represents a primitive marsupial, before egg laying was replaced by embryo birth.

Marsupials in turn do have one advantage to placental mammals (that's us). There are less complications from having to protect the embryo from the mothers immune system since the young leave the womb at such an early stage.

Of course, the advantage of having a placenta during pregnancy has its own advantages, which can be seen by the fact that placental mammals are now the dominate form of mammals.

Even given our high level of development, one can see that mammals have not dominated the Earth for very long. For example, there are far fewer varieties of mammals than reptiles. Given the advancements of mammals, it will be interesting to see what future classes of species evolve on our world.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Saturday, March 15, 2008

My Restaurant Reviews

I've been reviewing items online almost as long as I've been on the internet. I've started leaving reviews of restaurants in Silicon Valley now. Check them out here:

Currently, I have reviews for Straits, Pizza Antica and Thea. So far, my reviews are centered around Santana Row, but it will expand.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Home schooling does not mean Parent schooling

In recent news here in California, there is a case in the courts now that is reinforcing California state law which basically says "persons between the ages of six and eighteen" are to be in "public full-time day school," or a "private full-time day school" or "instructed by a tutor who holds a valid state teaching credential for the grade being taught". This has been state law for a very very long time. Yet now, we have scofflaws that claim they have a right to teach their own children whatever they want. Homeschooling is legal in California, as long as it is conducted per state mandated curriculum and by a licensed instructor. The excuse used by the scofflaws? "Parents should not have to attend a four-year college education program just to teach their own children." It's the old argument, "Oh my god, this is too hard to do right, so I'm just going to do it wrong and be happy!" Lazy, lazy, lazy. Oh and cheap too! You don't care enough about your child's education to pay for it yourself (since you don't want the state to do it)! Mr and Mrs Long, in my opinion, you are lazy, selfish, and cheap jerks who obviously don't do enough reading into anything to know what is the truth. You have no business trying to pass on your ignorance to anyone's children! That said, it is important for parents to teach their children about their own experiences, beliefs, hertitage, etc. Parental schooling does not mean home schooling. It is not a replacement for a formal education. It is something that should be done in conjuction with a formal education. Home schooling is just a place to do it if the law is followed. Parental schooling is not the same thing. If you don't agree with something taught in the classroom, then discuss it with your children. It is as simple as that.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Weeklong birthday

This has been a weeklong birthday of sorts. Monday, Allie took me out to Red Lobster. I had something with two lobster tales. It was fairly good, but at it made me miss Legal Seafood in New England. Yesterday, Ronie and Fern had a small a BBQ for me at their place. They got a super rich chocolate cake. We took home the remainder of the cake, but I'm not sure how I'm going to eat it all. Tonight, Allie and I invited her parents to join us for dinner at Cascal in downtown Mountain View. They ended up paying for it it with the excuse that it was still my birthday.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

First time in awhile

For the first time in awhile, I went out. I met up with Miriam and some of her friends a Old Pro in downtown Palo Alto. The evening wasn't too crazy. There was some new randoms from her work place. I had trouble making it there though because I wasn't able to leave work until like 7pm. It was fun getting out for the evening. Allie, oddly enough, had separate plans for her friends, also in downtown Palo Alto on the same evening, but those fell through and then she got sick. Otherwise, she would've come too.

Friday, February 29, 2008


Here's a show I am disappointed to see go. It might have been kept on for a full season had the writers strike on happened when it did. I know a lot of people had trouble getting into the show too. I personally enjoyed the show a lot.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Obviously Married

I looked at my ring finger today with no particular intentions. I started playing with my ring. That's when I saw it. It is official. My ring finger is now has an indelible ring of reddish coloration under my wedding ring. It's weird. It's like, I had the thought that,"Well, there really is no going back now." I can no longer take off my ring and expect no one to know I'm married. I never did this for that particular intention, of course. In fact, I was often concerned when I had to take my ring off out in public because there was no identification regarding my wedded status. Now though, the mark is unmistakable. The worry changed to, "What will people think if I have to take my ring off and they see this mark? Will they think I'm trying unsuccessfully to hide the fact I'm married?" It's funny how this stuff works; no middle ground.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Pop goes Mensa

Every once in awhile, even the elite among us must venture into the realm of pop culture. MENSA, it turns out, is not exception, apparently. Their chairhuman just came up with his "Top ten smartest shows of all time (in no particular order)". Leave it to a MENSA member to list a top ten of anything in no particular order. Now, it must be made clear that MENSA in no way takes itself too seriously beyond the actual endeavor to find smart people. This is a group of people that freely laughs at themselves. So, in an effort to give closure to any readers of my article here, I ask forgiveness from both MENSA chairhuman Jim Werdell and Fancast for re-publishing their list, as follows (my commentary is in red):

1. M*A*S*H – It had smart repartee and was so much more than a comedy. Yeah, I'll watch its reruns when I'm bored and nothing else
is on.

2. Cosmos (with Carl Sagan) – Sagan was able to communicate something
extremely complicated to the layman and do it well, and that’s unusual for a
scientist at his level. It should be noted that Carl
Sagan became an outcast among his peers in the scientific community because of
his attempts to make science accessable to the everyone.

3. CSI -- The way they use science to solve their programs is intriguing to
viewers. Only if all the worlds problems could be
solved with a bit of science within an hour.

4. House – Again, it’s high level type of show; it’s the personality that
makes it a winner, plus it deals with science. I am
enjoying this show, but find I can't watch its reruns.

5. West Wing – you had to pay attention to stay up with it. The repartee was
fast and furious and you needed a fairly high level intelligence to keep up with
it. I did enjoy this show a lot. It would've
been nice if we really had a President like that. It's

6. Boston Legal – It’s primarily because of the characters. The story lines
are okay, but the characters are incredible and the writers give them great
dialogue. I can watch this sometimes.

7. All in the Family – The show dealt with social issues before its time and
was on the forefront of trying to show people’s feelings, beliefs and the
complexities of personality, in both a serious and comedic way. This was an important show in its day. It's ironic that a
show with its social content couldn't be aired today even though we all think
things are better now. I think its more that we are happy with how
effectively we are hiding the underlining issues now.

8. Frasier – The repartee was sensational; the main characters were very
good. Even though they portrayed people who were likely of high intelligence,
they also showed their weaknesses. This is a great
show that I can enjoy watching over and over.

9. Mad About You – It’s a personal favorite, I loved the characters and the
back and forth. It was very smart. This was a good
show that went deep into human relationships. Sometimes a little too

10. Jeopardy – It’s about the only game show that really tries to test
people’s intelligence. There’s very little luck involved, and there are few game
shows like that. I don’t watch it all that much honestly, but from what I’ve
seen it tests more than knowledge, it tests intelligence too. It's fun at times, but isn't really about smarts; instead about
who can memorize the most information.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Nothing like San Diego

There's nothing like going to San Diego and then not being able to just relax and do nothing. I was there recently, and missed the great weather and the rainy weather too. Why? I was in doors all day at a convention for the engineering software I use called SolidWorks. I learned a lot, and was able to make a lot of contacts with others in my field. However, the only time I got to really get out and enjoy San Diego was after the sun was down. The block party that shut off several blocks of the Gaslamp Quarter that the convention organizers put on one evening was a lot of fun. Nothing beats the flow of free beer.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

So far, so

My cuzin Les has been bugging to do sumfin with her for awhile now. We live in the same general metropolis for a few years, but haven't had a good chance to just hang out other than at family events and whatever. We made arrangements to meet up last Friday. Thoses plans fell through at the last minute. Instead, we met up this Friday. Even that got pushed out to later in the night. We ended up meeting up around 9pm, had a later dinner at Pizza Antica at Santana Row. The quality of food at Pizza Antica has been slowly been going downhill. I'll save that review for another day. It was nice to just chill and chat though.

Allie and I hadn't been out to a desent place for awhile, so I figured last night we'd hit up Straits, also at Santana Row. We were actually both impressed with the quality of food there. Its funny how much we end up talking about work, even over a nice dinner. We had also planned to goto the movies, maybe to see National Treasure. Nothing is out that is all that interesting right now, and National Treasure was more a compromise than an actual desired choice, so we changed our minds, hit up Blockbuster and watched Elizabeth: The Golden Age, and The Quiet.

Monday, February 04, 2008

The Big Game

I didn't outright confidently say that the Giants would win the Super Bowl, but I did say that they had a good chance at it.  If I was a betting man, I would've put my money down for the Giants to win outright.  I am on record saying this, so :-P    Some people thought it was the Patriot's game to lose.  Not so.  The Giants won this game because they played better Football.   I stated earlier in the season that the Patriots are a paper tiger.  Once someone found their weakness and exploited it, they wouldn't be able to keep up at their pace.  The Giants figured it out during the season, but just fell short.  That wasn't going to happen this time.  Patriots are a great team.  They had a formula that worked well for several seasions.  However, this is their peak.  It's not a matter of filling up holes or elimenating weaknesses anymore.  They will maintain a great franchise for some time, but the glory is starting to fade.  As for the Giants, they seem to pop up about once a decade in the Super Bowl.  I'm sure we will see them there again.

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Monday, January 21, 2008

Evening in San Diego

I'm in the Gaslight district in San Diego,
by chance the San Diego Chargers played
there play-off game against the New
England Patriots. Now that the game is
over,and the chargers have had there ugly
loss, the mood here is very subdued. Blue
and yellow balloons hang low along the
street outside of bars and rest'rants as
their helium deflates almost was quickly
as the Chargers. Fans are along walking
slowly in that sort of walk the commutes
'I don't really care...(but it's obvious I
really do.)'

Goodnight Chargers. BTW, what is a charger anyway?
___Sent with

Monday, January 14, 2008

California Ballot Jan 2008

Proposition 91, Transportation Funds: This bill puts limits the California state budget. It's yet another prop that is trying to put unnecessary controls on the state budget that causes much of the budgetary issues this state suffers from. I'm voting No.

Proposition 92, Community Colleges Funding: This bill attempts to force the state to fund our schools. It sets up a new bureaucracy as part of this effort. What the heck? The legislature needs to do this, not some new bureaucracy. I'm voting NO!

Proposition 93, Change of Term Limits: This reduces the total number of years Representatives and Senators can serve in the state legislature, but allows more freedom as to where those individuals can serve their time. I am against term limits. The people should be able to vote for whoever they want for as long as they wish. However, this is at least 1/2 a step in the right direction. I'm voting a very marginal yes.

Proposition 94, 95, 96, and 97, Indian Gaming Agreements: Allows four specific Indian tribes in Southern California to grow their casino operations. In exchange, they will share more of their revenues with the state and other Indian tribes. The problem is that these bills make these new rules without taking the other tribes in to consideration. The other tribes aren't too happy about that. I'm voting an ambivalent no.

Local measures A and B are here in Santa Clara county where a private developer wishes to take a publicly owned property for private one-time profit, instead of keeping the property public and developing it for the common good. Can anyone say "Land Grab"? I'm voting a big, fat NO! The local commercials have old people saying how nice it would be to have affordable housing. But the plan will actually stuff hundreds of senior citizens into small apartment complex, while the bulk of the property is turn into massive high end homes sold to the very wealthy. Total scam. The property could be developed to provide hundreds of real houses to senior citizens and still have plenty of property left over for public use. So, No and No!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

"Yeah, well, they shoulda ducked!"

The production is cheesy, of course, and Olivia Munn's comic delivery is amazingly (surprizingly) good.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Hard to find a good air purifier

Allie and I have been looking around for a good quality air purifier for a little while. Based on a recent Consumer Reports article, the Whirlpool air purifiers rated highest. I set out to find a local retailer who carried the this product. I want to find a local retailer since I may need to get filters locally from time to time, or may need to bring it in somewhere for warranty if there is an issue. After checking the Whirlpool website, I found several companies that carried Whirlpool products (all of which I already knew carried Whirlpool products). I visited a couple last weekend. No luck. So I wouldn't have to drive all over town anymore, I called Whirlpool customer service to get a better idea of who carried their air purifier products. They couldn't tell me anything more than a guess. I visited a couple more places during the week. No luck.

Well, I found Kenmore and Hunter air purifiers very quickly. Their products rated almost as well as the Whirlpool, so it looks like I'll be getting one of theirs instead. Seems to me a company would want me to find their product. I guess Whirlpool doesn't care.