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What Tracfone doesn’t want you to know

If you have a digital Tracfone (pay-as-you-go cell phone), your friends can leave you voicemail messages. On the Tracfone web site, they tell you how to listen to your messages using your Tracfone. They do not, however, tell you how to retrieve messages from another phone. The reason is simple. They want you to use up your minutes listening to your voicemail from your cell phone so you will buy more Tracfone cards and spend more money.

You can retrieve your messages from any other phone using the same method that other cell phone companies offer. Just dial your Tracfone number. When your voicemail greeting starts to play, punch in * (asterisk/star) followed by your passcode/pin. The greeting stops and in a few seconds you will be told if you have new messages, just as if you had called in on your Tracfone and no minutes are deducted from your balance.

iTunes is currently playing: Lost You In The Canyon from the album Live in Long Branch [legal bootleg] by Marc Cohn.


The job offers must be just rolling in for this guy

Imad Hamdi, former head of European security for Liza Minelli and her estranged husband, David Guest, says he has written a book about their marriage called "Liza and Her Diseases" and that "Two major European publishers are bidding on it right now."

While the 27-year-old Hamdi waits for his book to be published, he provides security for Saudi princes, unnamed celebs and other VIPs who, he says, "rely on my discretion."

iTunes is currently playing: Have You Heard from the album Besancon France - July 8, 1991 (bootleg) by Pat Metheny Group.


Want to be cursed at by teenagers?

Teach high school students at the Weavers School in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire [UK].

A secondary school is to allow pupils to swear at teachers - as long as they don't do so more than five times in a lesson. A running tally of how many times the f-word has been used will be kept on the board. If a class goes over the limit, they will be 'spoken' to at the end of the lesson.

iTunes is currently playing: Things We've Handed Down from the album The Rainy Season by Marc Cohn.


if you have a boring baby …

... turn him into an iPod!

The [iPod accessories] craze has even spread to clothing -- for infants. One Web site,, sells multicolored baby jumpers with the familiar iPod scroll wheel on the front, for people who want their children to look like life-size music players. The site has made more than 1,000 sales since it launched a couple of weeks ago, according to Dave Schroeder of Reston, who co-founded the business.

iTunes is currently playing: God Bless The Child from the album Ken Burns Jazz Collection: Billie Holiday by Billie Holiday.

here is an example of why ….

... i am sometimes embarrassed to tell people i lived in California for twenty years. if Dianne Feinstein thinks the San Francisco city supervisors are out there, you know they must really be out there.

The USS Iowa joined in battles from World War II to Korea to the Persian Gulf. It carried President Franklin Roosevelt home from the Teheran conference of allied leaders, and four decades later, suffered one of the nation's most deadly military accidents.

Veterans groups and history buffs had hoped that tourists in San Francisco could walk the same teak decks where sailors dodged Japanese machine-gun fire and fired 16-inch guns that helped win battles across the South Pacific.

Instead, it appears that the retired battleship is headed about 80 miles inland, to Stockton, a gritty agricultural port town on the San Joaquin River and home of California's annual asparagus festival.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., a former San Francisco mayor, helped secure $3 million to tow the Iowa from Rhode Island to the Bay Area in 2001 in hopes of making touristy Fisherman's Wharf its new home.

But city supervisors voted 8-3 last month to oppose taking in the ship, citing local opposition to the Iraq war and the military's stance on gays, among other things.

"If I was going to commit any kind of money in recognition of war, then it should be toward peace, given what our war is in Iraq right now," Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi said.

Feinstein called it a "very petty decision."

"This isn't the San Francisco that I've known and loved and grew up in and was born in," Feinstein said.

iTunes is currently playing: Life During Wartime from the album Fear Of Music by Talking Heads.

Good things come to those who wait

As a Mac user who fell in love with Konfabulator, I was upset when Apple built their own widget system from scratch instead of buying the original from its developers. Looks like the guys will come out alright after all.

iTunes is currently playing: Better Days Ahead from the (bootleg) album Besancon France - July 8, 1991 by Pat Metheny Group.


Liz Smith on the Katie Holmes Interview

"W MAGAZINE has the scariest piece of celebrity journalism in a long time. Yes, indeed, I do mean the Katie Holmes interview. You must read every word. It is true that most writers arrive with their own spin — and not necessarily the correct spin. But if Robert Haskell's report is even half of what Miss Holmes said, didn't say, and allowed her Scientologist "friend" to say for her, this July profile becomes immediately immortal. It will be used as the prototype alarm-ringing article if Tom Cruise and Miss Holmes don't live happily ever after."

iTunes is currently playing: Baby, We're Really In Love from the album 24 Greatest Hits by Hank Williams.


26 going on 15

"Tom and I will always be in our honeymoon phase," Katie Holmes says in an interview with W magazine, on newsstands July 22.

iTunes is currently playing: When I Grow Up from the album Short Sharp Shocked by Michelle Shocked.


file under “Read It and Weep”

A Fox News poll asked viewers whether Bill O'Reilly is a journalist or not. 40% said yes. When asked the same question of Bob Woodward, just 30% answered yes.

iTunes is currently playing: I Don't Wanna Know from the album Simple Things by Richie Havens.


I wish I ate pizza …

... so I could boycott Pizza Hut.

From today's L.A.Times:
Steve Harvey: Only in L.A.

'And Would You Like a Reminder of Your Age With the Pizza?'

"Getting old is getting old," said Alvin Ellis, age 63, "but who wants to be reminded of it while dining at Pizza Hut?" Ellis was referring to a sales receipt he received at an L.A. eatery that identified him and his 79-year-old companion as "A Old Man and A Old Woman" (see accompanying).

Ellis complained at the time, and said he was told by the cashier that she was sorry but that "it was to assist her in remembering who had placed the order." He talked to the cashier's supervisor, and was told she also was sorry but that it happened "to be the way they do things here."

Finally, he phoned the company's complaint line and was told that the identification was not "appropriate" and that the cost of his meal would be refunded. More than 60 days later, he said, he still hasn't received the refund.

iTunes is currently playing: What Goes Around from the album Too Far To Whisper by Shadowfax.

Comments (2)

If I open my windows …

... and turn my stereo up really loud and you sit outside in your car listening to my music, are you breaking the law?

It seems to me that if someone is dumb enough to set up a wireless network and leave it open to the world... oh, well ...

iTunes is currently playing: Steal Me Blind from the album Alf by Alison Moyet.


A Blast from the Past (almost)

I went to a concert/dance tonight. (For those who find that hard to believe, I have the video to prove it! Someone even asked me to dance. Imagine that :) )

A local band called Together played at the East Chicago Marina (near the floating casinos). I never knew that East Chicago had a marina. Maybe it is new (as in "built since I moved away in 1979").

In any case, the band was great. They played soul from the 60's (Temptations, the Dells, Rare Earth...) along with salsa, Sinatra, and a bit of disco thrown in for good measure. Robin says that some of the guys played with the Enchanters, a band we danced to in high school. If I ever throw a party with live music, I'll get these guys to play.

Here is a picture of a little girl who attended the concert but was more interested in the fireworks show which was to follow the music and dancing. Isn't she cute?

iTunes is currently playing: Dance Away from the album Heart Still Beating by Roxy Music.

Dear Brooke Shields:

Tom Cruise is a f***ing idiot and everybody knows it.

As my mother always says, consider the source.

iTunes is currently playing: When Sunny Gets Blue from the album 16 Most Requested Songs by Johnny Mathis.

Comments (1)


That's how I felt as I drove my new Scion xA off the dealer's lot.

Is it cute or what?!

iTunes is currently playing: Driving from the album The Language Of Life by Everything But The Girl.

Book Report: The Ice Queen by Alice Hoffman

Do you think life sucks? Do you look around, take note of the pain that bombards us relentlessly as we move through life, and wonder why we don't all just blow our brains out and get it over with? If so, DO NOT read Alice Hoffman's "The Ice Queen". I cannot remember when I've read a drearier book. Not that the story and characters won't hold your interest. They will. But if you are prone to depression, you will pay the price for reading this book.

You have been warned.

iTunes is currently playing: Tears All Over Town from the album Idlewild by Everything But The Girl.


I Love Cemeteries

They contain so many stories, the details of which we can only guess. These gravestones, located near my family's plots in Northwest Indiana, are two of my favorites. I want to know so much more than what appears on the stones...

iTunes is currently playing: Lost Child (String Quartet Remix) from the album Moto.Tronic by Ryuichi Sakamoto.

No wonder he chose to write fiction

The current (March/April 2005) issue of Poets and Writers magazine includes an article about a young fiction writer from Thailand named Rattawut Lapcharoensap. The article says of Lapcharoensap, who recently published a collection of short stories called Sightseeing:

When he lived in Chicago, his parents frequently took in political dissidents and foreign refugees. One day, an old, scraggly man, a diswasher at a local restaurant, showed up and took over the family's couch. Lapcharoensap asked his mother who the man was and what kind of work he did. "He's a poet," his mother replied.

iTunes is currently playing: The Book I Read from the album Live at the Sun Palace (Tokyo) by Talking Heads.


2+ mil for the lawyer, 49 cents for the plaintiff

An interesting article in today's L.A. Times explains how sleazy lawyers get rich by filing class action lawsuits and then negotiate settlements that give them millions while giving each "injured" party less than a dollar. Perhaps even more interesting is the fact that many of the plaintiffs don't even know they are a party to the action until they get a check that isn't worth cashing. Strange but true...

iTunes is currently playing: The Game from the album Another Place by Hiroshima.

Comments (1)

How can we get reporters to stop talking to this guy?

From Drudge:
En route to Rome, Clinton told reporters the pope centralized authority in the papacy again and enforced a very conservative theological doctrine. "There will be debates about that. The number of Catholics increased by 250 million on his watch. But the numbers of priests didn't. He's like all of us - he may have a mixed legacy."

iTunes is currently playing: Your Cheatin' Heart from the album 24 Greatest Hits by Hank Williams.


Zogby has restored my faith in mankind.

A Zogby poll completed after the controversial death of Terri Schiavo finds that eight-in-ten (80%) likely voters say that a disabled person who is not terminally ill or in a coma, and not being kept alive by life support should not, in the absence of a written directive to the contrary, be denied food and water.

By a three-to-one (44% to 14%) margin, likely voters say that, when there is conflicting evidence on the wishes of a patient, elected officials
should order that a feeding tube remain in place.

The same poll also finds a majority (56%) agree that Schiavo's husband Michael should have turned guardianship for the severely-disabled woman over to her parents based on his decision to have a long-term serious relationship with another woman.

By a two-to-one (44% to 24%) margin, with one-in-three (32%) undecided, the survey finds that an incapacitated person should be presumed to want to live in the absence of written instructions such as a living will.

iTunes is currently playing: Life Holds On from the album Beth Nielsen Chapman by Beth Nielsen Chapman.