Ticket turns into hassle

Most sensible people would probably concede, pay the ticket and try harder next time. Not me. Finally, Aug. 2 at 8:50 a.m., the charges were dismissed. I was a free man. But the way it happened was a bit intriguing.

If you can't beat the heat, join it

Boy it's hot outside. That's why I'm inside now. People keep talking about beating the heat. You've got to be kidding. You couldn't even beat the heat with a large frying pan. To avoid one silly cliché, I've decided to live by another — if you can't beat it, join it. Here's a short list of things to do to join the heat:

Start a fire — You can burn a lot faster, and burn a lot more for that matter. The folks at Woodstock 99 decided to light a few bonfires, loot shops and get really, really angry. Unfortunately, Willie Nelson escaped with few burns.

Choose words wisely

Bad things happen.

There's nothing anyone can do; they just happen. This past week, we saw our fair share of incidents. Nationally, a man whose life has been in a continual spotlight died in a plane crash. Locally, a young woman was found dead after being missing since July 4.

Tragedies strike at all times, mostly when least expected. There are numerous levels of tragedies, yet they all come back to one thing — loss. Losing something or someone can be devastating. But eventually, the void becomes a part of you, while you try fervently to concentrate on other things.

Grass cutting fun

In today's society, there are two groups of people — ones who get paid to cut grass and ones who cut grass only because it's their duty to the country. Actually there's a third, smaller group of people, composed mostly of apartment dwellers, kids and travel agents. But they, too, have either had to cut the grass or will in the future.

What are fireworks salespeople up to now anyway?

Nomads have wandered through cities during the last two weeks, sold their goods and departed for lands of milk and honey.

They don't leave a trail, but their wares do – usually ashes, perhaps a foul-smelling odor but always a glowing experience.

Fireworks salespeople have rigorous lives. I recently caught up with one such seller, Smokin' Joe Romancandle. What follows is his normal day:

6 a.m. Wakes up, sings the "Star-Spangled Banner," eats a Pop-Tart and brushes his teeth.

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Random News

Congrats Microsoft, you came up with a name ... now what?

Bing, Microsoft's new search engine, is finally here. OK, well, as of May 29, 2009, it's not actually here yet. However, people are already raving over the name "Bing." It does have a nice ring to it, and it goes great with Crosby. But, what's in a name?

Meet me at Friendster

I will be featuring the Web site Friendster in my August column. If you are a member of Friendster, add me as a friend and send me any comments you have about your Friendster experience.

Friendster, from its site, is an online community that connects people through networks of friends. If you're not a member yet, join and let me know how you like it.

The Developers nearing reality

I've been told by my publisher that my book, "The Developers," a book about ... hmm, not much of anything, is almost ready. It is due to be finished May 10. I'm currently busy trying to prepare a few things and make contacts for the books. With the first printing, there will be 200 copies made available to the public, so if you are interested, please visit the books page for more information.

Animals doing the robot

If you're having problems with animals listening to you (Aqua Man, no need to apply), you may want to check out some of the research Chinese scientists have been compiling recently. There are reports that the Robot Engineering Technology Research Center of east China's Shandong University of Science and Technology is implanting micro electrodes in pigeons to control their movements.

Way too many Web sites for contest-crazy fans

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you are bad in any way if you aren't a college basketball fan. But being from this area, you'd better know a little something about it because if not, your co-workers are sure to avoid you like a 72-year-old cheese log during the next few days.

March Madness is like a vacation; you wait forever for it to get here, then it's over before you know it. But rarely can you go on vacation and have a chance to win prizes and cash. There's a much better chance of just blowing it all.

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