The ultimate hiking companion

There are a few things necessary when starting out on a long hike, regardless of the weather. You need a good pair of shoes, possibly boots. You need something to drink, most likely water. And finally, you need a peanut butter and pickle sandwich. Even the folks at the New York Times realize this!

IDs chipped at Texas schools

Sure, you could argue that attending a public school essentially excludes you from having privacy. But is it really necessary to add tracking chips to IDs for San Antonio students?

Save Kentucky Kingdom!

SaveMyPark.com

Many of you know that I used to work at Kentucky Kingdom, an amusement park in Louisville, Ky. The park closed three years ago after Six Flags filed for bankrupcy. A group of Kingdom alumni are trying to generate interest in the park at SaveMyPark.com. Join us in saving the park!

And ... we're back

Hello again! My blog is back, so I'm sure that's exciting for all 14 of you who noticed that it was missing. You may also notice that the site looks considerably different than previous iterations. It has taken me some time to get this going again because I've again switched CMSs - this time, from modx to Drupal. Both have their positives, but we use Drupal a lot for work, so it was a no-brainer to use that for my personal sites.

A sampling of a few new reviews ...

Here you go:

- " ... a great writing style, and I always appreciate a dose of subtle cynicism in anything I read."

- "The book was a humorous take on the corporate world, the stress, the relocation, the robot-type of requirement to fit it."

- " ... had me laughing out loud."

There's more on the reviews page!

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Random News

Olympics start before they begin

I thought the Summer Olympics started Aug. 11, but I visited the official Athens 2004 Olympics site, and it says there are two days until it begins. On the home page, it proceeds to tell me the first soccer (or football outside the U.S.) matches are Aug. 11. How can the Games start before the Olympics start?

Nevertheless, the official site has a lot of options, including a schedule, news, results, biographies and about a billion other things that I left out. I was disappointed, though, at the coverage of synchronized diving.

Watch out for the dysentery

If you're close to my age (under 80, but older than 5), you may remember one of the earlier educational games, Oregon Trail. This game possibly accurately depicted random people following Lewis and Clark in their quest for new land, gold and Texas tea. Or, wait, Texas wasn't around yet. Was there tea?

Anyway, the game taught multiple skills, none of which helped you make tea. But they did help kids make critical decisions on how best to outfit a caravan across an unknown wilderness, with food, clothing, weapons, etc.

Don't forget to update your machine

I hope you made it to my column today in one piece.

Surely there was no traffic on the trip to work, no wrecks to get in your way and no coffee to spill on that new "Dukes of Hazzard" tie your grandmother gave you for Christmas. Just like any other day, I bet you walked into your office or computer room, started up your computer and immediately accessed the Web, right?

Make your picks at your own risk

The best way to pick your bracket is to not listen to anyone.

No sportscasters, no sports writers, no cowboys. You shouldn't listen to anyone. You have the brackets in front of you; why can't you make your own decisions?

The real Christmas hits

I'm fairly convinced I'm the only person left on earth who has not created a Christmas album.

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