Tuesday, October 31, 2006

One Cable Company Under God

Posted By on Tue, Oct 31, 2006 at 3:52 PM

If we have one thing to be thankful today, it's that we don't live in Los Angeles.

Why? Because from Newport Beach to Malibu (including all those less plush zip codes in between), anyone who uses high-speed cable for Internet service was screwed from 6 a.m. until a little after noon. Six long busy morning hours without Internet access. That area is covered by one cable company. Isn't there some law against monopolies?

Time Warner Cable ate up Comcast and Adelphia to become one giant eat-my-dust cable company. That's scary.

Here, you don't exactly have a choice of cable companies. I live under Cox coverage but chose to go with Qwest DSL. I'm not sure why. I needed a separate IP address for my one-woman-owned business and didn't want a business account. Qwest said it was not a problem, but it turned out it was quite the problem. Now that I have it, I don't want to start again with another headache. If Comcast could've handled it better, it wouldn't be available to me anyway based on my geography.

I just did a search (as of 2 p.m.) for information about the Time Warner Cable outage in Los Angeles, and nothing shows up on the Los Angeles Times, Yahoo! (large office located in Pasadena) and Google. However, there were plenty of other past outages listed.

Scary Sheriff, et al.

Posted By on Tue, Oct 31, 2006 at 3:48 PM

Maricopa County's very own Sheriff Joe Arpaio has made the list of "The Thirteen Scariest People in America" in the October issue of Old Trout magazine, "a bi-monthly journal of political delusions, truthiness, celebrity antics, and cultural nonsense."

Most of Sheriff Joe's antics may be familiar to Arizonans in reach of a newspaper, but the rest of the eclectic list are likely to be relative strangers, perhaps with the exceptions of Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback and billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife.

After you're done reading up on these folks, browse some more at AlterNet, an award-winning news magazine and online community whose aim is to "inspire citizen action and advocacy on the environment, human rights and civil liberties, social justice, media, and health care issues." (Very little of Old Trout's content is online, but the magazine has an interesting history page at its site.)

Happy Halloween, Everyone

Posted By on Tue, Oct 31, 2006 at 8:24 AM

It's All Hallows Eve. I grew up in Nevada, and it so happens that Oct. 31 was also a state holiday: Nevada Day. This meant that we got Oct. 31 off every year from school. It rocked.

Even though I am now quite a way removed from my Nevada schooldays, it still feels weird not to get Halloween off.

In the meantime, celebrate by re-living (in an entirely text-based fashion) the Junior Mints episode of Seinfeld. Junior Mints are my favorite candy. Ah, for the days when I could look at a box of Junior Mints without raging guilt over my waistlline.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Do Smokers Have Smoking Rights?

Posted By on Mon, Oct 30, 2006 at 5:42 PM

A woman called me today, apparently upset that the Weekly has endorsed Prop 201 (which would ban smoking in bars) and Prop 203 (which would tax cigs to pay for preschool programs). While some of what she had to say was freaking insane (at one point, she said that studies linking smoking to cancer were "bunk"), she got me thinking: What rights do smokers have to smoke?

My position as of this moment: Smokers cost society a lot, in terms of medical costs; if raising taxes gets smokers to cut down and/or quit, or gets fewer people to start, then that's fantastic. And secondhand smoke kills, so therefore, smoking in bars should go. (And I am sorry, I don't buy the argument that a blanket ban on smoking in bars will hurt business that much. I am sorry, but the bars in California seem to be doing just spiffy.)

However, I am open to hearing good arguments on why smokers have the right to smoke in bars and why taxing the hell outta cigs is wrong. Persuade me. 

Call for Change - The Power of MoveOn.org

Posted By on Mon, Oct 30, 2006 at 8:25 AM

If you're a Democrat you probably have been bombarded with phone calls. (You could also be bombarded with calls if you're a Republican or independent, but how in the hell would I know that?)

Now I see the usefulness of caller ID which I didn't want to pay the phone company extra for.

Yet, I don't mind those calls, because it demonstrates the passionate nature of wanting to get more Democrats elected into office.

The thought of Jon Kyl in office makes my skin crawl. Anyone who sucks up to Bush and wants to send more troops into battle is downright frightening.

If you want to make phone calls in your spare time, they make it easy for you. Check out Call for Change. You can make calls (and just not in Arizona) for 15 minutes a day or whenever you have some spare time.

This is not a politically paid for announcement.

Friday, October 27, 2006

The Case of Tucson Greyhound Park's Missing Greyhounds

Posted By on Fri, Oct 27, 2006 at 11:36 PM

Hauler Rick Favreau got paid $150/dog (at least 3x more than any adoption group ever gets for picking up dogs at the track, if they get any money at all). According to the AZ Department of Racing, 158 dogs are documented as missing. Do the math and it's $23,900. The usual going rate for hauling dogs to adoption groups is $60/dog.

The Department of Racing fined Favreau $1,000 and suspended his license for 60 days. Divide 158 greyhounds into $1,000 and that's $6.32 per dog. You can't even buy a sandwich and a soda at Baggins' for that price.

If 158 golden retrievers disappeared, the legal wheels would be churning.

What's wrong with this picture?

Favreau claims that the dogs are fine but yet he can only provide documentation for eight dogs as to their whereabouts.

There are many reports about this greyhound holocaust but oddly enough only one in Tucson.

Read about them and/or watch the videos in Denver, in Chicago, and on channel 13, KOLD.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Hiding in Plain Sight - Masks Exhibition - Starting October 27

Posted By on Thu, Oct 26, 2006 at 7:35 PM

Gallery Centella's exhibition is a celebration of ancient mask making traditions. The exhibit runs from Oct. 27 through Dec. 2.

Meet the five artists, view their works and watch live performance art on Friday, Oct. 27, from 5 to 8 p.m. It could be a happening scene.

View the Web site for all the details.

So THAT's what those strange things in the desert are!

Posted By on Thu, Oct 26, 2006 at 4:29 PM

The rest of the world has to set their clocks back an hour this weekend, while we in Arizona say phooey to weird messings-with-time. We don't like to play God 'round these parts.

The Onion (which, as I hope you know, is not a "real" newspaper. Just making sure.) "reports" that now there's a surplus of extra daylight that's being stored.... here! Woo hoo! Just what we need! MORE SUNSHINE!

In other sunlight-related news, it's mighty ironic that the URL for this real-time World Sunlight Map is die.net.

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