Speechwriting: Corporate, Weddings, Retirement

3/29/11

Jake (Jacob Barnett) teaches us Calculus 2. Techniques of Integration

Math was never my strongest subject. For Jacob Barnett, however, it seems to be his first language.

Jake (Jacob Barnett) teaches us Calculus 2. Techniques of Integration

3/28/11

China's Government Kills More People Than the Rest of the World Combined

Amnesty International says "China executed more people than rest of world combined"," according to the Times of India.

AI is estimating this, of course, since China does not have the guts to admit they regularly kill murderers, rapists and people who disagree with communism.

Per capita, maybe Iraq wins the race to kill their citizens (we can't count Libya, since hopefully their situation will improve), though China's one child per family law probably means that abundant abortions result in order to follow the law adding to the death numbers.

Debating the Death Penalty: Should America Have Capital Punishment? The Experts on Both Sides Make Their Case

3/26/11

Wooden Spinning Top - Trendl Game

Wooden Spinning Top - Trendl Game
Named after me?

3" x 1.25" Diameter


Handcrafted in Austria, each Mader top is made from woods native to Europe in limited quantities.

Each Mader top is beautifully balanced and includes their trademark burn line along its equator.

Mader tops are a clever conversation piece: display a collection of these little works-of-art atop a mirror on your coffee table or display a few on top of your desk and use them as stress relievers throughout the day.

Mader tops make unique and special gifts for children and adults alike.

3/25/11

Bigfoot Video By Thomas Byers (March 2011) (Knobby 1.AVI)

Bigfoot Video By Thomas Byers (March 2011) (Knobby 1.AVI)

More crazy popular videos. Bigfoot or gorilla suit?

QUOTE:
On the evening of Tuesday, March 22, 2011 while driving down Golden Valley Church Road I and a friend Carolyn Wright observed the Big-Foot Knobby or one similar to it cross the road in front of the truck we were in and run into the woods. It came from out of the field from the direction of the creek and we later took photos of feet prints in a freshly plowed field. I jumped from the truck and took this video of it as it crossed the road in front of us. At one point in the video it made a snarling growling sound and looked back at me. I also shot the other video posted with this one while I and my friend Carolyn Wright were trying to see where it went to. I heard it breaking branches as it ran out of my sight into very thick brush. If you listen to the other video you can hear me and my friend talking about what just happened in front of us. You can watch and listen to me and my friend talking in the below video.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3G08_8xaG0
Category: Pets and Animals
tags: knobby, knobby lives, bigfoot, big foot, sasquatch, knobby running across road

3/24/11

Guilty! Denver the Web's Most Guilty Dog

Cenver the Guilty Dog is all over the web. Cute as can be. Seems he snuck into the kitty treats.

Guilty! Denver the Web's Most Guilty Dog

Funny Dogs
Dogs
Labrador Retriever
Retriever
Funny Pets
Hilarious Pets
* (Hidden Track) Please - Song by: John Carrie and Moor Green
* Buy: Buy this song:
AmazonMP3* As Seen On: As seen on: bleikt.is

Three Great Speeches - Martin Luther King, Jr., John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan

An American Life: The AutobiographyThree great speeches now posted on my website.

Martin Luther King, Jr. - I Have a Dream (text and video)

John F. Kennedy - 1961 Presidential Inaugural Address (text and video)

Ronald Reagan - A Time for Choosing (Barry Goldwater) (text and video)
JFK - A Presidency Revealed (History Channel)
See:


Baby Emerson - Mommy's Nose Blowing is Scary! (Original)

I feel like I'm still catching up with pop culture.

Baby Emerson - Mommy's Nose Blowing is Scary! (Original)

Unbelievably funny, must see this.

Baby freaks out when his mom sneezes.

Category: Comedy

Tags: baby, Emerson the baby, sneeze scare, emerson (the original ), funny baby Emerson, sneeze baby Emerson, must see, new, comedy, funny babys, funny baby scared, scared baby

Westboro Baptist Church: An Alternative

Gustav Klimt Tree of Life 24-by-36-Inch Art Poster Print
Rather than posting about Westboro Baptist Church's latest activities, what if we all just ignored them? (Which obviously I have not done.) No self-righteous rants on blogs about how bad they are, and how good we are for saying so. No more posts to news stories on Twitter reminding everyone they exist. No more links to those stories on Facebook that creates lots of discussion and publicity for them.

What if?

And, what if, instead, post about something good someone else is doing.
Ranting might ease some personal tension while indirectly promoting something you might despise, but it does nothing to make a better world.

Make the world a better place. It needs you. Step up.

Like what Todd Kelsey is doing: http://rgbgreen.org/ Their mission is to help people explore how they can play an active role in the ecosystem, by providing an introduction to recycling and renewable energy.

Your turn.

The image above: Gustav Klimt Tree of Life 24-by-36-Inch Art Poster Print ($2.99 at Amazon)

3/23/11

Elizabeth Taylor Dies at 79 - RIP

Elizabeth Taylor Poster Photo Pinup Girl Hollywood Movie Posters 11x14
Elizabeth Taylor Dies at 79 - RIP

Cameraman Sued for Bad Wedding Video

Cameraman Sued for Bad Wedding Video

Quite the craze at the moment.

video du jour.
wedding, video, cameraman, sue, court, clayton bennett, shubrook, martin shubrook, heidi shubrook, guests, feet, grass, marriage, cake, register, bad camera work, sued, compensation

3/21/11

Phil Keaggy "Amazing Grace" E-Bow Demonstration

Phil Keaggy "Amazing Grace" E-Bow Demonstration (video)

I'm not sure what to say. What is a gimmick for some guitarists trying to fill in what skill they are missing, with Phil Keaggy, it is the opposite. This is beautiful.



Search Amazon.com for Phil Keaggy

KISS Rock n Roll All Night (Unplugged)

KISS Rock n Roll All Night (Unplugged)



Rock And Roll All Nite
Unplugged

3/18/11

Rob Bell and Institutional Heresy

Jesus Wants to Save Christians: A Manifesto for the Church in ExileSome of you are aware of the Rob Bell heresy controversy.

The Wheaton College educated, and the trendy founder of a megachurch in Michigan  is dressed in indie-hipster overtones. His recent book tour is drawing interviews from all over. Wrought of the evangelical community, and now, its biggest, though controversial star, Bell is publishing a new book that is about...

Does it matter what his book is about? Does it matter that he is accused of heresy by some, and applauded as a living saint by others?

Already, I see on blogs grand discussions by people defending him or arguing against him. Both sides, or more, have already missed the point.

Bell has created an incredible brand-name, one of the next in the new institution. The fact that you know his name, can talk about his concerns, know already about the controversies, his strong ties to the evangelical subculture shouts irony. His name is bigger than his message.

I won't read his books. I'm not entering dialogues about whether his message matters. And I won't pretend I'm wiser, cynical or hipper for rejecting to read the hippest Christian presently doing the book promotion circuit.

Buy his books. Read them. Or don't read them. That's OK too. My point is not about Bell, the books, or the content.

Whatever you do, don't get caught up in the Rob Bell institution. We have enough cult of personalities in the Protestant Church, particularly among evangelicals. Dwell instead on truth.
  1. Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived
  2. Jesus Wants to Save Christians: A Manifesto for the Church in Exile
  3. Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith
  4. Sex God: Exploring the Endless Connections between Sexuality and Spirituality

Rebecca Black - Friday (OFFICIAL VIDEO)

Rebecca Black - Friday (OFFICIAL VIDEO)

That is the video du jour.

3/17/11

3/16/11

Viral Videos You Are Going Crazy to See

On my site "Popular YouTube Videos" today, you are watching Charlie Sheen, a baby laughing as he tears paper, and Rebecca Black's "so bad its good, but come onm not that good" video, "Friday".


Error: bX-f0hw1h Limerick

A Terrible Limerick About Why I Cannot at Present See My Blogspot Dashboard

There once was an error called bX-f0hw1h.
Unknown, I tested its ph
But instead I came up
with the emptiest cup.
Burnuing off precious kwh.

Why? Because:

We're sorry, but we were unable to complete your request.

When reporting this error to Blogger Support or on the Blogger Help Group, please:

* Describe what you were doing when you got this error.
* Provide the following error code and additional information.

bX-f0hw1h
Additional information
host: www.blogger.com
uri: /home

This information will help us to track down your specific problem and fix it! We apologize for the inconvenience.
Find help

See if anyone else is having the same problem: Search the Blogger Help Group for bX-f0hw1h
If you don't get any results for that search, you can start a new topic. Please make sure to mention bX-f0hw1h in your message.

3/13/11

The Lord's Prayer: The Pie Version (Happy Pi/Pie Day)



Being a spiritual sort of fellow, having learned the Lord's Prayer as a wee lad in CCD, but also having learned about Baker's Square, French Silk Pie, apple pie, and all the others, it occurred to me that God made pie, as He is the creator of all things. In my running club, someone suggested (and another 'amened') that there was a pie heaven. I'll check my Bible on this one, but I'm game.

The Lord's Prayer: The Pie Version
by Anthony Trendl

Our pie, which art in heaven,
pastry be thy crust
Thy bakery come,
thy filling done,
baked in hearths as it is in ovens
Give us this way our daily bread.
And forgive us when we forget the ice cream,
as we forgive those who do not cut us a slice.
Lead us into taste sensation,
but deliver us from cholesterol.
For thine is the apple, the pecan, and the blueberry, for ever and ever.
I'm full.

A Little Bit About Everything

A blog I started that I have been updating for a couple of months is about things which are either big news or something I was randomly curious. Each entry is a section from Wikipedia, verbatim as it was that day, complete with a link to the full entry.

  1. Let's Learn About the Real St. Patrick
  2. Let's Learn About Tsunami Etymology
  3. Let's Learn About Charlie Sheen's Early Life
  4. Let's Learn About a Rorschach Test Controversy

3/11/11

Considering the Amazon Affiliate Problem and Book Reviewing

Google me. You will see I review a lot of books and things on Amazon.com

I reviewed long before I put up a website, but bad news hit my e-mail today. Amazon is dumping affiliates in Illinois. (I live just west of Chicago.). I don't alter my reviews because I'm an Amazon affiliate, but many of my reviews make it on my site.

As an Illinoisan, I'm upset. I have been an affiliate through Amazon, relying on them to support my site as I promote Hungarian culture in the US, http://hungarianbookstore.com/

Basically, the governor felt pressure from Illinois brick-and-mortars. Large corporations HQed elsewhere. The tension of competition is real: no taxes means I buy from Amazon instead of Big Tool, Inc.
Amazon will have to charge tax from me when I buy from them, as I understand. The affiliate issue stems from how I make that money. Taxes will get involved.

As the competition tension is real, so is the reality that sites like mine are bare bones, break-even at best operations. Small publishers will feel the hit, dependent on promotion by small time blogs, niche website and the like.

How other affiliate programs will respond, I don't know. I use Google's Adsense, Linkshare and Commission - both manage lots of affiliate programs for smaller companies and some Hungarian ones. I have read that places like Sears are redoubling their efforts to attract sites like mine.

It will not affect how I review. That has been an independent, though overlapping effort. It will affect how I present the review on my sites and blog, since I cannot also profit from the relationship.

Until the Amazon decision, I was able to organize and offer small run books by unknown Hungarian writers. I review Hungarian writers as I can.

Amazon is not my only vendor, but they represent most of my site's income, and Google finishes almost all of the rest (together, maybe 97%). Other vendors are on the site, but mostly to offer more to the visitor. For years, I have lost money on the site, but as a labor of love, I don't mind. However, I cannot buffer the loss of Amazon income.

I don't know what I will do. Most likely, I will pull all Amazon ads from the site, or move the site overseas. I'm looking into my options. I won't rush into it, but I will not make money from Amazon ads after April 15.

Any ideas? I'm all ears.

Text of the e-mail Amazon sent.

(This blog post combines some e-mails and discussion board posts.)

3/10/11

Amazon Associates Pulls from Illinois - Governor Pat Quinn Caused It - Fire Him

Received today from Amazon:

Hello,

For well over a decade, the Amazon Associates Program has worked with thousands of Illinois residents. Unfortunately, a new state tax law signed by Governor Quinn compels us to terminate this program for Illinois-based participants. It specifically imposes the collection of taxes from consumers on sales by online retailers - including but not limited to those referred by Illinois-based affiliates like you - even if those retailers have no physical presence in the state.

We had opposed this new tax law because it is unconstitutional and counterproductive. It was supported by national retailing chains, most of which are based outside Illinois, that seek to harm the affiliate advertising programs of their competitors. Similar legislation in other states has led to job and income losses, and little, if any, new tax revenue. We deeply regret that its enactment forces this action.

As a result of the new law, contracts with all Illinois affiliates of the Amazon Associates Program will be terminated and those Illinois residents will no longer receive advertising fees for sales referred to Amazon.com [ http://www.amazon.com/ ], Endless.com [ http://www.endless.com/ ], or SmallParts.com [ http://www.smallparts.com/ ]. Please be assured that all qualifying advertising fees earned prior to April 15, 2011 will be processed and paid in full in accordance with the regular payment schedule. Based on your account closure date of April 15, 2011, any final payments will be paid by July 1, 2011.

You are receiving this email because our records indicate that you are a resident of Illinois. If you are not currently a permanent resident of Illinois, or if you are relocating to another state in the near future, you can manage the details of your Associates account here [ https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/gp/associates/network/your-account/payee-info.html ]. And if you relocate to another state after April 15, please contact us [ https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/gp/associates/contact?subject=&ie=UTF8 ] for reinstatement into the Amazon Associates Program.

To be clear, this development will only impact our ability to continue the Associates Program in Illinois, and will not affect the ability of Illinois residents to purchase online at www.amazon.com [ http://www.amazon.com/ ] from Amazon s retail business.

We have enjoyed working with you and other Illinois-based participants in the Amazon Associates Program and, if this situation is rectified, would very much welcome the opportunity to re-open our Associates Program to Illinois residents.

Regards,

The Amazon Associates Team


------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This e-mail was sent to ###.

Please note that you must use this e-mail address to access your account in Associates Central or when contacting Associates Customer Service.

To manage your e-mail preferences, update your account settings [ http://affiliate-program.amazon.com/gp/associates/network/your-account/main.html ].

Message Category: Notice of Contract Termination Due to New Illinois Law

(c) 2011 Amazon.com. All rights reserved. Amazon.com is a registered trademark of Amazon.com, Inc. Amazon.com, 410 Terry Avenue N., Seattle, WA 98109-5210, USA

3/9/11

Verilux VT05FWW1 HappyLight 6000 review Great Lighting, But No Mood Change

The Verilux VT05FWW1 HappyLight 6000 has two aspects which intrigued me going into this. The first was its lighting capacity. The second was its claim to lift my spirit. It took no trouble to set up, and does not flicker as a fluorescent light sometimes can.

Did it light adequately? Yes, more than enough. I cannot say the lamp itself is especially attractive; it is not. I can say the light, however, is exceedingly brighter than expected. It is an excellent addition to my basement. I used in my office as well. Very portable.

Did it lift my spirits? While I love the idea of a lamp doing what the sun accomplishes in this regard, it did not. It might be that I am generally upbeat already. I don't know. All I know is I felt the same after uses the lamp many hours at a time while working as before. Throughout the Chicago winter I have used this light.

I hoped to experience "improving overall mood, energy and concentration," but I didn't.

Anthony Trendl
http://anthonytrendl.com/

On Death and Taxes

Taxes I will not vote for Illinois Governor Pat Quinn. His unwillingness to reject internet tax has lost him for me. He is playing politics as he says he wants to help brick-and-mortar retailers (a good thing), and thinks this is the way to do it. What would happen, though, is Amazon will pull out of Illinois for affiliates like myself, rendering my online income down to pretty much Google ad clicks.

The little guy like me cannot compete against the big businesses Quinn is acquiescing to.

The politics comes in that he was ready to sign for reason above, but then, people like me, as well as Amazon, clamored, and he held back. That's good, but he also hasn't rejected it. I think he is hoping it will go away. It won't. Read about this in the Chicago Tribune.

Death
Quinn, in turn, is anti-death penalty. So much so, he will ban the state-sponsored killing in Illinois. Not just him, as our legislators are sending the bill his way, but without him, it would not happen.

What's in a ban? Simple: life. Crime will not change, appeals will still be drawn, and the public will shout "crucify, crucify." What will not happen is we will not have shadowy people pretending it is not killing, and, we will not, in this situation, kill officially as a state.

When I think of how many people cheered with the executions of John Wayne Gacy and Saddam Hussein, I remember hearing from some people, "I'm against the death penalty but..." It is like when people qualify their justification of abortion, "But the mother was raped..." When we look at death by human hand as something someone qualifies for, we play God. We call it, "But..." when all it is really is murder with the permission of our leaders.

read what Quinn is doing: Quinn expected to sign death penalty ban
Search Amazon.com for hangman game

Vivian Schiller, CEO of NPR Resigns

NPR just released this statement from NPR Board of Directors Chairman Dave Edwards:

"It is with deep regret that I tell you that the NPR Board of Directors has accepted the resignation of Vivian Schiller as President and CEO of NPR, effective immediately.

"The Board accepted her resignation with understanding, genuine regret, and great respect for her leadership of NPR these past two years.

"Vivian brought vision and energy to this organization. She led NPR back from the enormous economic challenges of the previous two years. She was passionately committed to NPR's mission, and to stations and NPR working collaboratively as a local-national news network.

"According to a CEO succession plan adopted by the Board in 2009, Joyce Slocum, SVP of Legal Affairs and General Counsel, has been appointed to the position of Interim CEO. The Board will immediately establish an Executive Transition Committee that will develop a timeframe and process for the recruitment and selection of new leadership.

"I recognize the magnitude of this news – and that it comes on top of what has been a traumatic period for NPR and the larger public radio community. The Board is committed to supporting NPR through this interim period and has confidence in NPR's leadership team."
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2011/03/09/134388981/npr-ceo-vivian-schiller-resigns

This is moments after I posted about Ron Schiller's (no relation) exit from NPR after being caught on film demonstrating heavy, anti-Republican bias Overreaction, NPR, Politics, Set-up, Rush Hour Fire Hydrant Crashes?

Overreaction, NPR, Politics, Set-up, Rush Hour Fire Hydrant Crashes?

Garrison Keillor, whose public radio show "Prairie Home Companion" I adore, quipped in the December 21, 2009 issue of Time:

"[Public radio's] role is to talk to people who are stuck in traffic. And conservatives become incensed enough listening to public radio that it keeps them awake so they don't drive into a fire hydrant. That's what we do: we save the lives if thousands of right-wingers every year. And they never thank us for it."

Michael Calderone, Yahoo blogger, writes:

"Outgoing NPR executive Ron Schiller slams Republicans and the tea party movement and suggests that NPR would be better off without any federal funding in a hidden-camera video released Tuesday by conservative filmmaker James O'Keefe." (story)

Schiller is hardly denying this. In fact, he says things more strongly in this captioned hidden camera video.



NPR slams Schiller the Calderone article. The $5 million was not accepted, no matter what Schiller's personal views are.

That Schiller believes Republicans are anti-intellectual is clear. But he is leaving NPR. Quitting. And NPR is slamming the door behind him.

"The comments contained in the video released today are contrary to everything we stand for, and we completely disavow the views expressed. NPR is fair and open minded about the people we cover. Our reporting reflects those values every single day — in the civility of our programming, the range of opinions we reflect and the diversity of stories we tell." (NPR's statement)

Conservatives, I expect, will breathe heavy over the opportunity to tear Federal funding away from NPR. Schiller says, and there is no reason to believe otherwise, that this funding equals 10% of their overall income.

Liberals, in turn -- some, I suspect, will cheer Schiller on, give more to NPR and to his new company, and get him on talk shows. Likewise, it makes sense that they will buff off the undercover nature of the video above.

They might also point out O'Keefe's clear bias: he also made the ACORN and Planned Parenthood videos. They will rightfully explain his politically motivated agenda is to take down liberal organization funding a notch and malign their public perception.

What will the Jewish community say? The groups supporting NPR are probably in a meeting right now. They have been dissed by Schiller, or not. He essentially says they may not agree with what NPR is saying, but want fair, balanced viewpoints. How true that is, and whether they keep their public relations head low in the next week or two is what's being talked about in that meeting.

Garrison Keillor: The Man on the Radio with the Red ShoesThe individual Jews giving to NPR are not naive. Anyone who listens regularly (as I do), Jews, conservatives, liberals, Muslims, Christians of whatever flavor, know what NPR has to say.

Are both sides overreacting? Perhaps all Schiller was doing was catering to what he hoped would be a $5 million haul for NPR. He was being set-up and baited. He spoke of his own views, trying to help facilitate the sale.

Opportunists on all sides are abound.

Keillor, though, will shudder, worry about rush hour traffic in Minneapolis and beyond. Take that Federal funding away, and all bets are off next time he is driving to rehearsal at the Fitzgerald Theater.

3/7/11

Bobbed Hair and Bathtub Gin: Writers Running Wild in the Twenties, review, Demythologizes the Legend of Four Major 1920s Writers

Bobbed Hair and Bathtub Gin: Writers Running Wild in the TwentiesAfter reading Dorothy Parker: What Fresh Hell Is This? with enthusiasm years back, Marion Meade was kind enough to send me "Bobbed Hair and Bathtub Gin: Writers Running Wild in the Twenties." It is somewhat of a follow-up. But not really. However, it is, in short, excellent.

The Dorothy Parker book is more of a straight-ahead biography with tales strewn in, while this one looks at the era in which Parker lived and thrived (but not always). Here. she is one of four players, the other three being Zelda Fitzgerald, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Edna Ferber. It is about these women, to be sure, but it is really about a slice of an unusual era in American literature, culture and femininity. In some ways, what was the literary culture of the 1920s New York City was free-er than the 1960s or 2010s.

With a genuine flair for storytelling, Meade has written what I think is begging to a PBS docudrama, the wonderful kind Ken Burns makes, only better. Each woman's life is looked through more than the lens of their writing. Meade captures flavor and tenor of four women on the rise in fame, and on their way to becoming legendary for their literary skills as well as their after hours dalliances.

Written mostly sequentially with each year a new chapter, long anecdotes tell the tales of four very independent, yet often lonely intellectuals.

An afterward ties up loose ends well, epiloguing the lives of both minor and major characters in the book. Who died when, who divorced/married, and whatever else that related happened years later. Unlike other books of this, Meade includes an exhaustive bibliography and notes section.

Fascinating from beginning to end, "Bobbed Hair and Bathtub Gin: Writers Running Wild in the Twenties" mentions the often sordid lifestyle choices. Meade just puts it out, says what happens, and explains how things resulted, for better or for worse. Of Edna St. Vincent Millay, for example, "Sleeping with the boy from "Vanity Fair" was probably a bad idea. But Vincent did it anyway. The chance to get 'Dead Music -- an Elegy' published in the magazine's July issue was too tempting."

I fully recommend "Bobbed Hair and Bathtub Gin: Writers Running Wild in the Twenties" by Marion Meade. Telling well the successes, scandals and tragedies of these amazing literary lives, Meade demythologizes the romance of their legend.

Anthony Trendl
http://anthonytrendl.com/