Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Top 10 Good Foods Gone Bad

Check out this link from TOP 10 GOOD FOODS GONE BAD. Naturally, some of my favorites are on their list. Not even green tea escaped from being scorned. And who would have thunk that Russet potatoes were worthless? (Not that I ponder such things.) An excerpt from their potato report: "..because they [Russets] are arguably the least flavorful of the hundreds of potato varieties in the Americas, we have to do things to make them tasty. We boil and mash them and cover them in butter, or we cut them into strips, deep-fry them and cover them with salt."

Not one meat or poultry product made the list - unless you include the ingredients on the pizza. (I know, I know, you veggie fanatics will say, "there are no good meat products.")


Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Rogue Journal Morphs Again

The NEW ENGLAND ROGUE JOURNAL will be undergoing yet another transformation for the year 2007. It will be going back to a monthly ezine this week, for the February issue. For me, the big problem with attempting a weekly zine was that I spent so much time updating each week's issue, I had very little time to do what I like doing the most - writing my own stories for it.

So it's back to a monthly ezine for the Rogue Journal. There will be an entirely new look to it, as well.

This weblog, of course, will continue on its incoherent, every-few-days way.


Thursday, January 25, 2007

Trash Violators Online

Here's an idea from Boston that I think Springfield should consider for our own pig pen residents: Hub makes trash splash


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Women Safer Drivers?

A new study has indicated that women are better drivers than men.

Personally, I find that ridiculous! I can't tell you how many times I have had to swerve around, scream at, speed past, and flip off chick drivers. I've gone over curbs, hit signs, and knocked over hazard cones in order to get by them. And this study says they're SAFER?!


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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Old Springfield, MA, Riverfront Park

Ah, for the old days in Springfield - back when the city actually had a riverfront to enjoy. The construction of Route 91 certainly didn't help matters any, but much of the neglect we see today is without question the fault of local management. How any city can sit next to a river and barely even acknowledge its existence is strange, to say the least. This is the time of year - when the river is low - that the city should be investing resources to clean out the mess there. And there should be docks and well-tended banks and lawns lining the waterway. But instead we have trash-littered banks overgrown with trees and bushes, where only the city's vagrants - and the occasional joggers - care to venture. The river itself is a dump - filled with shopping carts, tires, and furniture.

(Click on images to enlarge)

Imagine a Riverfront Park where urban fairs, arts & craft shows, and kids carnivals are accentuated by boat rides and fishing derbies. What the hell has happened to this city? Sometimes I just look around and shake my head, puzzled by it all.

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- See Riverfront Park Video Here

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Friday, January 19, 2007

Top 10 Unexplained Phenomena

So I cruised by one of my favorite Web haunts,, and took in a little reading on the Top 10 Unexplained Phenomena.

Here's the list, along with my personal opinion under each entry:

10: The Body/Mind Connection
I believe the working mind is an integral part of our biological existence. This is in contrast to what many folks (particularly the religious) believe about our "souls" - that they are separate from our bodies, and will live on after death. Our human brains have developed well beyond the more primitive "stimulus-response" functions of our lesser animal relatives, but they still serve the same function of assisting our physical body's ability to regulate itself. Our species' ability to understand the world around us - why it rains, or where our planet is in the universe - is merely a byproduct of our highly advanced intelligence, entirely unnecessary for us to survive (in nature).

9: Psychic Powers & ESP
If it was true, some phychic - somewhere, at sometime - would have decided to get rich by using it to "see" the lottery (or other gambling results). This has never happened. They say the reason is because they don't want to "abuse" their powers by using them to enrich themselves. But then why write books or charge fees for readings?

8: Near Death Experiences / Life After Death
See my comments under #1 .

7: UFOs
If folks could hold their camcorders still for long enough to get a good shot at one, I might be open to the possibility that flying saucers are visiting our world. Faked evidence abounds, no physical artifacts have ever been brought forward for scientific examination, and I simply refuse to believe that any alien species would travel dozens - if not hundreds - of lightyears across space just to mutilate our cattle and carve pretty designs in our wheat fields.

Ha, ha. Very funny.

6: Deja vu
I think this is a (unintended) trick of our minds. When we observe an object or experience an event, our brain's first instinct is to attempt to identify - or classify - it (as friend or foe, or safe or dangerous). The brain searches its memory to find a previous "entry." If it finds something very similar, it will sometimes present it to our subconcious mind as being the same thing, even if it is not. Thus we are convinced we have come across this object or experienced this event in the past.

5: Ghosts
There simply is no biological reason for ghosts, gouls, or spirits to exist. Anything animate - plant or animal - must take in nutrients, and then store energy and realease it via work (walking, talking, cell division, pumping blood, etc).

I know, I'm so close-minded.

4: Mysterious Disappearances
Shit happens. In France, they still occasionally find the skeletal remains of soldiers killed in World War One (1914-1918). Just because you can't find someone who's disappeared, it doesn't mean that space aliens or the Evil Federal Government took them away.

3: Intuition
See my comments under #6.

2: Bigfoot
I can't believe this made #2!
Any viable species must have a minimal population in order to procreate without degrading the gene pool. One or two bigfoots wandering the hinterlands is not going to do it. I know, I know - we didn't discover gorillas until the 1800s. But that is because we never ventured into their native region (central Africa) until that time period. Once we got there, we found them! We've inhabited North America for over four hundred years, and not a single bigfoot has been captured or killed. No bones, either. That is because... there is no bigfoot creature!

Why is this so difficult for people to accept?

1: The Taos Hum
What the fuck is "The Taos Hum??" And how the hell does it beat out Tom Cruise?

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Thursday, January 18, 2007

VIDEO: Hand Signs

Hand signals enable us to communicate with one another when noise or distance may impede our ability to converse vocally. Whether a soldier in combat, a quarterback on a football field, or a guy in a singles bar, getting your message across when normal speech simply will not do can be the difference between success or failure in any endeavor.

P.S.: I had nothing to do with the screen shot selection, below.

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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Good & Bad of Springfield, MA (Part 2)

Part 2 in the series. As I wandered around the downtown area, the upper Lyman & Taylor streets journey part of my trek was especially depressing. Whenever I'm around there, I'm always reminded of that 1970s movie, "Fort Apache, the Bronx," with Paul Newman... how derelict NYC looked then, and how derelict that part of Springfield looks today.

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Monday, January 08, 2007

Famous Barber Shop in Springfield

Just passing by an apparently famous barber shop on Main Street, Springfield, MA. There are almost as many barber shops/salons in downtown Springfield as there are Law Offices.


Sunday, January 07, 2007

Forest Park - January, 2007

A tour of Forest Park, in Springfield, MA, on January 6th, 2007. It seemed more like June than wintertime. The temperature was in the 70s.


Friday, January 05, 2007

My Sister Patty

My sister Patty passed away at her home in Dover, NH, on January 3rd, 2007, at the young age of 46 years. She fought a long, heroic battle that began with a diagnosis of breast cancer several years ago. From the very beginning, Patty remained optimistic and determined live, and she never stopped trying to make others happy. Even in her final days, she smiled and made us smile. In a typical moment just a few days ago, as she lay in her bed, frail and weak, my brother playfully busted her about something, just to lighten things up. She responded in equally playful fashion, turning her palm up and flipping him the bird, so sending us all into laughter.

Patty was a fighter, and she was often much stronger than those who came to comfort her - myself included. Last Saturday, after I had kissed her goodbye for the day and was leaving her room, she called out to me in an unwavering voice: "I love you, Bill." I was barely able to reply to her, "I love you too, Patty," and afterward I hoped that my shaken, emotional voice didn't upset her.

Like all of us, it is probably true that Patty may well have had some faults. If she did, though, I was entirely unable to find any. She had no enemies. No one disliked her, nor spoke ill of her in her absence. Her famous laugh was easily recognizable and always contagious. Patty never played a joke on anybody unless she was sure her target would laugh along, too. There was no mean in her soul.

Patty was the bravest person I have ever known, and I will miss her for the rest of my life.

- Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation

ADDED JANUARY 11th, 2007:
My mom created a great graphic tribute to Patty on her chat site. I've added it, below.

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