Thursday, June 01, 2006

This and that

• The “media bias” scandal seems to have gone away. That’s funny, because this week I endorsed two candidates. My personal “bias” is now out there for everyone to read. The candidate who complained before has been silent on the issue. Go figure.

• In an unrelated endorsement, a woman called and left a message on my answering machine saying I was “brave.” That always cracks me up. There’s nothing brave about me expressing my political opinions, especially in this case. Another newspaper endorsed the same candidate, while the local daily endorsed the opposing candidate. It’s just newspaper people espousing their opinions. Nothing more. Nothing brave. I trust that readers are smart enough to take these opinions for what they are – opinions.

• Speaking of newspapers, a competing publication will soon suffer the wrath of my 2001 Toyota Corolla. Backed with a solid 1.8 liter, 4-cylinder engine and the extra fancy Toyota “LE” package, which includes high-tech electric windows, power-adjusted side mirrors, and fold-down rear seats, I’ll be racing at the Samoa Dragstrip on Saturday, June 10. Race time is 6 p.m., or so I’m told.

The Humboldt/Del Norte Timing Association sponsors street legal drag racing every Saturday and invites media folks and public figure to participate.

Why? I haven’t a clue. But I was asked to participate.

I was told to bring whatever car I would like – it doesn’t matter.

I considered several options, but ultimately decided that the Corolla would be best. I just need to make a few “adjustments.”

Besides emptying the old newspapers out of the backseat, I’m considering constructing a rear spoiler out of cardboard – maybe out of old pizza boxes with a few leftover cheese chunks and giant grease stains.

A tin-foil fin sticking out of the roof may also improve the performance.

More details to come....

• I should post my thoughts on the following subject in a separate posting, and maybe I’ll do so in an upcoming blog entry. But today the plug was finally pulled on my local BBS.

BBS? What the ....?

That’s a reasonable question. A BBS is a Bulletin Board System. I’m not sure how to describe it. It’s like a pre-internet community. You download a special software and then you log in to your local BBS – in my case Smugglers.

There were a whole bunch of “folders” where you could post items. There was a technical support folder, a local politics folder, a recipes folder, a weather folder, and so on and so on.

The system was extremely simple and easy to use. Even people with ancient Apple computers could log in. The internet had surpassed their hardware, but they could still get email with their crusty dinosaur machines.

The people on my BBS were local. I knew some of them. After awhile, I met some of the people I didn’t know. Friendships were forged. I met my dear friend Casey on Smugglers. We now kayak almost every week.

When I had a computer meltdown, I logged on to Smugglers and pleaded for advice. “HELP! I’m having a meltdown and I can’t put out my newspaper!”

Answers were forthcoming. Emotions and personal relationships aside, I was wired in to computer experts who could solve my problems at all hours of the day – without pay! That’s amazing. Imagine having a team of professional computer consultants at your disposal during a meltdown?

Over time, participation dwindled. Only a small group of us posted items of interest. The BBS was a non-profit operation run by volunteers. It’s closing was inevitable.

And so it goes.

I’ll miss Smugglers. But I understand its demise.



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