Poodles are a cut above other breeds.

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Remember when I told you that I had been putting off buying a new computer? Yeah, well, it's dead, Jim.

A new computer has been purchased via money I don't have, but that's okay. Since America gets by just fine by borrowing money from China to buy American cars, I decided that I would borrow money from an American bank to buy a Chinese computer. I'm just doing my part to get China it's money back.

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Someone should have told me that David Hasselhoff was getting a "reality" show on A&E called, appropriately enough, The Hasselhoffs. The series premiered with the episode "Hoff the Record" yesterday, and showcases David shepherding his daughters into the music business. I'm sure that the show will be a big hit. In Germany.

So now that it is clear that my childhood Hollywood icons are selling out their "lives" for another shot at televised fame, who else should I expect to open the doors to their wacky family foibles? Hulk Hogan, Mr. T, Scott Baio, Stephen Segal, and now David Hasselhoff have fallen for the sirens' call. Who's next?

  • Harry Anderson (Night Court) in Harry on the Outside?
  • Catherine Bache (Dukes of Hazzard) in Baby Got Bache?
  • Dave Coulier (Full House) in Coulier Than You?
  • Ted Dansen (Cheers) in Dansen with the Stars?
  • Emilio Estevez (Breakfast Club) in A Polished Sheen?
  • Lou Ferrigno (Incredible Hulk) in Should I Stay or Should I Ferrigno?
  • Richard Grieco (Booker) in It's All Grieco to Me?
  • Pamela Hensley (Buck Rogers) in Fox in the Hensley House?
  • Kathy Ireland (Sports Illustrated) in Ireland Eyes are Smiling?
  • Don Johnson (Miami Vice) in Sonny Side Up?
  • William Katt (Greatest American Hero) in The Katt in the Hat?
  • Joey Lawrence (Gimme a Break!) in Laying Down the Lawrence?
  • Ralph Macchio (Karate Kid) in Maccio, Macchio, Man?
  • Leonard Nimoy (Star Trek) in Leonard Long and Prosper?
  • Jerry O'Connell (My Secret Identity) in Oh, Jerry Art Thou?
  • Bronson Pinchot (Perfect Strangers) in A Little Pinchot Goes a Long Way?
  • Randy Quaid (National Lampoon's Vacation) in Quaid-y as a Fox?
  • Judge Reinhold (Fast Times at Ridgemont High) in Lest Ye Be Judge'd?
  • Ricky Schroeder (Silver Spoons) in Schroeder the Load?
  • Alan Thicke (Growing Pains) in In the Thicke of It?
  • Blair Underwood (L.A. Law) in Fresh Blair?
  • Dick Van Patten (Eight is Enough) in Van Patten Down the Hatches?
  • Lisa Whelchel (Facts of Life) in Any Whelchel Way but Lisa?
  • Xuxa (Xuxa, pronounced "shue-sha") in Shopping for Xuxa?
  • Tina Yothers (Family Ties) in Yothers and Sisters?
  • Stephanie Zimbalist (Remington Steele) in Last but not Zimbalist?

Never mind. I don't want to know. I won't watch anyway.

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I went on the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society 2010 Yuletide Tour of Homes yesterday with my mother and her sister. It was pretty much everything that you would expect a Christmas walking tour of historical homes to be: cold and uncomfortable. No offense meant to the home owners, but I couldn't help but walk through their homes and compare them unfavorably to mine, where I can walk around without wearing shoe-coverings and take what I want from the refrigerator.

If this were a horror movie, some crazy old hobo would have tried to talk me out of going into this house.

That picture above is the Sumner home, a former Confederate headquarters. It stands majestically on a small hill overlooking LaGrange Street, a stone's throw from downtown Newnan. From the outside, it looked very majestic at dusk this December evening, but I can't say as I learned very much by walking through its living spaces crammed with scores of people themselves perhaps best described as historic. I'd post a picture of the 10-inch hardwood board walls or the prized 48-star United States flag flown for President Garfield, but interior photography, like smoking, was strictly prohibited.

Not every home on the tour was a historical relic. Some were just old. I told my mother that her home could be on the tour if she renovated the kitchen. And added $100,000 worth of antiques.

Mother insisted on telling every one of the docents that we spoke with that we were locals. I thought that was odd until it was pointed out that most of the people on the tour had driven down from such far-flung locations as Marietta or Decatur to wander through strangers' homes. Newnan may be a nice place to visit, but apparently they don't want to live here.

To be fair, I'm sure that I wasn't exactly the life of the tour. Hearing one homeowner's son say that he had spoodles -- a cross between a spaniel and a poodle -- I turned into a complete snob and replied, "I only appreciate purebred poodles." I know, I know. What do they expect when they let people like me into their homes? I'm sure that there will be full background checks and pat downs before future tours.

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This is what is important to Newnanites:

News? That would take reporters. Just run the arrest log again.

Does no one have any imagination anymore? The arrest log is so boring, they can't even come up with a headline? Even the ever popular "Restaurant Inspections" takes up more space. May I suggest "Are Your Neighbors Criminals? -- see page 3" or "Mommy And Daddy Are Getting Divorced -- see page 3."

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One month ago I decided that I needed to buy a new laptop to replace my dinosaur desktop computer. This decision was forced by the fact that my latest anti-virus upgrade has dragged my CPU to a grudging work stoppage. Now whenever I run my anti-virus scanner, it takes one look at my machine, shrugs it's shoulders, and sighs something along the lines of "everybody's got to go sometime."

To be fair, I'm not sure that I have to be worried about any computer illness unless some scientist discovers a presumed-extinct virus trapped frozen deep in the ice at the Earth's poles. Anything newer would find my machine an uninviting, primordial environment where floppy disks are still the preferred boot failure recovery method.

Anyway, I tell my brother that I want a new laptop, and when his computer conks out not 3 days later, he buys himself one. My mother, jealous at my brother's new toy, immediately buys herself a new laptop during a serendipitous One Day Sale at Office Max. Meanwhile, Ol' Ironsides (that's not a nickname -- my computer case is so old, it actually has iron sides) keeps chugging along as I continue to save money and shop around for the perfect desktop in my budget. At my current rate of savings, the only way I'll end up with a new computer is if I find a way to attach a mouse to my old Speak And Spell.

Listen up, viruses. I've managed to stay away from you for years now; it's only fair that you return the favor until I can save up a few more bucks for a new platform. I promise that it won't be that much longer: two, maybe three more years at the most. Sigh.

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I just returned from the latest University of Georgia vs Georgia Tech football game. Kickoff was at 7:45 PM (temperature: 43°!), but Trey and I did not reach the car to begin the return trip from Athens until 12:08 AM Sunday morning. Needless to say, Trey slept in the warm car on the way home, waking only briefly to say "that was one big garage." I still have no idea what that meant.

UGA 42, GT 34

The Bulldogs should send a nice thank you note to Tech, because this 42-34 victory was a gift. The UGA defense looked worse than usual, which is really saying something. The UGA offense fumbled early and often. Quarterback Murry's fourth down fumble in the fourth quarter was really our entire season in a microcosm. Tech ran on us at will all game long, but Tech botched the job late with a missed extra point (kicker's fault) followed by a panicked change in game plan (coach's fault). Thanks, Paul Johnson. You probably saved Mark Richt's job for another year by giving us our 6th win and making us bowl eligible. I suspect that you must be hoping that we will return the favor in a few years.

Outgoing Governor Sonny Perdue was at the game. His skybox was illuminated for the duration of the game so that the crowd could look up and watch him watching the game. The stadium PA announcer gleefully reminded the UGA and Tech fans in attendance that including Governor-elect Nathan Deal, the last 5 Georgia governors have all been UGA graduates.

Goodbye, Governor

True story: With 1:38 remaining in the game and UGA ahead by 1 point (re: botched PAT), the Georgia Tech defense intentionally allows UGA running back Washaun Ealey to run for 20 yards into the end zone. Had Ealey simply fallen down on the ground after passing the first down marker, UGA would have been able to run out the clock and win the game, Tech having already used its final timeout. For many, many minutes afterwords, Trey grumbled about the selfish play by Ealey and the poor coaching by UGA in selecting a running back who passed up the win for personal glory. As Trey and I walked out of the stadium in the post-game crowd, a young boy looked up at his father and spontaneously lamented, "if Ealey had just fallen down on the ground when he passed the first down marker, we would have won that game right there!" The fact that the situation overlooked by Georgia's players and coaches was self-evident to a little boy of no more than 10 cheered Trey right up.

In the interest of full disclosure, I must admit that I celebrated the Ealey touchdown alongside most of the crowd while Trey scowled. Sure, I had already figured that a UGA victory was practically guaranteed with a UGA first down, but I guess I forgot in the momentary excitement. What can I say? I'm just a sucker for scoring easy points against arch-rival Tech. Go Dawgs!

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Watching Headline News Network's coverage of the disappearance of ballerina student Jenni-Lyn Watson, I noticed that all of the pictures of the girl were tagged "Facebook.com." Could that mean that Facebook granted a license to HLN to use the images? Does HLN pay Facebook for passing along the images posted by Facebook users? According to the Facebook Statement of Rights and Responsibilities:

§2.1. For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos ("IP content"), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook ("IP License"). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.

§2.4. When you publish content or information using the "everyone" setting, it means that you are allowing everyone, including people off of Facebook, to access and use that information, and to associate it with you (i.e., your name and profile picture).

Sounds innocuous enough? Here's where Admiral Ackbar tells you in no uncertain terms that you have wandered into a trap! If Facebook wants to make a few bucks by sharing pictures of a missing girl, they have a license to distribute the images because she put the photos on Facebook in the first place. Sure, HLN could have asked the family for photos of the missing girl, but why bother when Facebook makes them so easily available for them. (Modern news outlets have no time for out-dated ideas like research and fact-checking! Let the internet do it!)

Now that Facebook has unveiled their media-spanning email/messenger service to track all of its users' communications, what's to stop Facebook from using that information in order to sell more images provided by those very same users? I'll tell you what: nothing. Nothing at all.

Beware! You may have thought that he was a family friend. But that stranger with candy peeping in your window just may be Facebook.

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Giving thanks for poodles. And turkeys.

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And here's what I think of your vacation photos!

Standing on the side of the road last week (don't ask why, it's not important right now), I came across a bunch of vacation slides that had been tossed onto the side of the busy highway and run over by countless cars. They don't scan well, but they show a pleasantly unintelligible jumble of slice-of-life in middle-America, from a Boy Scouts soapbox derby to Mt. Rushmore. I include some of the more interesting images that survived the traffic below.

The Eisenhower Highway System in all of it's *yawn* glory.
Hopefully there was some significance to this slide other than the highway. You know it'll be a long show when someone dimmed the lights, turned on the slide projector and started with, "this is the road we took as we started our vacation!"

They had color slide technology in 1849?
I'm sure that they didn't have color photography on the Oregon Trail, so I'm guessing that this is an "historic re-enactment." Ain't that America: someone probably drove a car for hundreds of miles on the road seen above to for the opportunity to ride in a Conestoga wagon.

Sea-foam green and overalls: a family portrait.
I know it's hard to see in this scan, but the woman in the back center is wearing a gingham bonnet, probably a rarer sight than a wagon train.

Too many patients in teh hospital? Lecture then to death.
This image is clearly a lecture to hospital patients. So this is a boring vacation slide of people being bored. Ouch.

I think that there's something sort of awesome about these seemingly random memories trapped in plastic amber found scattered on the side of the highway like so much trash. It's like finding dinosaur bones or a shipwreck: something that is interesting as history, but far more valuable to the person who lost it.

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To be continued...

 

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