TCA (my initials)

November 4, 2008

talking smack

Filed under: journal — TCA @ 10:57 pm

PBS recently aired a documentary about the resurgent Taliban on Frontline.

The Taliban are smuggling opium to finance their insurgency.

Why not pay opium farmers in Afghanistan to grow nothing? Pay them the same price that the smugglers would have paid them.

It would be easier to monitor compliance with the opium eradication program if the fields were empty.

Owners of land in the U.S. have been paid by the government not to grow tobacco for decades.


September 11, 2008

Ground Zero

Filed under: journal — TCA @ 6:16 pm

If I were President of the United States, I would declare eminent domain on Ground Zero. By executive order if necessary. Ground Zero would be declared a National Monument.

I’d cancel the Freedom Tower project. The World Trade Center’s foundation would be the site of a memorial with a museum and small park nearby. Nothing else.

I’d make the two lights pointed skyward a permanent feature of the memorial. They’d be lit every night.

Freedom Tower is a symbol of opportunism and profiteering. Bumper crops of heroin in Afghanistan and record profits for Exxon Mobil. Halliburton and planeloads of cash.

It dawned on me that Freedom Tower might be sold to financiers in Saudi Arabia someday.

The young mother serving in the National Guard doing a tour of duty in Iraq deserves a better memorial than that.

July 29, 2008

did you feel it?

Filed under: journal — TCA @ 11:17 pm

I did.

Also the 1994 Northridge and 1971 Sylmar earthquakes, and numerous aftershocks and lesser known quakes in Southern California.

Experienced one in the San Francisco Bay Area back in 1980. Missed the cruelest quake there, which hit just hours before a 1989 World Series game between the Giants and Oakland Athletics was to be played. Talk about a party pooper.

None of these can compare with the great Alaska earthquake of 1964. I’m glad I missed that. It was a Big One.

“The strong ground motion reported in the Anchorage area lasted about 4-5 minutes which triggered many avalanches and landslides […]. Ground deformations were extensive with some areas east of Kodiak being raised by 30 feet and areas about Portage being dropped by 8 feet […].”

“The 1964 earthquake caused 115 deaths in Alaska alone, with 106 of these due to tsunamis which were generated by tectonic uplift of the sea floor […].”

If the population density had been greater, casualties would have been much higher.

Dare to prepare.

July 3, 2008

it’s for you

Filed under: journal — TCA @ 5:29 pm

If $150 doesn’t seem an excessive price for a basic telephone, the Asimitel Pandu 2500 AR with armored handset cord and chrome plated touchtone keypad is for you. And now it’s available in the Vegas look. Elvis would have been proud to own this baby. Add your own rhinestones.

July 1, 2008

mischief stickers

Filed under: journal — TCA @ 11:30 am

You can buy stickers at the EFF store that can be affixed to your telephone. Seven bucks.

The aqua blue model 500 phone has to go back to the shop on warranty. The rotary dial mechanism isn’t working smoothly.

There is some discoloration on the shell/housing/case of the Stromberg Carlson model 2500 ranging from pinkish to dark tan. I’m presently rationalizing that the discoloration gives the phone “character.” Besides, it took me nearly a month to notice it. Is a houseguest going to look at my phone closely enough to notice it? No. Am I right?

You’d notice it because I just told you about it.

I could get a new shell/housing/case, and a new faceplate, and a new handset with cord from Five Star. I could mix and match colors like baby blue and transparent pink. The phone wouldn’t look very digified in my living room if I did that.

more on phone madness

Filed under: journal — TCA @ 10:53 am

Cortelco is not the only manufacturer of model 2500 telephones. The Avaya YMGP has a few features not ordinarily found on a 2500. On its faceplate are handset volume (up and down) buttons, and mute, redial and hold buttons.

Walker (Plantronics) makes a noise canceling secret weapon replacement handset that works with the Avaya YMGP. It can be obtained for about $25.

June 30, 2008

rrring! rrring! rrring!

Filed under: journal — TCA @ 11:59 pm

Are you old enough to remember the sound of a double gong ringer?

Cortelco still manufactures a few model 2500 telephones in their Corinth, Mississippi factory. They also made rotary dial phones there until just a few years ago. However, most Cortelco telephones are manufactured offshore.

Walker, a subsidiary of Plantronics, sells a secret weapon for $25 that will make you sound a lot better on a model 2500 telephone. They’ll even sell you an entire replacement handset if you’re crazy enough to pay $45 for it. It’s the pinnacle of refinement for a type of telephone that I’d thought was obsolete until I started researching the subject.

A surprising number of model 2500s are still being manufactured these days. Most of them are made in China. They will work in a power blackout. If you’re sick to death of programming your telephone, consider getting one.

June 1, 2008

worth every penny

Filed under: journal — TCA @ 8:41 pm

I’ve got some free advice for NBC. Why not show all of your content on a single nationwide cable / satellite channel? The Today Show in the morning, and then the whole daytime schedule, and prime time, and the Tonight Show, and everything else.

Anyone in the U.S. with cable or satellite TV could watch NBC programming. NBC could sell advertising slots directly. No middleman.

I’m not saying that NBC should get rid of their affiliate broadcast stations. Most people would probably continue watching their local NBC station out of habit. But cable/ satellite viewers would have a choice.

Is there some reason why doing such a thing is impossible? Please forgive my ignorance.

A new NBC channel could be formed simply by merging CNBC and MSNBC into a single channel. The channel formerly known as CNBC would then become the new NBC channel.

MSNBC could then show CNBC programming during business hours and MSNBC programming most of the rest of the time.

There might be enough content for a single decent channel if you combined CNBC and MSNBC. But probably not. The whole weekend schedule would probably still consist of Reality TV documentaries set in U.S. prisons. Sad.

I’d be tempted to combine all three of the aforementioned channels into a single super channel. However, there would be a major scheduling conflict. The Today Show would conflict with Squawk on the Street.

May 30, 2008


Filed under: journal — TCA @ 8:16 pm

Remember the record high temperatures earlier this month? Followed by normal springlike weather? We’ve had record low temperatures from May 23-29. My source is The Weather Channel.

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