The following auction is true. I will not be mentioning any names here, as I do not want any of my family or friends to be hounded by people wanting more information. The only one who would know anything other than me would be my fiance anyway. If anyone has questions, they can be asked of me directly. I please ask that no one try to contact my fiance, as she has gone through quite enough with this ordeal. Pictures are at the bottom of the page.
OK, I’ve come to the last thing I can think of to get rid of this cursed thing, but I’ll get to that later. Last summer, my fiance & I were visiting her family in Florida, and taking a stop in Disneyworld. As big fans of the Lilo & Stitch movies, we were interested in buying some Stitch toys. We ended up getting quite a few, of all shapes & sizes. We have had no problem with any of them – they’re all regular friggin teddy bears. One, however, has been a problem since day one. That was the one we picked up on our way from Orlando to Daytona Beach.
We stopped at a little out of the way place while looking for a restaurant. This place was small, and kind of dingy, but they had food, and a ‘gift shop’, if you could call it that. I wish I could remember what it was called, but the only thing that seems to ring a bell is ‘Leary’. Anyway, they had another Stitch toy there, which looked just as good as any we had picked up in Disneyworld, and was a quarter of the price. The person behind the till seemed a little too pleased to be making the sale, and now I can see why.
We displayed the toys on our TV stand, with some other stuffed animals my fiance has collected over the years. Nothing has ever moved them, except for when cleaning & dusting, and then they are promptly put back in place. After the new Stitch toys were put up, about once a week, we would find one or two of the other stuffed animals on the floor, on certain mornings when we would get up. Originally thinking nothing of the fact (we have a dog, who we thought maybe bumped the stand – more on him later), we would put the animals back up on the stand.
This became a semi-regular occurance until early November, when we awoke to a loud slam in the middle of the night. I got my fiance to stay upstairs, and crept down to see what was happening. I had the light on at the top of the stairs, which meant I could not see clearly into the living room to see what had happened, but I did notice different things scattered on the floor. I turned the light on at the front door, and saw that the items on the floor were actually all of the stuffed animals, and other Stitch toys. The only thing left on our TV stand was the Stitch we had picked up from that store. That would have been enough, but the top of the TV was cracked as well – it looked as though something heavy had been dropped onto it. We still have no idea what happened there.
nu.nl/economie | ‘Loterijen mogen extra geld afschrijven’
Dat loterijen extra geld kunnen afschrijven bij klanten is conform de voorwaarden. Dat zegt woordvoerder van de Consumentenbond Paulien van der Hoef dinsdag. De Postcodeloterij, BankGiroloterij en de Sponsorloterij schrijven rond 27 april 5,25 euro extra af ter gelegenheid van het 25-jarig regeringsjubileum van koningin Beatrix.
Het Algemeen Dagblad meldt dinsdag dat deelnemers ongevraagd meedoen aan een cadeau voor Beatrix. In een reactie laat Van der Hoef weten dat het misschien ‘niet zo netjes’ is wat de loterijen doen, maar dat het ‘conform de voorwaarden’ is waarmee de deelnemers akkoord zijn gegaan. Gokkers gaan daarin akkoord met een aantal vaste trekkingen, maar ook met extra trekkingen die gehouden worden. De loterijen zijn daarmee gemachtigd extra geld af te schrijven.
For days, President Bush kept his public distance from the Terri Schiavo case and let his spokesman deliver mild statements suggesting that the president did not want Ms. Schiavo, who has severe brain damage, to die. But on Saturday night, when Mr. Bush made the rare decision to interrupt his Texas vacation and rush back to Washington to be in place to sign a bill that could restore Ms. Schiavo’s feeding tube, the White House said that the issue had become one of “defending life,” and that time was of the essence.
So, too, were White House politics, Republicans and conservative religious figures said. Although Mr. Bush was described as personally moved by the issue, his dramatic return was seen as a powerful embrace of the “culture of life” issues of religious conservatives who helped him win the White House in 2004. Those groups will be crucial to the political fortunes of the Republican Party in 2006 and 2008.
“Look, this is a symbolic move, for sure,” said Richard Cizik, the vice president for government affairs for the National Association of Evangelicals. “It’s his willingness to interrupt his vacation to make a statement. And not just to make a statement, because we’re not playing games here, but to make a difference, too.”
Nonetheless, White House officials acknowledged that the final bill could have been flown to Mr. Bush in Texas, a round trip of six or seven hours that probably would have made no difference in whether Ms. Schiavo lives. Doctors say she can survive for up to two weeks without the liquid meals that have sustained her for 15 years.
“That would have been acceptable,” said Mr. Cizik, referring to Mr. Bush signing the bill at his ranch. “But this president seizes opportunities when they come his way. That’s what makes him a good politician.”
Now let’s think about the many other times when Bush couldn’t be bothered to spend an hour or two on an issue and decide if any of them were more important.
1. The tsunami victims — More than 100,000 people died in the worst natural disaster of our lifetime. Millions were left homeless. It happened just after Christmas and hit hard our staunch ally, Thailand. (Many, many Muslims were devastated by this disaster.) Bush couldn’t be bothered to step outside for FIVE minutes and offer his heartfelt sympathy to an event that had the rest of the world riveted and shocked. It took Bush DAYS to do anything, even after his aides had bungled our first offer of aid.
2. Investigating 9/11 with Congress — Bush spent months hemming and hawing and avoiding having to meet with the bipartisan panel trying to look into the worst attack on US soil in history. He finally, grudgingly, spent a few hours but insisted he appear with Cheney by his side, cause they were busy and needed to get this over with.
3. Heck, 9/11 itself — On the day of the worst attack on US soil in our history, Bush spent hours and hours flying around the country when he could have just spent a few minutes to get in front of a camera and reassure the nation that he was in charge and we’d get through this.
4. Military funerals — Bush is the first President in US history during wartime (and presumably peacetime as well) who has refused to attend a SINGLE military funeral to honor one of our fallen soldiers. It’s not just the couple of hours he can’t be bothered to spend; Bush thinks it would be bad politics to remind people that young men and women die in war, so why bother honoring them? They can take a hit on the battlefield, but Bush won’t risk taking a hit in the polls. And if things are going so swimmingly in Iraq, why does he STILL refuse to honor our military?
So, yes, this is indeed a perfect example of what makes Bush a “good politician”. Whatever makes him look good, whatever gets his ratings up, whatever gets him (re)elected, that matters, and nothing else does.
So here we have a deeply emotional issue, and he sees opportunity.
The latest Apple Powerbooks have a motion sensor. Here’s what the Apple site tells you about it:
PowerBook G4 computers starting with PowerBook G4 (12-inch 1.5GHz), PowerBook G4 (15-inch 1.67/1.5GHz), and PowerBook G4 (17-inch 1.67GHz) have Sudden Motion Sensor technology, built-in protection for the hard disk that is designed to help prevent disk failures if the computer is dropped or undergoes severe vibration. The Sudden Motion Sensor is designed to detect unusually strong vibrations, sudden changes in position or accelerated movement. If the computer is dropped, the Sudden Motion Sensor instantly parks the hard drive heads to help reduce the risk of damage to the hard drive on impact. When the Sudden Motion Sensor senses that the PowerBook position is once again stable, it unlocks the hard drive heads, and you are up and running within seconds.
Somebody figured out how to read the motion data from the sensor, and turn it into a Human Interface Device. Tilt your computer, and your web page scrolls. Of course, for games it’s even more fun:
AMS2HID allows you to play games using the PowerBook itself as a controller – the computer’s motion in physical space provides input to games. As note earlier, any game whose primary controls are directional should work well wit AMS2HID. This includes many car-racing or driving games, where “left”/”right” “up”, and “down” can be used for steering, acceleration and braking respectively. Flight simulators and maze-based puzzle games are other likel candidates
A game extremely well-suited to AMS2HID is Neverball, in which you “tilt the floor to roll the ball through an obstacle course before time runs out”. In this case, the physical tilting of the computer closely matches the virtual tilting required in the game to result in a very immersive and enjoyable gaming experience.