Blogs > Life, I wrote.

Life Editor Ivan Lajara talks about living in the Hudson Valley, language, the Web, cats and even politics. But he shouldn't.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Widgets

Web gadgets, or widgets, are little features people can post anywhere online. People can "grab" them and post them on their own sites, or blogs, or whatever.

One such widget was posted with last week's Associated Press review of "Indiana Jones."




Another one, posted below, will accompany a detailed Sunday Associated Press story about the popular British band Radiohead.




There are many companies that make Widgets, including Clearspring and Widgetbox.

The really cool thing about these Web features is that can be updated all the that -- and you can make your own.

I did, not to show you that it can be done, but in an humble attempt at shameless self-promotion, as you can see to your right.

Now there are countless places on the Web for you to ignore me.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Bacon links

Today's column, "A kosher guide to pork and politics," was inspired by Thursday's Senate passage of the war bill.

The bill included such "war" expenses like money for "housing and levees devastated by Hurricane Katrina, heating subsidies for low-income families, the space shuttle program, the Food and Drug Administration, biomedical research, roads and bridges, federal prisons, grants to local police departments, aid to rural schools, suppression of wildfires and preparations for the 2010 census," as reported in The New York Times.

Here are some other interesting links:

* Citizens Against Government Waste is a private group that chronicles government spending. You might not think all the spending the group lists is waste, however, like medical research projects and such. But the group is really good at following the money. It is the site which came up with the $22 million salmon.

* I borrowed a phrase from a past blog post.  It might illuminate the Freeman's political leanings (or not).

* As unbelievable as this may sound,  The Hill's "Senate panel approves Iraq war funding bill" has the line, "It could be the end of crab meat.” The story was first highlighted by CAGW's blog, "Swineline."


* New York State has its own tracker of government earmarks, "Project Sunlight."
It doesn't stop pork, but at least you know where it comes from and who or what gets it.

We regret the error

Actually, we don't.

"Regret the error" is the name of Craig Silverman's Web site about Media mistakes. There are lots of them. "Pubic meeting," mentioned in today's column, is hardly original, as a matter of fact.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Dead president honors dead vice president

This is a reminder that dead President James Madison makes a rare appearance at the Senate House State Historic Site, 296 Fair St., Kingston, Saturday at 2 p.m.

Madison will honor dead governor George Clinton, who served as his vice president until his’s death in office in 1812.

Holding a press conference and free public reception at Senate House State Historic Site as if it were May 31, 1812, shortly after Clinton’s death the previous month on April 1812.

Madison will reflect on Clinton’s great virtues and accomplishments. He will later take questions from the press and public, such as “How come you are here if you’re dead?”

Eighteenth and early 19th Century music will be performed by musicians in period dress. The public can also view a small exhibition on Clinton, in the Loughran House, part of the historic site campus.

The day’s events are part of a day-long celebration of Clinton, New York State’s first and longest-serving governor; a hero of the American Revolution; the person largely responsible for insuring the adoption of the Bill of Rights; and ridiculous overachiever.

Clinton was buried in Washington, D.C. But in recognition of Clinton’s importance to New York and American history, New Yorkers, on May 30, 1908, celebrated the return of his body to his home state with a re-internment ceremony and the dedication of a prominent monument in Kingston’s Old Dutch Church cemetery on Main and Wall streets.

In addition to the Senate House events, there will be a 1 p.m. gravesite ceremony at the Old Dutch Church, and a 4 p.m. tea at the Wiltwyck Chapter House of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Admission to this event is free. Admission to the museum and Senate House is $4, $3 for seniors and children.

Call the site at (845) 338-2786 or visit the State Parks Web site at www.nysparks.com.

Friday, May 23, 2008

On the radio

I'll be on "Speak Out" with Jodie McTague on WKNY, 1490 on the AM dial, Saturday at 10 a.m. to speak about why in the world anybody would like to speak to me on the radio.

If time permits, I'll be avoiding listeners' questions.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Historic mistake, part I

Today's history lesson was inspired by "Kingston event will commemorate reburial of former Vice President George Clinton" written by the Freeman's Paul Kirby and published May 12, 2008.

The story has a photo that depicts Kingston Historian Edwin Ford and Roger Wells pointing out some misinformation on the monument at Clinton’s grave site in the church graveyard.



Bruce Sumber of Kingston left a post online which accompanies the story, wondering about what the mistake was, which I alluded to in the column. The plaque has the date of Gov. George Clinton's death as 1811, which is wrong. Clinton died on April 20, 1812. There is a smaller plate at the church with the correct date. If you stand in front of the monument in the picture on the sidewalk, you'll see the small plaque, which has all the information from the old one, with the correction.

Historic mistake, part II

If you read "Local history perfect for rewriting" online, you might have noticed that there was something wrong with the image that accompanied the column:



You guessed it. The headphones only have one earplug.

Historic (web) sites

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Of blogs and men

So the mayor of Kingston sues an unemployed man for $100,000 because the politician claims he was libeled in the man's blog.

So James Sottile - the very public, powerful and influential leader of this city who apparently lost his thick skin when he was slapped at a bar last year -- wants to let you know that this is a private matter -- by making the whole thing a matter of public record, ensuring the offending article gets repeated over and over.

Don't believe me? Google "Mayor Sottile bid rigging."

For the record, opinion is protected speech. So if I write, "The mayor is stupid and is acting childishly and like a bully," he can cry "pain and anguish" all he wants, but there's nothing he can do.

Seriously. Sue me.

Similarly, however, If I were to write something that's not true, like, "Mayor Sottile to be indicted for Bid-Rigging," I would be fired in a heartbeat. Note, however, that I can ironically write it in a didactic fashion. 

So you can try suing me for that one, too.

So maybe the mayor wants to get back at doing the people's business and maybe the bloggers want to do some fact-checking before the start blogging like this.

And yes, I'm a public figure too, so you can smear me all you want.
...

Also, and for the record, I didn't vote for the mayor. I was busy not voting for the other guy.



Friday, May 16, 2008

The Chronicles of Narnia

"The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian" opened to good reviews today, which reminds me that I haven't seen the first one and that I won't see this one either.

I'll watch Saturday Night Live's "The Chronicles of Narnia (Lazy Sunday)" instead:

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Graduation calendar

* Ulster County Community College, which likes to call itself SUNY Ulster because it wants to be a four-year school, holds its 44th commencement ceremonies on May 21.

* U.S. Rep Charles Rangel, D-N.Y. is the speaker at Bard College's commencement ceremonies May 24.

* SUNY New Paltz's undergraduate commencement is Sunday from 10 a.m. to noon at Old Main Quad. Graduate ceremonies are Friday.

* Vassar College ceremonies are May 25 at 10:00 a.m. The speaker is Randy Cohen, The New York Times Magazine's "ethicist," who is not a professional ethicist but does know right from wrong.

* Marist College commencement "exercices" are Friday for graduates and Saturday for undergrads. "Nightline" Correspondent Vicki Mabrey is the speaker Saturday.

* Columbia-Greene Community College ceremonies are Tuesday.

* Dutchess Community College graduates its students tomorrow.

Warcraft?

If you don't know what "World of Warcraft" is, it is probably because you are a human being who needs to eat food and drink water regularly.

"World of Warcraft" is a massively multiplayer online game in which everyone can play and interact at the same time. It counts more than 9 million players.

The Blizzard Entertainment game was released at the end of 2004 and is still collecting victims.

Warcraft veterans might notice that they have lost all sense of reality and that the illustration in today's column is a gnome warlock taken from a wallpaper image.

The game was the subject of an episode of Comedy Central's "South Park." Titled "Make Love, not Warcraft," it aired in 2006 and can be seen on South Park's site.  


Here's a clip. As with anything "South Park," it is rated a capital "M."

Graduation links

If you are about to finish school, you should be getting ready for graduation, instead of reading this.
Regardless, here are some links related to  "Grads ready for world - of Warcraft":


* Don't feel like a loser because you are moving back with your parents. You were a loser way before that.

* If you feel like having no life is a good idea, I recommend getting into the "World of Warcraft," or, as it is known in gaming circles, "crack."

* One day, you'll regret what you posted on Facebook. Call it a life lesson -- that will stay with you for the rest of your life.

The "prestigious guy who works at McDonald's" actually exists. Check him out.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day (is today)

So happy mother to all the days out there, or something like that.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Mother's Day (is not today)

In case you thought I was mean in today's column, "Mother's Day a whatever to remember," know that I love my mom, thank you very much, and that I love using this as an excuse to tell her I love her.

Very much.

...
Mother's Day Cards Online:

* Hallmark


* At someecards.com you can send nice messages like this:


And you thought I was mean.

* 123 Greetings

* Jib Jab senddables, a cool site that allows you to send your mom a Flash movie with her photo. You have to register and eventually they'll want you to pay, but it has really cool stuff, like "What We Call The News":

Monday, May 5, 2008

New Indiana Jones trailer

"Indiana Jones and the trip to the Nursing Home" (or something like that) is coming to theaters May 22, 19 years after "The Last Crusade," which, I'm told, was not the last.  "Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" also comes 24 years after "Temple of Doom" and 27 years after "Raiders of the Lost Ark."

I saw the new trailer for "Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" this weekend and I turned into the boy I was when I first saw those films.
Note Karen Allen is back into the franchise and Shia LeBeouf, 5 years younger than "Ark," is one of the new stars in the film.



Oh, yeah, and part of the adventure takes place in my native Peru. So I can't wait until Hollywood completely distorts the history of my home country for fun's sake.


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