Blogs > Ivan Lajara

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

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Not talking

Full disclosure related to "Be resolute in ignoring your resolutions:

As adviced in the column, I have set my Facebook account to "not talking to family and friends."



The response? I've got a "green patch request".

Your resolutions

Given the overwhelming response to tehe "What's your favorite worst gift?" post below (I've got socks too -- multicolored and handmade), I know you won't send me your New Year's resolutions.

So you're stuck with celebrity resolutions.

(Content warning, for infantile adults only)


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

What's your favorite worst gift?

If you've read "Last-minute gifts people will love (to return)" and you receive gifts for Christmas, one or two gifts listed might sound familiar.

You know what I'm referring to: You're waiting anxiously for an iPod, and you end up with green socks with red bows.

What's your favorite worst gift?

Blank cassette tapes? A half-scratched lottery ticket? Clip-on ties?

Get them off your head and throw them in here. I know you've got some ... and you'll get some more soon.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Holiday Lights 2.0

Dozens upon dozens of photos were taken by copy editor Jen Sexton and yours truly for the Freeman's Holiday Lights tour, which taught me one thing.

I should stick to writing.

For starters, most of them were dark, blurry or both.
Secondly, I numbered some of them wrong, which led to a mistake in the print version of the tour.

On Sunday's edition, the home of Dawn Gibbs in Pine Street in the city was misidentified in a photo, which showed the home of Ron and Tab Ledoux.

Needless to say, I heard from both families the next day.

The interactive map, hence, has been updated to show the correct information.

Here's what's new:






Also, I've got a call on Monday from a reader wondering what's the best time to do the tour. I think around 6 p.m., when most people are home from work and turn their lights on, is an ideal time.

Given the road conditions, however, you might want to skip some part of the map, which is unfortunate, but necessary for your survival.

If you hit "Terrain" on the map on top right, you'll see what I mean.








Downtown Kingston can be a treacherous drive, given the steep hills and narrow roads. I would skip Wilbur Avenue - which is easy to drive down but nearly impossible to turn back up on West O'Reilly Street - and skip the Rondout, the Ponckhockie District and First, Second and Third avenues, which put together are as wide as a noodle.

Drive safely.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Holiday Lights ... from home

Today the Freeman published its annual tour of Holiday Lights.

The weather, however, has other plans, as you can see from your window.

So I'll give you a little slideshow of photos provided by participants in the tradition.



The map, in case you missed it, is below. There are some photos in it too.


View Larger Map

Hopefully you'll be able to go around town in the next couple of days. Abbey Street, Derrenbacher Street, and First, Second and Third Avenues are something to behold.

But certainly not today.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The report

The findings bastardized in "Civics test proves people are stoopid" come from (inhale) the Intercollegiate Studies Institute American Civic Literacy Program's "Our Fading Heritage: Americans Fail a Basic Test on Their History and Institutions" (exhale).

Here's the three-page summary mentioned in the article.

Our Fading Heritage 11-20-08

And here's the 32-page report:

Civic Literacy Report 08-09

Better yet, visit http://www.americancivicliteracy.org and take the quiz yourself.

We can all be a failure, together!

The link between 'Civics' and 'Confused Sexual Identity' is ...

... readers of Fox News!

Click on the image and see for yourself.



Can't see it? Let me help you.



That's right, people who read "Test Your Knowledge of American History and Civics" also read "Megan Fox's Confused Sexual Identity," which basically means one thing:

WE ARE WATCHING YOU AND YOUR HABITS!
HAHAHAHAHAHA!

"Important YouTube videos of laughing babies"?

What follows are, yes, "important YouTube videos of laughing babies" which are, somehow, related to "Civics test proves people are stoopid."






Of course, if you are a YouTube connoisseur, you probably know about "The Evil Eye":

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Bad news!


What is it with corrupt governors and this face?

Who knows? But what you can certainly know about soon-to-be ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich, D-Ill., is that the guilt-by-association accusations will soon start flying.

FBI agents arrested the governor Tuesday at his Chicago home and took him away while his family was still asleep, saying wiretaps convinced them that Blagojevich's political corruption crime spree had to be stopped before it was too late, the Associated Press reported.

Blago (can I call you Blago?) is accused of — among a huge list of things which will be in the Freeman's front page tomorrow — scheming to sell Barack Obama's vacant Senate seat.

He allegedly also tried to get an editor from the Chicago "Chapter 11" Tribune fired, because he didn't like the editorials, which (suprise!) proves that some people are still reading newspapers. And the prosecutor is none other than Patrick "I'll send you to jail if you don't tell me who your sources are" Fitzgerald.

So needless to say, the senate seat vacated by Bam (can I call you Bam?) is on eBay, a seat described by the governor, on tape, as " a f------ valuable thing, you just don't give it away for nothing," according to the federal affidavit, which I'm posting below (do a search for the "f" word on the second button from the right — see if you can find all 18 instances!).

complaintcoverandaff

Anyway, here are some shots of the people who will be accused of being guilty because they are in a photo with Blago. See if you can identify who they are.






Good news!


The fundamentals of the economy are strong, if the fundamentals are a doomed Sarah Palin turkey and the economy is eBay.

The "historic" bird sold for $225, according to WISHTV.com, because, you know, it came with a letter of authenticity signed by the farm's owner.

Also of note, WISHTV.com issued a "Graphic Video Warning" when posting the unintentionally cruel and widely circulated video featuring the execution of the the 37.75-pound turkey.

Alas, I have no shame. So here it is again.



Requiescant In Pace, my feathered friend.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A new kind of journalist

As the nation's media shed jobs like my cat sheds hair, one news outlet is hiring.

Slate Magazine has just published a column by, get this, horribly disgraced former New York Gov. Eliot "Client 9" Spitzer. It will be a regular feature by the magazine that once published "Eliot Spitzer, Wimp."

It's true, kids. Here's his first column, under the hilarious banner "The Best Policy: Making Government Work Better."

If you are not familiar with Slate or the Spitzer scandal, here is a sample of the magazine's articles:


* "Spitzer Gets Spitzered" where they used this now famous AP photo ...


* "How to Prosecute Eliot Spitzer";


* "Eliot's Wasteland";


* B.S. Eliot;


* "Eliot's Mess";


*
"Tainted Gov," billed as "Slate's complete coverage of the Eliot Spitzer prostitution scandal."


* and the ironically prophetic "Sex Sells."


Labels:

Mean?



Pre-emptive strike: If you thought "'Tis the season to be toying with disaster" was mean, check out 2006's feature by Radar Online (updated in 2007 with Aqua Dots) where the image above was taken from (No Jarts were harmed in the making of the image)

Read Very Bad Toys.

For super mean, read the Onion's rated R "Toy Buying Tips for Parents" or, worse even, listen to "Fun Toys Banned Because of Three Stupid Dead Kids."



Or check out the image below ...


Trouble in Toyland

The U.S. Public Research Interest Group released this year's "Trouble in Toyland" report, pasted below.

The consumer group's 23rd annual survey of toy safety has an apendix, starting on page 16, listing six toy hazards identified in 2008. The report focuses on identifying hazards related to a new law restricting toxic lead and phthalates in toys. There are also tips, so check it out.

The group's toy safety site is www.toysafety.net.