Sunday, February 28, 2010

There's always one in every photo

For whatever reason, I get a big kick out of this (doctored) photo.

Irish Famine isn't funny

Brunswick, Ohio. As the Ohio State Board President of the largest Irish American organization in the United States, I am writing to demand that Denny's immediately cease airing their advertisement concerning the promotion for foods referencing the "Irish Famine".

The "Potato Famine", as it is sometimes called, was actually a forced hunger which took place in Ireland between 1845 and 1852. It killed over one and a half million of its people and forced millions of others to immigrate. This starvation, or as it is called in Ireland, "An Gorta Mor", which means the "Great Hunger", was man made by English absentee landlords who, with very few exceptions, did nothing to alleviate the suffering of the people.

It is well-documented history that while the Irish people starved for lack of their staple crop, mutton, beef, vegetables, corn and other foods were raised or harvested and exported to England under guard where they were sold for profit. Interestingly, Ireland was not the only country where fungus destroyed the potato crop. It began in N. America and spread to Europe yet no other country had a famine.

Denny's has the audacity to make fun of the those who died of starvation and disease that was much worse than any genocide ever recorded in history so they can sell their product on the back of our dead ancestors. We are appalled at their ad, as are all Irish and Irish Americans. We are not the only Irish American organization in the United States who have ready to let Denny's know how we feel about our
ancestors' defamation so they can sell a product and make a profit.

We ask that they immediately cease and desist from airing this vile and disrespectful advertisement.

Joseph Casey
President, Ohio State Board

Friday, February 12, 2010

Pepi le Pew

Every year it's a struggle to keep my dog away from the local skunks. For the last 16 years I've had black labs and they fearlessly go after the smelly creatures.

I thought I had some time before worrying about them this year until I read what the Humane Society posted.

"Humans aren’t the only ones with romance on their minds for Valentine’s Day. Amorous male skunks are busy playing the dating game as well. February through March is mating season for skunks, and people shouldn’t be surprised to suddenly smell that distinctly unpleasant foul odor. According to The Humane Society of the United States, this is a female skunk’s way of warding off unwanted suitors. Fortunately, skunk romance only lasts a short time. "

Yeah, but a sprayed dog stays smelly a long time.

More details on skunks.

Microsoft Money

No, not the product that attempted to dethrone Quicken.

It's no secret that Microsoft makes most of its money on Windows and Office.

This chart from BusinessInsider.Com shows it clearly.

Still think it's a coincidence that Google is targeting Windows and Office?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Click the 'Test me' Button

Visit the Electronic Frontier Foundation webpage and check out their Panopticlick.

Panopticlick tests your browser to see how unique it is based on the information it will share with sites it visits.

Click the Test me button and you will be given a uniqueness score, letting you see how easily identifiable you might be as you surf the web.

They only collect anonymous data. See the results from my sample PC.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Vancouver Winter Olympics

I have to admit, I prefer the Summer Olympics. I love the track and field, the volleyball and the basketball in particular.

But I am eager to get into the Vancouver Winter Olympics which start Friday. I wonder how they will pull off the Opening Ceremonies inside the BC? It's the first time the ceremony will be held indoors.

I don't follow skating but we were fortunate to get a preview of who to watch from two skating legends at the Greater Cleveland Sports Awards last week.

Carol Heiss Jenkins won the Silver Medal in 1956 and between 1957 and 1960, Carol Heiss dominated women's figure skating like nobody since Sonja Henie. She was U.S. and World Champion every year, and at the 1960 Winter Olympics Heiss captured the gold medal, being ranked first by all nine judges.

Her student and 1996 United States silver medalist and a three-time World team member Tonia Kwiatkowski also told us what to watch for.

Check out the 2 short video clips and enjoy the Games!

I could coach this basketball team

Even I could win a gold medal as coach of this team.

USA Basketball revealed today 27 players who have been named to the 2010-2012 USA Men's National Team program.

Returning to the USA National Team for 2010-12 are 2008 Olympic gold medalists Carmelo Anthony (Denver Nuggets); Carlos Boozer (Utah Jazz); Chris Bosh (Toronto Raptors); Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers); Dwight Howard (Orlando Magic); LeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers); Chris Paul (New Orleans Hornets); Dwyane Wade (Miami Heat); and Deron Williams (Utah Jazz). Rounding out the list of Olympians on the national squad roster are 2004 Olympic bronze medalists Lamar Odom (Los Angeles Lakers) and Amar'e Stoudemire (Phoenix Suns).

Completing the list of National Team players are LaMarcus Aldridge (Portland Trail Blazers); Chauncey Billups (Denver Nuggets); Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder); Rudy Gay (Memphis Grizzlies); Eric Gordon (Los Angeles Clippers); Danny Granger (Indiana Pacers); Andre Iguodala (Philadelphia 76ers); Al Jefferson (Minnesota Timberwolves); David Lee (New York Knicks); Brook Lopez (New Jersey Nets); Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves); O.J. Mayo (Memphis Grizzlies); Kendrick Perkins (Boston Celtics); Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls); Gerald Wallace (Charlotte Bobcats) and Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder).

Actually with that group, I could play on the team and we would win gold.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Early deduction for Haiti relief donations

A law signed by President Obama on January 22 lets you take an early tax deduction for contributions you make for earthquake relief to Haiti. And if you use your cell phone to donate via a text message, the new law gives you an easier method for substantiating your contribution.

If you itemize deductions on your tax return, you may elect to take a charitable deduction on your 2009 return for Haiti contributions made after January 11, 2010, and before March 1, 2010. Claiming a 2010 contribution on your 2009 return will give you an earlier tax benefit, though you may also wait until you file your 2010 return to take the deduction.

Here are other important details.

The contributions must be made specifically for relief related to the January 12, 2010, earthquake in Haiti.

The contributions must be made to qualified charities, rather than to specific individuals.

Only cash contributions qualify for the earlier 2009 deduction option; contributions of property or goods do not qualify.
Contributions made to foreign charities generally don't qualify.

You'll need records to substantiate any deductible donations you make. But a special easing of the rules will allow you to use your telephone bill as substantiation for donations made by text message. The phone bill must show the name of the organization receiving your donation, the date of the contribution, and the amount you gave. For other donation methods, you'll need a bank record or written communication from the charity.

If you claim a Haiti relief deduction on your 2009 return, you may not also claim the same donation on your 2010 return (which you'll be filing in 2011). To decide whether to take the deduction on your 2009 or 2010 return, run the numbers to see which year will give you the bigger tax savings. For 2009, higher-income taxpayers have a limit on their total itemized deductions. This limit is eliminated for 2010, so the deduction could actually provide a bigger tax break if taken on your 2010 tax return.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Cleveland Sports

No, this isn't going to be a depressing post about the Drive or Fumble or Shot or our lack of Super Bowl appearances.

The Cleveland Sports Awards was held last Wednesday (February 3, 2010) at the Renaissance Hotel Ballroom and it reinforced how many tremendous athletes we have in the area and that sports goes beyond the NBA, NFL and MLB.

Sure, the professional sports were on the agenda with LeBron James winning best Pro Athlete over his teammate Mo Williams and Browns Pro Bowler Joe Thomas.

But a lot of fun was interacting with the amateur and school athletes. Olympians such as Carol Heiss, Hayes Jenkins, Dominique Moceanu, Diana Munz, Tonia Kwiatkowski and Bill Kerslake attended as did school and amateur athletes such as CSU's J'Nathan Bullock, Elyria HS' Tess Sito and Euclid's (now Texas A&M's) Jessica Beard.

There are some great photos and videos from the event (like Bob Feller with the Captains mascot!) at GreatLakesGeek.Com

Monday, February 01, 2010

Win free tickets to Great Big Home & Garden Expo

There are 2, count 'em 2, home and garden shows this year. The original moved to Euclid and was held last week. A new one, Great Big Home & Garden Expo, is going to be at the I-X Center next week.

Ty Pennigton and Cheryl Tiegs (whatever happened to that poster on my wall?) are the biggest named celebs at the show.

You can enter to win free tickets at ClevelandSeniors.Com or ClevelandWomen.Com