Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Rainbows on the Way Out

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,

Tomorrow morning, I’ll be heading back to Utah for the weekend. Before that though, I had to try to cram an entire work week into two days… and I did about as much as humanly possible, so anything else will be waiting for me when I get back. No worries. I’ll be enjoying the sweet life. Camping, sushi, football, beer festivals, Machete, singing, dancing, bumping, grinding, ripping, tearing, all the great stuff. So without further ado… here’s the news…

Spiderman Update – No, not the reboot of the Marvel comic book character (which sounds like it’s going to suck) but something much better. San Francisco police have arrested a man who scaled the exterior of a 58-story downtown skyscraper and unfurled an American flag at the top. Police tell KCBS Radio that the man is veteran skyscraper climber Dan Goodwin. The 54-year-old Lake Tahoe resident's (oh yes, he’s a local) other climbing credits include Chicago's Sears Tower. Goodwin used suction cups but no ropes to scale Millennium Tower, a 645-foot residential building overlooking San Francisco Bay. How would you like that? Waking up to your bay view in the morning… and seeing some middle-aged dude in a leotard hanging out your window with suction cups. “G’morning!” Police say he ignored orders to stop climbing (I’d play the old card). The San Francisco Fire Department says Goodwin was too high to reach by the time firefighters got to the building. Goodwin reached the top just before 5:30 p.m. Monday, about three hours after he began. He affixed an American flag to the building before surrendering to waiting authorities. Sounds like fun, right? Climbing up the side of a skyscraper with suction cups. Sounds fun to me… until the wind picks up or something. Maybe bank robbing isn’t my calling… but cat burglary just might be. I mean… adventure architecture climbing. That’s my bag. Best of luck with the slap on the wrist, Mr. Goodwin. See you at the bar.

Nevada Update – I’ll be flying back to Utah by private jet as usual (“G-Fiiiiiiive… no frequent flyer b**ch miles for this playa”) but I have been known to go Kerouac and drive across Northern Nevada. There is nothing to it. In fact, I’m pretty sure that if they didn’t find gold in them there hills, the Native Americans would still be flourishing there. Just a guess. However, at least one legislator has an idea about how to make Northern Nevada that much more inviting. One Nevada gubernatorial hopeful sees a speedy fix to Nevada's budget crisis. Nonpartisan candidate Eugene "Gino" DiSimone believes people would pay for the privilege to drive up to 90 mph on designated highways — and fill the state's depleted coffers. DiSimone calls his idea the "free limit plan." He estimates the plan would bring in $1 billion a year (which sounds like it’s completely founded on bullsh*t figures… but please go on). First, vehicles would have to pass a safety inspection. Then vehicle information would be loaded into a database, and motorists would purchase a transponder. After setting up an account, anyone in a hurry could dial in, and for $25 charged to a credit card, be free to speed for 24 hours. The Nevada Highway Patrol isn't keen on the idea, saying it would lead to increased injuries and traffic deaths… but they say the same thing about tinted windows, “one for the road” and truck nuts. Okay, now to destroy Gino’s BS figures. Let’s say… you have the weekend warriors who want to do this… so twice a week… let’s say EVERY weekend, they sign up for this. That’s a bold estimate… and $2500 a year (one day there, one day back). To get a billion dollars from that, you would need 400,000 people to sign up (maybe the inspection is a portion of his numbers), go online and sign up for the day or whatever, make sure the NHP has a way of knowing, while still protecting the livelihoods of people obeying the speed limits, and hope that the high winds and sand storms don’t effect anything… every single weekend. Good luck with that. Will it pass? Probably not. I would be surprised. Would I use it? F**k no. If I drove any faster across the state, my side view mirrors would act as wings and I would take flight. I’ve said it before, Gretchen isn’t the most aerodynamic vehicle on the market… but damn is she sexy…

Philly Update – Sorry, the name Gino’s got me thinking about cheesesteaks… and then I stumbled upon this story. Hundreds of naked and partially nude cyclists have pedaled their way through Philadelphia to promote bicycling awareness and cleaner air. Some of the buff bikers wore body paint, some were in bathing suits and some were completely naked. This was the second year for the Philly Naked Bike Ride. Similar rides have taken place in more than 70 cities worldwide since 2004. The bicyclists pedaled several miles through the city on Sunday evening. That’s all that was on there… but it brings back memories of one of the greatest songs of rock & roll history. Join me, won’t you?

X Box is Kinda Dirty Too - Microsoft Corp. and the chief rules enforcer for Xbox Live are apologizing to a small West Virginia town and a 26-year-old gamer accused of violating the online gaming service's code of conduct by publicly declaring he's from Fort Gay — a name the company considered offensive. The only thing is… that the town's name is real. But when Josh Moore tried to tell Seattle-based Microsoft and the enforcement team at Xbox Live, they wouldn't take his word for it. Or Google it. Or check the U.S. Postal Service website for a ZIP code. Instead, they suspended his gaming privileges for a few days until Moore could convince them the location in his profile, "fort gay WV," wasn't a joke or a slur: It's an actual community of about 800 in Wayne County, along West Virginia's western border with Kentucky. "At first I thought, 'Wow, somebody's thinking I live in the gayest town in West Virginia or something.' I was mad. ... It makes me feel like they hate gay people," said Moore, an unemployed factory worker who plays shooters like Medal of Honor, Call of Duty and Ghost Recon under the gamertag Joshanboo (friend him if you want). "I'm not even gay, and it makes me feel like they were discriminating," said Moore, who missed a key Search and Destroy competition because of last week's brief suspension. His team lost. Angry and incredulous, Moore contacted customer service. "I figured, I'll explain to them, 'Look in my account. Fort Gay is a real place,'" Moore reasoned. But the employee was unreceptive, warning Moore if he put Fort Gay back in his profile, Xbox Live would cancel his account and keep his $12 monthly membership fee, which he'd paid in advance for two years. "I told him, Google it — 25514!" Moore said, offering up the town's ZIP code. "He said, 'I can't help you.'" Mayor David Thompson also tried to intervene, but with little success. He told television station WSAZ, which first reported the dispute, that he was informed the city's name didn't matter. The word "gay," he was told, was inappropriate in any context (yes, even to express one’s happiness and/or gaiety). "It was so inappropriate for them, they wouldn't even say the word," Thompson told the AP Wednesday. "They said, 'that word.' It's beyond me. That's the name of our town! It's appalling. It's a slap in our face." Stephen Toulouse, director of policy and enforcement for Xbox Live blamed miscommunication. "Someone took the phrase 'fort gay WV' and believed that the individual who had that was trying to offend, or trying to use it in a pejorative manner," Toulouse said. Unfortunately, one of my people agreed with that. ... When it was brought to my attention, we did revoke the suspension." Complaints, he notes, come to agents with no contextual information, including who the suspected offender is or what games they play. The agent simply looks at the language and determines whether it complies with policy. The Xbox Live player's contract says users cannot "create a gamertag, avatar or use text in other profile fields that may offend other members," and lists potentially dangerous topics such as drug use, hate speech and racial, ethnic or religious slurs. Really? Because there are THOUSANDS of people with avatars or whatever with 420’s in them… and there’s a few that if I weren’t laughing so hard, I’d probably be offended at. Fort Gay has been a community of people of all sexual preferences since 1789, when 11 people tried to establish a settlement at the junction of the Tug and Big Sandy rivers (you know what, those names offend me too), across from what is now Louisa, Ky. It was incorporated as Cassville in 1875 but was simultaneously known as Fort Gay until 1932, when town leaders changed it to the latter for good. Toulouse said he will contact Moore and apologize. Staying ahead of slang and policing Xbox for offensive is a constant challenge, he said. "In this very, very specific case, a mistake was made and we're going to make it right." Just a funny little story that I thought I would share with you. Now I must return to the home planet of Funkatron and get funked up

Can’t wait. Less than 18 hours from now, I’ll be in Utah, back amongst my friends & family. It should make for an epic weekend. Get your tickets while they’re still available. Have a great weekend everybody!!!

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