Is Spartacus diminished because he’s satarized?

Regarding “You Ain’t Spartacus“,

Hi Bertzen, I’m not sure if you read my entire post or not, but all I can add is that my own experience is what I am describing.

I’m not one to sample through libraries of older films. If I see a great scene from a movie (altered though it may be) and it inspires me to seek out that film, then I believe I’ve benefited in that way.

And if today’s kiddies see the bastardized version of the film and never learn any more about it or see it, then I cannot really see where the loss is. They didn’t know about it before and they still don’t care about it now.

I suppose folks who work in the industry may feel strongly about their work being used for other than it’s originally intended purpose. But as an individual who has enjoyed certain songs, plays, films, books and games throughout my life – some passionately – I can still appreciate the new perspectives offered and I don’t feel particularly betrayed or outraged by them. Sometimes they’re good and I agree with them, sometimes they aren’t and/or I don’t.

In our remix culture, planting a stake in the ground and declaring “these items are sacrosanct” is going to be a source of a lot of frustration for those who choose to do so.

Swingless Golf Club

I had a hearty laugh when I read about this Swingless Golf Club. I have to admit I am still not sure that it’s not just a joke but I thought I’d share it with you.

I do enjoy a good round of golf, but even I have to say that it’s not exactly the most taxing activity in the world. Add a golf cart to remove the walking and now this tool to remove the actual swinging and I’m not quite sure how to classify this activity at all! 🙂

Budget Rent-a-Car slime move

*Updated July 29, 2008* I should probably change this item to “Elite Excursions and the Banks team up to relieve you of your money..”. Anyway, Clark Howard – a local consumer advocate – just posted an item that I thought relevant to this whole fiasco:

The Berkeley Center for Law and Technology analyzed corporate America to see which companies have the highest incidence of ID theft. The No. 1 company? Bank of America.

*End Update*

Is anybody else getting tired of these companies picking on our less savvy citizens?

I just received this in the mail from Budget Rent-a-car and find it eminently distasteful that they use this tactic to fool folks into subscribing to their “Elite Excursions Membership”.


The fine print under the cash amount says “Cashing this check activates a membership in the Elite Excursions program.”.

I’ve seen several of these over the years and every time it galls me that they appear to be specifically targeting folks who are either too trusting or too dumb to understand that this is not a check without strings attached.

As with all terrible advertising – this one is headed for my shredder.

This reminds me of the time I received an envelope from Circuit City with “Final Expiration Notice” boldly printed on it. The idea being for me to urgently open the envelope and respond to their Extended Service Policy offer.
I was so incensed that I wrote them a snail-mail letter (this was back in 2000 after all). I told them what I thought of their tactics ending with,

I am certain that I am not alone in my sentiments and wanted to at least let you know that your tactic has led me to shop elsewhere for fear of receiving yet more undeserved “Final Notices”.

I really can’t abide misleading or sensational (shock) advertising and just wanted to rant.

Regaining Flight Currency

The weather finally was agreeable this weekend and I had a gorgeous day for flying. Astron’s warrior was in for its 100 hour inspection so instead I ended up taking out one of the C-172’s.

I had a perfect crosswind today, sometimes blowing at 50 degrees off the runway centerline at up to 10 Knots. This gave me ideal conditions for practicing my crosswind landings which I’ve been doing a lot of reading up on lately.

Then off to Winder airport to do some simple and short field landings and finally off to Blairsville for a beautiful trek over some of the North Georgia mountains to do a quick touch-and-go before heading back home again to Gwinnett airport.

The sun was out, the temperatures were mild (about 16 degrees centigrade on the ground) and the spring foliage was lush.

All-glass Undersea Restaurant

Just found this article about an all-glass undersea restaurant on, this looks like it would be a great once-in-a-lifetime thing to try out. I can’t imagine what a meal must run but, if you’re vacationing in the Maldives, I suspect cost is not your primary concern.

This prompted me to recall our silver-service dinner at the base of Ayer’s rock (Uluru) in Australia when we visited back in 1999. A formal meal served on formal dishware in the open desert. Trés cool. It was followed by a local describing Aboriginal legends surrounding the moon and followed up by an astronomer highlighting some features of the Southern Hemisphere night sky. His two telescopes (and the lack of ambient light pollution) allowed us an amazingly clear view of a couple of galaxies and other objects that he pointed out.

I also thought the restaurant technology looked familiar so pulled up a couple of pictures of one of the walkways that went through the Sydney Aquarium (in Australia).

Sydney Aquarium Tunnel

Sydney Aquarium Tunnel

Wolf Camera Digital Photo Printing

Since I like to use my computer for almost all things entertainment, and since my focus has been on importing into rather than exporting photos from my PC I haven’t done a lot of photo printing since the prices became reasonable.

Today we wanted to print some photos and send them to my Grandmother who does not frequent the internet. We picked 10 pictures, uploaded them to Wolf Camera’s website (run by and then prepaid a whole $3 to have them printed at a local store. We then went out to lunch at one of our local Panera Bread Restaurants and then swung by Wolf Camera and picked them up. I can’t believe how handy this is!
*Much* cheaper than buying a photo-capable printer and, for the minuscule volume that I intend to print, very cost effective too.

As an aside, the last I heard, Panera Bread was claiming to have the largest network of wireless hotspots in the United States. I would have guessed that some place like Starbucks would hold that title.