As per the request of one of the DanceNet readers, here are copies of the past ramblings of the DanceNet Webmaster.
An old friend had a '62 (or so) Pontiac convertible Le Mans that he drove to the wedding. This is a car that is missing just two items that would make it a GTO. The guy had problems starting it that morning, taking about 45 minutes to turn the starter over. After driving it around on the highway to charge it, he got to the wedding (I think he had jumpstarted it twice already). At the wedding, he realized that the car (and battery) was dead.
He got a friend in a Volkswagen to come over and try to jumpstart it. After about 20 minutes, he got another friend in a big Toyota van (with a much bigger battery) to try it. When that friend had to leave, I brought over my car and we sat there for another 20 minutes trying to charge the battery and start the car. Finally, the guy with the Volkswagen came back and we hooked up all three cars in parallel and was able to get the Le Mans started. That was a pretty neat trick. The people in the park across the street started cheering when we finally got the car started. The car owner was happy because he was suppose to be home picking up his wife for the wedding banquet.
Lesson learned: if your car battery has problems just before you leave the house for an important event, leave the car at home and get a ride. Don't be optimistic and think that things will work out.
I got to see a lot of friends whom I haven't seen in 10 or 15 years at this wedding. I also found out what's worse than old friends who don't recognize or remember you.
I went around saying hello to everyone and there was this one woman whom I knew from high school; I knew her sisters and she was married to one of my friends. She passed me and said hello with the appropriate smile...and called me by a different name. I smiled in amusement and had a good laugh afterwards, telling my friends to not bother correcting her at the moment. I did notice that she never came over to talk to me after the wedding.
Later on at the banquet, she came over and apologized, but not for forgetting my name. She hadn't talk to me after the wedding because she thought I was someone she *didn't* like.
I just sent this to a dance promoter-type person:
Excuse me, but why do you have ads on your website? I just went to it and the first thing I saw was a "warning" that my computer was infected with Spyware. Ignoring the fact that it wasn't true, it totally distracted me from the information I was trying to get from your website. That ad took up most of the viewable space and it was the first thing I saw when I brought up your website.
Why do you need to have ads on your webpage? I'm assuming your band makes enough money to afford a small clean website. There are plenty of ISP's who offer very inexpensive websites without ads so they look so much more professional. A website that needs ads to pay for itself gives the message that the business isn't making enough money to pay for a website and that implies that you're not very successful.
I had been encouraged by my friend Laura to buy some Morning Glory's plants for my front yard at a fine (plant) nursery called Mahoney's in Winchester last Spring. Figuring she knew what she was talking about, I bought a few plants and put them against the fence between the new rose bushes I had also bought that day. The flowers were suppose to "crawl" up the fence like vines and produce some beautiful blossoms.
All summer long I waited for these vines to bloom. At one point, I couldn't see where the vines went and I had assumed the plants died. The stems/vines didn't look very robust so I thought they had withered away.
All of a sudden, during the early fall, I noticed that a row of bright bluish/purple plants adorned the top of the fence. My first reaction was that my neighbors had installed some Morning Glories. These flowers would open up and bloom during the morning sun and then close down at night. The plants were absolutely beautiful and I was jealous.
I eventually asked my neighbors about "their" plants. It turns out that they didn't plant Morning Glories...they were *mine*. Then they showed me their side of our mutual fence. The whole fence on their side was *covered* with Morning Glories. Of course, it finally dawned on me that their side faced the morning sun so the plants naturally grew on their side. The vines were even growing along the front of the fence along the sidewalk...their fence, that is.
The irony is that everyone who walked by complimented the neighbors for *their* flowers. Yes, the neighbors said it wasn't theirs, but there weren't any Morning Glories on *my* side of the fence to show for it. The neighbors did, however, encourage me to put more Morning Glories on my side of the property.
I start off with the comics. The purpose of reading the comics first is to start off the day with a smile. Some of my favorite comic strips are mere whimsical thoughts, random ideas that float in and out of my head. Some play on current themes while throwing in moral commentary. In the end, it's a nice smooth and easy transition from trying to wake up to seriously comtemplating the day ahead.
The next section I tend to read is the Editorials (aka, "The Soapbox"). Here I encounter a range of opinions, thoughts to which other people may (or may not) have given some consideration by following some logical or illogical course of reasoning. I love trying to follow how other people think and how they arrived at their conclusions. It also causes me to think about how I arrive at my conclusions and whether or not my intended arguments are valid. I like looking for potholes in others' ideas and saving them up in case I need to argue those same points. It's good to know how others think on the same issues.
But ultimately, I learn to appreciate that there are a lot of people who have different ideas. They may think differently from me and that's okay.
I came up with the thoughts above as a result of talking to one of my friends from Kentucky on some issue. He started to complain about a previous President (of the United States) who apparently and allegedly signed some telecommunications bill that was the cause of a lot of aggravation when telephone area codes were shuffled around.
This particular person was complaining about how he had to change the way he called up the same (nearby) friends every day. I chose to interject with a question: What was the alternative? When he couldn't come up with an answer, I told him: We would have run out of telephone numbers.
The government at the federal level probably authorized changes to the system that had been place since the beginning of Jurassic Period, but it was at the state level where intelligent people had to grapple with it that it was decided *how* to achieve a larger pool of useable phone numbers, such as splitting up existing areas or overlaying regions with multiple area codes. Either way, it was going to be a big shock to users.
In Massachusetts, many people got kicked out of area codes 617 and 508 and put into new ones so people in continuous regions could stay in the same area code. A few years later, the various regions ran out of phone numbers again (for other reasons) and this time the state and phone companies decided to overlay new area codes on top of existing area codes so people wouldn't have to move to a new area code *again*. In either case, everyone has to dial a 10-digit phone number now.
With the benefit of hindsight, one has to wonder: "What was the big deal?" Logic indicates that if you're running out of numbers, you make more numbers. With the mathematical system I learned at the former Saugeen Valley Public School in Durham, Ontario, when we run out of numbers in our counting scheme, we add a digit. When we need a lot of numbers, we add a lot of digits. When there were only a few phones, only 4 digits were needed for a local call. When society grew, so did our need to move to 7 digits. Now with the addition of countless cellphones, we have to go with 10 digits. Makes perfect sense to me. After a few years, no one's going to remember how hard it was to remember to dial 3 more digits.
The fact is, people hate change, even when it's good for them (or for everyone). The person who was complaining was ultimately looking for any excuse or reason to lambast some political official (actually, a *particular* govermment official) and took the easy way of attributing a lot of society's grievances and ills to this person without thinking about the logic of his argument. Sometimes I think that's how people voted in the last election.
There's nothing more that annoys someone with an axe to grind than someone else who comes along to take away his excuse for whining about something or someone he hates. It's a lot of fun.