Moo Pig Wisdom is a brilliant combination of Antiquity and Prequel Modern Flea Market. We respectfully ask you to mind your children while here.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Purple Glaze: A Brief Discussion of Painting on Canvas

If you are a good draftsman, then always work toward your strengths. Lay it out, and work with perspective and proportion. Here is a Lighthouse scene. I usually put reference page and photo credit on any 8 x 10 studies. "Eagle Bluff Light, Ephraim, Wisconsin: marks the entrance into East Channel into Green Bay. It was built on Lake Michigan in 1868, standing 75 feet above the lake, with originally a third-order Fresnel lens. It is a brick tower still aiding in navigation today" (Crompton, S W. UB of L, 2005).
It doesn't hurt to under paint a scene with complementary color scheme. Using acrylics for this; remember if you are oil painting, you have to put water based colors under the final oil base paints; lean under fat as the saying goes, or fat over lean. This roof for instance is going to be Terra cotta, so I under painted with blue slate color.
The bush is in shadow, so I started with dark coloring moving toward lighter later. This is the best way to to produce details in shadows.
And the foreground wall will be yellow limestone, so I under painted with blue shades, Payne's gray, with more dark blue in the clouds. Again it all moves from dark to light, background to foreground. The subject lighthouse
will hopefully end up detailed and sculptural, framed in rich, subdued colors.
Add color. In this case I am doing a study of the various aspects of lighthouses, and not too concerned with palette. However, as I become familiar with lighthouses as a subject then I would choose a group of harmonic colors right now, and stick with them. Here I am using primary colors, mixing pastels from those, as I add features. It turns out the painting starts to fall apart, as complementary colors are set in juxtaposition. Soon the adding of shadow starts to mess up the perspective, and details begin
to get lost, straight lines become
bowed lines... either optical illusions, or just lazy brushing.
Here is an inverted color negative showing true color complements. This could help in coloring the problem areas of the piece.

How to keep the painting together is to make decisions as the rendering continues. Decisions are based on observable data. For instance, lighthouses are generally not a romantic get-away. Rather, they are situated on crags and wind-swept reefs that were once noted as demons
on nautical maps. So, I am experimenting with colors to try to capture forebodings; a bleak place where existence is difficult; structures that must stand up to sheer brutal punishment by natural weathering winds. Thus, buttressing walls, stone and brick construction, copper storm shutters and scuppers, and heavy roofing.

The most difficult part of doing a study is in trying to balance the mess. Some of the intermediate stages have features that look really good. But as another area of the canvas is worked it somehow cancels the parts that I just finished. Highlights fade, and shadows take over, or become ambiguous...
I see as I go that the underpainted version looks real good. I like the bold red lighthouse tower, and the blue mortar in the house. But alas the total structure is made from local yellow sandstone. So for believable finish everything stone becomes yellow's cousin.

I think before I call this quits and spray it with varnish, I might try to do some "glazes" in red-blue, purple, hues to make some shadow on the house and tone down the yellow. Most of the structure is trimmed in copper, so tarnished copper and green are good for other color trials. If this were a 144 inches by 96 inches, first trial, I would at this point be pulling my eyebrows out. No lie!

Fortunately, it is only 8 x 10 inches and manageable for trial and error. Also, I want to point out after all the groundwork has been laid out as it has been now, I as artist can anticipate some fun with the project in final stages. More on that aspect later...

A study like this is without parallel for learning a subject. If I decide to do another, and larger painting of this, it will take less time, and less mess to accomplish. Most of the time I skip this study stage, leaping rather right in with large brushes, and lots of oil. I end up making brown of my colors, and grey skies... so you decide how to go about your own dabbling in rendering.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Bangladesi Sailing Barge

This picture, 8 x 10 study pre-varnish and pre-signed, had too much sail in it, so with a little manipulative brush strokes I managed to balance it out better.

I depend on my immediate family for their opinion on such maneuvers. "What do you think of this one?" I ask.

They are trained after all these years to say the truth. If they do not give a truthful answer, then there is no use in asking.

Therefore this one is moving from dark toward light,or what some call
highlights. The previous is an example of initial color blocking. Wow, red sail? In Asian countries this is a sacred color, found in temples, and I guess on their sailing vessels. I wanted to express that little tidbit in this study.

"So, do you like it?" I think the improvements are good this time and it softens the scene.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

What the hELL? Is this for real?

"See, I told you all he is a pinko, commie, sadist chauvinist pig, coward, puto pendejo, chingus y madres, despot buddy of Chavez, Osama Obama, beeeaache hoe monger, geek... twerp; and what do you all do? You still vote for his sorry A#%$%&$^!!!!!!!!" might have said Hillary to someone's assistant.

What is wrong with this picture?
Hey, I checked this one out at urban legends website and it is actually true. If you want to read more check out the link… There is even a YouTube video of this scene that you can watch.

This needs to be shown to a lot of people. Hand ober the heart, when the bar bungled banner is played, you downright wannabe bungling gandidates!!!!

I had heard about this but a picture is definitely worth 1000 words! God save us!!! reports it is true! The only thing I can think of is he is first in line and he would have saluted the flag, had he seen his opponents placing hand over heart. I wonder if he forgets which direction is East when he genuflects at prayer time; so he calls On Star for directions? this is a youtube typographical error on Obama's life and times as a one time candidate; the others are:
Senator Barack Obama, Governor Bill Richardson, Senator Hillary Clinton and Ruth Harkin stand during the national anthem.

Barack Hussein Obama's photo (that's his real name)......the article said he REFUSED TO NOT ONLY PUT HIS HAND ON HIS HEART DURING THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE, BUT REFUSED TO SAY THE can a man like this expect to be our next Commander-in-Chief???? I don’t think so! Snopes.coms cannot confirm he did not say the Pledge!

Life Sentence without chance for Parole

PARENT - Job Description

POSITION : Mom, Mommy, Mama, Ma, Dad, Daddy, Dada, Pa, Pop

JOB DESCRIPTION : Long term, team players needed, for challenging permanent work in an often chaotic environment. Candidates must possess excellent communication and organizational skills and be willing to work> variable hours, which will include evenings and weekends and frequent 24 hour shifts on call. Some overnight travel required, including trips to primitive camping sites on rainy weekends and endless sports tournaments in far away cities! Travel expenses not reimbursed. Extensive courier duties also required.

RESPONSIBILITIES : The rest of your life. Must be willing to be hated, at least temporarily, until someone needs $5. Must be willing to bite tongue repeatedly. Also, must possess the physical stamina of a pack mule and be able to go from zero to 60 mph in three seconds flat in case, this time, the screams from the backyard are not someone just crying wolf. Must be willing to face stimulating technical challenges, such as small gadget repair, mysteriously sluggish toilets and stuck zippers. Must screen phone calls, maintain calendars and coordinate production of multiple homework projects. Must have ability to plan and organize social gatherings for clients of all ages and mental outlooks. Must be willing to be indispensable one minute, an embarrassment the next. Must handle assembly and product safety testing of a half million cheap, plastic toys, and battery operated devices. Must always hope for the best but be prepared for the worst. Must assume final, complete accountability for the quality of the end product. Responsibilities also include floor maintenance and janitorial work throughout the facility.

POSSIBILITY FOR ADVANCEMENT & PROMOTION: None. Your job is to remain in the same position for years, without complaining, constantly retraining and updating your skills, so that those in your charge can ultimately surpass you

PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE : None required unfortunately. On-the-job training> offered on a continually exhausting basis.

WAGES AND COMPENSATION : Get this! You pay them! Offering frequent raises and bonuses. A balloon payment is due when they turn 18 because of the assumption that college will help them become financially independent. When you die, you give them whatever is left. The oddest thing about this reverse-salary scheme is that you actually enjoy it and wish you could only do more.

BENEFITS : While no health or dental insurance, no pension, no tuition> reimbursement, no paid holidays and no stock options are offered; this job supplies limitless opportunities for personal growth, unconditional love, and free hugs and kisses for life if you play your cards right. Forward this on to all the PARENTS you know, in appreciation for everything they do on a daily basis, letting them know they are appreciated for the fabulous job they do...or forward with love to anyone thinking of applying for the job.

** AND A FOOTNOTE ? THERE IS NO RETIREMENT -- EVER!!! ** If you are fortunate enough you will become grandparents! by Compostholestoy whom a special thanks goes out from moopig to the Mother of the Year: "RC"

Are We Happy Yet?
Marriage Trumps Parenting as a Predictor of Happiness
Percentage Very Happy by Parental and Marital Status
"Married people are more likely than those not married to be very happy, regardless of whether they have children. Single parents of minors are least likely to say they are very happy with their life.

"Americans have always had a thing about happiness. We all have certain unalienable rights, declares our Declaration of Independence, among them "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
"So then, a couple of centuries into the chase, how are we doing?
"Alas, only so-so. Just a third (34%) of adults in this country say they're very happy, according to the latest Pew Research Center survey. Another half say they are pretty happy and 15% consider themselves not too happy. These numbers have remained very stable for a very long time.
"But some of us are happier than others, and this variance helps to paint a portrait of the kind of people Americans are. It also casts doubt on some of the famous wisdom on the subject.
For example, remember grandma's aphorism about money not buying happiness? Well, brace yourself, but dear ole grandma may have been misinformed. Our survey shows that nearly half (49%) of those with an annual family income of more than $100,000 say they're very happy. By contrast, just 24% of those with an annual family income of less than $30,000 say they're very happy.

"This finding definitely puts grandma on shaky ground, but it doesn't necessarily prove her wrong. It establishes a correlation (two things that go hand in hand) rather than a cause (one thing that leads to the other). There are, in fact, any number of possible causes of this correlation. Perhaps money leads to happiness. Perhaps happiness leads to money. Or perhaps both are influenced by some other, more powerful factor.
Later in this report we'll try to sort out which correlations are most powerful. But meantime, we should note at the outset that all of the findings from this survey should be taken with a general caution.

"Much of the research into the field of happiness -- to say nothing of simple common sense - suggests that at the level of the individual, happiness is heavily influenced by life events (Did you get the big promotion? Have a fight with your boyfriend?) as well as by psychological traits (self-esteem, optimism, a sense of belonging, the capacity to love, etc.). The Pew survey did not look at life events or psychological characteristics. We only looked at happiness by demographic and behavioral traits. But through this admittedly limited prism, we found some fascinating correlations.

"Several of them stand out: Married people are happier than unmarrieds. People who worship frequently are happier than those who don't. Republicans are happier than Democrats. Rich people are happier than poor people. Whites and Hispanics are happier than blacks. Sunbelt residents are happier than those who live in the rest of the country.

"We also found some interesting non-correlations. People who have children are no happier than those who don't, after controlling for marital status. Retirees are no happier than workers. Pet owners are no happier than those without pets.

"The findings are drawn from a telephone survey of a nationally representative, randomly-selected sample of 3,014 adults, conducted from Oct. 5 through Nov. 6, 2005. You can go directly to the full battery of happiness tables by clicking on this index. Here is a run-down of the most compelling findings.
Download the rest from: (Paul Taylor, Executive Vice PresidentCary Funk, Senior Project DirectorPeyton Craighill, Project Director, February 13, 2006, PewResearchCenter)
-and then there is the catastrophic-
Children having children...
Parenting coach reports on Britney's parenting skills.
A new ruling in the BRITNEY SPEARS and KEVIN FEDERLINE custody battle has just come in -- in the court papers parenting coach LISA HACKER testifies regarding Britney's behavior around her children, SEAN PRESTON, 2, and JAYDEN JAMES, 1.
Hacker says in her report that Britney failed to meet with her on three occasions, and on three other occasions that she observed her, "It seems that her choices are dependent more upon what she wants to do at any given time rather than what would be more enjoyable for the children."
She says that neither of Britney's residences were child-proofed and that "during all three of my visits Ms. Spears rarely engaged with the children in either conversation or play."
The parenting coach also says in her report, "[t]he environment at the house ranged from chaotic to almost somber with little communication at all."
Hacker did, however, testify at the court hearing last Friday that after she submitted her report to the court, she made one more visit, and that on that visit Britney acted more positively.
Hacker's report closes, "[T]he problem is that unless Ms. Spears realizes the consequences of her behavior and the impact that it has [on] her children, nothing is going to be successful."
Reports given to the court by court-ordered monitors "generally offer a positive appraisal of [Britney's] time with the children; however several of the observations made by the monitors corroborate Ms. Hacker's concern with regard to the need for child-proofing at [Britney's] home, the appropriateness of the activities selected by [Britney] for these very young children, and the need to child centered sleeping routines for the children."
The court ordered that Britney must continue to submit to random drug testing two times per week for 60 days, and if she passes all of the tests, after that she must only submit to one test per week.
Britney will have monitored visitation twice per week from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m., and once per week from 12 p.m. until 10 a.m. the next morning. Britney has been ordered to childproof her home and submit proof of that by November 2, 2007. Further, the children are not to be transported in a motor vehicle unless they are properly secured in a properly installed child safety seat.
For more on this breaking story, keep checking back here.
Posted October 30, 2007 2:40:00 PM (I lost track of this stream... sorry, just type in Spears, you'll find all the crappe you need for sibling rivalries) >pd
--and for those of you with best intentions-- When living with the Dutch, do as the Dutch do... or else!

Can an Adopted Child Be Returned?
Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2007 By PETER RITTER/HONG KONG

Every child is a gift, as the saying goes. But in a case that has stoked outrage on two continents, a Dutch diplomat posted in Hong Kong has been accused of returning his eight-year-old adopted daughter like an unwanted Christmas necktie.

The story, which first appeared in the South China Morning Post on Dec. 9, began seven years ago, when Dutch vice consul Raymond Poeteray and his wife, Meta, adopted then-four-months-old Jade in South Korea. The couple, who also have two biological children, brought Jade with them to Indonesia and then to Hong Kong in 2004, although Poeteray never applied for Dutch nationality for the child — a curious oversight, given that he worked in a consulate.

Then, last year, the Poeterays put Jade in the care of Hong Kong's Social Welfare Department, saying they could no longer care for her because of the girl's emotional remoteness.

In an open letter that appeared in the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf on Dec. 13, Poeteray explained that Jade was diagnosed with emotional problems when the family moved to Hong Kong, including a "severe form of fear of emotional attachment."

Adopted children are sometimes diagnosed with reactive attachment disorder, which manifests as a debilitating inability to form normal emotional bonds. According to Rene Hoksbergen, an adoption specialist at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, even very young children can be affected by the disorder when their needs are disregarded or they are shuffled among caregivers.

According to a spokesman from the South Korean consulate in Hong Kong, the family also said that Jade did not adapt to Dutch culture or food. "They said she had not adjusted to a new home, that there were some problems," he says. But some specialists are skeptical of that explanation as well. "My gut feeling is it's just an excuse," says Law Chi-kwong, an associate professor of social work at the University of Hong Kong. "That only happens when the adoption took place when the child is already six or seven years old. It would not happen to a child they raised for several years, raised in the family."

"She was rarely in her mother's arms," the babysitter said. "I also found it strange that she was so quiet." A babysitter told a Dutch newspaper that Poeteray's wife did not treat Jade as a "real daughter."

While uncommon, it is not unprecedented for an adoption to fail and a child to be returned to foster care. According to The Times of London, an estimated 10% of British adoptions of children under 10 ultimately fail.

International adoptions, which may involve children suffering from neglect or deprivation, can be particularly difficult, according to a U.K. government advisory quoted in the article. According to a 2005 study in the American Journal of Psychiatry, young adult international adoptees in the Netherlands were much more likely than native-born adolescents to develop mood disorders and substance abuse problems.

It is impossible to know the details of what happened in the diplomat's household. In his letter to De Telegraaf, Poeteray appealed for sympathy and privacy, saying that, despite what has been written in the media, "We are Jade's parents and we feel responsible for her well-being." Sympathy hasn't been forthcoming in the Netherlands, though; the paper accused the family of discarding the child like "a piece of household rubbish."
Jade's case has also attracted particular attention in South Korea, where international adoption has often been a fiercely debated social and political issue. In the past half-century, more than 150,000 South Korean children have been adopted internationally. More than 2,000 were adopted by overseas parents in 2005, although the government has taken steps to reverse this trend. Some lawmakers have argued for restrictions, or even a ban, on international adoption — and particularly on private adoptions, which may not include rigorous vetting of prospective parents.

As for Jade herself, Cheung says she is now living with an English-speaking foster family and attending a Hong Kong school. "She's living rather happily, and she seems to be a normal little girl," he says. A spokesman for the Social Welfare Department says that the government is working on making future arrangements for her care. Cheung says that he believes the girl will be allowed to stay in Hong Kong despite the fact that she is a South Korean citizen. "The part that I think our government can do is respect the wishes of the child." That will ensure that Jade has a city, if not yet a family, to call her own. (Retrieved from:,8599,1695735,00.html today)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Ubiquity I still Ponder even though it is 2008; & I never knew Beth Lynn Martino ran off with the money back in '76


The maximum energy efficiency of a modern ICE is ~20- 25%. If an ICE is running poorly, these systems are the first to be checked. During normal operation, the ICE is always running at or above ~600 RPM. If the speed falls below this the motor will stall and need to be restarted

Micro sized internal combustion engine January 12th, 2006 by Paul Crowe - "The Kneeslider"
We keep hearing about how fuel cells can replace batteries, well how about replacing them with little engines? REALLY little, teeny, tiny little engines. Liquid hydrocarbon fuels are really energy dense which is why all of those batteries and fuel cells are having a hard time serving as substitutes since you need a lot more hydrogen or whatever else to make up for a small amount of gasoline.
Building on that idea, these guys at the Cambridge Combustion Research Centre and the Centre for Micro-Engineering and Nanotechnology at the University of Birmingham are developing these incredibly small engines. These engines can last 20 times longer than a battery and have a quick change fuel capsule. Potential uses include medical devices, military equipment, PDAs, notebook computers, mobile phones and toys.
The engines are 5×15x3 mm in size and produce 11.2 watts at 50,000 rpm. Very, very cool.
Thanks, Mark, for the pointer!

There are a surprising 20 million sperm/ml of seminal fluid, and average ejaculation consists of 1.5-5ml. Semen contains aboutonia, ascorbic acid, blood-group antigens, calcium, chlorine, cholesterol, choline, citric acid, creatine, deoxyribonucleic acid, fructose, glutathione, hyaluronidase, inositol, lactic acid, magnesium, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, purine, pyrimidine, pyruvic acid, sodium, sorbitol, spermidine, spermine, urea, uric acid, vitamin B12, and zinc -- but all in very modest quantities. Some of this is designed to nourish the semen enroute, while other ingredients are designed to neutralize the acidic environment of the vagina (which would normally be inhospitable to sperm). In case you are wondering, most of these ingredients are indeed very healthy, and an average ejaculation contains only about 15 calories.

Half of the sperm cells produced normally carry the X-chromosome and half have the Y-chromosome. Subsequently, we would expect that 50% of human babies would be males and 50% females, but this usually is not the case. The ratio of male to female newborns in the U.S. and most of the world is 105-110 males to 100 females. The ratio of males to females at conception is apparently even higher than it is at birth. This is fortunate in the long run for society because male spontaneous abortions and infant mortality rates are higher. In addition, males are more likely to die from accidents and combat as teenagers and young men. Males in developed nations who survive to adulthood also can expect to die at a younger age than women.

Current cultural practices in China and India result in even higher rates of male births. In China there are now 118 boys born for every 100 girls, and in some regions the ratio is as high as 144 to 100. The main reason for these skewed frequencies is the traditional preference for boys and the availability of ultrasound technology for gender determination and clinical abortions to eliminate female fetuses despite the fact that it is illegal. A consequence of this practice is the growing scarcity of marriageable women in China and the more prosperous states of North India.

If you do a large number of tests, falsely significant results are a problem. Remember that a 95% chance of something being true means there is a 5% chance of it being false. This means that of every 100 tests that show results significant at the 95% level, the odds are that five of them do so falsely. If you took a totally random, meaningless set of data and did 100 significance tests, the odds are that five tests would be falsely reported significant. As you can see, the more tests you do, the more of a problem these false positives are. You cannot tell which the false results are - you just know they are there.
Limiting the number of tests to a small group chosen before the data is collected is one way to reduce the problem. If this isn't practical, there are other ways of solving this problem. The best approach from a statistical point of view is to repeat the study and see if you get the same results. If something is statistically significant in two separate studies, it is probably true. In real life it is not usually practical to repeat a survey, but you can use the "split halves" technique of dividing your sample randomly into two halves and do the tests on each. If something is significant in both halves, it is probably true. The main problem with this technique is that when you halve the sample size, a difference has to be larger to be statistically significant.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Remember the Evacuation of Houston? Get ready for some real Quasi ~ clogging

Bunged Freeways and the Homeland Security Presidential Directive 5, HSPD-5
§ What is the answer to traffic and freeway congestion in event of evacuation?
4Under the NRP, the Secretary of Homeland Security will consider, but is not limited to, the four criteria stated in Homeland Security Presidential Directive 5 (HSPD-5) when deciding whether to declare an incident of national significance. These criteria are: (1) a federal department or agency acting under its own authority has requested the assistance of the Secretary of Homeland Security, (2) the resources of state and local authorities are overwhelmed and federal assistance has been requested by the appropriate state and local authorities, (3) more than one federal department or agency has become substantially involved in responding to an incident, or (4) the Secretary of Homeland Security has been directed to assume responsibility for managing a domestic incident by the President. (Disaster Preparedness: Preliminary Observations on the Evacuation of Vulnerable Populations due to Hurricanes and Other Disasters. GAO-06-790T . Washington, D.C.: May 18, 2006)

Oksee maw’ ron
The whole materialization of automobile clogging in an emergency evacuation is an oxymoron. If I am interpreting oxymoron correctly, a phrase in which two words of contradictory meaning are used together for special effect, e.g. "wise fool" or "legal murder" or “pretty awful” or “unabashedly abridged” or other forms of understatement, like “Cubs ~ World Series," so that:
Emergency ~ evacuation ~ Freeway ~ congestion ~ parking lot ~ pedestrian ~ emergency ::
>>>then the argument is false positive, such as emergency equals emergency!
"Houston, we have a problem"
Ever since they started building in the rice fields of Katy west suburban Houston, and building up the Stafford/ Sugar land salt grasses, things have not gone right for low lying Houston Metro and suburban land. Houston is barely 50 feet above sea level, and Greater Houston is more or less a transition from salt gulf to foothills. So what up? Oh, maybe a little suburban wide neighborhood commtiment to local governance would help. Or as stated above (2) "...the resources of state and local authorities are overwhelmed and federal assistance has been requested by the appropriate state and local authorities...

Automotive Clogging
The argument presents a corollary of not less than six possible venues for evacuation of Houston, in event of impending disaster, and at least three basic forces of evacuation:
  • Emergency evacuation > automobile
  • automobile > freeway
  • freeway > clogged
  • bunged freeway > parking lot
  • Parking lot > immobile automobile
  • auto immobile > people on foot
  • pedestrians > Emergency evacuation

Okay, I’m glad I got that out of the way. As the emergency evacuation is shown to be a galactic epileptic seizure, there remains one nagging issue. “Houston, we have a problem.” It seems Houstonians are so busy fixing other’s problems, they have only 20 hours or so to tend to the bizarre flagellation of self-inflicted total freeway clogging; and forget the whole thing by the next day.

I mentioned earlier there are at least three basic forces upsetting the impending evacuation of Houston-land:

  1. Design Failure
  2. Design Failure
  3. Design Failure
    ...and an unprincipled, dodgy knack Houston-land-Estonians’ have of never learning from their mistakes, uncanny as this all seems. >Pd out

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Film Industry Breakthrough: No more Surgery on Boobs

Attention Women Film Actresses: Don't Implant, don't Cut anymore, I have an idea. With special computer graphics reaching heights as they are, you can be an actress of regular non-enhanced boobs, and let the technicians put algorithms to show your breasts in films at what ever level of bounce, bump and flounce required in the script.

Just Say "No More Boob Jobs!"
I sincerely hope you will all wake up to regard your assets as properly endowed, and level off on those implants and tucks.
Yes! Eye candy is the key in movies that "made you look!" I accept that. But you don't need that OC housewife look anymore. You just need to find a good programmer who can write your graphics interface formulas. I sincerely think GFX will supplant plastic surgeries.

Wah La! Another big problem solved by MooPig. Now, don't you feel smarter? pd,39029477,49285318,00.htm
Moratorium on Boob Jobs: Just Go Graphicx -- G-FX

Consider instead please the package enhancements of GFX:

"Cartoon Cosmetic Secrets Revealed: Part 1 (retrieved today)
November 16, 2007
This is the first in a multiple-part series dedicated to exposing the truth behind cartoon character makeovers — from back alley liposuction to designer boob jobs, and all the juicy tidbits in between.

"Over the course of a lengthy investigation, our Dirt Team has uncovered mouthwatering rumors and astonishing, potentially-career-ending accusations about some of the hottest animated stars around and their purported “hand-drawn” good looks. We assembled a panel of the most esteemed and scrupulous plastic surgery experts and asked them this question: Real or Digitally Enhanced?

"In our opening stanza, we have decided to focus on one of our most beloved cartoon stars. From her humble beginnings as a cocktail waitress and sometime body double for some of the more modest celebs in Toontown, through her rapid ascent into animated high-society, to her precipitous fall from grace following her husband’s accusation for murder, we admired her innate ability to maintain her sultry, strawberries-and-whipped-cream appeal. But it now appears that she had a little help.

"These are the cosmetic chronicles of Jessica Rabbit --

• Those come-hither LIPS: BOTOX® Cosmetic treatments, Restylane® injections, fat grafts, collagen.

• Those voluptuous BREASTS: breast lift, breast augmentation with saline implants

• That callipygious BOOTY: liposuction, fat grafting, Brazilian butt lift

• That smooth, lustrous SKIN: laser skin resurfacing, microdermabrasion, chemical peels, laser hair removal

• That larger-than-life, curvaceous FIGURE: body lift, bariatric surgery, tummy tuck

• That pouty, yet striking FACE: blepharoplasty, rhinoplasty, chin augmentation with implants, brow lift, laser hair removal, BOTOX®, Restylane® and collagen (dermal fillers), cleft palate reconstruction." ( )

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The 42nd Salt Grass Trail starts soon in February '08

Society [last year]
Feb. 25, 2007, 11:13 PM Desperados celebrate ride to the rodeo
By SHELBY HODGE Copyright 2007 Houston Chronicle

THOSE feisty Desperados — after Saturday's rodeo parade through downtown, 60 or so of the Salt Grass Trail Ride team meandered over to Pecos Grill to whoop it up at a trail's end celebration.
The Desperados begin their annual cowboy gig in Cat Spring, where they saddle up for the 100-mile trek into town and ultimately into the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo parade. Saturday, the die-hards continued the party, as has been tradition for 20 years, with a post-parade lunch.
Long-standing Desperado Welcome Wilson Sr., completing his 41st Salt Grass tour, was among them, as was his sister, Beverly Wilson Smith, wagon boss. Beverly and husband Gary Smith are the ride's stemwinders along with Peggy and Joe Bennett.
It's something of a family affair with the Desperados. Welcome's daughter, Cindi Wilson, is club secretary, and his nephew, Ryan Wasaff, is president. They were all on hand Saturday afternoon for the feast of steaks and trimmings organized by lunch chair Dixie Christian.

Toasted for making their inaugural trek with the Desperados were rookie riders including Vicki Pappas of the restaurant clan, fashion designer Vanessa Riley and contractor Tiffanie Purvis.
The partying bunch included Western-wear designer Pat Dahnke and daughter Tara, Sara Getch Fletcher, Joe Martin, Michelle Wasaff, former Houston Police Chief Harry Caldwell and wife Joan, Joe Heard and Tim Wald.

Business Strategy for Quasi-corp: ABLECo

Portable Electric Power Tools
Mission Control @ ABLECorp
Analyze and Assess Information Available
By Patrick Darnell

It is unwise to label the ABLE Company at this time. Although by definition it appears the company is leveled off in a vulnerable position of weakness. I do not perceive leadership is lethargic, or willing to let go any time soon of what they still claim to have.
This paper is a preliminary to more in depth team driven discussion forum. The task is to develop a strategy for ABLECo. What and why we will be recommending will have been hollowed out by the time we are ready to present to Strategic Officers Steering Committee. Our strategic assessment will be also a result of research in secondary sources, and any primary data that applies to our strategy development.
Each agent in the development will be asked to arrive at a recommendation that is:
· Plausible
· Defensible
· Rational
· Feasible

No team member should try to achieve consensus on his recommendations, rather think in terms of the best reciprocating strategies each other will have developed. This initial appraisal refers to the first four chapters of text: Strategic Management in action, by Mary Coulter. Those sections explain concepts and context of strategic management. Also, the author addresses external and internal analysis frameworks for strength, weakness, opportunity, and threats applicable of ABLECo’s new strategy.
Task Objective
· Explain strategic management process within global environment
· Integrate and apply knowledge gained in other courses in business administration curriculum
· Use effective communication techniques

Task Detail
As a preliminary step in preparation of business plan, brainstorm major elements of strategic management processes. Using questions as guides, items to include might be:
· Insights
· Issues that need to be addressed
· Questions that need to be asked
o How would you go about defining the identity of Able Corporation and creating its mission statement?
o Where would you look for the information?
o What do you already know about Able that can help?
o What are some of the key elements that might be contained in ABLECo value propositions?
o What principle would you use in order to prioritize the implementation steps needed to accomplish the strategic objectives?
o What post implementation and feedback mechanisms would you have in place to evaluate the effectiveness of the process?
o What measures would you use?
For the ensuing presentation the deliverables are: mission statement, operating principles, market analysis, company strengths and weaknesses analysis, one-year, five-year and ten-year strategic objectives, sales forecasts, financial and operational objectives, and pro forma financials.
Discussion: Driving Force
Besides market demands what is the driving force of ABLECo? In many cases, a manufacturer in need of help will initially take on too much internal clamor. “The monthly meetings of senior management team have been reduced to arguments over attainment of company metrics [measurements] with each department pointing to its own set of reports to support its positions” (CTUOnline; April/2007).
Internal operations have evolved for many generations at ABLECo and those divisions may be change averse. If the firm depends on its own strategies it will create too much strife.
Organized by the senior management at ABLECo a future position is envisioned that sets the tone for a new channel of marketing. That channel is of end-users of industrial PEPT, Portable Electric Power Tools, who are drifting into the consumer PEPT channels of distribution. A shift in the gap between higher costing industrial tools and lower consumer tools is significant, so reports say. In this instance the gap is closing.

The senior staff has formed the position for Director of Strategic Planning and Analysis for our emerging ABLECo. The text defines the position as: “ of a series of interrelated continuous steps that lead to the outcome” says the author. “Situation analysis, strategy formulation, strategy implementation and strategy evaluation” point the company in navigating its course (Coulter, M; 2005).
For help we look at levels of strategies on different organizational echelons and what they will divulge in context of driving forces.

· How would you go about defining the identity of Able Corporation and creating its mission statement?
Our firm has one vision, though yet to be assessed, but has several missions. Functional areas at ABLECo are ideal in finding the various missions emerging for the now strategically employed company. Major function areas are commonly:
o Production
o Financial
o Distribution
o And, unique areas to ABLECo
To establish competitive advantageous mission statement for ABLECo we will have evaluated our competitive levels in all departments. Once done we will attempt to implement, and evaluate our changing competitive strategy in a continuous improvement cycle. Competitive business unit strategy levels are comprised of:
o Resources
o Capabilities
o Core competencies

“Each [business strategy] unit’s mission statement still provides an overview of the unit’s purpose, what it does, and its goals,” says Coulter. “Ideally what you have is a broad framework within which organizational members know what they are doing and why they are doing it... aligned with the vision statement, ...with commitment to social responsibility, and ethical decision making” (Coulter, M; 2005 p48).

· Where would you look for the information?
In hope of finding useful information that has a thread of continuity for ABLE Co’s survival; strategic planners will ask management of functional strategic levels “What direction are we going and what businesses are we going to be in? What business do you want to be in” (Coulter, M; 2005, p7).
Tools to utilize for this stage of conceptual thinking are those already in use by crews. Tools for dynamic change and organized culture that have been in use for the life of ABLECo can be our best inroads.

Otherwise searching for the right path is in generating questions and weighing of ideas springing from those findings. Research questions, means questions about which you will be conducting qualitative research. The outcome of facilitated strategy on internet and secondary findings will lead to develop quantitative strategy that would help ABLECo make its business strategy decisions:

Should explain how statistical tools can be valuable to our business

  • Should provide specific examples where we can effectively use statistical tools
  • Should create a list of research questions that apply to our ABLECo situation
  • Should use persistent links to help generate ideas for research questions
Also, generate research question ideas by conducting research in library and the Internet to find information about strategy management.

Should study and apply benchmark cases of similar companies so Strategic decision makers will find plenty of information, too much in fact, when they:
o Explore Additional Marketing Opportunities
o Explore Alternative Marketing Channels
o Set Up Comparison Shopping Campaigns
o Optimize Marketing Channels
o Pursue Credibility Indicators, such as

  • * Improve Order Process
  • * Optimize Product Offer
  • * Optimize Presentation, and
  • * Implement information technologic Metrics and Testing Platforms
With a little generous help from researchers, and strategic planners specialized in manufacturer’s unique battery of recent successes, ABLECo will find enormous amounts of information (Alt, B and Usborne, N; 25 April 2006, paraphrased).

· What do you already know about Able that can help?
What is already known about ABLECo is found in its historical natural attraction minus the new competitive threats. In context of analysis, a preliminary SWOT discloses weaknesses of our firm. Further study into complement context reveals threats, opportunity, and strengths, of this table and will clear up much of “what” is going on.
Evaluation of major strengths will characterize ABLECo culture from the early days and contrast it to cultural actions today. And how that will make our firm prevail?” (Alt, B and Usborne, N; 25 April 2006, paraphrased) This table is paraphrased from CTUOnline Task Details, 2007.

Remember “ABLE Corporation has come to a decision to not let itself be manipulated in its market without some better reference” (CTUOnline; April/2007). Since stakeholders are timid about re-investing in ABLECo, senior staff turns to strategic planners. Upper Management hopes to distinguish itself and see if it helps boost interest of investors. Knowing it has weaknesses will motivate staff to identify strengths and opportunities.

· What are some of the key elements that might be contained in ABLECo value propositions?
ABLECo has lost track of its original Value Proposition, VP. In manufacturing we are an innovator of PEPT. However, defining VP is paramount to market penetration; actually the whole purpose of the VP is market penetration. Is innovation our value proposition?
If ABLECo were only interested in putting a spin on its marketing it would hire a marketing specialist, and innovation would be the spin. The firm is not looking for a patch. ABLECo has hired a strategy management specialist. Value proposition is to be made using all measurements, Optimized search produces ratio of our value proposition to truth.
That said, it turns out the key elements will be derived from the internal functions of:
o Human resources
o Business Historical perspectives
o Brand values
o And core competencies

We could at ABLECo devote extraordinary time and resources “developing and fine-tuning the product delivery chain; sales, marketing, distribution, customer service, and all, but fail to assess the most fundamental of business success factors: our Value Proposition. So how did we survive?” Our VP will be the concise statement of the uniqueness of our business that sets it apart from all competitors. Without our Unique Value Proposition, ABLECo “risks becoming lost at sea with a host of similar businesses” (Alt, B and Usborne, N; 25 April 2006, para).

o Analyzing our competitors further identifies our strengths, weaknesses to strengthen our bottom lines
o Competitive analysis helps to develop our VP
o VP forces us to Test validity of claims we make about our business
o VP statement must contain quantitative statements about uniqueness of ABLECo
o What percentage of our market channels truly has an effective value proposition?
o How will this affect competitive marketing in our channels?
o Our primary research question will have to be this:

* How do we evaluate our own value proposition?
It seems that many firms try to incorrectly “out-market a poor value proposition” over the top. Messily, if their VP is improper, it is like saying “We can cross over to the island when the tide is out.” The researchers at Marketing Experiments say, “[Those with poor VP’s] use the heavy force of marketing to try to overcome the weak force of their value proposition” (Alt, B and Usborne, N; 25 April 2006, para).

· What principle would you use in order to prioritize the implementation steps needed to accomplish the strategic objectives?
Because ABLECo is innovator in PEPT, it deserves to reap benefit of better design by being rewarded in large volume of sales. This could be developed in a closed circuit of defining market potential and planning each release to that volume. A little bit more work for accounting management, and operations, but is worth the effort in reduced waste.

Our firm wants to carve out its own niches using service supported sales, and matching competitors’ pricing. Our strategic decisions will be based on a “five forces model as posed by Michael Porter in the text.” Our strategy will find exit barriers that threaten and provide opportunities for ABLECo, such as: Buyers; Suppliers; Substitutes, and Potential new entrants creating natural rivalry amongst firms in the PEPT industry (Coulter, M; 2005, p 70-75).

Volume can be created several ways. One way is to create opposing lines, each with its own curve and completion. Each is the nemesis of the other. While the border of each line defines a whelk, or spiraling development, a well-placed opposing line will complete the strategy. Only a large venerated company like ABLECo could get this to work for them for each generation of innovative tools.

Another way is to create shading and spin. One technique is no more effective than the other, because each must be implemented at the time it best fits. Therefore, the implementation is all about the timing and space the market has for the co-functional operations of these strategies.
Priority for implementation can spring back from force that is working against ABLECo at any given time. The forcers designated are then like this:

Search for market stability
  • Produce only a limited product line for a narrow segment of total potential market
  • Seek to protect and defend its well established business
  • Do whatever is necessary aggressively to prevent competitors entering our turf
  • Carve out, maintain niches within our industry that competitors find difficult to penetrate
This is paraphrased from the text where is described the characteristics of a Defender Strategy of competitiveness. (Coulter, M; 2005, p 188-190)

· What post implementation and feedback mechanisms would you have in place to evaluate the effectiveness of the process?
Once the company launches its satellites, it will have a mission control set up. At mission control will be the senior management, directors and investors. Success will have been dependent on strategic continuous improvement of functional levels at ABLECo; therefore monitoring will be a similar process, a common thread running between all divisions.
Team building is our first organization-wide strategy put into practice at ABLECo. For that to come about workers will be needy, demanding much more encouragement and follow-up. I have found one company that comes up in a majority of benchmark discussions: IBM, big blue. “Everyone talks innovation but IBM helps with a: Six Different Potentially Innovative doorways,” says the authors at IBM website. “Responding to competitive pressures and market opportunities requires business systems — and supporting technology infrastructures — to be quickly adaptable and flexible in structure,” claim IBM Partners (IBM Global Services; 2000).

Post-evaluation is the first functional strategic consideration because the firm must make a decision about its information technology systems right now. In best interest of efficient tracking, the entire company needs a trustworthy, helpful, friendly measuring system that ties functional, competitive and corporate strategies together. Useful strategy evaluations can not be made otherwise. Organizational context and external and internal contexts are not going to be explained properly unless the post-evaluation implements are in place from the beginning.

IBM proclaims that they can help with at least six doorways of “Service oriented architecture, SOA that helps clients create business value by helping them develop a more on demand IT infrastructure.” If this sounds familiar, it should: “IBM introduced the idea of On Demand Business.” Continuous managed improvement means to continually:
o Continually re-consider your business model
o Re-examine your processes
o Constantly challenge your management culture
o Make your products special
o Make your services special
o Respond to changing conditions
(IBM Global Services; 2000, paraphrased)

IBM global Services may have the most recent word on implementing evaluative systems: “But the demands of an increasingly competitive global marketplace — driven largely by the networked world — are driving companies to find new ways to grow their businesses, while at the same time they must operate as efficiently as possible.” If IBM’s logic prevails then the Unique Value Proposition at ABLECo will have to include its new attitude on strategic post-evaluation. I am going to support continuous improvement with post-evaluation in mind at ABLECo throughout my own assessment.

· What measures would you use?
Initially our post evaluations will have been structured around our internal and external analyses. However fine tuning of a more universal review to respond to each business unit’s unique function is our goal. With losses showing up in the last few years, ABLECo must support cost of strategic command with senior Mission Control, to curtail awkward downward spirals of functions and business. Rather ABLECo will show compounding gains over all to thwart bad press.

In a previous brief we showed how small, incremental gains can produce significant gain when compounded in a sequential manner. When the gains themselves are significant, the compounding effect is quite impressive. Albert Einstein is widely rumored to have once said that the most powerful force in the universe is compound interest, and we can clearly see why from the above data (Alt, B and Usborne, N; 25 April 2006, paraphrased).

Making ABLECo products special for future generations is the purpose of this strategic analysis after all:
Do customers demand our products?
  • Do they convert their friends to use our products?
  • Are we innovating products that can “best our existing products?”
  • How will we be ahead of our competition, when the next big idea emerges?
  • Will ABLECo be attractive to investors and acquisitions when we finish?
  • (IBM Global Services; 2000, paraphrased)
Concluding arguments are pointing to a many-branched, multi-faceted strategy workshop environment for ABLECo. It includes the following, but is not limited to this list. In fact the condition today in the business environment is that there is too much information to sift. Therefore the planning and adopting an efficient outline of strategic objectives that is unique to ABLECo will prove very effective.

Consider our business value proposition, vision, mission models:
Has the world evolved faster than our business models?
  • Has our market changed?
  • Is new technology enabling new competition, and new opportunities?
  • Could we leverage our strengths, or the scale and skills of ABLECo partners?
  • Will we identify where we are competitive and not, then restructure for optimum performance and return?
Examine processes
Which processes run smoothly, and, which are bottlenecks?
Are systems and processes outdated?
Do we have duplication of processes?
Do we have adequate infra-structure communication; do we speak to one another?
Do we speak to our partners’ and customers’ processes and systems?

Challenge management culture
Is encouraging innovation in your company more than a gesture?
So the employees share in opinions and sharing ideas?
Do we have collaborative projects in the works?
What companies, industries suppliers force ABLECo into exit barriers?
What is labor forcing ABLECo to do?

Make sales support and services special
How do our customers rate us?
With real-time feedback form our customers could we respond faster, with more services? And, Plan better?
Drive loyalty through the roof.
Respond to changing conditions.
Put in place comprehensive external studies for each strategy adopted
  1. Adopt and install a company-wide evaluation system

  2. Find a business partner like IBM to help expedite our information tech

  3. Utilize exit barriers to motivate the strategic decision makers into action on IT

  4. Conduct a Competitive Analysis and Price Testing, but also cover market analysis, quantitative analysis, product and program strategy, usability testing, and similar efforts unique to ABLECo way of doing business (IBM Global Services; 2000, paraphrased)

Alt, Brian and Usborne, Nick; (25 April 2006, para) In Search of a Value Proposition Tuesday, 25 April 2006; Editor Flint McGlaughlin; Writers Brian Alt, Nick Usborne; Contributors: Jalali Hartman; HTML Designer: Cliff Rainer; retrieved from April 12- 14, 2007 at: marketing experiments com improving website conversion value proposition

Coulter, M; (2005) Strategic Management in action, 3rd Edition, Pearson/ Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458

IBM Global Services; (2000) IBM Corporation 2000 -- IBM Global Services; Route 100 Somers, NY 10589 USA; Printed in the United States of America 01-00; retrieved April 10-14, 2007 at 935 ibm com services us index wss it service cases its a1002583

Monday, December 10, 2007

Urban Dictionary WORD of the Day: Libby, Libbyed, to Libby, will be Libbying

To Libby (verb): to out someone's undercover role, as Lewis "Scooter" Libby with others did to CIA agent Valerie Plame.

Old News is Fun, too

Remember? "Lewis 'Scooter' Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff and a long-standing member of the clique of hardliners and neoconservatives who pushed for the Iraq War, was convicted in early March 2007 on charges of lying to government investigators probing the leak of the identity of CIA agent Valerie Plame. Among the charges were two counts of perjury, one count of making false statements, and one of obstruction of justice." (Go to: )

Her: "Yes, I'm sort of a secret agent."
Him: "Well, if you keep telling people it's not much of a secret is it?"
Her: "Oh, you're right! I need to work on my stealth. Sorry."
Him: "Don't apologize to me - I'm not the one who Libbyed you!"

:Borsched Old-Tomato-mmm:
Jack Bauer has made contact with the subject. [stop]
He has tentative arrangements to meet in a major midwesterncity.[stop]
His cover will be a Greek waiter.[stop]
He will be going dark for a while but will surfacewhen it's safe.[stop]
In the meantime, mind your ownbusiness with regards to this subject. rc/zm/CTU[end]

Hey rc/zm/CTU: Don't get Libbyed! [stop]

Conclusion: Twenty years Ago...

""According to the New Yorker , Libby's novel, The Apprentice, "...tells the tale of Setsuo, a courageous virgin innkeeper who finds himself on the brink of love and war" (November 7, 2005).

"Describing the book as an "...entry in the long and distinguished annals of the right-wing dirty novel..." the New Yorker reports that it took Libby more than 20 years to write the book, which takes place in a secluded Japanese province in the early 1900s.

""The narrative makes generous mention of lice, snot, drunkenness, bad breath, torture, urine, 'turds,' armpits, arm hair, neck hair, pubic hair, pus, boils, and blood (regular and menstrual)," reports the New Yorker.

"One passage goes, 'At length he walked around to the deer's head and, reaching into his pants, struggled for a moment and then pulled out his penis. He began to piss in the snow just in front of the deer's nostrils.'" At some point, a character asks "if they should f--- the deer.""

""Retells the New Yorker: "The answer, reader, is yes."" (David Dow, "Independence Day: The Drama of Bush and Libby," New York Times, July 4, 2007). [Ibid. /]

And that my friends is why Old News is soooo interesting. You can go back and find all the reasons for the nincompoop stuff we all do in the course of our lives. This news item apparently is over twenty years in the making; from Scooter Libby's conception of his right-wing dirty novel to now!

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