Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Turkish Soldier Postcards

Yesterday, I was walking around in the shops in the center of town and stumbled across this old book store. Although I didn't find any book worth having, I did manage to find a basket full of old postcards. I love old Turkish postcards and, in the past, I have displayed a few from my collection. Sadly they are becoming harder and harder to find. I scooped up a handful, deliberated over each one, judging each on its own mad merits.

But what actually is the attraction, I hear you ask. Well, there is something uniquely cultural, somewhat bizarre and inexplicable (at least from an outsider's point of view)

Here are three that I found-I call the Postcards of a Soldier. Military service in Turkey is mandatory and the general rule is that young men serve in a region outside of their own area. So the result is a lot of lonely young men far away from all that is familiar. I suppose that the cards fit into the equation somehow but the details escape and confuse me. Just whom would they be sent to?

Memhet is not examining her diamond ring or checking for warts or anything like that..This it customary manner of showing respect to an elder.

AskerAsk3

Battle-hardened warriors meet. I bet she is divorced. AskerAsk2

I assume this is the homecoming marriage proposal. His bride-to-be looks like she has just come from her ice-skating lessons. Call me cynical but those flowers in his cap look like he might have yanked them from a nearby flowerbed.

Anybody have any idea what on earth that old man in the back is carrying? Has his canary flown? or is this a more obscure way to fish?

AskerAsk

3-D Display Panel

I, for one, want one of these. Imagine having one of these on your gravestone? It will probably not be too long before they can have a panel that will provide a looped video clip too.

Other Requests: Thinner and flexible.

Izmir, Through the Camera Lens- 2

Young Lovers In Izmir, Turkey

Izmir from my Balcony

These photographs come from Sailing "Footprints: Real to Reel" (Ronn ashore)Ronn aka "Blue" Aldaman. I recommend you visit the link to find more of the photographer's work. Quite lovely.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Fat Jesus Worshippers

A new study has found that young adults who frequently attend religious activities are 50 percent more likely to become obese by middle age compared with those who don’t take part in any religious events.

“We don’t know why frequent religious participation is associated with development of obesity, but the upshot of these findings highlight a group that could benefit from targeted efforts at obesity prevention,” said Matthew Feinstein, the study’s lead investigator and a fourth-year student at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “It’s possible that getting together once a week and associating good works and happiness with eating unhealthy foods could lead to the development of habits that are associated with greater body weight and obesity.”

The study tracked 2,433 young men and women for 18 years in Chicago, Minneapolis, Birmingham, Ala., and Oakland, Calif.

In the study, “frequent” religious participation meant attending at least one event per week. Most, but not all of the participants, were Christians — reflecting the dominant religion in the United States, Feinstein said.  (To read the full article click HERE)

So when Christians ask.. "What would Jesus do?"

I suppose the answer is "Diet."

 

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Tripping with the Aliens

 

Alarming eyewitness accounts collected from all over the world suggest that Sarah Palin's daughter may be the target of alien extortion. As one investigator put it, "They will not stop til they have Bristol's baby, Tripp." The eldest of the three daughters of Sarah Palin, the failed vice-presidential candidate and half-term governor, Bristol gave birth to the baby boy on 27 December 2008.

The reports speak of belligerent gray aliens probing their unwilling victims with devices and asking about the Palins, specifically about Bristol and her child.

Widow Natalie Drest, 65, told our reporter about her harrowing encounter in her Nova Scotia home. "I was sitting in my living room watching 'Dancing with the Stars' with my three old Pekingese, Shelly. I noticed the strangest greenish glow coming from outside the window. The next thing I knew, I was surrounded by these four creatures. Tall and grey and blank expressions.

"I could feel my body start to rise in the air and I tried to scream but I must have passed out. I don't remember how I got inside their ship but there I was, laying on a table. I was completely naked and they had this long silver tube and they were trying to put it in my ear. I wanted to fight back but there wasn't anything i could do. I kept saying, 'Why are you doing this to me!?' One of them came forward and he put his hand on my face and I heard his voice in my head. The voice said, 'We've come for the baby of Bristol Palin.' I was really scared. "You mean the dancer?" I asked them. And they nodded."

Following a late night shift, cocktail waitress Jenna Tollz in Huntington, Utah, says she was taken aboard a UFO in the early morning hours of August 2010. The twenty-four year old says she was probed and examined for hours. "Alls I remember is they kept asking me if my name was Bristol. I told them my name but they seem certain that I was the one they were looking for."They told me that they are looking for Sarah Palin. I thought it was a joke of some kind. I was sort of surprised they even knew who she was." "

Handyman Rick O'Shae of Crowley England told our correspondent that he was abducted while driving home from church on Christmas Eve of 2010. "The alien spacecraft hovered in the air in front of my car without a sound. I stepped out of the car and started to move forward but then suddenly it was like I was frozen in place. The next thing I remember I was inside of the UFO. I could hear them speaking but it was weird because it was like they was in my head."

"They told me to give Sarah Palin a message from the Planet Kenox in the Jenorite Gaxlaxy. They told me to tell her that they had come to take Bristol's baby to their home planet. That's all they said. They had to our planet for that Palin baby."

UFO investigator Dick Fitzwell suspects a secret collaboration between Sarah Palin and aliens from outer space He suggests there must be some kind of connection between Sarah Palin's inexplicable popularity and the aliens. "I wouldn't be surprised if there wasn't some kind of mind control going on. We know they must be pretty advanced so why shouldn't they have the power to control our minds and make us think the way they want?"

He adds, "Now they are looking for their pay, I guess."

The Palin family has issued no statement regarding the mysterious alien demands, leading some to suspect that they know more than they are telling.


Disclaimer: Nomadic View makes no claim to the accuracy of any of the Sarah Palin posts. Many have asked how much if any of the articles are based on truth and to this our standard reply is this: These posts are primarily meant to be a source of entertainment. Nomadic View does not and has never claimed to be a news organization, fair and balanced or otherwise.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Izmir- Through the Camera Lens

By Sailing "Footprints: Real to Reel" (Ronn ashore)Ronn aka "Blue" AldamanBoys Playing In Street - Izmir, Turkey

Fishing in Izmir

Here are some wonderful black and white studies of Izmir. His photo stream at Flickr holds some real treasures and certainly worth a stop.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Goddess for the Stone Age

  Sarah Palin African Tribe Goddess

 

 

In an article in September 2010 issue of Anthro Magazine, Professors Iris McCase and Philip DeGloss reveal the existence of the Shaka, a primitive tribe in Sub-Saharan Africa who worship a female deity that called "Sah-Rah Pah-Lan."
"At first, we assumed it was merely a strange coincidence." reports Prof. McCase. "However, when tribal leaders proudly displayed their life-sized brightly painted idols we recognized the resemblance instantly. It was definitely Sarah Palin's likeness. They were kind enough to let us take photographs on a statue they had carved of their supreme goddess."

Sarah Palin Sculpture   Carved figure of the White Goddess, Sah-Ra-Pa-Lan

 

"Since the construction of the Omigot Dam to the north of the area in the 1970s, the tribe has been cut off from all outside contact. Therefore we cannot attribute this coincidence to cultural cross-contamination."

The Shaka have lived in their present primitive condition for the last thousand and have no wish to join the larger world. Their isolationist ideas are matched only by their aggressive attitudes to foreign interference. Strangely enough, the Shaka are not above forming gangs and raiding villages to obtain scarce resources.

 

Speaking through a translator, Tribal Chief Rik-ush LimBo told the investigators, "We worship the white goddess, Sah-Ra Pah-Lan. She is the Mother of the Universe and Bringer of all sweetness. We wish for her to come down from her throne in the sky and lead us."



"The Goddess Sah-Ra-Pah-Lan lives in a sky village called 'Wizz-Zalla'"

 

The similarities to the former politician, however, do not stop there. For example, according to the researchers, the Goddess Sah-Ra pah-lan lives in a sky village called Wizz-Zalla. According to Shaka mythology, the goddess lives with her companion Towad and her large half-human, half animal off-spring.
Her brood fly around the village creating all sorts of mischief, according to the religious legends of the Shaka. 

 

As Prof. DeGloss pointed out, "During many of the colorful dance rituals- which often include blood-letting and body-piercing- the entire tribe will gather in a huge circle, drop to the knees in a orgiastic frenzy and shout 'Oh, Ub Etcha.'"

DeGloss and a team of anthropologists intend to return to the heavily forested region sometime before the end of 2012, when the tribe has promised to 'take the jungle back' from their long-despised enemies.


As a disclaimer, Nomadic View makes no claims for the authenticity of the articles. The articles are merely meant to be enjoyed for their entertainment value. Tabloid articles on famous people like Sarah Palin, are probably not factual but then, have you ever seen a factual tabloid news story?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Bent Objects

Here's an amusing site for you. With a bit of wire, this artist has taken everyday objects and made… cleverness. Check out the entire collection HERE.

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Monday, March 14, 2011

Ibrahim Tatlises

News agencies are reporting of the shooting last night  of one of the most famous singers in Turkey and in the Middle East, Ibrahim Tatlises.

According to the BBC:

He was shot in the head by unidentified gunmen late on Sunday night and left in a critical condition, reports said. Mr Tatlises, 58, had just left the offices of private Turkish channel Beyaz TV with his spokeswoman, who was also hit. They were both taken to hospital and underwent surgery. Doctors treating the folk singer at Maslak Acibadem hospital said he had suffered a brain injury. His spokeswoman was said to be in a stable condition after an operation on her neck.

Ibrahim Tatlises has recorded more than 30 albums and has also acted in numerous films. He also hosts a TV show.

İbrahim Tatlıses was born of mixed Arab and Kurdish descent in the city of Sanliurfa. Following the death of his father, Tatlises was raised by his mother. In his teens, he began his career as a wedding and events singer. Given his rise from poverty He became a symbol of the Turkish dream and has earned a large following of devoted fans.  

According to Wikipedia:

He released an album in 1975, and Tatlıses temporarily left music. Moving to Istanbul with his family in 1977, he then worked as a salesman while recording his second album, Ayağında Kundura. In the 1980s, he recorded numerous folk dance songs with the accompaniment of an orchestra in the rural uzun hava style.

İbrahim Tatlıses - Bebegim
 

Anybody who has spent any time in Turkey will have no doubt seen this man and heard his distinctive style of music. His influence in the music industry is unquestioned but many purists looked down on  his arabesk style- a hybrid of Arabic and Turkish. He is certainly a character; a one of a kind Turkish celebrity with his huge moustache and shiny suits, his macho posturing and Godfather pretentions.

Sadly, news from the doctors is not at all good. He is intensive care and is given a 50-50 chance for survival. Doctors also have revealed that trauma to the brain as a result of the shooting will probably result in paralysis. To all his fans this assassination attempt brings to a shocking close to a long career of man they called  "The Imparator."

UPDATE:

Tatlises' condition is slowly improving, his doctors report. Hurriyet Daily News states:

Tatlıses is still in intensive care, Dr. İlhan Elmacı from Maslak Acıbadem Hospital said Tuesday. “As long as the patient stays in intensive care, this means the risk of death continues,” Elmacı said.

Umm.. ok. For an expert, that's very information-lite, isn't it? And, isn't it a kind of reversal of cause and effect?

…both Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and President Abdullah Gül have been calling the hospital to get information about the health condition of Tatlıses.

That's awfully nice of them.

According to ZAMAN newspaper, the National Police Department has put together 10 special teams, each consisting of 30 police officers, to find the individuals that attacked folk music singer İbrahim Tatlıses, who was critically wounded in a drive-by shooting in İstanbul on Monday.

Ten times 30 equals 300, I do believe.. and that's what I call "intensive." Probably in no other country in the world would the attempted assassination of a "folk" singer create such large amount of police attention. 

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Fall of ‘29

 Here is a clip from the Nomadic View basement, originally posted here last year. I thought it deserved a second chance. I especially liked the last photo with the smiling boy. It explains why my mother went to so much trouble canning tomatoes when it was cheaper to buy them from the supermarket. My father was also always skeptical of credit cards and loans and any sort of debt.
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Friday, March 11, 2011

mmm…Yum!

Believe it or not, it really is made with hot girls!

http://goo.gl/56NuE

How to Win an Election

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Rachel Maddow reveals how the Republicans are planning to win the next election. It's really a simple plan. Outlaw your opponent's voters.

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Name's Bird, Humming Bird.

One of the sorry things about living in the modern age is how so many technological inventions and discoveries seem to serve only for the police and military sectors.

I look at this nifty gadget and immediately the needles on my cool-o-meter gauges all start a-twitchin', I can see  some very practical civilian applications, such as, search and rescue and.. well, let me think..

On the other hand, think of all the not so nice things you can do with this. This will never reach the consumer, or if it somehow does, it will be quickly banned. It's only fun to use something like this if you are the one at the controls.

First of all, you might as well forget the quaint notion of privacy if a little hummingbird can fly up to your sixth floor window and watching you as you watch somebody you barely know changing clothes in some other part of the building. One minute I am sleeping with my mouth hanging open and a trickle of spittle on my cheek and the next minute, I am a YouTube meme.

More seriously, consider the frightening military applications. (Perhaps I missed my calling in life but I can quickly come up with a lot of scary scenarios involving this pet.). Spying is one thing, but think of the many offensive capabilities. Add a tiny vial of nitroglycerine and you have a mini-drone. Still, worse, add a syringe and some nasty bug and you have a more subtle assassin. That's not THAT far out of the realm of possibility, you know.

In fact, this device is probably far behind what we will not see. That would be much smaller and work as a swarm. Not hummingbirds, my dear, flies.

The next James Bond will be about 3 inches tall and fly around like a hummingbird.

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Fearless

Special thanks to http://www.likecool.com/Fearless--Pic--Gear.html

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Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Palin Machine

http://nomadicjoe.blogspot.com/

 

Could Sarah Palin, half-term Alaskan governor, failed vice-president candidate and Fox News celebrity, actually be a advanced humanoid robot? This was the hot topic under debate at a conference of robotic engineers, android in November 2010.

"I am convinced that Sarah Palin- the person we know as Palin, I mean- does not really exist. The person who was once Palin has been replaced by what we call an android." claimed Dr. Frederick Berthnal of Hanso Intelligent Designs of Groverfeld, Texas. Berthnal made this startling charge while speaking at the 15th annual conference for Robotic Design and Innovation at Expo 2010 in Houston, Texas.

"Child-robot with  Biomimetic  Body," or CB2,

 

After reviewing Berthnal's data, many of the world's top researchers in the field agreed with the basic theory. They unanimously concurred that the overall appearance of the Palin robot is incredibly convincing and its ability to interact with humans is inspiring to say the least. 

Scientists and specialists from many different fields have been working toward the goal of a robot that can both understand and reason and behave exactly like a human. The Palin machine, in Berthnal's view, is another step in this evolution and shows how precisely how far this technology developed.

"Of course, the Palin machine is flawed. Yet, the fact that only people who have researched robotics for years can distinguish between the human and the humanoid is certainly impressive."

 

"It makes sense. It explains a lot."

 

Senior Research Scientist, Dr. Gene Calvin from the University of Texas at Arlington said, "It makes sense. It explains a lot. If you watch Palin closely, her speeches and her interviews, you'll come to the same conclusion. For instance, the way her 'folksy' accent seemed to change throughout the 2008 campaign. People I spoke to said that that was because technicians had to tweak the voice module and the artificial larynx accentuators until it sounded convincing."

 

Director of Cybora Labs, Peter Shumo of the Tokyo University of Science remarks, "One of the things you notice if you look over her interviews is a real lack of empathy in her expressions and the tone of voice is distinctly flat when it comes to emotional depth. Those are just things that can't be faked. We have been trying for years. But, to give credit to whomever built this model of android, the Palin machine can 'mimic' human behavior extraordinarily well."

"I've seen this machine pretty close up," reports Tofu Harikari senior robotic engineer at The Waseda University in Japan, "and I can tell you that some of the hydraulics and the Pneumatic actuators need to be slightly quieter, especially when it sits or walks quickly to avoid reporter's questions. I think we in Japan might have built a better Palin."



 

The covert use of a robot replacement is not without its potential problems. While many were amused by the corny winking and the kiss-blowing during the 2008 vice presidential debates, some of Berthnal's supporters found her over the top behavior a sign of something seriously wrong with the mechanism of the android. Insiders in the McCain campaign were alarmed and suspicious and rumor had it at the time that electronic interference in the studio might have been responsible for the weird mannerisms on-stage. "We couldn't figure out what was going on, at first."

 

There are quite a few skeptics to this Palin Machine theory. Namely, Professor Augustus Von Sevelt of the University of Hanover in Germany.

"Poppycock," scoffs the professor. "Where's the evidence? I admit what the woman may not be normal or mentally stable but it doesn't mean that she is a robot? I think not. That's carrying things a bit far." Despite the handful of naysayers, and doubting Thomases, the theory is beginning to make a great deal of political sense.

So who could be behind this robot-to-human deception? Just who would have the technology, the resources and the desire to perpetrate such a hoax on the American public. And why?

Experts In Berthnal's camp speculate that it could be a collaboration between the Chinese and a breakaway faction of the Republican party. The goal? The first completely artificial president of the United States. 

As Political analyst Charlene Devine notes,"After all, given the other candidates in the GOP, why not see if a robot can do better? Let's face it, Newt Gingrich for president?" Seriously?"


Disclaimer: Nomadic View cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information in it blog posts. This blog is not an new gathering organization, fair and balanced or otherwise, Its posts are aimed primarily at entertainment and not for education.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Blake Andrews #1

Photography Blake Andrews, like all great artists, teaches us the importance of careful observation. We see and yet we do not see. It takes an artist to put a frame around the everyday things, to focus our concentration and thereby allowing us to discover something new.

If you enjoy his work, I invite you to follow this link: http://www.in-public.com/BlakeAndrews/gallery/59 where you can find more of his work. .

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Footage

One thing that has always bothered me about this tragedy is the fact how little has been done since. If you look at it- without the terrorism aspect- you can see that a problem existed in any case.  Any city that can afford to build structures of that size can afford to maintain a fire fighting force capable of protecting it. The firefighters who gave their lives that day would probably agree with me too.

I think the city of New York- and any city with skyscrapers- should have to invest in helicopter mounted firefighting equipment. It necessarily take a terrorist attack to create another such disaster.

 

Monday, March 7, 2011

Geminoid

For more information about this research, http://geminoid.dk/

So, I think we all know who the next president of the United States will be in 2012.

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Saturday, March 5, 2011

Andrew Bird

One of the very best things about the Internet, and probably one of the things that people in the music industry despise is the sheer number of fine artists who now are offered a fair chance to have their music heard all over the world.

A person like Andrew Bird, whose talent is undeniable, is one of those gifted musicians that cannot be easily pigeonholed. Folk? Well, yeah but that certainly a limited definition to the kind of music he makes.

“It’s been a part of my life every single day from the age of 4, but it wasn't until I was 16 that I finally registered it as something I was pretty good at, that I was going to throw myself into. I was going to become a musician, with all the attendant romantic and egotistical impulses. I practiced six hours a day, all the way through music school. There, I saw everyone being groomed for one institutionalized way of making music. I could tell that I'd be completely depressed playing violin in an orchestra. I knew, from that time on, I’d have to sew my own coat, book my own shows, wait for people to come to me. Got into this racket of getting in a van, driving round the country, and that’s still what I’m doing.” http://goo.gl/4m7mF

That's the best definition of an artist that I believe I've ever heard. Frankly I can be selfish when it comes to discovering quality amongst all the crap that's out there. So I am often torn when I encounter little gifts like Bird's music, between sharing with the rest of the world who may or may not appreciate him as I do, or keeping this joy to myself.

So, I guess you can see what my final decision was. All young musicians should have a chance of knowing what to aim for, I think. And all those who think that all music nowadays is totally crap, then you can watch these two clips and feel a little better, I hope.

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Friday, March 4, 2011

Homage to Elizabeth

Elizabeth  Taylor Mosaic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Birthday to Elizabeth Taylor  who turned 79 last Sunday. Taylor, whose health has been poor in recent years, reportedly watched the Oscars from her hospital bed. 

For the past five years, Taylor has been using a wheelchair due to chronic pain after breaking her back four times. In addition to congestive heart failure, she has also had to deal with three hip-replacement operations, a benign brain tumor, skin cancer and pneumonia, according to Reuters. What a fighter.

I thought I would take some time and create this mosaic in homage to Ms. Taylor and wish her better health.  As a personal message to Liz, thanks so much for dedicating your life for our enjoyment.  It's hard for me to choose my favorite Liz Taylor film. "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof"? "Giant"? The dark melodrama "Suddenly Last Summer"?  Or one film I have grown to respect over time, "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"

Oh I can't decide. Oh, and you were so sweet in "Father of the Bride." and "A Place in the Sun"- how could I have forgotten that one. So many gems and such a great gift to the world..

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Fat Man's Secret

FATMANENN

 

The World's Fattest Man, Gilbert Salvinski of Crabbage, Rhode Island, announced last Friday that he had incontestable proof that Sarah Palin, half-term Alaskan governor and failed vice-presidential candidate was, in fact, his lawful spouse.  "I forgive Sarah and all I want is for her to come back and be my wife again," the overfed Salvinski told reporters, with tears  in his eyes.

The thirty-three-year old was selected the World's Fattest Man in 2009 weighing in at a whopping 595 lbs, beating out 2008 winner Morris Fecund of Henderson, Queensland, Australia by 87 pounds. Completely immobilized by mountains slabs of fat, Salvinski must be constantly vibrated by special equipment and washed and rinsed with sterilizing soaps three times a day by his mother to prevent fungal growth and bedsores. .

 

"I've let myself go."

"It's true," Salvinski admits, "I'm grown a bit large. I've let myself go. What can I say? It's what's inside that counts and I've got a lot going on inside too. Sarah used to tell this to me but I wonder if she believes that any more."

 

His 78- year-old mother, Dora, wearily agrees, "All's I know is he didn't get like this until he heard the Sarah Louis Heath was married to the Palin fellow up there in Alaska. I guess it just broke' his spirit and he started in eating and boy, I want to tell you, he can eat."

 FATMANGLENN

Salvinski points to a framed photo on the wall. It's a younger Gilbert in a football uniform. "I wasn't always like this, you know, Gilbert explains."In high school I was a first string quarterback. You should have seen my shoulders. And I used to have an impressive six-pack too. I used to be so proud and vain."

Back then, Sarah was a cheerleader for the football team so they were often thrown together, especially on "away" games. "After a few months, we decided to tie the knot. But her father never liked me much so we eloped and drove to a justice of the peace. It was very romantic."

 

Then, according to Slavinski, Sarah must have had a change of heart. One Saturday, during practice, I twisted my ankle pretty bad. I was taken to emergency and they had to operate. I was out of it for the next week or so. Missed graduation and everything. I thought Sarah was angry at me because she never visited or called me at the hospital."

"She never stayed any place long."

 

Later I learned she had gone with her friends to Hawaii where she had decided to enroll in university. I sold everything I own to get out there but by that time, she was in another school. I tracked her from state to state, university to university. She never stayed any place long."

 

Finally, Slavinski made a decision to get on with his life, but he never lost hope that his one true love might return. That voice haunted him, he says, like the sound of a hoot owl or a braying donkey in the desert.

Best friend, Shelia Trappet said, "Some people take to drink, others take to gambling. With Gil, it was Bacon and Cheese Burritos and Peanut Butter  Crème Pie.   

"I just hope and pray that Puddin- that's what I used to call her- will drop all this liberal politicking and come to her senses. She needs to settle down with my mother and me. Cooking and looking after me is a full time job and maybe if the doctors permit, we can even start thinking about making babies. She's not all that old yet."

According to the roly-poly record-holder, his marriage certificate and other documentation confirming his claims are with his lawyer and will remain there until they decide the next step. "I'd prefer her to come back because she wants to. Because it's the right thing to do. I mean, I don't want to force myself on Sarah."

Sarah Palin has issued no statement about Salvinski claims.


Disclaimer: We hope you enjoy the Tabloid Sarah Series at Nomadic View. We do not vouch for the authenticity or veracity of the information of these posts. Nomadic View blog is not a news organization, fair and balanced or otherwise. Its blogs are primarily meant to be a source of amusement or entertainment.


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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A Rant about Censorship and a Post about a Can of Air

To all Turkish bloggers
Please be advised that, according to rumors, once again the Turkish courts have blocked ALL blogspot connections inside the country. If the information is true, the same excuses and the usual suspects are to blame, i.e. Digiturk and illegal copyright violations of football matches.
According to antiquated media laws in the country, the courts have the right to immediately close any site if a complaint is filed. Some time later, days, weeks, months a judge may look over the case. (Most of the major bans are lifted at this point.)
In this case, the complaint has apparently been filed against blogspot and not the individual blogger. Thus, all blogs using the blogspot format are closed. One day, you go to your blog and you get a message that your blog is not opening. First you panic and then, after a chill pill, you go to a proxy server and find that your blog- now an orphan- is perfectly safe but unreachable. Then you get angry and you stay angry for a few hours. For me, the next stage is a kind of sadness for the country.
Mind you, I could be wrong about all this. None of this is public information. It is all done behind closed doors with lawyers and judges. Clearly none of the parties involved feels that any person has a right to know or even to ask.
Frankly, I am rather doubtful about this entire scenario because the timing is a bit too coincidental. I have always been on the paranoid side but, given the recent unprecedented events in the region, it's hard not to see a connection.
With Digiturk is one of the largest cable media suppliers in the country, many people are now seriously thinking of cancelling their cable services. (It isn't a monopoly and many of the other cable providers are just as good.) When this interruption first began a couple of days ago, a friend of mine spoke to a S.O service rep (an Internet Service Provider) and he couldn't explain the problem. That's called a "telephonic shrug of the shoulders." Of course not, Digiturk owns S.O. too.
I recently signed up for S.O. new fiber optic line too. It was so fast and modern but then they never actually promised complete Internet. It's a partial Internet Provider I suppose. They So it's really my fault, I guess. Google is also affected but to the degree it was in the last ban, when many of the Google apps were accidentally locked as well.
For Can of Air
Recently my laptop has been acting up. (And I am definitely not speaking of Shakespearian acting. More like Nicholas Cage.) Lots of strange noises coming from inside which I firstly thought was my hard drive about to implode. Later I learned it was my fan- which is apparently clogged with dust and cat hair. I have used the vacuum on it several times in the past and this has, much to my surprise, worked. So far, it hasn't this time.
I went on YouTube (which hasn't yet been banned) and learned the way to solve this problem was to purchase a can of air. That's correct. A spray can of air and you can clean it out this way. Other than that, the solution appears to be taking the whole thing apart... and I mean, the whole thing. The laptop has 3.6 billion screws that are nearly microscopic.
As a child I was often reprimanded for taking things and disassembling them. Naturally, I would always be unable to get everything put back together and my parents used to be quite miffed whenever I did this. So I think I have grown out of that stage and I don't think I will attempt it.
So off I went into town to buy my can of air. First thing I managed to do was to stumble and twist my ankle. I laid there on the cold ground wondering if I had actually broken my ankle and I was thinking, is THIS what old age means? I climbed up a wall- literally- and put my weight on it it and it held. Pacing back and forth in the parking lot, I decided I would make another attempt.
When I got into the center of town, it was crowded. It is always crowded. Now I know this sounds like a grumpy old man but... I have noticed that so many people- at least, the ones I encounter when I venture out- really do not know how to walk anymore. I do not mean they stumble and fall. That's me. I mean they don't walk in an orderly way.
Examples. They walk three in a row, shoulder to shoulder and will not allow anybody to pass in either direction. You will have to wait for them. They like to walk fast and then stop and start and then walk slow. They like to push their baby carriages at you like some kind of Roman weapon of war. They will actually bump into you while they try to walk and talk on their cell phones. Is it only Turks or is this a world wide thing?
Anyway, so I went to shop after shop and tried to explain that I was hunting for a can of air. I explained in Turkish, that my laptop had a lot of dust inside and the thing seemed pretty clear to me but so many people just stared at me like I had lost my mind. One gentleman told me to bring my PC in and they would take it apart and... I was starting to imagine the resulting chaos. That same shop couldn't even refill my ink cartridge so I wasn't about to have them hand me a back a bag of laptop and give me an endearing shrug.
Another man offered to blow out my dust with an air compressor. The kind they use to fill aircraft tires, by the look of it. I could only imagine watching him press the handle and have a blizzard of keyboard buttons flying all over the room. It was still a tempting offer since he said it would be free. But I thanked him and left, wondering if I would ever find my can of air.
Finally, I made one last attempt and the old man invited me into his shop and when I asked him for the air and did my best explanation. He said, "Sir, you do know this is an electronic shop, don't you?" As opposed to a air canning shop, I guess he meant. My eyes went into slits and I said, "Yes, I do. Thanks anyway." And yes, if you are wondering, I did mutter something vile under my breathe. But, being a coward, my testy little comment was in English.
After that, I gave up. My ankle was really starting to ache and so I thought it best to come back home. When I finally returned to my humble abode, I took off my shoes and socks and so my ankle was the quite swollen. It looked like somebody had slipped a tennis ball under the skin.
And so now, as I write this, my laptop, choking on furballs, whirs and hums like a 1950s sci-fi spacecraft.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The CD of the Month- March 2011

Each month, this blog will feature a new CD of quality music. The player and playlist are on the sidebar for easy listening. You find information on purchasing here. MagnaTune, which sponsors the playlist, is certainly worth a check and provides an alternative to the music corporation model for music promotion and delivery.

Brad Senne  - Aerial Views

Trying to describe why you like one album over another, or one performer is like attempting to draw your favorite food. Using one art to illuminate another is usually bound to fail. Sometimes, when something is really good, words just make a mess of things. When I read reviews, I usually scratch my head because either it is filled with inside "expert" references or silly inflated words that mean very little. So, having given fair warning, let me tell you why I liked this album.

Senne belongs in the "sensitive" guitarist class which can, if it lacks a high degree of talent, easily slide into Kitsch. It becomes pretty much of a mass-produced product or something you find yourself talking over in a crowded bar. I was prepared for that possibility and I was happily disappointed.  Senne takes what could be a tiresome genre and elevates it beyond expectations. (Mine anyway.)

When I listened to this CD, I was reminded of the best folk and solo music from the 1970s, when there was much less studio manipulation and a lot less hype. In fact, Senne plays most of the instruments himself and his soothing voice is one of the best I've heard in awhile. I would say that many of the songs sound a bit similar – which isn't necessarily bad when you have a musician of this caliber- but some listeners might enjoy the tracks more when mixed with other performers on a playlist. (Isn't that nearly always true?)

if I had to pick my favorite track, I guess it would be "Road Trips."  It had a haunting sadness to it that stuck with me. Second favorite would be "Golden" and I can imagine how nice it would be listen to it on a rainy morning in March.

Growing up on the outskirts of a small farming community in Southern Minnesota Brad Senne spent the majority of his youth immersed in hardcore and punk rock. He went on to play in a multitude of bands eventually gaining notoriety for his hardcore band Picturesque in the late 1990's after signing with Trustkill Records. He decided to branch out and with more freedom as a songwriter he started playing his own brand of solo acoustic folk rock. His expanding vocabulary drew upon the musical influences of his heroes Bob Dylan, Elliott Smith, Iron and Wine, Wilco, and Muddy Waters. Senne's blend of hypnotic, breathy indie pop showcases his stripped-down compositions.

The album, Aerial Views.  received raved reviews and was voted a top 10 album of the year by The Onion - A.V. Club in the Twin Cities. Senne plays almost all instruments on this album including guitar, bass, piano and keyboards, resulting in 11 songs that range from simple finger-picking guitar ballads to lush instrumental arrangements. http://goo.gl/AQqeq

What do you think?

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