Hi-ya JWL Readers!
Hope everything is well with you this week. I also hope you are weathering the economic downturn that has been hitting countries worldwide. Here in the states, more than a half million people are officially out of work, in addition to those who weren’t working in the first place. Before anyone casts blame on anyone else, keep in mind, European nations are going through the same situation. Just this week, I saw the value of the dollar rise to the point that the euro was worth $1.25. That’s significantly lower value than when I was in Ireland in May, when the euro was $1.67. Our gasoline prices are probably the biggest savings we have right now with prices around the country falling to under $2 a gallon. Here on the island, well, $2.05 is better than this time last year, right?
So, looking to the Wide Wonderful World of the Web, headlines include: Gmail goes video chat, AT&T crawls video, and Obama takes to YouTube. These and other stories are here on this week’s WebLetter, still available for the same price … free. And as everyone knows, that is my favorite price.
The White House has gone YouTube. President-elect Obama will record the weekly Democratic address not just on radio but also on video, a first. The address, typically four minutes long, will be turned into a YouTube video and posted on Obama’s transition site, Change.gov, once the radio address is made public on Saturday morning. It remains to be seen whether this will continue once he enters office, but this has the opportunity to be a two-edged sword. Now we have video record of promises he makes and what will actually take place … any politician’s dream/nightmare. Let’s see how many promises are broken over the next four years, shall we? (Before democrats get all in a huff, this sort of thing goes on in every administration, it’s just we now have it captured in video form for all to see). http://voices.washingtonpost.com/the-trail/2008/11/14/the_youtube_presidency.html
Closer to home, First Baptist Church in Fernandina Beach has been going through some trying times with the city over receiving a Certificate of Occupancy for it’s new $13.5 million dollar facility on 8th street. Seems that, after the city signed off on the plans, it has now changed it’s position after the structure has been completed. A new building inspector, and a perceived stalemate initiated by the city manager’s office has caused the final agreement to be put off for almost four months. While the city claims there are still issues with codes (even though the Fire Marshall and independent inspectors have signed off on the building), the church is simply asking the city to honor it’s agreement. Meanwhile, the majority of the city commissioners seem to be siding with the church. The last meeting that was set by the city with the building code enforcement committee on Wednesday, ended after 90 minutes when it was debated the entire time that they could be in violation of the Sunshine Law which calls for public notice before meetings. And who was in charge of creating the notice? The city manager’s office. Does the word, “incompetent” come to mind? Personally, I have gotten an earful from other businesses in Fernandina with similar stories of city management and difficulties with dealing with what was once a “kinder-gentler” (my words) city. All this begs the question, “who really is running Fernandina Beach?” At the moment, it seems the Interim Building Inspector is.
This week Gmail has unveiled it’s newest feature to chat. Rafe Needleman of CNET reported that the new feature, while is no Skype, is easy to use, voice and video quality is excellent, and is run with a plug-in as opposed to flash. The software is a quick download and install and runs on Firefox, IE and Chrome on PC’s and Macs. Linux support is due to be released at a later date. http://news.cnet.com/google-launches-video-chat-for-gmail/
AT&T, the phone/internet company, has finally released something for the ‘internet connected’ to use (other than email). The service, known as Video Crawler, is currently in Beta and provides access to videos and other multimedia files of more than 1600 different websites. CNET’s Natalie Del Conte reported that the face of the page seems to be very crowded, and I have to agree. AT&T is trying too hard to include advertising on the page instead of just integrating into the look. But, the search engine itself indexes the contents of popular websites like Youtube, MySpace and Dailymotion so that you can search all sites for multimedia content at once. Results can be filtered by video, audio, radio, games, etc. and sorted by factors like popularity, relevancy or rating. It’s Beta which means (hopefully) they’ll work on making the page look better. http://www.videocrawler.com
A man in Phoenix calls his son in New York the day before Thanksgiving and says,”I hate to ruin your day, but I have to tell you that your mother and I are divorcing; forty-five years of misery is enough.
“Pop, what are you talking about?” the son screams. We can’t stand the sight of each other any longer,” the father says. “We’re sick of each other, and I’m sick of talking about this, so you call your sister in Chicago and tell her.”
Frantic, the son calls his sister, who explodes on the phone. “Like heck they’re getting divorced,” she shouts, “I’ll take care of this,” She calls Phoenix immediately, and screams at her father, “You are NOT getting divorced. Don’t do a single thing until I get there. I’m calling my brother back, and we’ll both be there tomorrow. Until then, don’t do anything, DO YOU HEAR ME?” and hangs up.
The old man hangs up his phone and turns to his wife. “Okay,” he says, “they’re coming for Thanksgiving and paying their own way.”
The famous Olympic skier Picabo Street (pronounced Peek-A-Boo) is not just an athlete… She is now a nurse currently working at the Intensive Care Unit of a large metropolitan hospital. She is not permitted to answer the hospital telephones. It caused too much confusion when she would answer the phone and say, “Picabo, ICU”.
(yes, we’ve heard it, but it’s still funny … thanks, Mike)
“Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. For years I’ve been stealing building supplies from the lumberyard where I work.”
“How much did you take?”
“Enough to build my own house and my son’s house. And houses for our two daughters and our cottage at the lake.”
“This is very serious. I’ll have to think of a far-reaching penance for you. Have you ever done a retreat?”
“No, Father, I haven’t. But if you got the blueprints I can get the lumber.”
The other day I asked my wife what she liked best about me.
“Is it my firm, trim, athletic, body? Or, rather, is it my astounding intellect?”
She replied, “Oh, it’s your sense of humor, dear.”
And that’s this week’s view from my computer screen, my friends. Thank you for your time. And for those who sent this week’s jokes … thank YOU. Keep ’em coming. Have a great weekend, I’m gonna try … my son’s here with his kids and it’s my birthday Sunday. Amazing how time flies … dad, you were right.
Til next weekend, may God continue to bless you and keep you safe.
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