Runaway Bride

First, as a matter of full disclosure, my revulsion to Julia Roberts began after I was subjected to the movie Runaway Bride[*1] both going and coming on Northwest Airlines during a business trip some years ago. I thought at the time that (on top of it being just a bad movie), the Roberts character was a contemptible serial emotional abuser that no self-respecting man with a lick of common sense would tolerate for five seconds.

So you can imagine my reaction to the news that Jennifer Wilbanks’ week long deception[*2] of her fiance, her family, and the media. The only slack I will give her is that she only ran away once.

I’d even stop short of full condemnation if she hadn’t reported her little bus trip as a kidnapping. She’s quoted as “needing some time alone.” It is my fervent hope that the judicial system gives her exactly that.

Meanwhile, her fiance and family try to pick up the pieces, and the emotional pornographers in the media move on to the next juicy tear-jerker.

Morning Whip, 4/29/05

Bush tries again with Social Security[*1] .

Iraq has a democratically elected government now[*2] .

Ivory-billed woodpecker, thought to be extinct, isn’t[*3] .

Shuttle launch date might slip again[*4] .

The entire Kansas City metropolitan area breathes a sigh of relief as the Royals finally leave town[*5] for a road trip.

NCAA Board of Directors news:
Approve 12th football game for I-A[*6] .
One I-A game vs. a I-AA football opponent will count towards bowl eligibility[*7] .
Eased I-A football attendance requirements[*8] .
Approve all but one of the women’s basketball recruiting proposals put forward by the WBCA[*9] .

Google Ads (to the left)

I see Google has rolled out their image ads in their Adsense program (which is enrolled in as a “publisher”. Look over to the left side of pages and you should see context-sensitive ads, now including image (picture) ads as well as text ads.

Of course, the first one I see is a hate-GWB ad, so I had to go out to the Google site and tell them that I choose not to promote that particular advertiser. Sigh.

Anyway, hopefully this whole ad thing will continue to be refined, and you’ll occasionally see something over there that piques your interest.

Is CNN not playing well with others on the Web?

Nick Lewis begins his article:[*1]

Last week, CNN attempted an unusual marketing campaign in the blogosphere. The campaign combined blackhat search engine optimization techniques, viral marketing tactics, and guerrilla comment spam. Unlike the majority of comment spam, this spam appears to only target blogs that have discussed CNN in the past 3 months. So far, 13 separate instances of the spam have been found. Most alarmingly, CNN may have also left malicious keywords at least 3 out of 13 with the intent of using google’s keyword stuffing detectors to censor them. As of now CNN has not returned my request for a confirmation or denial.

A good analysis, in my opinion. If true, CNN has been bad, and needs to go to the Naughty Spot for a few minutes. (Snookums and I have been watching Nanny 911 recently . . . )

Changes to the Links

I’ve spent most of today moving my Big Page O’Links over to the shiny new Web Resources page, and loading in a bunch more links.

Wander over to Web Resources (it’s up at the top of the page just above the blue header bar) and check it out. I think you’ll like the improved categorization.

Next up is looking into increasing the number of links displayed on each page from 10 to something more reasonable, but that may take some time.

Central South Dakota Shopping Trip

Snookums and I recently took a quick trip up to South Dakota, where we met up with my sister and brother for an afternoon shopping outing. We got into our new Acura RL and set out into the sunny and fairly warm April day.

After a half-hour on the highways, our first stop was Van Dyke’s[*1] in Woonsocket, where my sister and brother poured over the restored antique door handles for my sister’s house. Snookums and I planned our July auto tour on the glider in the Van Dyke’s entry way. After several door knobs, latches, and plates were procured, we then proceeded to lunch at Pod’s Place, a classic greasy spoon small town restaurant. (Snookums loves greasy spoons.) The classic roast beef and mashed potatoes plate was good food and lots of it–nobody left hungry.

Back on the road, my brother explored the intricacies of the Acura’s GPS navigation system. We were headed to Bonilla (why? Who knows?) but diverted due to road construction to our ultimate next stop, Miller, SD. After an hour in the car we needed refreshment, so we stopped at the local Dairy Queen.

When in Miller, visit Duckwalls[*2] . Duckwalls-ALCO is a kind of outback Wal-Mart, doing business in markets too small to support larger discount retailers. The store was very clean and well stocked. A gaggle of high-school girls were lined up to talk to the boy at the checkout stand, and a couple of elderly adults were catching up on the news between the toys aisle and the groceries aisle. Snookums quickly discovered the discount bins and sifted through them for crafty-type things to give to her mother.

Next, we made our way the mile or so to downtown Miller to Harriet’s Antiques. Harriet’s was a packrat’s dream, with barely enough room to move around amid the shelves of mostly very breakable knicknacks, collected from years and years of garage and estate sales. Harriet was more than happy to discuss in detail the histories of many of the myriad items in the store. After a breathless half-hour of browsing and attempting not to touch anything, I bought a simple blue SDSU button for Snookums. My sister bought a cast iron pan and a pink depressionware compote bowl.

Back on the road to Wessington, with my brother continuing to play with the navigation system. Our stop there: a small gift and coffee shop called ABC Crafts and Things, where I picked up a couple of wine stoppers–a much needed addition to our kitchenware.

With that final flourish, our shopping for the day concluded and we returned to my sister’s house. The day was topped off with a cold one or two on the deck, amongst the grackles.