Saturday, November 19, 2005

Pig Stats - October

The Scorched Pig has an international reach. Here are the stats for the month of October (up to and not totally accurate. Mass and RI are not included as they are too local to be continuously counted.

All US states are represented, except for AR, DE, HI (I did get a hit from Hawaii before I started keeping track), IA, NH, SC, SD, VT and WV. Louisiana clocked in since the last time kept track. The most frequent states visiting are CA, NV, OK, VA, WA and KS.

From Canada: Quebec, Ontario, Nova Scotia (love it up there), British Columbia and Alberta.

International: Malaysia, England (several), India, Chile (2), Mexico, Sweden, Thailand, Italy (2), Brazil, Singapore, China (Beijing), France, Netherlands (2), Denmark, Austria and Spain.

Welcome all!

I sold my first Satellite system this week!

And in the News: Last week, Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman has proposed that grafitti taggers should not only be arrested for defacing public property but they should also have a finger amputated. Oscar, run for President in 2008. Meanwhile, also last week in Las Vegas, they've had another power failure up on the Xscream ride on the 900 foot Stratosphere Tower, stranding two Japanese tourists up there for about an hour and a half. Last year, when this happened, two teenage girls were stranded there for at least an hour before employees even realized there were riders out there.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Tim Wins

Timothy P. McCoy, the first candidate to get the endorsement of the Scorched Pig, was successful in securing his seat on the Fall River School Commitee. Tim was already a member of the Committee since March, 2005 as a result of the resignation of a board member as a result of fiscal malfeasance.

Tim will bring to the seat honesty and integrity and a genuine concern for Fall River's school children.

The results:

Marilyn M. Roderick 7557
Kevin Aguiar 7090
Brian Bigelow 7035
TIM MCCOY ` 6822
Mark Costa 6810
Shawn E, Cadime 8602

The School Board kept three imcumbeants and elected three newcomers, of which Tim was the highest vote getter.

Congrats, Tim.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Pig Request - Satellite vs. Cable

OK Squealers, er readers, I have a request.

I want feedback on those who have Satellite TV. Is it comparable (in price) to cable TV? Is it a hassle to get local stations or is a splitter required. Why is a land based phone line required? (Dish). Dish or DIRECTV? Do very cloudy days block reception? Who installs it, you or them.

I can sell it, but need honest information...

Is it worth the hassle? I knew a guy (and his name was Guy) in Vegas who swore by it. I was curious, but satellite dishes always ran afoul of homeowner associations...

And why 18 month 'commitment'. I am so sick of contracts - good service and quality product ensures customer loyalty, not threats of lawsuits.

From the news: Potbellied Pig in Florida Evades Police. Run Pig! Run!

Monday, November 07, 2005

Remembering a friend.

My friend Lola (Don's mother) passed away last night. We used to go to Rampart casino to try our luck and we'd go for lunch buffet. Two for one!

When I left, she took me to Steiner's a 'Nevada' bar. By then, I wasn't winning anything.

I always spent my Thanksgivings and Christmases at either Don's or Lola's. Homemade and family fun. She made me feel as if I was part of her family.

I met Lola because I worked with her husband Chuck at Raytheon. Chuck had cancer and we had lunch together two days before he died. He was only 58.

At the time, the Test Site (was always) threatening layoffs and Chuck urged Lola to take the first retirement package, because he claimed it was usually the most generous. (Lola worked at another company at Nellis). She resisted, but gave in. She started to get into retirement and was getting her 'honey-do' list ready when he died just 3 weeks after retiring.

Before he died (about 3 weeks before) he told me he regretted having Lola retire, because he was afraid of being laid off and at his age, he knew he'd never get a comparable paying job (aint it the truth). He told me he was more valuable to Lola dead than alive (life insurance).

I told Chuck not to worry that I would look out for his family. A few months later, I was back here on a contract job, with an empty house back there and Copa waiting for me. Lola called and said Don was getting a divorce, moving back to Vegas to be near her and loves dogs. The rest is history. Lola always gave christmas presents to Copa.

Chuck and Lola spent time in Los Alamos, NM and when I had a job interview for LLNL at the Mirage, they sped me there so I wouldn't be late. Chuck offered to take me to Los Alamos to show me around town, but that job never happened.

When Chuck died, I had a 'premonition' that something was wrong.

Last night, I had an urge to call Lola and was going to do so tonight, but Don called instead.

I remember when the three of us went to the Raytheon Christmas Party at the Hacienda. We went because the door prize was two tickets to anywhere in the country. If I had won, I would have flown back to Boston, if Chuck would have won, he would have flown to North Dakota where Don was living at the time. None of us were interested in the speeches, so we snuck out to play Keno, come back for the meal and the raffle and went out to a few bars to play.

Lola was born in Nebraska and was cooking in truck stop diners at an early age. She was an extroadinary cook and my favorite was her Italian spaghetti sauce with meat. I always asked her for the recipe but she said she never wrote it down. She used hamburger, Italian sausage, garlic, onions and god knows what else. It was my favorite! When she made it for me, I'd freeze a portion of it and savor it for as long as I could.

Lola loved to play Bingo, travel, spending time with her family, collected Fabrege eggs and merlot wine.

Lola was a good friend who made Las Vegas a real 'home' for me. I'll miss her.

Lola Maina

Lola Maina

Lola Maina

Rest in Peace

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Catching Up with Podcasting

Its been quite awhile since I have been able to write anything. Working off hours often prevents me from doing things I need and want to do and, as a result many things end of sliding so now I am playing catchup, like reading some blogs that I take a peek at from friends and I am also trying to create my very own unique-for-me listening experience using my Ipod for both music and podcasts. I have had my Ipod for exactly one year, so happy birthday Poddie.

Podcasting takes blogging and 'talk radio' to a new level without the expense of Satellite Radio. I am not going to condemn Satellite Radio because I sell it and my friend Bruce bought one from me and he loves it. But satellite is primarily made up of professional broadcasters (Howard Stern in January 2006), but podcasting is the media for the rest of us. Podcasting is usually music based, but often you'll find a lot of 'talk radio' about current events as well as many amatuer audio blogs. I will probably do one eventually. I have spending a lot of time trying to separate the wheat from the chaff. Some of the best ones I have found so far are:

1. PodcastNYC - This is the best podcasting site on the Web. Check out all of Mediamaster Rob's channels including his Front Page Podcast where he talks mostly about the state of Podcasting, Alley Cuts, his display of indie music and artists appearing in the NYC area and his Pop Culture Rant where he vents his opinions about the current state of Hollywood, TV or even his neighbors. If it weren't for Rob, I would not have discovered the music of Jason Yudoff. Jason is one of the best keyboardists I have heard in a long while. In fact, Jason sent me an email awhile back thanking me for the mention about him in this very blog. Apparently, I am (or was) the only blog to gve him a plug, which I am more than happy to do. If you do decide to purchase one of Jason's CDs, I urge you to do so via the the CD Baby link on the Podcast NYC website so Rob can get his cut. If you want people to produce quality podcasts, you need to support them. I plan to when I can ever get the extra cash.

2. Amplified Podcast - A great ecleptic mix of music from Chicago. Definitely worth the listen.
3. Rock Cast: This Is The Rock - for those who like to rock.
4. Xtrasense - A unique electronic music podcast that I really enjoy
5. A View From The Religious Left - Sermons from the Unitarian viewpoint. Not being able to attend, I use these as my Sunday morning podcasts.
6. Revolution In The Corner - another electonic music podcast that unfortunately has only published one podcast to date, which is a drawback of podcasting - productions can be sporadic as authors make them when they have the time.
7. Blue Power - Take a trip to the Delta for some great blues. One of the best podcasts. (Listening now)

I have also downloaded a Pocast novel, Earth Core now available in print in November. That's another advantage for Ipods and other MP3 players - the ability to listen to books while walking or eating. I have also downloaded Make Radio, an 'erector set' podcast as well as the occasional audio blog, usually done by people in their garage where the quality can be iffy, but often amusing.

I prefer checking for new podcasts via, and I did check out Podcast Alley. I prefer Ipodder as Podcast Alley's search routine leaves much to be desired although Ipodder doesn't even hav a search utility, it has a click-on calendar, but now that I have caught up to the current day, I will continue to use it. I am using Ipodder as a test bed for new podcasts and manually moving them over to Itunes, but I will use Itunes for the select few winners. I still listen to quite a bit of music, but mostly podcasts, not from my own music collection. Over time, I've listened to Pagan Podcasts, and I found one for Haunted NewJersey and Horror and Englist Folk Songs. Its like having a musical encyclopedia!

My employers intention is to sell Ipods for the Holiday season. We have the display, but where are the Ipods. If people can't walk out with the Ipod, they'll go somewhere else, and now that Apple has the video Ipod there might be an increased demand, but I don't think video will catch on for awhile yet. You can listen to music while you do other things, while video requires your attention. We also sell handheld TVs, but how many peolple do you see walking around with their TVs and DVD players.

I was with Bruce last week when he bought a new computer at the Apple Store at South Shore Plaza and I was definitely in the mood for an Ibook. I could use more CPU power and the machine is built with Podcasting in mind coming loaded with GarageBand and other utilities as well as Itunes to make Podcast creation a snap. Plus, I want to take a break from the Windoze world.

I have more to write, but that will be at a later time, as I need to catch up with other things, such as electronic bookkeeping.

Remember - support your local indie podcasters!