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Monday, August 30, 2004

Top 10 Reasons to Download
Service Pack 2 For Windows XP

Top 10 Reasons Click here!

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Hot Topics Around Windows XP SP2

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'Toons From 'ToonTown....


Thumb Sucker

Clean Underwear
*Thanks, Chort!


The U.N. conducted a worldwide survey with only one question:

"Would you please give your honest opinion about solutions to the food shortage in the rest of the world?"

The survey was a total failure. Africans didn't know what "food" meant. Eastern Europeans didn't know what "honest" meant. Western Europeans didn't know what "shortage" meant. The Chinese didn't know what "opinion" meant. Middle Easterners didn't know what "solution" meant. South Americans didn't know what "please" meant.

And the Americans didn't know what "the rest of the world" meant!


A Chinese couple, Su Wong marries Lee Wong. The next year, the Wong's have a new baby. The nurse brings them over a lovely, healthy, bouncy, but definitely a Caucasian, white baby boy!

Congratulations," says the nurse to the new parents. "What will you name the baby?" The puzzled father looks at his new baby boy and says, "Well, two Wong's don't make white, so I tink we will name him Sum Ting Wong.



A wife arrived home from a shopping trip and was shocked to find her husband in bed with a lovely young woman. Just as she was about to storm out of the house, her husband called out ...

"Perhaps you should hear how all this came about... I was driving home on the highway when I saw this young woman looking tired and bedraggled. I brought her home and made her a meal from the roast beef you had forgotten about in the fridge. Shew as bare-footed so I gave her your good sandals which you never wore because they had gone out of style. She was cold so I gave her the sweater which I bought for you for your birthday but you never wore because the color didn't suit you. Her pants were torn, so I gave her a pair of your jeans, which were perfectly good, but too small for you now. Then just as she was about to leave, she asked, 'Is there ....anything else your wife doesn't use anymore ?'"


After having their eleventh child, a North Georgia Mountain couple decided that 11 was enough, as they could not afford a larger bed. So the husband went to his doctor and told him that he and his wife didn't want to have any more children.

The doctor told him that there was a procedure called a vasectomy that could fix the problem, but it was expensive.

"A less costly alternative," said the doctor, "is to go home, get a cherry bomb (fireworks are legal in the North Georgia Mountains), light it, put it in an empty beer can, then hold the can up to your ear and count to 10."

The redneck said to the doctor, "I may not be the smartest man in the world, but I don't see how putting a cherry bomb in a beer can next to my ear is going to help me."

"Trust me," said the doctor. So the hillbilly went home, lit a cherry bomb and put it in a beer can.

He held the can up to his ear and began to count, "1, 2,3, 4, 5..."

At this point he paused, placed the beer can between his legs, and resumed counting on his other hand.

This procedure also works in Kentucky, West Virginia, Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, and parts of Mississippi


*Thanks, Auntie 'M'

Bush Stamps Down On The Issues...
Fails To Stick To Them

Bush Stamp

Bush became a HERO, so now he wants a postage stamp issued with his picture on it. So, he instructed his people, stressing that it should be of high quality.

The stamps were created, printed and released. Bush is very pleased, but within a few days of the release of the stamp, he was hearing complaints that the stamp was not sticking, and he became infuriated. He called the people responsible and ordered them to investigate the matter.

They checked the matter out in several post-offices, and then they reported the problem to Bush.

The report stated that there was nothing wrong with the quality of the stamp...

The problem was that people were spitting on the wrong side!

*Thanks, Dad =)

Sunday, August 29, 2004

From The Emerald City

From The Emerald City

Dear Loyal 'OZ' Readers,

The Wizard is heading out tomorrow to visit his son. I am looking forward to spending some great alone time with him. I have only seen him once this year.

Even though they may not be every day, The Wizard of 'OZ' still plans to make posts as often as possible. I will be returning on the 11th of September. In the meantime, thanks to Blogger's Push Button Publishing, I am able to make posts from any computer with internet access... so stay tuned! Now, also may be a great time for you to peruse the Archives - top RHS. Remember, only 5 days of posts are on the main page.

--The Wizard of 'OZ'

Union Problems

Unions are killing this country, and here is a prime example. I don't know about other areas of the country, but a growing trend here is for people to be a little on the lazy side.

It is not that uncommon for as many as 14 to 18 Union People to just stand around and watch while only one person is doing the work.

As you can see in this photo, the situation is out of hand. I hope it's not happening in your area as much. Click here.

*Thanks, Auntie 'M'

City Workers

At last, a blonde male joke!

There were two blonde guys working for the city council. One would dig a hole, the other would follow behind him and fill the hole in. They worked furiously all day without rest, one guy digging a hole, the other guy filling it in again.

An onlooker was amazed at their hard work, but couldn't understand what they were doing. So he asked the hole digger, "I appreciate the effort you are putting into your work, but what's the story? You dig a hole and your partner follows behind and fills it up again."

The hole digger wiped his brow and sighed, "Well, normally we are a three-man team, but the guy who plants the trees is sick today."

Thanks, Auntie 'M'!

Singer Laura Branigan dead at 47

Branigan was best known for 1982 hit 'Gloria
The Associated Press

EAST QUOGUE, N.Y. - Laura Branigan, a Grammy-nominated pop singer best known for her 1982 platinum hit “Gloria,” has died. She was 47.

Branigan died Thursday in her sleep at her home, said her manager, John Bowers. He would not disclose the cause, although her official Web site listed it as a brain aneurysm.

“Gloria,” a signature song from her debut album “Branigan,” stayed atop the pop charts for 36 weeks and earned her a Grammy nomination for best female pop vocalist, the first of four nominations in her career.

She also made television appearances, including guest spots on “CHIPS,” and in the films “Mugsy’s Girls” and “Backstage.”

Branigan released seven albums after her debut “Branigan,” including “Solitaire,” “Self Control,” and “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You,” which was co-written with Michael Bolton. Her songs also appeared on soundtracks for the films “Flashdance” and “Ghostbusters.”

Branigan, born July 3, 1957, and raised in Brewster, N.Y., attended the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Manhattan. During the late 1970s, she toured Europe as a backing vocalist for Canadian singer and songwriter Leonard Cohen. She signed as a solo artist with Atlantic Records in 1982.

After her run of success in the 1980s, her releases in the early 1990s attracted little attention. In 1994, she sang a duet with David Hasselhoff called “I Believe” for the soundtrack of the television show “Baywatch.” She released a 13-track “Best of Branigan” LP the next year.

After the death of her husband, Lawrence Kruteck, in 1996, Branigan stopped performing but returned to the stage in 2001. In 2002 she starred as Janis Joplin in the off-Broadway musical “Love, Janis,” which earned her rave reviews.
Branigan recently had been working on material for a new release.

She is survived by her mother, two brothers and a sister. Funeral services were scheduled for Monday.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

A Horse's Tail

Pony Express
A Horse's Tail...

Does the statement, "Because we've always done it that way..." ring any bells...?

The US standard railroad gauge (distance between the rails) is 4 feet, 8.5 inches. That's an exceedingly odd number.

Why was that gauge used?

Because that's the way they built them in England, and English expatriates built the US Railroads.

Why did the English build them like that?

Because the first rail lines were built by the same people who built the pre-railroad tramways, and that's the gauge they used.

Why did "they" use that gauge then?

Because the people who built the tramways used the same jigs and tools that they used for building wagons, which used that wheel spacing.

Okay! Why did the wagons have that particular odd wheel spacing?

Well, if they tried to use any other spacing, the wagon wheels would break on some of the old, long distance roads in England, because that's the spacing of the wheel ruts.

So who built those old rutted roads?

Imperial Rome built the first long distance roads in Europe (and England) for their legions. The roads have been used ever since.

And the ruts in the roads?

Roman war chariots formed the initial ruts, which everyone else had to match for fear of destroying their wagon wheels. Since the chariots were made for Imperial Rome, they were all alike in the matter of wheel spacing.

The United States standard railroad gauge of 4 feet, 8.5 inches is derived from the original specifications for an Imperial Roman war chariot. And bureaucracies live forever.

So the next time you are handed a spec and told we have always done it that way and wonder what horse's ass came up with that, you may be exactly right, because the Imperial Roman war chariots were made just wide enough to accommodate the back ends of two war horses.

Now the twist to the story...

When you see a Space Shuttle sitting on its launch pad, there are two big booster rockets attached to the sides of the main fuel tank. These are solid rocket boosters, or SRBs. The SRBs are made by Thiokol at their factory in Utah. The engineers who designed the SRBs would have preferred to make them a bit fatter, but the SRBs had to be shipped by train from the factory to the launch site.

The railroad line from the factory happens to run through a tunnel in the mountains. The SRBs had to fit through that tunnel. The tunnel is slightly wider than the railroad track, and the railroad track, as you now know, is about as wide as two horses' behinds.

So, a major Space Shuttle design feature of what is arguably the world's most advanced transportation system was determined over two thousand years ago by the width of a horse's ass.

And you thought being a horse's ass wasn't important.

Horse's ass

What is????

animated question mark
What is the best form of Birth Control after 50 ?

What is the difference between a girlfriend and a wife?
45 pounds

What's the difference between a boyfriend and a husband?
45 minutes

Why is it so hard for women to find men that are sensitive, caring and good looking?
Because those men already have boyfriends!

What is the difference between a new husband and a new dog?
After one year, the dog is still exited to see you.

How do you know when you are leading a pathetic life?
When a nymphomaniac tells you "lets just be friends"

What does a 65 year old women have between her breasts?
A Belly button

What's the difference between a porcupine and a BMW?
A porcupine has the pricks on the outside.

What would you call it when an Italian has one arm shorter than the other?
A speech impediment

What's the difference between a Northern Fairy tale and a Southern Fairy tale?
A Northern one begins, "once upon a time............
A southern fairytale begins, "Y'all ain't gonna believe this shit!"

Points to Ponder II

Smart man + smart woman = romance
Smart man + dumb woman = affair
Dumb man + smart woman = marriage
Dumb man + dumb woman = pregnancy

A man will pay $2 for a $1 item he needs.
A woman will pay $1 for a $2 item that she doesn't need.

A woman worries about the future until she gets a husband
A man never worries about the future until he gets a wife.
A successful man is one who makes more money than his wife can spend.
A successful woman is one who can find such a man.

To be happy with a man, you must understand him a lot and love him a little.
To be happy with a woman, you must love her a lot and not try to understand her at all.

Married men live longer than single men do, but married men are a lot more willing to die.

A woman marries a man expecting he will change, but he doesn't.
A man marries a woman expecting that she won't change, and she does.

A woman has the last word in any argument.
Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.

Old aunts used to come up to me at weddings, poking me in the ribs and cackling, telling me, "You're next."
They stopped after I started doing the same thing to them at funerals.

*Thanks, Daryn =)

The Office Boy

The Office Boy It's hard to believe certain people survive to adulthood, let alone get promoted above me, the lowly office boy!!!

I saw a coworker today putting a credit card into her floppy drive and pulling it out very quickly. I inquired as to what she was doing and she said she was shopping on the Internet, and they asked for a credit card number, so she was using the ATM "thingy".


I worked with an individual who plugged their power strip back into itself and for the life of them could not understand why their computer would not turn on.

Over in the copy room I heard this conversation:

1st Person "Do you know anything about this fax-machine?"
2nd Person "A little. What's wrong?"
1st Person "Well, I sent a fax, and the recipient called back to say all she received was a cover-sheet and a blank page. I tried it again, and the same thing happened."
2nd Person "How did you load the sheet?"
1st Person "It's a pretty sensitive memo, and I didn't want anyone else to read it by accident, so I folded it so only the recipient would open it and read it."

And, passing by the boss's office I hear him on the phone to tech support:

Tech Support "What does the screen say now.."
Boss "It says, 'Hit ENTER when ready'."
Tech Support "Well?"
Boss "How do I know when it's ready?"

And he earns $150,000 a year.

Several years ago we had an intern who was none too swift.
One day he was typing and turned to a secretary and said, "I'm almost out of typing paper.
What do I do?" "Just use copier machine paper," she told him.
With that, the intern took his last remaining blank piece of paper, put it on the photocopier and proceeded to make five blank copies.

One of our servers crashed. I was watching our new system administrator trying to restore it. He inserted a CD and needed to type a path name to a directory named "i386."
He started to type it and paused, asking me "Where's the key for that line thing?"
I asked what he was talking about, and he said, "You know, that one that looks like an upside-down exclamation mark."
I replied, "You mean the letter "i"?" and he said, "Yeah, that's it!"
And, one addition from a friend: She's been doing temp work at various offices.

At one place she became the resident expert on the photocopy machine. One day there was a big backup. She went over to help and found that no one knew how to stop the copier from "punching" three holes down the side of each copy.

She opened the paper tray, removed the three-hole paper and solved the problem.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Down on the farm....

Down On The Farm

The Telephone Call

The Telephone Call

A blonde with two red ears went to her doctor.

The doctor asked her what had happened to her ears?

She answered, "I was ironing a shirt and the phone rang, but instead of picking up the phone accidentally picked up the iron and stuck it to my ear."

"Oh dear!" the doctor exclaimed in disbelief.

"But what happened to the other ear?"

"The son of a bitch called back!"

The City Goil

Amy, a blonde city girl, marries a farmer. One morning, before he goes out to the fields, the farmer says to her, "The artificial insemination man is coming to impregnate one of our cows today. I drove a nail into the two-by-four above the cow's stall. You show him where it is, okay?"

So the farmer leaves for the fields, and a while later, the artificial insemination man arrives. Amy takes him down the long row of cows until she sees the nail, and tells him, "This is the one. This one right here!"

Terribly impressed, the man asks, "How did you know this is the cow to be bred?"

"By the nail over it's stall," Amy explains.

Then the man asks, "What's the nail for?"

"I guess it's to hang your pants on," she tells him as she walks away.

*Thanks, Auntie!

Priest Fans 'Got Another Thing Comin' !

Judas Priest 'Reborn' With Gay Frontman's Return

by Greg Bonnell
Canadian Press

Halford re-joins the groupRespect.

Despite the multi-platinum albums, sold-out tours and rabid fan base, it's the one thing that seems to elude heavy metal bands.

Among the metal bands, Judas Priest has long stood out as a group that never quite got its due.

"I think that's what Priest is experiencing now for the first time in our career," said lead singer Rob Halford. "We're just hitting that platform of respect we never hit before."

But how can this be? Emerging some 30 years ago from the industrial heartland of England, Judas Priest built a distinctive sound around Halford's multi-octave vocal range and a blazing, twin lead-guitar attack.

Their approach was the first major rethink of metal since Black Sabbath laid down its dark riffs in the dying days of the '60s. Not only did Priest create the template by which most metal bands forged their sound, they also laid the foundations for speed and death metal.

Still, at every turn the band were out-sold and out-hyped by the bands that followed.

"I think there was obviously an element of disposable metal in the '80s," said Halford in a telephone interview from Detroit. "We shrugged at those bands, because we knew they weren't going to be around forever."

Decades later, Priest is still at it - with Halford again at the helm after striking out on a solo career some 12 years ago.

"A couple of weeks ago, a (rock magazine) called us the coolest metal band on the planet, which is a nice acknowledgment," said Halford. "It's not the be-all and end-all of what we do, but we accept the acknowledgment, and it makes us feel good."

Taking their place in the pantheon of metal gods, the group is currently headlining Ozzfest along with the original members of Black Sabbath.

"This is a unique moment in metal," said Halford of the tour.

"You're getting the originators of metal so-to-speak with Black Sabbath and Judas Priest headlining the main stage," he said. "People are just eating it up."

More than just a nostalgia trip, the "reunited, reinvigorated" Priest has a new studio album slated for release on Dec. 28, and a world tour in the works for 2005.

"This new record really carries a lot of the great traditions, the heritage of Judas Priest," said Halford. "At the same time, we pick up on the ideas that are around us."

Standing in the wings and watching the other Ozzfest bands perform has no doubt given Priest an earful of where metal has gone and where it's going. Slayer, Dimmu Borgir, Superjoint Ritual, Black Label Society, and Slipknot are just some of the bands filling out the bill.

"That's part of the longevity of Priest," he said. "We've always acknowledged what's going on around us, we've never stuck our heads in the sand."

After splitting with the band in the early '90s, Halford experimented with various types of music including industrial, which owed more to the likes of Nine Inch Nails than his heavy metal roots. Several years later, he shocked fans by announcing he was gay - a taboo lifestyle, to say the least, in the macho world of metal.

"It blew the myth, this gay man in a world-famous metal band,"' said Halford.

The support he's received from fans and his musical peers since indicates to the singer that the metal community has "grown up."

"There's still homophobia that exists, as it does in all portions of society," said Halford. "But (my coming out) didn't do anything to derail or diminish my career, or Priest's career."

Ask The Wizard

The Wunnerfull Wizard of 'OZ' Dear Wizard of 'OZ',

This might be the wrong place to ask this, but I have to start somewhere.

A lady friend has been receiving some very serious and threatening e-mails. She thinks she knows who it is, but the e-mail address are unfamiliar and keep changing.

Isn't there a government agency that a person can contact? I know that ISPs have TOS (Terms of Service), but it is hard to track down a specific e-mail client.

Any and all suggestions will be appreciated.



Dear Bob,

For threatening email it probably would be best to start by reporting it to the local police. If the email is from another province, then contacting the RCMP might be appropriate.

It is possible to tell the actual origin of email from the full headers. The linked page shows what to look for.


Hope this helps.


The Wizard

Dear Wizard of 'OZ',

I wonder if you are familiar with the video driver on a Dell OptiPlex GX110, one of my co-workers just finished a rebuild, and the color palette under the setting of display properties shows 16 bit, which is the only selection on the dropdown list. The image on the screen looks very blurry. I have tried download fix from internet, which was not successful. Please help!

Thanks very much!


Dear Katherinecy,

The Wizard also has a Dell Optiplex. Did you try the Dell downloads page?


Use the link above and download the Display drivers for the monitor and the video card drivers... That should take care of the 16-bit only color and should also crispen up the picture...

Hope this helps.


The Wizard

Dear Wizard of 'OZ',

For two days now I have a blinking Bell in my systems tray. If I point the mouse at it, it reads "Open message", and "Leave it". I cannot remove it, and I fear it may be a "worm" or "virus", so I do not left click to open it. Can you help me here ? I have a dell desktop with Windows XP-Home and Internet Explorer V6.


Dear For Whom The Bell Tolls,

First of all, When you hover your mouse over it, is that the only options shown?

Second... Do you have Incredimail on your computer? I do, but don't use it much. When I do have it open, occasionally I also get a 'bell'. When I hover the mouse over it it says "take advantage of the hot summer sale". and the Bell might be a virus or worm associated with their mail program. I still think it was a virus or worm attaching itself to "Incredimail". A friend once acquired the "Blaster Worm" when they foolishly opened a "Pop-Up" ad saying they should download an update for Incredimail so it would work better. They wound up by needing a new hard drive! So it is quite possible that the blinking bell was a worm or virus, because you cannot close or delete it! Please let me know how you make out. Of course you would not respond to such notices!

The other thing is that for people that do not have Incredimail, the bell would suggest that there is an appointment that was created using the Microsoft Works program.

Hope this helps.


The Wizard

Dear Wizard of 'OZ',

My husband had just purchased a new Dell computer. It has window XP, home edition. He has been experiencing some problems with pictures viewing when he gets on the internet. At first I thought it was just him but when I went on a website that has news, I was not able to get the pictures either.

It is like the pictures will appear on the screen but when you try to go to the next picture, it will just stay on the same picture. So I will have to click "back" and then see the same picture again and then I will have to click the arrow again to go to the next picture and it might then finally go to the next one.

I am wondering if this is a window explorer problem? Any help will be appreciated. My husband has been calling Dell's customer service but it seems to me that no one can help.



Dear Frustrated,

Is this just happening on one website or all websites? It may be a problem with that website. Try emptying the Temporary Internet folder: Tools/Internet Options.

If you have broadband, your Temporary Internet files cache should be set to around 20MB. Windows has a tendency to use a percentage of hard drive space. I have a 40GB hard disk, and Internet Explorer wanted to use 4.0GB gig for Temporary Internet files!

Hope this helps.


The Wizard

Dear Wizard of 'OZ,

When I insert a letter in a word, the next letter is deleted. Hitting space doesn't help. So I have to delete the whole word and retype it. I tried making room for the correction by hitting "tab" but it is just too messy. Sure, I can make a document on "hotmail" and edit any word,then paste the whole thing on WORD, but why should I have to do it? Microsoft Support gave me a "run-around"!

Covered with glue

Dear Covered,

First I hope you aren't actually 'hitting' your keys! =)...Try to the "insert key" on the keyboard to make it insert. If that doesn't work, in MS Word, go to TOOLS|OPTIONS...on the 'EDIT' tab, remove the check in the 'Overtype mode', or just 'double click on the 'OVR' at the bottom of the document window.

Hope this helps.


The Wizard

Thursday, August 26, 2004

"Don't ask Grandma"

Little Jordan was staying with his grandmother for a few days. He'd been playing outside for a while when he came into the house and asked her, "Grandma, what is it called when people are sleeping on top of each other?"

She was a little taken aback, but decided to tell him the truth. "It's called sexual intercourse, darling." Little Jordan just said, "OK" and went back outside to play.

A few minutes later he came back in and said angrily, "Grandma, it is not called sexual intercourse! It's called bunk beds!!





Bad Day

Bad Day



Complaint Department

Mental Ed

M and M's

*Thanks, Daryn!!!!!

I'd like to take that back...

Have you ever spoken and wished that you could immediately take the words back...or that you could crawl into a hole? Here are the testimonials of a few people who did....

I walked into a hair salon with my husband and three kids in tow and asked loudly, "How much do you charge for a shampoo and a blow job?" I turned around and walked back out and never went back. My husband didn't say a word... he knew better.

I was at the golf store comparing different kinds of golf balls. I was unhappy with the women's type I had been using. After browsing for several minutes, I was approached by one of the good-looking gentlemen who works at the store. He asked if he could help me. Without thinking, I looked at him and said, "I think I like playing with men's balls."

My sister and I were at the mall and passed by a store that sold a variety of candy and nuts. As we were looking at the display case, the boy behind the counter asked if we needed any help. I replied, "No, I'm just looking at your nuts." My sister started to laugh hysterically, the boy grinned, and I turned beet-red and walked away To this day, my sister has never let me forget.

While in line at the bank one afternoon, my toddler decided to release some pent-up energy and ran amok. I was finally able to grab hold of her after receiving looks of disgust and annoyance from other patrons. I told her that if she did not start behaving "right now" she would be punished. To my horror, she looked me in the eye and said in a voice just as threatening, "If you don't let me go right now, I will tell Grandma that I saw you kissing Daddy's pee-pee last night!" The silence was deafening after this enlightening exchange. Even the tellers stopped what they were doing. I mustered up the last of my dignity and walked out of the bank with my daughter in tow. The last thing I heard when the door closed behind me were screams of laughter.

Have you ever asked your child a question too many times? My three-year-old son had a lot of problems with potty training and I was on him constantly. One day we stopped at Taco Bell for a quick lunch in between errands. It was very busy, with a full dining room. While enjoying my taco, I smelled something funny, so of course I checked my seven-month-old daughter, and she was clean. Then I realized that Danny had not asked to go potty in a while, so I asked him if he needed to go. He said, "No." I kept thinking, "Oh Lord, that child has had an accident, and I don't have any clothes with me." Then I said, "Danny, are you SURE you didn't have an accident?" "No," he replied. I just KNEW that he must have had an accident, because the smell was getting worse. Soooooo, I asked one more time, "Danny, did you have an accident?" This time he jumped up, yanked down his pants, bent over and spread his cheeks and yelled. "SEE MOM, IT'S JUST FARTS!!" While 30 people nearly choked to death on their tacos laughing! He calmly pulled up his pants and sat down. An old couple made me feel better by thanking me for the best laugh they'd ever had!

This had most of the state of Michigan laughing for 2 days and a very embarrassed female news anchor who will, in the future, likely think before she speaks. What happens when you predict snow but don't get any....a true story... We had a female news anchor who, the day after it was supposed to have snowed and didn't, turned to the weatherman and asked: "So Bob, where's that 8 inches you promised me last night?" Not only did HE have to leave the set, but half the crew did too they were laughing so hard!

Thanks, Auntie 'M' =)

Manitoba Likely To Become Next Canadian Province To Legalize Gay Marriage

(Winnipeg, Manitoba) The Manitoba government won't oppose a court bid by three same-sex couples who want to get married, saying it's a matter for the federal government not the province.

"We will not oppose what they are seeking," Justice Minister Gord Mackintosh said in an interview Wednesday.

"We see it as an issue between applicants and the federal government and we will not be defending the federal (marriage) law. We don't have an interest in opposing legally recognized rights of Canadians."

Three same-sex couples are taking the federal and provincial governments to court in a bid for the right to marry in Manitoba.

Courts in Ontario and other provinces have already weighed in on the subject, said Mackintosh.

"I think the weight of the decisions across the country have pointed to the conclusion that the current federal law is not in accordance with the Charter, so I am pleased that we're going to have some definitive ruling here in Manitoba."

The minister's comments were welcomed by gay-rights advocates, who said the court battle has a better chance of succeeding with the provincial government standing aside.

"It's certainly promising," said Cicely McWilliam, an outreach coordinator with the group Canadians for Equal Marriage in Toronto.

"In the end, a judge will hear the case and decide on the merits of the case, but it's certainly very positive."

It remains to be seen whether the federal government will oppose the legal action launched by the three Manitoba couples.

Federal Justice Minister Irwin Cotler told the Canadian Bar Association earlier this month that Ottawa will no longer seek adjournments in such cases.

Until now, the federal government has wanted such lower-court cases to be put off until the Supreme Court of Canada rules on same-sex marriages.

The three Manitoba couples include Chris Vogel and Richard North, who tried to be officially married in a high-profile 1974 case but were denied.

Same-sex marriage is currently legal in Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia and Yukon -a situation that Mackintosh says is not good.

"We have this patchwork right across the country of marriage law and of human rights and unfortunately that should not have been the development. There needed to be federal leadership on this issue."

Canadians For Equal Marriage said public and political opinion has shifted in recent years, and people are now more accepting of the gay marriage.

"The more Canadians get to know their lesbian and gay neighbors, the less it is an issue," said McWilliam.

"It just whittles away at fear and perhaps ignorance."

A similar suit is under way in the east coast province of Nova Scotia. If, as expected, the Manitoba and Nova Scotia follow the lead of the other provinces more than 80 percent of Canadian gay and lesbian couples will be able to marry.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

The Positive Side Of Life

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Points to Ponder

Points to Ponder

People who live in glass houses should make love in the basement.

Never read the fine print. There ain't no way you're going to like it.

If you let a smile be your umbrella, then most likely your ass will get soaking wet.

The only two things we do with greater frequency in middle age are urinate and attend funerals.

The trouble with bucket seats is that not everybody has the same size bucket.

To err is human, to forgive - highly unlikely

Do you realize that in about 40 years, we'll have thousands of old ladies running around with tattoos?

Money can't buy happiness -- but somehow it's more comfortable to cry in a Porsche than in a Hyundai.

Drinking makes some husbands see double and feel single.

Living in a nudist colony takes all the fun out of Halloween.

After a certain age, if you don't wake up aching in every joint, you are probably dead.

*Auntie 'M'

Make Your Vote Count!

Working for a Change...

Working for a Change...

Clicking on each picture takes you to a different website. The first is Working for a change, and the second is MoveOn.

Make your vote count!
Canadians are counting on you as well!
Protect your rights!
Register to vote!

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

True Story

Jacksonville, FL Police Dept.

Police Car

A man goes to a party and has too much to drink. His friends plead with him to let them take him home. He says no -- he only lives a mile away.

About five blocks from party, the police pull him over for weaving and ask him to get out of the car and walk the line. Just as he starts, the police radio blares out a notice of a robbery taking place in a house just a block away. The police tell the party animal to stay put, they will be right back and they hop a fence and run down the street to the robbery.

The guy waits and waits and finally decides to drive home. When he gets there, he tells his wife he is going to bed, and to tell anyone who might come looking for him that he has the flu and has been in bed all day. A few hours later the police knock on the door. They ask if Mr. Joe is there and his wife says yes. They ask to see him and she replies that he is in bed with the flu and has been so all day.

The police have his driver's license. They ask to see his car and she asks why. They insist on seeing his car, so she takes them to the garage.

She opens the door. There sitting in the garage is the police car, with all its lights still flashing.

True story, told by the driver at his first AA meeting.

*Thanks, Pam!

Noah and The New Ark

In the year 2004, The Lord came unto Noah, who was now living in Canada, and said, "Once again, the earth has become wicked and over-populated and I see the end of all flesh before me. Build another Ark and save two of every living thing along with a few good humans." He gave Noah the blueprints, saying, "You have six months to build the Ark before I will start the unending rain for 40 days and 40 nights".

Six months later, the Lord looked down and saw Noah weeping in his yard .... but no ark. "Noah", He roared, "I'm about to start the rain! Where is the Ark?" "Forgive me, Lord," begged Noah. "But things have changed. I needed a building permit. I've been arguing with the inspector about the need for a sprinkler system. My neighbors claim that I've violated the neighborhood zoning laws by building the Ark in my yard and exceeding the height limitations. We had to go to the Development Appeal Board for a decision.

Then Transport Canada and the Departments of Highways and Hydro demanded a bond be posted for the future costs of moving power, trolley and other overhead obstructions, to clear the passage for the Ark's move to the sea. I argued that the sea would be coming to us, but they would hear nothing of it.

Getting the wood was another problem. There's a ban on cutting local trees in order to save the spotted owl. I tried to convince the environmentalists that I needed the wood to save the owls. But no go! When I started gathering the animals, I got sued by an animal rights group. They insisted that I was confining wild animals against their will. As well, they argued the accommodation was too restrictive and it was cruel and inhumane to put so many animals in a confined space.

Then Environment Canada ruled that I couldn't build the Ark until they'd conducted an environmental impact study on your proposed flood.

I'm still trying to resolve a complaint with the Human Rights Commission on how many minorities I'm supposed to hire for my building crew. Also, the trades unions say I can't use my sons.
They insist I have to hire only Union workers with Ark building experience.

To make matters worse, the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency seized all my assets, claiming I'm trying to leave the country illegally with endangered species. So, forgive me, Lord, but it would take at least ten years for me to finish this Ark."

Suddenly the skies cleared, the sun began to shine, and a rainbow stretched across the sky.

Noah looked up in wonder and asked, "You mean you're not going to destroy the world?".

"No", said the Lord. "The Government beat me to it"

*Thanks, Daryn!

The man who donned a tutu to dive into the Olympic Pool

He wasn't the prettiest man to ever don a tutu but this Canadian who dove into the Olympic pool in Athens in a publicity stunt for a casino last week sparked a security alert and earned him a five month jail sentence.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Try this. It's really cool


It only takes a minute, and it works for everyone. Pick up a calculator if you are not good at math.

1. Key in the first 3 digits of your phone number into a calculator (not the area code)
2. Multiply by 80
3. Add 1
4. Multiply by 250
5. Add the last four digits of your phone number (if the last four digits starts with zero, just use the last 3 digits)
6. Add the last four digits of your phone number again (if the last four digits starts with zero, just use the last 3 digits)
7. Subtract 250
8. Divide by 2.

This is your phone number!

A Note To Dad

Dear Dad,

$chool i$ really great. I am making lot$ of friend$ and $tudying very hard. With all my $tuff, I $imply can't think of anything i need, $o if you would like, you can ju$t $end me a card, a$ i would love to hear from you.


Your $on

Dear Son:

I kNOw that astroNOmy, ecoNOmics, and oceaNOgraphy are eNOugh to keep even an hoNOr student busy. Do NOt forget that gaining kNOwledge is a NOble task, and you can never study eNOugh.



Homo For The Holidays

HOMO for the holidays

Here! TV, which you may know as ‘the nation’s first gay and lesbian premium cable network,” recently started production on what they describe as “the FIRST EVER gay-themed family holiday special.” This is not true! My friend and fellow gay television pioneer Douglas Lee Long had at least one fabulous “holiday special” of is public access series The Fresca Vinyl Show. But I digress.

Hear, hear for here! I’m proud of the network and what they’re accomplishing. Too Cool For Christmas, now in production, stars George Hamilton (Love at First Bite, The Godfather: Part III), Donna Mills (Knot’s Landing), Brooke Nevin (The 4400), Adam Harrington (Queer As Folk) and Barclay Hope. In what they call “a ground-breaking move,” here! TV is also filming a second version of the movie called A Very Cool Christmas with a straight-themed storyline. The gay version hits the U.S. premium network and the straight version is set for international distribution.

According to my sources, Too Cool For Christmas is the story of a fashion-conscious teen (Nevin) who would rather spend the holidays with her boyfriend than with her two dads (Harrington and Hope). While at the mall, Brooke encounters the local Santa (Hamilton) who imparts to her the meaning of family, generosity and the true spirit of Christmas.”

“Never before has there been a gay family-themed holiday special,” states Paul Colichman, president of here! TV. “This film marks yet another attempt in our mission to take mainstream genres that have traditionally lacked a gay presence and to fill in the gaps with entertaining and innovative programming.”

“When I first read Michael Gelbart’s script, the parents were straight. We asked him if he could adapt a second story in which the parents are two dads. We thought it would be terrific to shoot both versions of the film to reach the widest possible audience,” added Colichman.

So, I guess they’ll experience here over there! Ho, Ho, Homo and a Happy New Queer!

Gossip From Around The Water Cooler

Gossip from around the water cooler

The Robbery

(Collierville, Tennessee) A mustached man donning a green sun dress made off with $4,000 from a Collierville, Tennessee bank, but he didn't make the best-dressed list.

Witnesses say the bank robber could have used a little fashion help.

But his get-up was successful in helping him get away.

Police are searching for the man who robbed the bank while wearing the dress and a woman's wig.

"It was a leaf design, but muted," a woman who witnessed the holdup said of the robber's frock.

"He looked a mess," said another witness.

The witnesses said the robber was obviously male, given away by his muscular legs -- and the mustache.

Police Capt. Tommy McCaskill said the robber threatened a teller at a branch bank in a Kroger store in this Memphis suburb but did not show a weapon. No one was hurt.

As the robber fled, he tried to cover the mustache with one hand while grasping what police said was $4,000 in the other.

Woman Finds Finger In Salad

Court Papers Claim Kitchen Worker Cut His Finger

NEW YORK (AP) A Manhattan woman reportedly has filed a $3 million lawsuit against a midtown Manhattan restaurant after she found a finger tip and nail in her salad.

The New York Post reports the lawsuit filed in Manhattan State Supreme Court says the incident happened August 19th, when the woman was eating a beet salad that had been taken out of Rue 57 Brasserie.

The newspaper says the restaurant did not return a call for comment.

The lawsuit says Marina Andriynannikova was eating the salad in her apartment when she bit down on something hard. Andriynannikova says the manager of the restaurant went to the apartment.

Her court papers say the restaurant learned later that a kitchen worker had cut his finger.

Tying The Knot At Wal-Mart

BOISE, Idaho (AP) Somewhere between the junk food aisle and the automotive department, Pat Byrd and Bill Hughes fell in love.

So it was only natural that they should marry where the magic happened -- Wal-Mart.

"It never dawned on me to have it anyplace else," said the 55-year-old bride.

Neither bride nor groom work at the discount store. Still, they spend more time there than many employees do, wandering the aisles and visiting friends for up to six hours a day, nearly every day since the store opened two years ago.

"I talk to people and walk around for exercise, and we always buy a soda or a sandwich or something," 51-year-old Hughes said. "If we're not here, the store people worry about us. They're our family."

Both Pat Byrd and Bill Hughes are disabled. They met nine years ago, when Bill was a patient at a North Idaho hospital and so was Pat's sister.

"He became a good friend, and when my sister died, we kept him in the family," she said. "He doesn't drive, and any time he went to Wal-Mart, I'd take him."

They celebrated their blooming love with a ceremony Friday in Wal-Mart's garden center. The store manager was a groomsman, and a fabric department employee was matron of honor.

A garden center employee, Chuck Foruria, walked alongside Pat as she rode her motorized shopping cart down the makeshift aisle, her oxygen tank in the basket.

"Who gives this woman in marriage?" asked Stacey Garza of the Free Will Church.

"Her friends and family at Wal-Mart," Foruria replied.

Couple Wins The Baby Lottery

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) Allyssa and Grant Kuseske joke that they've won the baby lottery. The winning numbers must have been 2-2.

On Thursday, Allyssa Kuseske gave birth to their second set of twins in a year.

"We are kind of on the accelerated plan," Allyssa laughed as she cradled her new son Caleb on Saturday.

Doctors at United Hospital in St. Paul say they've never seen two sets of twins from the same parents in a year's time. The likelihood of having two sets of twins over the course of a woman's childbearing years is less than 2 percent, doctors say.

The couple said the first set was born with a little help from medical science, while the latest pair was an "oops."

Identical twins Caleb and Daniel arrived Thursday one minute apart, weighing 5 pounds 4 ounces and 5 pounds 11 ounces, respectively.

Their big brother and sister, Samuel and Olivia, turn 1 on Aug. 30.

Mom and Dad have already begun preparations, like trading in the pickup for an SUV. They've also been tracking down cribs, high chairs and a stroller to tote the four tots. They figure they'll be changing 36 diapers a day.

"Invest in Huggies," Allyssa said.

Watermelon Raider Caught

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) Not even loud rock 'n' roll music could discourage a 350-pound bear that repeatedly raided plums and watermelons from a couple's garden.

Eldon and Gerry Nihues hung a radio from the plum tree, tuned it into a rock station and turned it up loud in hopes of scaring off the bear, which helped itself to about 50 watermelons, including 11 in one night.

"It was this crazy rock stuff that was playing, but it didn't bother him," Gerry Nihues said. "He'd eat the plums right out from under where the thing was playing."

The state Division of Wildlife set out a trap, and the bear walked into it Wednesday night. Wildlife officers tranquilized the bear, tagged it and released it in a remote area.

Eight bears have been relocated from the area in the past three weeks, Division of Wildlife spokesman Randy Hampton said. More encounters are expected as bears try to fatten up before hibernating for the winter.

Jenny Gets Her Number

867-5309SCHAUMBURG, Ill. (AP) It all started with a phone number.

A seemingly random combination of digits that inspired an early '80s pop song is now the license plate number for Schaumburg resident Jennifer Fletcher's Jeep Cherokee.

But the endless efforts of mathematicians to calculate the digits of the geometric formula Pi almost pale in comparison to Fletcher's persistent pursuit of her preferred permutation.

"867-5309/Jenny" was Tommy Tutone's catchy 1982 hit about the possibility of true love found in a girl's phone number written on a wall.

Although Fletcher shares the name of the song's celebrated heroine, the thought of making the number her license plate didn't occur to her until last year. Idling in traffic, she noticed that the new random Illinois license plate numbers featured all numerals. As the numbers started getting higher in sequence, the thought of getting that number got too good to pass up.

"I've been inquiring to the secretary of state's office for over a year with phone numbers, e-mails, everything," Fletcher said.

The answer she heard most often: The numbers are only released in sequence, and the sequence hadn't reached the number she wanted. Furthermore, all-digit combinations aren't recognized as vanity plates and can't be specially requested.

Still, no one ever told her it was impossible.

Finally she was sent to the voicemail of the woman who would ultimately help her. When they first spoke, the woman couldn't understand what the attraction of the number was. Then Fletcher told her to read it again as if it were a phone number.

"She said, 'Oh my God, it's the "Jenny, I've got your number" song, and you're Jenny!'"

Though the woman seemed sympathetic to Fletcher's cause, she said the department would still be unable to break the sequence of the numbers.

Fletcher asked that she at least be given info about whomever the plates were issued to in order to negotiate a swap. But even that was unlikely, she was told.

Then, in late July, she got a phone call from the woman at the secretary of state's office.

"When she called, she shouted, 'Jenny, I've got your number!'" Fletcher recalled, laughing.

Only because the number was part of the next batch and only because Fletcher had expressed so much interest did she get her wish.

It was really a combination of both factors, rather than the state changing its policy on requests, she said. In other words, it's still next to impossible to request the license plate you want unless you shell out the money for a vanity plate.

"Vanity plates and personal plates are defined by statute," said Randy Nehrt, spokesman for the secretary of state's office. Anything outside of that definition is a standard plate.

Plates are produced and stored in bulk as an economical measure for the state and its taxpayers. To start breaking up the pre-produced sets before their regular release would be costly effort and isn't permitted, Nehrt said.

"That's definitely a coincidence that that worked out that way for that individual," he said of Fletcher's story.

During the week Fletcher's plates were waiting on a desk at the secretary of state's office, nearly everyone who walked by started singing the song, she was told.

Now that the plates are on her vehicle, Fletcher said her two teenage sons see the whole thing as embarrassingly retro. For 17-year-old Dan, borrowing the Jeep has definitely lost its appeal in the last week, she said without a trace of regret.

"But everyone who grew up then and remembers the music from the '80s has said, 'That's cool!'"

The Bartender

The Penny Bartender A man walks into a bar one night. He goes up to the bar and asks for a beer. "Certainly, sir, that'll be 1 cent."

"One penny!" exclaimed the guy.

The barman replied, "Yes."

So the guy glances over at the menu, and he asks, "Could I have a nice juicy T-Bone steak, with chips, peas, and a fried egg?"

"Certainly sir," replies the bartender, "but all that comes to real money."

"How much money?" inquires the guy.

"4 cents", the bartender replies.

"Four cents!" exclaims the guy. "Where's the man who owns this place?"

The barman replies, "Upstairs with my boyfriend."

The guy says, "What's he doing with your boyfriend?"

The bartender replies, "Same thing I'm doing to his business."

Sunday, August 22, 2004

The Dark Side of OZ

The Dark Side of OZ. Click here.

This page was created for all of you looking for evidence that Pink Floyd's 1973 release of "Darkside Of The Moon" and the 1939 release of "The Wizard of Oz" have some kind of a connection. This connection is the fact that you can watch "The Wizard of Oz" and listen to the CD "Darkside Of The Moon" and notice that they are synchronized. What we mean by this is that if you start the CD at the MGM Lion logo screen you will notice that the music on the CD matches perfectly with the things that are going on in the movie. Click on the picture above for the interesting story.

--Wizard's Note: I suggest that there are at least 2 more people on the NET that have too much "time" on their hands. I also suggest that this will work best if you smoke at least 3 joints...

G.I. Joe is a fake

G.I. Joe a fake?
Veterans group says military hero lied about his record; claims evil villains escaped his clutches during war against Cobra.

WASHINGTON -- As G.I. Joe, the leader of America's daring, highly trained special missions force, celebrates his 40th anniversary this summer, a group of veterans has aired television advertisements attacking his military record. The ads, purchased by G.I. Joe Veterans for Truth, accuse Joe of lying about his war record and letting villains escape throughout the 1985-86 war against Cobra, Destro and the forces of evil.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Astronomer's Picture of the day

Raining Perseids
Raining Perseids
Credit & Copyright: Fred Bruenjes

Explanation: Comet dust rained down on planet Earth last week, streaking through dark skies in the annual Perseid meteor shower. So, while enjoying the anticipated space weather, astronomer Fred Bruenjes recorded a series of many 30 second long exposures spanning about six hours on the night of August 11/12 using a wide angle lens. Combining those frames which captured meteor flashes, he produced this dramatic view of the Perseids of summer. Although the comet dust particles are traveling parallel to each other, the resulting shower meteors clearly seem to radiate from a single point on the sky in the eponymous constellation Perseus. The radiant effect is due to perspective, as the parallel tracks appear to converge at a distance. Bruenjes notes that there are 51 Perseid meteors in the composite image, including one seen nearly head-on.

Only in Alberta!

Man burns pal's crotch as a prank

CALGARY -- A Calgary man could go to jail for lighting his co-worker's crotch on fire in a drunken prank that caused burns and scarring to 5% of the man's body. Michael William Cleare, 29, pleaded guilty to criminal negligence causing bodily harm yesterday.

Jeffery Dale Lewis suffered second- and third-degree burns and permanent scarring to his inner thigh and genitals in the June 8, 2003, incident.

After a night of drinking, the two men returned to Cleare's southwest Calgary home.

After Lewis fell asleep on a chair with his legs spread apart, Cleare ran a lighter along the inside of the man's right thigh and crotch.

The intention, according to an agreed statement of facts signed by defence lawyer Bruce Corenblum and entered as an exhibit at Cleare's provincial court appearance yesterday, was for the heat to wake the man up.

Instead, Lewis's pants caught fire. He awoke and rushed to the kitchen where the two men extinguished the flames.

He then went back to sleep until the next morning when Cleare drove him to hospital.

Lewis later underwent surgery, during which skin was grafted to his upper thigh.

World's Smallest Flying Robot

World's Smallest Flying Robot
Seiko Epson Corp's 'Micro Flying Robot', that looks like a miniature helicopter about the size of a giant bug, flies in front of researcher Osamu Miyazawa during its demonstration at the company's Tokyo office /AP

The firm behind a tiny flying robot says it could be used for security work, disaster rescue and space exploration.

Marilyn Manson to voice alien role

Marilyn Manson has taken on a new acting role - for a computer game.

Marilyn Manson to do the voice of an alien in a video-game

According to NME.com the star will lend his voice to an alien called Edgar who acts as narrator in the computer game Area-51.

Manson told MTV: "The thing about Area-51 that was interesting to me was that I'd be portraying an alien who shares a lot of similar feelings that I do, such as a distaste for mankind in general. It's a game for people who don't necessarily trust the government, who don't trust everything they're told or taught in school.

"Edgar is only helping the player along out of spite or his own convenience. It's like a game to him. You don't really know if he's good or bad, he kind of represents both sides of the spectrum."

Also lending his voice to the game is David Duchovny, no stranger to alien conspiracies after his years on The X Files.

Marilyn Manson releases a Best Of compilation, Lest We Forget on September 27, to be preceded by a single, a cover of Depeche Mode's 1989 hit Personal Jesus.

Researchers find holes in XP SP2

XP Service Pack 2 Full of holesSecurity researchers inspecting a new update to Microsoft Corp.'s Windows XP found two software flaws that could allow virus writers and malicious hackers to sidestep new security features in the operating system.

German Internet security portal Heise Security published a security bulletin, dated Aug. 13, describing two holes in the Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) and warning users about running programs from untrusted Internet sites. The flaws could allow virus writers to circumvent the security feature and write worms that spread on XP SP2 systems, according to the bulletin. However, the researcher who discovered the holes said he does not consider the flaws to be serious and he still recommends installing SP2.

Microsoft is investigating the reports of a method to bypass what it calls the Attachment Execution Services in Windows XP SP2, but was not aware of any way for an attacker to use the flaws reported by Heise Security to gain access to a Windows machine, a spokesperson said.

Microsoft released XP SP2 to its customers shortly after completing work on the massive software update on Aug. 6. SP2 contains a number of new security features, including an improved version of Windows Internet Connection Firewall, now named the Windows Firewall, a new, user-friendly interface for managing security settings and improved features for detecting and blocking malicious content downloaded from Web sites.

Heise security editor and chief J├╝rgen Schmidt and his colleagues discovered the holes in an XP SP2 feature that marks files downloaded using the Internet Explorer Web browser or saved from e-mail messages using the Outlook Express e-mail client with a "Zone Identifier" or "ZoneID," according to Schmidt.

The ZoneID records the Internet Explorer security zone from which the file originated. Internet Explorer security zones assign different levels of security permission to different sources of files and data. For example, Web sites and files downloaded from the Internet are considered less secure than those obtained from a local area network the computer is connected to, or from the local computer hard drive.

XP SP2 saves ZoneIDs in a text file on the local computer. That file is linked to the downloaded file and used to issue pop-up warnings when Windows users attempt to open files from a dangerous source. However, certain Windows features allow users to open files without receiving a warning, Heise Security found.

For example, users can open files using text commands issued through the Windows command prompt, a standard Windows feature, without being warned about the risk associated with opening the file.

A second bug exploits what Schmidt called a "programming error" in XP SP2 that fails to update the ZoneID information cached for immediate use when files are renamed. That could allow malicious hackers or viruses to get around the user warnings, at least temporarily, by renaming a malicious file that would otherwise generate a warning, he said.

Neither security hole could be exploited by a remote attacker, and both require Windows users to take actions, such as opening the Windows command shell, or renaming files to overwrite other files on Windows, he said.

However, a flaw such as the failure to update cached ZoneID information could cause problems as third-party software programs try to take advantage of XP SP2, he said.

Microsoft was informed of the holes on Aug. 12. The Microsoft Security Response Center responded to the report, saying that the issues raised were not in conflict with "the design goals of the new protections," and that it did not consider the holes serious enough to warrant a patch or workaround, Schmidt said.

A Microsoft spokesperson could not confirm or deny that the company issued a statement to Heise Security.

Many security experts agree that XP SP2 improves Windows security, especially by deploying a desktop firewall by default that blocks all but common Internet traffic to and from Windows XP machines. However, the hunt for holes in XP SP2 began as soon as the software update was released. Some security researchers predict that hackers will discover ways to circumvent many of the XP SP2 features, even writing worms and viruses that target machines running the updated operating system.

"SP2 is not going to be the end of all viruses. Users have to be aware of the fact, that the new security features of SP2 are not catch-all solutions," Schmidt said.

Microsoft encourages customers to activate the Windows XP Auto Updates feature so that they can download and install Windows XP SP2 as soon as it is released to the Auto Updates service, a spokesperson said.

Windows XP SP2's Trail of Broken Apps

8/19/2004 — Official and anecdotal reports of commercial applications broken by Windows XP Service Pack 2 are stretching into the triple digits as the staged rollout of the service pack continues.
It's no surprise to anyone that SP2 is breaking applications. Microsoft has been telling anyone who will listen that the Windows Firewall component that is turned on by default after SP2 installs will deny the wanted traffic along with the unwanted until the firewall is properly configured.

In an IT-focused Webcast last week, Barry Goffe, group product manager for Windows client marketing, said, "We've been working really hard over the last nine months to work with ISVs all over the world to ensure that their applications are compatible." Goffe reiterated that because Microsoft has been unwilling to make compromises in terms of computer security, applications will inevitably break.

Microsoft is documenting application problems in two main Knowledge Base articles, which are being updated regularly.

KB article 842242, "Some programs seem to stop working after you install Windows XP Service Pack 2," has been updated three times as of Tuesday. (It is available at support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?kbid=842242)

KB article 884130, "Programs that may behave differently in Windows XP Service Pack 2," was updated six times as of Thursday. (It is available at support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?kbid=884130)

Some users say they appreciate the documentation effort. "Microsoft has been good about getting information out there concerning what apps do or might have problems with SP2, and they've been working with vendors to identify and address issues,” says Andrew Baker, director of network services with a prominent media conglomerate.

Microsoft listed several of its own applications in the KB article of 47 applications that stop working when SP2 is installed. They include Visual Studio .NET, SQL Server, Systems Management Server 2003, Microsoft Operations Manager with Service Pack 1 and SNA Server 4.0 with Service Pack 3.

Broken third-party applications on the list so far include such heavyweights as Veritas Backup Exec, Symantec Ghost Server Corporate Edition and AntiVirus Corporate Edition, Hummingbird Exceed and Host Explorer, WRQ Reflection, Computer Associates' ArcServe and eTrust, EMC's EDM File System Agent, Aelita ERdisk for Active Directory, BindView's BV-Admin Mobile, BMC Patrol for Windows and McAfee Security NetShield 4.5

As of Thursday, the other KB article listed 38 applications that "behave differently" after SP2 is installed. That list included Microsoft Virtual PC 2004, the AOL Toolbar, Yahoo! Instant Messenger, WordPerfect Office 11 and IBM Rational ClearCase 2003. Several prominent personal firewalls and antivirus packages fell into the category of behaving differently.

Apparently many applications that are having problems with SP2 aren't showing up yet in either of the KB articles. Microsoft alone has acknowledged problems with several of its own applications that don't appear in either KB list. Those applications include Microsoft CRM, Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer and BizTalk Server.

New worm uses IM to lure victims

IM Worm spreading

A new version of the worm that spread from infected Microsoft Corp. Internet Information Services (IIS) Web servers in June has been identified and is using instant messages (IMs) and infected Web sites in Russia, Uruguay and the U.S. to spread itself, according to one security company.

Researchers at PivX Solutions LLC of Newport Beach, Calif., have intercepted new malicious code that closely resembles widespread attacks in June attributed to a malicious computer code named "Scob" or "Download.ject." The new attacks use mass-distributed instant messages to lure Internet users to Web sites that distribute malicious code similar to Download.ject, said Thor Larholm, senior security researcher at PivX.

First detected on June 24, the Scob attacks were attributed to a Russian hacking group known as the "hangUP team," which used a recently-patched buffer overflow vulnerability in Microsoft's implementation of secure sockets layer (SSL) to compromise vulnerable Windows 2000 systems running IIS Version 5 Web servers. Companies that used IIS Version 5 and failed to apply a recent security software patch, MS04-011, were vulnerable to compromise.

The June attacks also used two vulnerabilities in Windows and the Internet Explorer (IE) Web browser to silently run the malicious code distributed from the IIS servers on machines that visited the compromised sites, redirecting the customers to Web sites controlled by the hackers and downloading a Trojan horse program that captures keystrokes and personal data.

The new attacks begin with instant messages sent to customers using America Online Inc.'s AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) or ICQ instant message program. The messages invite recipients to click on a link to a Web page, with pitches such as "Check out my new home page!" The messages could be sent from strangers or from regular IM correspondents, or "buddies," Larholm said.

Once victims click on the link, they are taken to one of a handful of attack Web pages hosted on servers in Uruguay, Russia and the U.S., from which a Trojan horse program is downloaded.

In addition to opening a "back door" on the victim's computer through which more malicious programs can be downloaded, the new attacks change the victim's Web browser home page or Outlook e-mail search page to Web sites featuring adult content, Larholm said.

PivX is still analyzing the attacks to see if malicious code is placed on victims' machines, but many of the files used by the new worm and the way in which the attacks are being carried out point to the same group that launched the Scob attacks in June, Larholm said.

"The code is different enough to be something of its own, but unique enough to be related," he said. "And as with the Scob attacks, this is all about money — in this case, driving ad revenue for specific people."

The attack Web sites take advantage of vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer and Outlook that Microsoft has patched, but that allow the attackers to place and run malicious code on unpatched systems. Two patches from 2003, MS03-025 and MS03-040, address the flaws used by the new worm, Larholm said.

Antivirus companies were informed of the new malicious code but did not have virus signatures issued Thursday, Larholm said.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Rub-Dub-Dub.. 1 Boy In A Tub!

Momma, are these my brains?

A three year old little boy was examining his testicles while taking a bath. "Mama," he asked, "Are these my brains?" Mama answered, "No, not yet."

*Auntie 'M' (of course!!!!)

A Word From Andy Rooney


I admit I've acquired a reputation for being negative - the things I like and dislike....and it's an image I hope to change after you read below:

I don't think being a minority makes you a victim of anything except numbers. The only things I can think of that are truly discriminatory are things like the United Negro College Fund, Jet Magazine, Black Entertainment Television, and Miss Black America.

Try to have things like the United Caucasian College Fund, Cloud Magazine, White Entertainment Television, or Miss White America; and see what happens. Jesse Jackson will be knocking down your door.

Guns do not make you a killer. I think killing makes you a killer. You can kill someone with a baseball bat or a car, but no one is trying to ban you from driving to the ball game.

I believe they are called the Boy Scouts for a reason, that is why there are no girls allowed. Girls belong in the Girl Scouts! ARE YOU LISTENING MARTHA BURKE?

I think that if you feel homosexuality is wrong, it is not a phobia, it is an opinion.

I have the right "NOT" to be tolerant of others because they are different, weird, or tick me off.

When 70% of the people who get arrested are black, in cities where 70% of the population is black, that is not racial profiling, it is the Law of Probability.

I believe that if you are selling me a milk shake, a pack of cigarettes, a newspaper or a hotel room, you must do it in English! As a matter of fact, if you want to be an American citizen, you should have to speak English!

My father and grandfather didn't die in vain so you can leave the countries you were born in to come over and disrespect ours. I think the police should have every right to shoot your sorry butt if you threaten them after they tell you to stop. If you can't understand the word "freeze" or "stop" in English, see the above lines.

I don't think just because you were not born in this country, you are qualified for any special loan programs, government sponsored bank loans or tax breaks, etc., so you can open a hotel, coffee shop, trinket store, or any other business.

We did not go to the aid of certain foreign countries and risk our lives in wars to defend their freedoms, so that decades later they could come over here and tell us our constitution is a living document; and open to their interpretations.

I don't hate the rich. I don't pity the poor. I know pro wrestling is fake, but so are movies and television. That doesn't stop you from watching them.

I think Bill Gates has every right to keep every penny he made and continue to make more. If it ticks you off, go and invent the next operating system that's better, and put your name on the building.

It doesn't take a whole village to raise a child right, but it does take a parent to stand up to the kid; and smack their little behinds when necessary, and say "NO!"

I think tattoos and piercing are fine if you want them, but please don't pretend they are a political statement. And, please, stay home until that new lip ring heals. I don't want to look at your ugly infected mouth as you serve me French fries!

I am sick of "Political Correctness." I know a lot of black people, and not a single one of them was born in Africa; so how can they be "African-Americans"? Besides, Africa is a continent. I don't go around saying I am a European-American because my great, great, great, great, great, great grandfather was from Europe. I am proud to be from America and nowhere else.

And if you don't like my point of view, tough. You can contact me at: 60m@cbsnews.com

*Auntie 'M'

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Boozy bear plunders campers' beer

Any beer in there?
Any beer cans in there?

A black bear went on a binge at a campsite in the US state of Washington - guzzling down some 36 cans of beer. Campground workers were stunned to come across the bear sleeping off the effects in their grounds, surrounded by dozens of empty beer cans.

But this was no ordinary case of a bear with a sore head at Baker Lake resort, 80 miles (129km) northeast of Seattle.

He had apparently tried out and rejected the mass-market Busch beer in favour of local brand Rainier.

The bear appeared to have got into campers' cool boxes and used his teeth and claws to puncture the cans.

Beer trap

Fish and wildlife enforcement Sgt Bill Heinck said the bear tried one can of Busch and ignored the rest - then got stuck into three dozen cans of Rainier.

"We noticed a bear sleeping on the common lawn and wondered what was going on until we discovered that there were a lot of beer cans lying around," camp worker Lisa Broxson was quoted by Reuters news agency as saying.

She said the bear was chased away by wildlife agents, but returned the next day.

The agents decided to trap the bear with doughnuts, honey and, of course, two cans of Rainier beer. It did the trick and he was captured.

"This is a new one on me," Sgt Heinck said in an Associated Press report. "I've known them to get into cans, but nothing like this. And it definitely had a preference."

The Mule and the Farmer's Wife

The Farmer's Wife

An old farmer had a wife who nagged him unmercifully.

From morning till night (and sometimes later), she was always complaining about something. The only time he got any relief was when he was out plowing with his old mule. He tried to plow a lot.

One day, when he was out plowing, his wife brought him lunch in the field. He drove the old mule into the shade, sat down on a stump, and began to eat his lunch. Immediately, his wife began haranguing him again. Complain, nag, nag; it just went on and on.

All of a sudden, the old mule lashed out with both hind feet; caught her smack in the back of the head. Killed her dead on the spot.

At the funeral several days later, the minister noticed something rather odd. When a woman mourner would approach the old farmer, he would listen for a minute, then nod his head in agreement; but when a man mourner approached him, he would listen for a minute, then shake his head in disagreement. This was so consistent, the minister decided to ask the old farmer about it.

So after the funeral, the minister spoke to the old farmer, and asked him why he nodded his head and agreed with the women, but always shook his head and disagreed with all the men.

The old farmer said: "Well, the women would come up and say something about how nice my wife looked, or how pretty her dress was, so I'd nod my head in agreement."

"And what about the men?" the minister asked.

"They wanted to know if the mule was for sale."

*Thanks, Auntie 'M'!

The Wheels on the bus go round and round...

A bus carrying only ugly people crashes into an oncoming truck, & everyone inside dies.

They then get to meet their maker, and because of the grief they have experienced; He decides to grant them one wish each, before they enter Paradise.

They're all lined up, and God asks the first one what the wish is. "I want to be gorgeous," and so God snaps His fingers, and it is done. The second one in line hears this and says "I want to be gorgeous too." Another snap of His fingers and the wish is granted.

This goes on for a while with each one asking to be gorgeous but when God is halfway down the line, the last guy in the line starts laughing. When there are only ten people left, this guy is rolling on the floor, laughing his head off.

Finally, God reaches this last guy and asks him what his wish will be. The guy eventually calms down and says:

"Make 'em all ugly again".



*Auntie 'M' =)

Ask The Wizard (Family Guy and the Merkin)

The Wunnerful Wizard of 'OZ' Dear Wizard of 'OZ',

What exactly is a "merkin"? Ever since the word was thrust into my consciousness while watching the Family Guy marathon tonight, it's been tormenting me. My Oxford English Dictionary defines it as the "female pudendum," which seems a trifle sedate, given the listed quote of 1714, "This put a strange Whim in his Head; which was, to get the hairy circle of her Merkin ... This he dry'd well and comb'd out, and then return'd to the Cardinal, telling him, he had brought Saint Peter's Beard."

And it's downhill from there. The OED "b" definition says a merkin is a "counterfeit hair for women's privy parts," and another dictionary calls it a "pubic hair wig." Sorry, but these explanations defy understanding. I mean, I've heard of niche markets, but this is ridiculous. My own interest in the word isn't just academic, as I'd like to make use of the fine quote of 1680, "Or wear some stinking Merkin for a Beard," but I want to make damn sure I know what the original item was.



Dear Hairy,

Cecil Adams says
* A merkin is somebody who lives in Merika. (Har!)
* They used to shave off all the pubic hair as a cure for syphillis, so the well-to- do used wigs.
* Before penicillin was around to ease the lives of the promiscuous, these were used to cover up any sores prostitutes may have obtained in the line of duty.
* They used to treat the syphilitic with mercury, which caused baldness.
* The merkin is for women with no pubic hair. Some people just don't develop hair down there, and this can be embarrassing.


In days of old a common problem was lice. One of the ways people dealt with this was to shave all the hair off their bodies, including arms, legs, and pubes. Wigs became very popular. Pubic wigs caught on slowly, starting among the kinkier set, but eventually became halfway respectable.

A merkin is a crotch wig for both men and women and is usually worn on the outside. Have you ever seen a Scot in full regalia? That little fur "purse" in front is a merkin.

In a country of mainly dark haired people, a prostitute may wear a blond merkin to be unusual and therefore more desirable. (Got this from a dictionary of sex.)
One of the more recent uses is to allow exotic dancers to comply with local laws prohibiting full nudity. They wear what amounts to a flesh-colored panty with hair on the front, appearing to the patrons of the establishment to disrobe completely without actually doing so.

In a sci fi story by John Varley called something like "The Barbie Murders," a group of women gives up individuality (and sex) and undergoes surgery to become perfect nonsexual beings resembling Barbie dolls. This involves losing genitals, pubic hair, etc. One Barbie goes back to being a woman for a night, painting on nipples and using a merkin.

So there ya go.

Hope this helps.


The Wizard