:: JAFO ::

Remember the movie Blue Thunder? Well, Daniel Stern, a police helicopter pilot trainee is forced to wear a cap with JAFO in large letters on the front of the hat, through the whole movie. Nobody will tell him what those letters stand for. But, finally, at the end of the film, he finds out that JAFO stands for "Just Another Fucking Observer." Well, there you have it ... and I'm just another one.
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:: Wednesday, January 30, 2002 ::

Professional Pigs

Gluttony as a sport. I sense the beginning of a professional All-You-Can-Eat Tour -- which each week stops in a different city, where disgusting brutes compete to see who can eat the most of whatever the local culinary specialty happens to be. Believe it or not, there's already an association sanctioning events.

:: Ken 12:39 PM [+] ::
Former Enron CEO asked by employee if he was on crack

Apparently, now, the Lay's think everyone else is on crack, to believe that they are now broke -- "fighting for liquidity." Right on.

:: Ken 12:34 PM [+] ::
An Open Letter to Mariah Carey


That someone would actually think to write this is disturbing enough -- reading it is worse.

:: Ken 12:26 PM [+] ::
OK, I'm back from vacation -- Internet vacation, that is.

You see, every once in awhile, I take a week or two off from extraneous Internet use, using it only for email and work and little else (except for fantasy sports - which is not really using the Internet but, rather, playing fantasy sports).

I love the Internet and always will. I'm a information-geek and really dig having the Net around at all times for looking up whatever is on my mind or ... if there's nothing on my mind, I can usually find something to interest me.

And, even though it's now virtually impossible for me to remember what life was like before email and the Web came along, I do remember very well my initial honeymoon period with the Internet. At first, it was like a new drug, something different, unexplored and exciting, a quick thrill, a cheap buzz -- but at the same time relatively harmless. After awhile, though, as all good drugs do, it began to affect my personal relationships, my priorities, and my way of life. Thankfully, this was long ago and after some introspection, intervention, and unacceptable results in other areas of my life, the online world came into perspective for me and I am now able to utilize this "drug" without abusing it.

I do wonder sometimes how I might have turned out differently if the Internet, as we know it today, had been around when I was a kid. Would I have been as good of an athlete or student? Would I have been socially inept or, perhaps even invisible? Would I have dated less? (or more?) It's interesting to consider. And, hey, forget about the Net for a second, what about video games? Hell, I had Pong, kids today have Play Station 7 or whatever.

I already see the conflict in my kids (I have three). At any one time, the computer is occupied by one, the other is playing Nintendo, while the other is watching television. Then, I'll briefly go to the garage for something and when I come back, they've all switched places/electronic appliances.

Yet, my kids play sports and they seem to be outside playing with friends quite a bit too.

So, what am I getting at here? I'm not sure, really. As an adult, there's a lot of competition for my attention and rarely does any one thing get much of it, save my family. And, when I do find five free minutes for something of my choosing, it sure isn't going to be bloggering my way around online, at least not very often. Actually, I find the time I surf the most is when my family and I are watching TV at night. Everyone is winding down from the day in their own way, yet continuing to multi-task, sort of half-assed watching whatever is on tube, while talking with each other, playing on the computer or living room football, reading, whatever. This is when I enjoy sitting at my desk the most, feet propped up and mindlessly wandering around the Web.

Oh well, time to go now, I've spent enough time for now wondering why I'm doing this.

:: Ken 12:09 PM [+] ::
:: Friday, January 18, 2002 ::
Ken Layne today responds to an OJR article by Simpleton Tim Cavanaugh.

In a nut, Cavanaugh's diatribe rips at the informal network of War Blogs and Bloggers, as being little more than the equivalent of an online sewing circle. I'm not going to delve into the details of it here, as Layne takes care of that sufficiently. All I can say is that I hope Cavanaugh's grinding axe is at least somewhat tongue-in-cheek. If not, he has seemingly stabbed some folks in the back who have befriended and favored him in the past and for what purpose - to amuse the fifteen or so readers of OJR?

More to the point, why the fuck is Cavanaugh whining about any of this anyway? On one hand, he's certainly entitled to his opinion but, on the other, what's the point and why make the effort?

So what, Suck.com is gone - get over it. Suck is no longer the voice of the Web. Instead, now, we now have a loose-knit collection of Blogs written by everyone from current and former professional journalists and authors (and friends), to your basic untrained nobody such as myself. And, at that, I barely count because I've just entered this realm. But, I know some of the folks involved in the tornado Cavanaugh has created, so that automatically qualifies me to express my opinion ... or maybe it doesn't. In the end, it doesn't really matter - not on the Web.

Indeed, the Blogging community links incestuously around among itself -- which seems to also bother Cavanaugh for some reason. So what? Isn't that still the beauty of the Web. You go here - you go there and sites recommend other good places to visit. Sometimes the recommendations are worth it -- sometimes they're not. Some bloggers are lifelong friends and continuely refer to each other's work and some dislike each other and bitch about it constantly - such is life.

But, now that Internet hype balloon has burst, the best thing the Web has going for it is the free and uncensored expression among an infinite and growing group of intelligent individuals -- who provide valuable filters, of varying degrees and types, to information and to the interesting opinions and commentary of others. Frankly, most of what I read everyday, from the Bloggers mentioned in Cavanaugh's piece, is a helluva lot more interesting than anything I can find in traditional media sources.

So, Tim, I don't know what else to tell you, except to enjoy all of the links to your current OJR story ... your next effort probably won't have quite the same rate of referral.

:: Ken 10:05 AM [+] ::
:: Monday, January 14, 2002 ::
Whew - OK, I'm back. Between the holidays and the blogger password episode, I've been unable to post lately. For all of you counting on this destination as part of your daily online reading ritual ... well, sorry Mom.

Anyway, when I get some time later tonight, I'm going to throw out a few things that I've at least been thinking about. I'll just tell you that there are so many war blogs and media blogs, sports analysis, celebrity ass-kissing sites, etc., that I'm sort of trying to figure out what in the hell is left to comment on or make fun of or what I should even write about. But, I have an idea brewing that could be fun. More soon.

:: Ken 2:41 PM [+] ::
:: Wednesday, December 26, 2001 ::
Bono named 'European of the Year'

Bono? The U2 guy?

Well, he certainly gets my vote.

Alright, I realize he performs at more charitable-type functions than many celebrities. If there's ever a big rock 'n roll benefit for any sort of cause, he'll be there. Still, I find it hard to believe they (whoever they are) couldn't have come up with someone more deserving.

Come to think of it, I don't live in Europe, so for all I know, maybe he is the best they've got.

:: Ken 7:37 AM [+] ::
I hope everyone had a holly jolly Christmas.

Personal Side Note

It's funny, but certain people who have started reading this pathetic attempt at a blog have commented that I sound so black - apparently - down, depressed, maybe even negative.

And, that's not really it, that's just where I find the humor in things -- on the darkside. As for me, I'm your basic middle-of-the-road type personality -- at least under most normal circumstances.

:: Ken 7:30 AM [+] ::
:: Friday, December 21, 2001 ::
You know ... eventually there isn't going to be much left on the Web except for Yahoo, MSN, and AOL (that have spent billions to be there) or a few other fortunate niche sites that have managed to offer something truly unique - product or information-wise, in an online way. These will be your premium networks or popular cable audience-specific channels if you equate this to the fashionable Internet vs TV vs Cable TV analogy.

Then, you'll have your other sites that only exist because behemoth corporations realize they NEED to still have a site, even though they don't really WANT to have one and it will always be an expense, a losing proposition, and an albatross around their corporate necks. Let's see, I can see folks like Texaco, Jiffy Lube, Kemper Insurance, Sonic Drive-In, and thousands of similar entities falling into this unfortunate category. You will also find in this heap, the Web sites of your major local newspapers and televisions stations. These people don't WANT to be in the Web business either, not really, but they utterly have no choice. They must protect their local news turf and audience at all costs and support their print or broadcast fathers - for good or ill. All of these types of sites will be your infomercial channels on the Web.

Oh, and lastly, the one other group of sites to mention are those who stumbled into initially successful IPO's that briefly flew like eagles, before being shot down like quail. Translation: your ideas were stupid; you spent your money on crap and most of you never even had a product to begin with. Then, when everything else blew to shit, so did your Internet company.

But, yes, in answer to your question, I will take fries with that.

So, it's up to the rest of us as individuals, bloggers, personal homepagers ... whatever ... to provide the Web's really interesting stuff. Only problem is, many people are losing interest in even this simple proposition. One day you search for whatever reason on the band Judas Priest (or whatever) and you find a page that hasn't been updated since 1998 or that the page no longer exists at all. (Hell, maybe the band no longer exists either - how are you supposed to find out?). This type of thing happens over and over on any given day for your truly active Internet user searching for information.

In a perfect online world, those of us interested in doing this and with some audience to speak of, would form some type of ad sharing/network site promoting system. I realize it's been done before in other ways (Chickclick, Snowball, UGO, etc.) and within other subject specific matters. But, that doesn't mean that someday a network of quality sites can't be put together to accomplish something as a greater whole. Past attempts have failed due to plain stupidity, over-spending, over-hiring and unrealistic expectations. My motto is hire nobody, build no buildings, rent no offices, buy no equipment, if you don't have to, and see what you can make out of it.

Then again, I just started doing this and have NO audience that I know of, so what the hell do I know?

Yeah, nothing, I know. Shut up.

:: Ken 9:48 AM [+] ::
Jackass To Hit Movie Screens

What's one more?

:: Ken 9:08 AM [+] ::
OK, last bit of whining about my job for now, after yesterday's debacle, I came into the office this morning to find out that our company president has forwarded all of my (now entirely correct) proposal to not only the client, but also copied his new boss, the new president of the entire marketing group. It would take a bit of internal understanding on the reader's part to totally comprehend the signifigance but, suffice to say, my finished product which ended up looking pretty damn good, is now in the client's hands with copies distributed to the newest head honcho at my company with the words from my president, "Thanks for all of your hard work Ken." So, each day brings a new surprise - sometimes it's a sow's ear and sometimes it's a silk purse and, sometimes, it's something you can even describe. Either way, I guess that's why we wake up every morning -- to find out.

God, what a bunch of drivel.

I promise, we'll get out of my personal life quickly and into something more entertaining.

:: Ken 7:02 AM [+] ::
:: Thursday, December 20, 2001 ::
The last 24 hours has been one of those times where you get a project from your boss (complete with 24 hour deadline) and you totally have a grasp on what it is you need to do. But, for some reason, each draft and draft that keeps ending up in the trashcan, just piles on more and more frustration - making it more and more difficult to succeed at the task at hand.

Well, I finally got my project finished today and presented it to the president of our company. He had some useful suggestions for me, like actually using different (correct) numbers in certain places and re-naming certain things from the template that had old (and different) client names. Other than that, the project came off like a charm.

Thing is, I think my Microsoft Excel program has a personal virus against me. It seems l double-check my numbers every time, save the spreadsheet and BOOM, the next time I open the bastard, they numbers have changed (to the wrong ones)!

Shit --- you get a couple of chances a year to put forth a creative or at least competent presentation for the president of your company (if you're lucky) and to blow it, is just plain wrong and stupid.

I'm now the once-young once-phenom backup quarterback that's waited years for his chance and finally gets it after an injury to the old bastard QB who's been playing for 15 years without injury -- and I throw an interception that's returned for a touchdown - ballgame. Nice job.

I'm an idiot.

:: Ken 1:00 PM [+] ::
:: Tuesday, December 18, 2001 ::
The Nando Times: Tom Green seeks divorce from Drew Barrymore

There's a shocker for you. Drew Barrymore doesn't particularly bother me in any direction, but Tom Green is positively comedy's poster child for bad taste and NOT BEING FUNNY. And, it's not just that (though that's certainly enough) but it's how he performs his schtick in such a particularly annoying and offensive way - fingernails on a chalkboard. I love gross-out humor - it just has to be funny is all.

I guess it took Drew actually marrying the guy for her to figure all of this out. Of course, the article actually claims that he's seeking the divorce from her.

So, this may be just another one of their funny little jokes -- the little troublemakers.

Then again, who gives a rat's ass?

:: Ken 11:13 AM [+] ::
For God knows what reason, the movie Blue Thunder came to my mind last night as I thought about what I wanted this blog to be. Then it became obvious, so, just consider me JAFO - Just Another Fucking Observer. That's really the whole purpose all bloggers are serving anyway. Of course, it unfortunately goes without saying there are a tremendous amount of folks living their lives as JAFOs, but that's another story for another day

:: Ken 7:15 AM [+] ::

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