Leo LaPorte The Tech Guy 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
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If you've ever noticed items disappearing from your desk at work, you're not alone. More than 80% of professionals who answered the "Officemax Workplace Undercover Survey" say pens, pencils and highlighters are the supplies that most frequently go missing. Other supplies include paper products, paper clips and binder clips, staplers and scissors.
The same poll found 84% of those who admit to taking things from someone else's desk say they simply forgot to return the items - no thievery involved. However, just over 25% say they never returned what they took because they didn't think the supplies would be missed. And for 23%, the motivating factor was revenge. They confess to taking items from a co-worker who had borrowed something from them and never returned it.
For some reason, I'm reminded of an episode of The Simpsons in which Homer, upon walking out to his car after work, says, "Another day, another box of stolen pens," as he throws them into the back seat of his car, already stacked high with boxes of pens he's previously taken.
Most Milwaukee Brewer fans had been wondering why this took so long. Jeff Suppan was finally released on Monday after a disastrous season in which he was removed from the starting rotation and even struggled in relief. Management finally decided to eat roughly 10 million dollars and cut ties with Suppan, who was signed in 2007 after a very good three-year run with the St. Louis Cardinals. Most people forget Suppan was the MVP of the 2006 NLCS when the Cards beat the Mets. In that series, he totally dominated the Mets in two starts, finishing that series with a .60 ERA.
He was just never able to duplicate that success as a Milwaukee Brewer. And while most Brewer fans will remember him as a guy that never lived up to expectations, I was reminded this morning while checking out the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's story on his release that he was a big part of the Brewers securing a playoff berth in 2008. In August of that year Suppan had a 5-0 record with a 3.00 ERA in six starts. But for whatever reason, he was never the same after that month. After August 2008, his record was 7-18 with a 5.34 ERA in 51 games (38 starts).
Suppan released a statement thanking Mark Attanasio and Doug Melvin and calling the Brewers organization one of the classiest he's played for.
Over the past few seasons the Brewers have had a tendency to target older veteran pitchers. That strategy hasn't worked real well. So they have now gone to the other extreme, drafting 18 year old pitcher Dylan Covey. In light of that move and the calling up of several other young pitchers from the minors over the past few weeks, it appears safe to say the youth movement is on.
A man who became known as the "Grim Eater" had been crashing funerals in New Zealand for free food. It looks like it won't be happening much longer, though. According to the Dominion Post, the guy was crashing up to four funerals a week in March and April. Officials with one particular funeral home say the guy would actually come in with a backpack containing Tupperware containers and would fill them when people weren't looking. However, it looks like the end is near for the guy, as photos of the man have now been distributed to other funeral homes in the area.
And it doesn't get much weirder than this. The Florida Times-Union is reporting that a prosthetic leg with a sticker of singer Willie Nelson on it was found on the beach last Thursday. Thomas Bingham, spokesman for the Jacksonville Beach Police Department, says, "There are no markings on it except for a Willie Nelson sticker. It's kind of hard to forget." Authorities are still searching for the owner of the leg.
The Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics face off tonight in game 1 of the NBA Finals. These two storied franchises will be meeting for the 12th time in NBA Finals history. Twenty-five years ago I would've been counting down the hours and minutes until tip-off time. Nowadays I'm nothing more than a casual observer.
I grew up LOVING the NBA. I started following the Lakers closely in Magic Johnson's rookie season of 1979-80. I became a fan of Johnson's during his days at Michigan State and when the Lakers drafted him I became a Lakers fan. The Lakers ended up winning the NBA title that season against Philadelphia in a classic game 6. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar had severely sprained his ankle in a game 5 Laker win and was unable to play in game 6. Magic - a guard - actually started at center in game 6, played every position during the course of that game, and led the Lakers to a convincing win to wrap up the championship. I remember it like it was yesterday.
The Lakers would go on to win the championship 5 times in 8 appearances during the '80s. Three of the matchups were against the Celtics. Those were epic matchups. The names of the participants read like a Hall of Fame roster: Magic, Bird, Kareem, Parish, Worthy, McHale. There were other notable players like Bob McAdoo, Mychal Thompson, Danny Ainge, Gerald Henderson, Byron Scott, Kurt Rambis and Bill Walton. The Lakers beat the Celtics twice in their three matchups for the title in the '80s. I'm having flashbacks of some moments during those games as I write this. Those were, in my opinion, the glory days of the NBA. And the Lakers and Celtics epitomized TEAM basketball.
But something changed along the way. All those great players and others from around the league slowly began to retire. What they were replaced with were a bunch of players more interested in getting their highlights shown on Sportscenter. Unselfish team basketball was replaced by ball-hogging idiots more interested in making a spectacular slam dunk or shooting three-pointers all night long. It slowly began to turn me off. And I can honestly say I have zero interest now in watching professional basketball.
I may tune in to the Lakers/Celtics series a few times in the next few days for nostalgic reasons. But the bottom line is I miss the way it was. I wish I cared, but I don't.
AAA is projecting that about 665,000 folks will be traveling over the Memorial Day weekend in Wisconsin - a 7.8% increase over 2009. And, apparently, many of those drivers lack knowledge about the rules of the road.
A nationwide poll conducted by GMAC Insurance finds about 20% of U.S. drivers - roughly 38 million people - lack basic knowledge about the rules of the road and would actually fail a written test if they had to take it again.
A whopping 85% of those polled did not know what to do when approaching a yellow traffic light. Why do I get the feeling that many of those believe when you see a yellow light, you "floor it" to get through the intersection before it turns red?
By the way, men over 45 years of age scored the highest in this poll. Women were more likely than men to do other things while driving, including talking to other passengers, putting on makeup, reading, eating and chatting on a cellphone.
It's been said many times before, "Let's be careful out there." And have a great Memorial Day weekend. And please remember what Memorial Day is really all about.
There's an interesting story in the New York Post by John Crudele.
Last week, one of the millions of workers hired by the Census Bureau blew the whistle on some statistical tricks. The worker, Naomi Cohn, told The Post that she was hired and fired a number of times by the Census Bureau. Each time she was hired back, it seems, Census was able to report the creation of a new job to the Labor Department. Each month, Census gives the Labor Department a figure on the number of workers it has hired. That figure goes into the monthly employment report. The Post story says for the past two months the hiring by Census has made up a good portion of the new jobs.
Apparently, the Labor Department doesn't check the Census hiring figure or whether the jobs are actually new or recycled. It considers a new job to have been created if someone is hired to work at least ONE HOUR a month.
So if a worker is terminated after only one hour and another worker is hired in his place, then a second new job can apparently be reported to the Labor Department.
Add it to the list of reasons not to trust the government.
The latest poll numbers from Rasmussen Reports had me chuckling initially. But after you think about the fact that these people are running the country, it's scary.
Here are the numbers: only 27% of likely voters polled are even somewhat confident that Congress knows what it's doing when addressing the nation's economic challenges. Only 6% are very confident that Congress knows what it's doing.
In analyzing the numbers, Scott Rasmussen said, "Most Americans have come to believe that the political system is broken, that most politicians are corrupt, and that neither major political party has the answers. Forty-one percent of voters say that a group of people randomly selected from the phone book would do a better job than the current Congress."
A few other numbers from the poll: 44% strongly disapprove of President Obama's job performance, 24% strongly approve. Overall, Obama's approval rating is 42% with 56% disapproving. Also, only 49% of Democrats strongly approve of Obama, down from a high of 65%. Sixty-three percent of voters nationwide now favor repealing the health care law, the highest level of support for repeal yet measured.
According to a story in the Wall Street Journal, movie theater owners in New York are going to test the public's ability to absorb ever-higher ticket prices as, for the first time, a major Hollywood film will hit the $20 threshold at the box office.
Several theaters will charge $20 per adult ticket to IMAX showings of the animated 3-D film "Shrek Forever After." This price hike comes less than eight weeks after theater operators instituted some of the steepest hikes in a decade. Those increases in late March were, in some cases, as high as 26%.
I think the theaters are taking a huge risk with this move. A family of four - let's say two adults and two children and assuming children's tickets are in the $10 to $12 range - would end up spending more than $60 just to walk in the theater. Add popcorn and sodas to the total (which is also far from cheap in a movie theater) and you're talking at least $80 to go see a movie. I think there will be more and more families willing to forego the big screen experience and simply wait for the DVD.
Now I wouldn't expect these prices to come to our area anytime soon, but I'd say theater owners around the country will certainly be keeping an eye on the New York theaters to see how willing people are to pay these prices.
So, how much are YOU willing to pay?
According to CBS4 out of Denver, Colorado, a pshycic by the name of Nancy Marks has been arrested for fraud after telling clients certain numbers were evil and they needed to give her their credit card and bank account numbers. She also convinced many customers to give her large amounts of money so she could cleanse it of evil spirits.
Police say Marks, 54, also threatened her victims, saying if they told anyone, bad things would happen to them.
One woman said she lost $240,000. Others claim to have lost their live savings to Marks.
It's stunning that some people are so gullible and/or naive to fall for something like this. Oh, by the way, if Marks is psychic, why couldn't she see ahead of time that she would be arrested if she committed these alleged crimes?
According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, Arizona residents are giving the city of San Diego a taste of its own medicine for its city council's decision to boycott Arizona over its illegal immigration law.
Many Arizona residents who were planning to vacation in San Diego have notified the San Diego Convention and Visitors Bureau and some hotels that they are cancelling their scheduled vacations there. The convention bureau has reportedly received 25 to 30 emails from Arizona residents, with some saying they are cancelling their reservations and taking their money elsewhere.
So now tourism officials appear to be in panic mode, urging Arizonans to consider the resolutions as merely symbolic and local politics at work. The president of the San Diego Convention and Visitors Bureau, Joe Terzi, is quoted as saying, "This affects all the hardworking men and women who count on tourism for their livelihoods, so we're saying, don't do something that hurts their livelihoods."
Perhaps the city of San Diego should've thought of the hardworking men and women of Arizona and the impact a boycott would have on their livelihoods before deciding to take the action they did.