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Archive for the 'Rants and Raves' Category

Patriot Guard Riders a security risk?

Posted in Editorial, Florida, Internet Video, Journalism, Military, Motorcycle Events, Motorcycle News, Motorcycles, National, Opinion, Politics, Rants and Raves, Sanford, Titusville on August 28th, 2010

I try to stay away from political commentary on this blog, but I am making this post for a few reasons.

  1. I recently read a news article that is still eating at me (to be discussed below)
  2. I have not made a post in a long time. I have been busy.
  3. There are a lot of things going on in this country that can’t continually be overlooked.
  4. This post is about dignity, dying , veterans and a motorcycle organization of honor.

Recently I stumbled across an post entitled Obama Tells Patriot Guard Get Lost. Yes, it is kind of an old article, April of this year, but not old enough to raise a valid concern over it. First off, the title of the post is a little misleading as no one apparently no for sure who called off the Patriot Guard Riders from being allowed. One thing was for sure the families of the 29 miners killed in a West Virginia mine accident asked for and welcomed the riders. Evidently so did the Governor of the state. So to set the scene a little better, on April 5, 2010 there was a huge coal mine disaster that took the lives of 29 miners. A memorial was planed for late April and the families of the miners asked the Patriot Guard Riders to attend and escort with honor their loved ones. Somewhere along the line a message was sent that the Patriot Guard were to “stand down” for this mission as Obama and Bidden were to attend. Again, no one has come forward with who actually issued the order, but I am sure it was relayed through the secret service.

Whoever made the decision is under a huge misconception on what this group of people stand for and exactly what it is that they do. They certainly would not have posed any type of a security risk for Obama, if anything security would have been tighter. They are a nationwide organization many of which are law enforcement officers and veterans. What possible threat could they have posed. Did they see them as a motorcycle gang, just because they ride motorcycles? Was there some sort of paranoia fear that some rival gang might ride in and have a big shootout? By far, the Patriot Riders are not a gang, they are motorcycle riders period. It is the mode of transportation that they choose and I speak from experience when I say that they add a great deal of honor and dignity to a funeral procession and memorial. My brother died on the streets a homeless vet in July of 2005. I asked the Sanford Chapter of Rolling Thunder if they would give my brother Lonny one last ride before I scattered his ashes in the water at the Veterans Memorial Park in Titusville. My brother loved and respected the grounds of this park and spent a lot of time there. On the day of his last ride along with Rolling Thunder there were also members of the Patriot Guard riders. I have the deepest respect for what they did that day and how they honored my Brother. I have some pictures of that day that I would like to share with you, this is what the Patriot Guard is

These people took the time out of their life to honor my brother and asked for nothing in return

over 30 motorcycles lined up for the memorial service

A short service was given before I set my brother free

 This is what the Patriot Guard Riders mean for me. They brought honor and dignity to the last ride and memorial service for my brother Lonny Odom. For the families of the 29 miners to be denied the same honor and respect was wrong. Whoever made the decision not to allow these people their rights were very wrong. My heart goes out to the 29 men who lost their lives and the loved ones they left behind. Now I share with you a documentary on the Patriot Guard Riders, who they are and what they stand for. How could these men and women have been considered a threat?

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So now those who did not know may be a little wiser as to not only the Patriot Guard Riders and groups like Rolling Thunder, but the entire biker community in general. Respect is always given were respect is due. One more video of a funeral escorted by the Patriot Guard below. This video brings chills to me, just to see the endless line of motorcycles following in honor of a fallen military hero that has paid the ultimate sacrifice. 

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Thanks again to those who came out to honor my brother, this post has been a long time coming. You don’t have to support the war folks, but always support our troops!

Dedicated to my dearly loved brother Marvin Lonny Odom

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Super Bowl Ads waiting for the halftime show

Posted in Celebrity, Editorial, Entertainment, Humor, Internet, Internet Video, Media, National, News, Rants and Raves, Shopping, Sports, Super Bowl, Television on January 29th, 2008

Super Sunday is approaching and this year the buzz is all about the Super Bowl advertising. Last year I did a post on Super Bowl facts before the big football game. This year I want to look at the advertisement and the big buzz of what the ads will be like. There are a few super bowl ads sneak previews out there and here I have posted some of the available videos giving us a pre game look at what halftime will bring in 2008. 2.7 million dollars in advertising has been spent by big companies to get to the super bowl this year and while none of the ads are made to make you drop what you are doing to run out and but their product, it is more about brand recognition.

Of course one of the biggest advertiser to hit this mark would be Budweiser. Even if you do not drink beer, you know the name from the super bowl ads. Therefore, if you ever decided to have a beer, what do you think you might ask for? I think you might go for a Bud or bud light. Brand recognition is definitely what Bob Parsons, CEO of Go daddy is shooting for his his version of super bowl advertising. On Bob’s blog, he generates a great deal of excitement about the ads with his readers long before super Sunday. In the past, Parsons has put the rejected ads out for everyone to see to draw in new traffic. This year the approach is a little more on the it is a secret side of the dial. Bob is only allowing a small pinch of the video to be seen and then promising that all 3 ads will be available to be viewed online on February 3rd. While most super bowl advertising shoots toward humor, Bob Parsons uses sex to gain brand recognition. Indy race car driver Danica Patrick might not be a super model, but the Go daddy super bowl ad “exposure” makes her look like one and the ad as well as the ads from previous super bowls are all on one landing page. But now it is time for a commercial break and a word from some parrots? Watch the super bowl ad below

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Yeah right. Just an example of the ads that we laugh at and talk about for a week after the game. Speaking of talking about the ads, You Tube has set up a page where the ads will be shown again and you can vote for your favorite super bowl ad here. One thing for sure, most people watching the game will get up to go to the bathroom before half time. No one wants to miss those super bowl ads!

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The longest running Harley blog post!

Posted in Blogs, Cool Sites, Editorial, Entertainment, Internet, Links, Motorcycle News, Motorcycles, News, Rants and Raves on January 13th, 2008

It is amazing some of the things that you will come across while surfing the web. In fact, I have started a collection of pages that I have found and would like to share with my readers.

Today’s link is to a very large and popular blog site with many contributors called Blog Critics Magazine. I mean this site is huge! However, today we will be exploring the culture section where Frank Giovinazzi of Car Buyer’s notebook made a post entitled Harley Davidson – How Do I Hate Thee. Its a rather small post in itself where Frank gives out 11 reasons  why he hates Harley Davidson and the dweebs (as he refers to them) who ride them. The post was made in may of 2003 and only contains 243 words, but to this day the Post still gets traffic and has currently 1745 comments with the last comment being made as of this post at 16:36 on January 12th. That was yesterday in case nobody is paying attention…. this post has been read and commented on for going on 5 years now.

I have to hand it to Frank for making this post. Fact may even be that the man owns a Harley. But whether he does or not is not what it is all about. It is about the controversy that was created by him making the post. The post about hating Harley Davidson that has almost created a meeting hole on the web where people get together on a semi-regular basis to kick sand at each other on everything motorcycle related from helmet laws to owning American vs metric motorcycles.  How ingenious of Mr. Giovinazzi.

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Back it up

Posted in Computers, Editorial, Rants and Raves, Software on August 17th, 2007

I remember a day when having data backup was so important to me I installed a tape drive that ran daily backups of all my data. After years of trouble free computer use, I have grown more relaxed and only backed up certain items rarely.

A couple days of days ago I purchased a new 500GB hard drive from Staples. No big deal, I have replaced or upgraded hard drives before. I usually buy Maxtor hard drives because they have been reliable and have a good warranty backing them. Maxtor provides a program called MaxBLAST  that will copy your old hard drive over to the new one and this too has always been trouble free. That is until the new version of MaxBLAST  and the third attempt in getting my old drive to copy over to the new one.

The new version 4 of MaxBLAST decided on the 4th attempt to do a drive copy that it would format my old hard drive (erasing all my data) and then take over 6 hours to copy the blank hard drive that it had formatted. Needless to say that now, after losing a lot of my old data, I am going to be a backup freak again. I am looking at weeks of installing all of my programs and updates before I get my machine back to where it was before this “accidental” formatting of my data and there are many things lost that will never be recovered.

Backup your important data folks. You never know when you might need it. 

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Saddam Hussein Execution drops Britney and Paris

Posted in Announcements, Celebrity, Editorial, Entertainment, Internet, Internet Video, Media, News, Politics, Rants and Raves, Search Engines on January 2nd, 2007

As a web designer, like most do, I watch keywords and rankings for all of my sites. Today the latest key word top list was posted at Word Tracker and most of the normal search terms were knocked out by the Saddam execution video.

In fact, the Saddam hanging video replaced keywords and search terms that normally hold the top 10 position. The execution of Saddam Hussein video holds 8 of 10 in results giving way to only sex at number 1 and porn listed at number 3. Sexy celebrity gossip and paparazzi hits Britney Spears and Paris Hilton are usually steady in the top 10, but slid down to take the 11th and 12th position in the key word report.

Along with Paris and Britney in the top, Google is normally listed as well. While many search engines visit this site, the pages have yet to receive any type of page rank….. hint, hint


Congratulations, YOU made it!

Posted in Announcements, Blogs, Editorial, Global, Internet, Journalism, Media, National, News, Opinion, Politics, Rants and Raves on December 23rd, 2006

It is interesting to see the different outlooks of the MSM (Mainstream Media) about what we do as the people of the Internet. The individuals that have chosen to commit time to the world wide web by writing a blog, and using video and photography to report news to readers.

In a article written by Wall Street Journal editorial assistant, Joseph Rago, he appears to either be uneducated to the blogging web or feels threatened by the same. The article he titles “The Blog Mob“, Rago lashes out at the blogosphere saying

The blogs are not as significant as their self-endeared curators would like to think. Journalism requires journalists, who are at least fitfully confronting the digital age. The bloggers, for their part, produce minimal reportage. Instead, they ride along with the MSM like remora fish on the bellies of sharks, picking at the scraps.

This is just one man’s opinion, the opinion of Joseph Rago, and maybe his opinion is not as significant as he would like to think. At least not if one is to judge by the popularity of the blog for the reader as well as the writer. The blog writer of today is not making a post just to read it online! If this is true, then the post would be kept private and password protected. As one writer has put it:

The blogosphere is a celebration of citizen journalism and the freedom
of speech.”

While further down the article, writer Rago, seems to point more to political blogs that seem to be a thorn in his side, calling most blogs “pretty awful” and without naming names, refers to the more popular blogs as “downright appalling”. Certainly, Mr. Rago would not be wise to reference popular blogs such as the WSJ Law Blog or could not have read the WSJ special report Find A Blog.

Near the close of the article, the true heart of Mr. Rago’s message; he is not to fond of the computer, nor Internet:

Certainly the MSM, such as it is, collapsed itself. It was once utterly dominant yet made itself vulnerable by playing on its reputed accuracy and disinterest to pursue adversarial agendas. Still, as far from perfect as that system was, it was and is not wholly imperfect. The technology of ink on paper is highly advanced, and has over centuries accumulated a major institutional culture that screens editorially for originality, expertise and seriousness.”

While the rant of one mainstream writer is now buried days into the archives of the Opinion Journal, Time Magazine cover page was released naming the person of the year for 2006, You. Yes, You that control the information age. Quite the reverse of the previous, Time Magazine sees things such as the blog, You Tube and My Space as a major contribution not only to changing the world, also to change the way the world changes.

Time looks at the way we, as citizens of the Internet report on things saying:

And we didn’t just watch, we also worked. Like crazy. We made Facebook profiles and Second Life avatars and reviewed books at Amazon and recorded podcasts. We blogged about our candidates losing and wrote songs about getting dumped. We camcordered bombing runs and built open-source software.”

So, congratulations to you and all of the people that work hard on their place on the web! You chose to entertain and inform us, reporting to your readers on information that you find important. You have delivered us a honest and unbiased account of the world as it happens blogging from home on your computer, at the airport on your lap top and even directly from your cell phone. Time magazine has pointed out a very important factor in what shapes the world wide web, You.

So while many of the people that contribute to the Mainstream Media feel threatened by You, there are others that reconize that it is You that makes the choice in what you read and watch. It is what you find important that matters. The people that want to rail you for putting what you believe in or what you report on will only make you stronger.

Time Managing Editor, Richard Stengel, wraps it up by saying:

Some have called it an “amateur hour.” And it often is. But America was founded by amateurs. The framers were professional lawyers and military men and bankers, but they were amateur politicians, and that’s the way they thought it should be. Thomas Paine was in effect the first blogger, and Ben Franklin was essentially loading his persona into the MySpace of the 18th century, Poor Richard’s Almanack.”

Merry Christmas and thanks to YOU for reading.



Shared thoughts for the day

Posted in Biker Sites, Cool Sites, Editorial, Internet, Motorcycles, Newspaper, Opinion, Rants and Raves on December 21st, 2006

I was catching up on a bit of reading, print wise. Yea, I was reading the Biketoberfest issue of East Coast Rider. I guess that’s not to far behind, considering the mag came out in October!

Any way, I found a interview in the paper about half way in with the guy that runs the B.F.F.A.R., that is Bikers For First Amendment Rights. Looks like a pretty respectable organization, check out their web site.

So, I found myself reading the online B.F.F.A.R. newsletter, which was also from October. Guess I am not the only one running a little behind. I found this story on the last page of the newsletter and felt I would like to share it with you

Semper Fi

A United States Marine was attending some college courses between assignments. He had completed his mission in Iraq and Afghanistan. One of the courses had a professor who was an avowed atheist and a member of the ACLU.
One day the professor shocked the class when he came in. He looked at the ceiling and flatly stated, “God, if your are real, then I want you to knock me off this platform. I’ll give you exactly 15 minutes.”
The lecture room fell silent. You could have heard a pin drop. Ten minutes went by and the professor proclaimed, “Here I am God, I am still waiting.”

It got down to the last couple of minutes when the Marine got out of his chair went up to the professor and cold cocked him, knocking him off the platform. The professor was out cold. The Marine went back to his seat and sat there, silently.

The other students were shocked and stunned and sat there looking on in silence. The professor eventually came to, noticeably shaken, looked at the Marine and asked”What the hell is the matter with you? why did you do that?”

The Marine calmly replied, “God was too busy today protecting America’s soldiers who are protecting your right to say stupid crap and act like a butt….So he sent me.”


Your donations, where does the money go?

Posted in DUI, Editorial, Investigative Reports, Journalism, Media, National, News, Rants and Raves, State on December 11th, 2006

In a recent article that came out in the Toronto Star, in Canada they did a investigative report on MADD of Canada. The report entitled MADD’s `exorbitant costs’ anger charity’s volunteers filed by investigative reporter Kevin Donovan. Great work Kevin!

This report is shocking, but enlightening about where the money goes when caring citizens and victims of drunk drivers donate to MADD of Canada. The report shows that a mere 19% of every dollar goes toward charitable work. This has volunteers of the organization in rage. Volunteer being the key word here. The real backbone and workers of the organization. The ones that visit victims and help them with kindness. The unpaid workers of MADD of Canada, who are usually the family members or friends of a drunk driver victim.

While MADD of Canada claims that 83.6 % of the money donated goes to MADD of Canada programs. The financial documents of the organization show differently. The volunteers of the organization are calling for them to “clean up their act”. John Bates, who started the Canada based group back in 1982 called PRIDE (People to Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere) says MADD has taken a national tragedy and turned it into a fund raising machine. Bates group originally created when his friend’s daughter was killed by a drunk driver. In 1990 MADD USA expressed interest in coming into Canada, they combined Bates group and two others to form MADD of Canada.

This investigative report sparked my interest into what is going on behind the scenes of the US based charity organization, so I paid a visit to the MADD web site. Like many charity organizations, MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers) started off with a great concept and good intentions. Could MADD here in the United States be guilty of the same type of internal activity as MADD of Canada?

A charity is required by the IRS to file a form 990 and the same information is available to the public. At the MADD web site the form 990 for year 2005 can be easily found in the annual report section of the MADD web site. The MADD annual report is made to show the public the good work that the organization does.

If we look at the top 5 paid employees of the MADD charity organization we see that the amount compensated for 40+ hours ranges from nearly $105,000.00 to right at $72,000.00 with the number of employees making over $50,000.00 listed as 38. This does not include the officers, directors or trustees. While the program CEO is only paid $55,000.00 a year, in contrast the director of program and development is compensated $152,408.00 yearly.

With the better part of the charitable work that MADD does being achieved on the local level by the volunteers and paid fund raisers, it may be that we need to have a closer look at what this charity does here at home. Bottom line, this charity winds up putting $.20 of the dollar you donate to charitable work.

According to the government web site for the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) there was 212 billion dollars collected by 700,000 government recognized charities in the year 2001. If you donate to a charity, make sure that your hard earned dollar goes as much towards the cause as possible. The better charities put between 60 to 80 % of the donation toward the charitable work.

What you can do.

Check the charity out before donating to them.

There are ways that you can check a charity out online or by telephone. A few good sources to check out a charity include Charity Navigator, the Better Business Charity Site or by telephone at (703) 276-0100 and the FTC Charity Fraud site which has a large list of resources here.

Telephone Calls: 

If the charity is calling you on the telephone, only donate then if you already know the charity and have donated before. Many charities use paid fund raisers to make telephone calls. If someone calls you on the phone asking for money for charity, ask them if they are being paid to call you. If so, find out how much they take of the donation for their service. Additionally, never give out your credit card, bank account or personal information over the phone. Try to get the address for the charity to send in your donation. This cuts out the middle man giving more of your dollar to the cause.

Summary: It is a shame that we need to check out a organization or program before donating money, however, you can see it has become necessary. Most organizations start out with the victim or less fortunate in mind. Greed can spread rapidly in a financial environment, so check your charities annual statement. When donating, you are best to donate at the local level.

Be careful of scammers that prey on your senses and kindness.

Do not stop donating to what you believe in, Believe in what you are donating to.

Source and credits:

MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) form 990 as public information

Get out and vote

Posted in Announcements, Editorial, News, Politics, Rants and Raves on November 7th, 2006

It seems too often that when someone is speaking about what is wrong with the way things are in America or what needs to be changed, that person did not vote!

Quite simply folks, if you did not vote, it is not your place to speak out on issues that need change. The reason that our government is so unbalanced and issues are thrown aside, is because of the apathy in our country. The shaping of the government and how this country can be run starts with you and I. I urge all of you to get out and vote today.

Voting is important, but more important is to vote with knowledge. Know your candidates and the issues that are going to be on the ballot. Do a little “digging” into what each of the candidate’s platform is. Check into their past and research their votes on issues that are important to you and your family.

This mid-term election puts Floridians in a great position to see change with the opportunity to vote for a new Governor. Jeb Bush has reached his term limit and there are two new candidates up for the seat. If you have not looked at the two candidates that are running for Governor of Florida, its not too late.

A big issue in the gubernatorial race for Florida is the rumor of Charley Crist being a homosexual. The better part of the homosexual community appears to believe that he is and several people have come forward with last minute statements confirming that he is. The fact that he has denied it does not mean that he is not. If Crist is a homosexual and it comes out after he has been elected, it will only mean another government sex scandal. Crist’s opponent, Independent Max Linn claimed on a Florida radio show that it was “common knowledge in Tallahassee that Crist is gay.” Its sad that this type of statement is taken so lightly. This is a government official currently in office and running for the highest position in the state.

I am not willing to accept a homosexual in any government capacity at all. This is why I urge all to get out and vote. If you want to vote for a homosexual for Governor, that is your right. Rather, if you chose not to vote, you may not have that right in the future.

Suspended driver license

Posted in Case Research, Editorial, Law, Motorcycles, News, Rants and Raves, Safety on October 23rd, 2006

With all the public eye on the Gerald Morelock tragedy having been killed by a driver who was not even supposed to be driving, it really rattles my cage to read how the last death of Biketober happened.

There is a reason that laws are in place in this world. The people that do not abide by these laws have to be punished and there are laws that provide for the terms of said punishment. As President Theodore Roosevelt said: “No man is above the law and no man is below it: nor do we ask any man’s permission when we ask him to obey it“.

If you have broken certain traffic laws, then the law provides that the punishment be a suspended or revoked driver license. The reason for this is that you have proved yourself not worthy the privilege of driving on the highways of this land. You have at one time or another shown irresponsibility to the point that it has become dangerous to you and those that share the road with you.

Now, as I read the story of how Nora Cardona was killed during the last day of Biketoberfest it grieves my heart. My heart goes out to Mr. Cardona who had his wife literally taken from his loving hand and drug 160 feet by a man that was not supposed to be driving to begin with!

The racing motorcycle was being driven by 22 year old Kreso F. Orlic of N.J., who’s license had been suspended. Just as Billy Lane had no business driving the day he hit Gerald Morelock and killed him, Mr. Orlic should not have been on his motorcycle. Orlic was drag racing with 2 other bikes when he struck Mrs. Cardona walking across the street holding her husband’s hand.

I am sure there are statistics that would show how many drivers that have suspended or revoked license have caused accidents. I would imagine that the number is probably high. I don’t have those numbers at the moment and it is not relevant to these particular cases.

The sad truth is that if these people had obied by the law and not operated a motor vehicle while their license was suspended, the victims of their crime might today still be alive.

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