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29 December 2008

Orlando Disney Wyndham bonnet Creek timeshare For Rent, 2 bedroom

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The Wyndham Resort at Bonnet Creek

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This aerial photo shows nearby Disney theme Parks!

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Wyndham Resort at Bonnet Creek

4 nights, 2 room deluxe suite *

Check In between January 10 and January 31 **

Dear vacationer,

My name is Rick, and I have some extra points in my Wyndham Vacation Resort account, so I'd like to rent them out to you. You will not be required to attend a timeshare presentation, it will be just like staying at a hotel.

A really, REALLY nice hotel.

Wyndham's Bonnet Creek Resort is their absolutely top of the line resort, and it's "inside the gates" at Disney World in Orlando.

Located right next to Disney's own Carribean Beach Resort, the Bonnet Creek Resort is right off Lake Buena Vista Drive, mere minutes from Disney theme parks and other attractions. The aerial photo to the left shows Epcot Center, and I've watched the epcot center fireworks from the balcony of one of the rooms at Bonnet Creek.

Aside from the usual Disney attractions, it's easy to get onto Interstate 4 from here, and take a quick trip to Seaworld, Universal, and other Orlando area attractions.

Unit Features
  • Kitchen
  • Washer/Dryer
  • Whirlpool Tub
  • Air Conditioning

  • 2 Outdoor Swimming Pools
  • Lazy River
  • “Get Out & Play” Activities Program
  • Exercise Equipment
  • Outdoor Hot Tub
  • Game Room
  • Playground
  • Miniature Golf

Area Attractions
  • Magic Kingdom® Park
  • Epcot®
  • Disney-MGM Studios
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park
  • Downtown Disney® Area

Area Activities
  • Lake
  • Golf
  • Boating
  • Horseback Riding
  • Restaurants
  • Shopping
  • Masseuse
  • Live Entertainment
  • Water-Skiing
  • Jet Skiing


Terms and Details

* This is for a 4 night/5 day stay at this property.

** If you are interested in a different size unit, or if you are interested in a 3 night or 7 night stay, please email me.

No refunds are available within 30 days of travel.

Your full legal name must be provided at time of purchase for guest check-in.

The resort will require a credit card at check-in.

The images shown at the left are examples of the units in this resort. Your room may differ.


Posted by rickroot at 8:38 AM | Link | 0 comments
21 December 2008

Overheard at the bar tonight

So I stopped at Em-R-Wings tonight to pick up some BBQ wings, and I overheard two amusing things.  I may have to paraphrase cuz it was a couple hours ago.  I was standing at the bar waiting for them to finish my carryout order...

First, the folks at the bar are discussing the band Journey.  One of them said that he liked Journey with their original singer.  Makes sense to me... then he says "But then Steve Perry came along."

What?  Damn, I didn't even know Journey had an original lead singer BEFORE Steve Perry.  I thought Steve Perry *WAS* the original singer, but anyway apparently I was wrong.  How about that.

Second, I hear them talking about Christmas and religion, and one of them says, talking about something but I'm not sure what ... "And they made it all religious" and another one says "Well, you gotta expect all that religious crap at Christmas time."

Hah.  Admittedly, the Christians did kinda take over Christmas from the pagans but still, I thought it was kinda funny.  Christmas *IS* a religious holiday and really only became the retail giant that it is maybe in the last 50 years.

Posted by rickroot at 7:18 PM | Link | 0 comments
19 December 2008

Build a Class Reunion Web Site FREE!

Lately I've been doing a lot of freelance work for my friend Brad, who started a web site called ClassCreator.  It's a site that lets you easily build a class web site, and includes tools for planning a class reunion.

We see stuff like this all the time...

I just want to say "Thank You" to the creators and whomever runs this site. We set ours up in September and our classmates love it. Our 40 yr reunion won't be until next September (09) but our website has created so much interest. They are uploading photos and using the message forum almost daily.

Don't rely on other classmate sites that give you very little control, and build a site with www.classcreator.com for your class! 

It's so easy, a caveman could do it!

Posted by rickroot at 5:50 PM | Link | 0 comments
07 May 2008


Actually, my boss' daughter's reading buddy did a book review for a contest and we want her to win.

Please to go the following link and vote for "The Thief Lord"



Posted by rickroot at 12:54 PM | Link | 0 comments
21 April 2008

Rick Root General Dentistry

Okay, stop asking.  You've all heard the radio ads from the yellow pags where Rick Root, DDS, talks about how business has improved since he started advertising in the yellow pages.

No, it's not me.  No, I haven't changed professions!

If you've surfed into this page after doing a google search, I suggest you hit your back button and try another link =)  I think he's in Vero Beach, Florida.

Posted by rickroot at 10:59 AM | Link | 0 comments
29 February 2008

Water Conservation Idiocy at Charlie's in Durham

We're in a drought.  Everyone around here knows it.

Some restaurants have chosen to take good steps towards reducing their water usage.  For example, using plastic silverware, plastic cups, paper or styrofoam plates, etc.  Cut down on things that need to be washed and you cut down on water usage.  Not great for the landfills, but in a drought, it's far more important to reduce water usage.

But Charlie's Neighborhood and Grill took water conservancy one step too far.

They're refusing to server tap water, and instead are selling bottled water.   They're only charging a buck for a bottle of water, so it's not a huge profit but it's still profit over serving a glass of tap water for free.

But the fact is, they're still serving soda, tea, and coffee - all of which are made with tap water.  The water used for the soda is of course run through a filtering system but it's still water coming from a city water connection.

So why can I buy sweet tea but not a glass of water?

I know why.  Because if they started carrying bottled soda and bottled tea, their profits would decrease dramatically.  The markup on fountain drinks and things like iced tea and coffee is pretty high.

Don't give me water conservation as the reason, because if that's true, it's just plain stupid.

Posted by rickroot at 10:48 AM | Link | 0 comments
22 October 2007

Weekend In Review

Sorry I haven't blogged in a while.  Crazy busy.

My neice Samantha had a surprise 16th birthday party at my mom's house Friday night.  It was boring for us adults, of course, but Sam had a good time.  I watched a couple periods of the hockey game.

Saturday, we went and look at a few rental houses for my in-laws who are moving down here next week.  We found them a nice place off Tryon Road near the RGA golf course.  Bob will certainly like that!  The other places we looked at weren't very nice.  One of them was really crappy, looked like it had been empty for a while, and the landlord charges a $25 appointment fee to view it.  That's no way to rent out an empty house!  Needless to say, after seeing the ouside, we had no interested in forking over $25 to see the inside.

I lazed around the rest of the afternoon watching the Florida-Kentucky game before heading over to my mom's house to watch the Michigan-Illinois game with her.  I hate night games.. by the time the game was over (Michigan won, their 6th in a row!), it was after 11:30 and I was beat.

Sunday was pretty uneventful too.  I took Emily to the driving range for the first time.  We bought her some clubs about a year ago at a garage sale for $5.  She enjoyed going, I think - though she definately doesn't have a natural gift for golf!  Neither do I.

Posted by rickroot at 9:11 AM | Link | 0 comments
04 June 2007

Life can end so quickly


My friend and coworker, George Smith, was killed in this morning's wreck on I-40, when a Chevy Tahoe, driven by an apparent illegal alien who was drunk and carrying a fake drivers license, careened across the median and slamed into George's Kia as he drove to work this morning at 7:15 AM.  My other coworker Mike was stuck in the traffic and thinks he was probably not much more than 3 minutes behind George.

George was a wonderful man and an excellent coworker.  He had been at Duke for nearly 30 years.  I'd worked with him for nearly 5 years, and we enjoyed each other's somewhat twisted sense of humor.

I have a banana tree growing in my front yard that George gave to me when I expressed interest in bananas after seeing them in the Duke Gardens.

George - by now, you'll have probably discovered that there are no weeds in heaven.

Rest in peace.

Posted by rickroot at 6:12 PM | Link | 1 comment
21 March 2007

Commenting Re-enabled on I Like You, Games

Last week, I got tired of dealing with comment spam and the generally "junior high" mentality of the commenters who post on my free flash games pages.  I don't know how many times I could deal with one user calling another user a fag and insulting each others moms, and let's not forget all the foul language.

This also affected the I Like You page, which apparently some people were using to send good vibes to our troops in Iraq.

Well I'm happy to say that I've re-enabled commenting on this pages, although in a more restricted fashion.  Commenters must now enter a valid email address, and their comment will only be published once they click a link confirming their comment in an email sent to that address.

These pages used to get a ton of comments every day.  There's only been one comment since I re-enabled them, I guess people are afraid of tying a valid email address to whatever they're trying to say, and that's good.  It should p revent most of the comment spammers, and keep the 7th graders from posting "anonymously"

But for those of you wishing to post legitimate comments on those pages.. have it it!

While you're there, click on the free nintendo wii link too.  I really want one!

Posted by rickroot at 7:17 AM | Link | 1 comment
09 March 2007

Just One Club Card

I don't know about you, but I have a Harris Teeter VIC card, a Food Lion MVP card, a Lowe's Food Greenpoints Card, a Kroger Plus Card, a CVS card, a PetSmart Pet Parks Card... etc.. etc.. on my keychain.

Well, here comes JustOneClubCard.com to save the day!

Allows you to enter the numbers from your little cards, and print out a single card the size of a business card to keep in your wallet with up to 8 of these things on it!
Posted by rickroot at 11:31 AM | Link | 1 comment
22 February 2007

Just a Mom?

Editors note:  I didn't write this, but I'm passing it along to some mom's that I know.  Excuse the "first person" writing.  No, I am not a mom in another life, nor do I have any secret desire to be a mom!  If you'd like to share it to, here is the web site address:




A woman, renewing her driver's license at the County Clerk's office, was asked by the woman recorder to state her occupation.

She hesitated, uncertain how to classify herself.

"What I mean is," explained the recorder, "do you have a job or are you just a ...?"

"Of course I have a job," snapped the woman.

"I'm a Mom."

"We don't list 'Mom' as an occupation, 'housewife' covers it," said the recorder emphatically.

I forgot all about her story until one day I found myself in the same situation, this time at our own Town Hall. The Clerk was obviously a career woman, poised, efficient, and possessed of a high sounding title like, "Official Interrogator" or "Town Registrar."

"What is your occupation?" she probed.

What made me say it??? I do not know. The words simply popped out. "I'm a Research Associate in the field of Child Development and Human Relations."

The clerk paused, ballpoint pen frozen in midair and looked up as though she had not heard right.

I repeated the title slowly emphasizing the most significant words. Then I stared with wonder as my pronouncement was written, in bold, black ink on the official questionnaire.

"Might I ask," said the clerk with new interest, "just what you do in your field?"

Coolly, without any trace of fluster in my voice, I heard myself reply, "I have a continuing program of research, (what mother doesn't) In the laboratory and in the field, (normally I would have said indoors and out). I'm working for my Masters, (first the Lord and then the whole family) and already have four credits (all daughters).. Of course, the job is one of the most demanding in the humanities, (any mother care to disagree?) and I often work 14 hours a day, (24 is more like it). But the job is more challenging than most run-of-the-mill careers and the rewards are more of a satisfaction rather than just money."

There was an increasing note of respect in the clerk's voice as she completed the form, stood up, and personally ushered me to the door.

As I drove into our driveway, buoyed up by my glamorous new career, I was greeted by my lab assistants -- ages 13, 7, and 3. Upstairs I could hear our new experimental model, (a 6 month old baby) in the child development program, testing out a new vocal pattern. I felt I had scored a beat on bureaucracy! And I had gone on the official records as someone more distinguished and indispensable to mankind than "just another Mom." Motherhood!

What a glorious career!

Especially when there's a title on the door.

Does this make grandmothers "Senior Research associates in the field of Child Development and Human Relations"

And great grandmothers "Executive Senior Research Associates?"

I think so!!!

I also think it makes Aunts "Associate Research Assistants."

Please send this to another Mom, Grandmother, Aunt, And other friends you know.

May your troubles be less,
Your blessings be more,
And nothing but happiness come through your door!


Posted by rickroot at 6:25 AM | Link | 0 comments
17 February 2007

New - The Bob Guiney Show

As some of you know, I am Bob Guiney's webmaster - Bob was on the Bachelorette and then he was The Bachelor for season 4.  Before that, he was the lead singer and songwriter for a band called Fat Amy that I was a huge fan of.  Anyway, it looks like Bob is recording a demo for a new radio show, and I want you all to check it out.

Here's the invitation....

A Digitally Engraved Invitation Just For You!

You are invited to be part of an exclusive virtual live studio audience on Monday evening when Bob Guiney sits behind the microphone for two hours to record a live demo of the Bob Guiney Show. We would appreciate having you join us on the Internet for this sneak peak at a new daily radio talk show. All you need to do to listen is go to http://www.verbotenmedia.com on Monday and follow the instructions for listening to the LIVE show.

Bob's special guests will include actress Bonnie Somerville, who played Mona on "Friends," and who starred in "Wedding Wars" with John Stamos. He'll also be joined by former "Xena: Warrior Princess" star Lucy Lawless, whose other credits include Battlestar Galactica and the upcoming TV drama, "Footballers' Wives."

Listeners will be invited to call and ask questions of our guests, as well as adding perspective to our conversations on a variety of topics that affect you in everyday life.

We do request that if you call in to this special Bob Guiney Show taping, please refrain from "fan" comments directed at Bob. It is very important that we stay on-format to the topics and guests throughout the program. This show will be presented to various sources that are giving consideration to picking up the Bob Guiney Show across the USA.

In preparation for Monday's broadcast on the Internet, please be sure to have installed:

  • If you are on a Windows PC, use the basic WinAmp 5.3 Player. This is free and can be downloaded from http://www.winamp.com. You do not need advanced players or products beyond the free version to hear our program, which is streamed in Shoutcast format as an mp3 file to your computer.
  • If you are on an Apple Macintosh, clicking on the listen buttons should launch the program in your iTunes Player as an mp3.

We will offer both a high-bandwidth and low-bandwidth connection to listeners on Monday. The Broadband connection should be used for anyone with DSL, Cable or high speed LAN. The Dial-up connection should be used by anyone dialing into an ISP on a 56kpbs or lower speed modem.

The audio stream will begin approximately 15-minutes prior to the start of the program. Before that, there will be other content on this stream. For the 15-minutes preceeding the Bob Guiney Show, there will be music by the Bob Guiney Band.

SHOW TIME: 3 to 5 pm Pacific, 4 to 6 pm Mountain, 5 to 7 pm Central, 6 to 8 pm Eastern. MONDAY, FEBRURARY 19, 2007

If you have any questions prior to Monday at 12 pm Pacific, 3 pm Eastern, you may address them to: john@verbotenmedia.com

Thank you and we look forward to having you join us. And, while we've given you the Digitally Engraved Invitation, please pass it along to your friends! The more, the merrier! Help us make the Bob Guiney Show, radio's next great program!!

Thank you,

Bob Guiney and John McMullen
co-Executive Producers

Posted by rickroot at 6:55 AM | Link | 0 comments
28 January 2007

Developer Persona

Tim Buntell, a prominent coldfusion blogger, recently started talking about what the typical coldfusion developer is on his blog.  I thought I'd post my own "developer persona" (since I saw Joe Rinehart doing it too).

  • 34 years old
  • Married for 9 years, has a 5 year old daughter named Emily who he's trying to convince that hockey is the world's greatest sport.
  • Drives a 2005 Mazda3, but only because his 2002 Ford F-150 Supercrew gets crappy gas mileage.
  • Bought his second house two years ago, a typical two story in a nice neighborhood that has a pool and a swim team (not the house, the neighborhood). There's more IKEA furniture in it than non IKEA furniture. 
  • Likes the "I'm a Mac, I'm a PC" tv commercials, but still uses a PC.
  • Tends not to watched critically acclaimed movies, and so Best Picture nominees don't usually concern him.
  • Into Lost and Battlestar Galactica, Family Guy, and (though he doesn't admit it freely) American Idol. But not the early part of the series with the bad singers. 
  • Talks about how much fun whitewater rafting is, but hasn't been since 1984.
  • Cooks more than his wife, and gets experimental sometime.  Sometimes it works (Thai Shrimp), and sometimes it doesn't (General Tso's Chicken) 
  • Enjoys most "Adult Alternative" music like Vertical Horizon, Train, John Mayer, and the like, hates these new fangled rock bands that SCREAM as loud as they can, but mostly listens to 80s pop music.  Enjoys going to a good rock concern like Def Leppard, Nickelback, and Ratt.  Yes, he said Ratt. 
  • Secretly spends time on myspace posting links to I Like You! in order to generate more google ad revenue.

I think that covers it.

Posted by rickroot at 7:37 AM | Link | 0 comments
20 January 2007

Aprilia Mojito 50 Moped/Scooter For Sale

I have a 2004 Aprilia Mojito 50 scooter for sale. This is a high quality, italian scooter in fantastic condition. It has 1380 miles. In Europe, it is known as the Habana, not the Mojito.

Its 50cc engine size and 35mph speed limit (Downhill) mean that it does not require registration, nor does it require a drivers license to operate in North Carolina. It was most recently used by my legally blind step-sister to get back and forth to work. (She's blind enough where she can't get a drivers license, but not so blind she can't see where she's going!)

We are selling it because she has moved to Michigan and has no way to get the moped there.

Click for larger view Click for larger view

Call Rick at 368-7668

Posted by rickroot at 7:42 AM | Link | 4 comments
01 January 2007

Happy New Year, 2007 is Here!

Adrienne and I went out to Tony's Bourbon Street Oyster Bar last night.  I had the New Orleans BBQ Shrimp, and it was awesome.  The crab dip appetizer was fabulous too.  We'll definately be going back.

Afterwards, we went to the hockey game, which was horrid.  Canes outshot the Flyers 42-18 but lost the game 5-2.  Robert Esch was standing on his head, because the Canes had a LOT of good scoring chances.  We came home after the game and watched TV for a while, and went to bed around 12:15.  Very exciting.

I didn't make any New Year's resolutions, though I've obviously got some goals.. but they're unrelated to the new year :)  So maybe they'll have a better chance at being successful.  I'm really anxious - and hopeful - to see if I can really make this work.  I felt great at 230 pounds, and I think i'll feel even better at 200.  The heartburn had almost completely disappeared when I was at 230.  Even at 200 I'll probably still be technically "overweight".  I weighed 185 when I graduated from high school and I don't think I was even slightly overweight then.  I was downright skinny!

Well, anyway, happy new year!

Posted by rickroot at 9:20 PM | Link | 5 comments
29 December 2006

Talking Steve Irwin Doll For Sale

I was looking through some of the crap we'd put out in the garage sale while cleaning the garage the other day, and I found a talking Steve Irwin doll that I'd bought as sort of a gag gift for Adrienne a year or so ago.

Now that he's dead (Crikey!), I figure it's worth putting up on ebay.  There are several other similar items out there right now.  Looks like he's worth at least as much as I paid for him.



Posted by rickroot at 7:41 PM | Link | 2 comments
25 December 2006

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Eve Dinner went off without a hitch.  Penny and Chet were here, along with my friends Mike and Stacey.  We had baked cornish hens, a long grain and wild rice stuffing with dried cherries and almonds, steamed asparagus, cranberry walnut whole wheat bread, and deviled eggs.  Yes, I made it all - from scratch.  The wild rice stuffing actually turned out really fantastic, and the bread was awesome too.  I'll definately be making both again.

Note my use of long grain rice and whole wheat flour.  =)

We also had that fruit tart for dessert, and it was pretty awesome.

I woke up this morning to the sounds of little feet running around - Emily had snuck downstairs without waking us.  I woke up Adrienne and told her it was time to get up because Emily was already downstairs.  When I left the bedroom, Emily was coming up the stairs and she said "Santa was here!  Come see!"

Emily got a bazillion gifts, but since this is my blog, I'll tell you what I got.  I actually gave Adrienne a list this year, and because she doesn't know when to stop, she bought pretty much all of it.  I'm not complaining, but the same thing applied to Emily. =)  Anyway, I got a nice new electric griddle with a removable cooking surface for easy cleaning, a bluetooth headset for my cell phone, some noice cancelling headphones for listening to the Zen on car trips, plane trips, etc, Family Guy Season 4 on DVD, and Pinky & The Brain Volume 2 on DVD (a last minute request!).  I also got a neat little "strainer spatula", and a nice big calphalon covered skillet for cooking.

Well, I need to get ready for the Christmas party over at Laurie's house.  Blog ya later!

Posted by rickroot at 10:27 AM | Link | 0 comments
19 December 2006

Diet Update and Other Stuff

256.0:  -11.2 pounds, 22 days

Yes, it was a good day yesterday.  I was on target as far as my eating, and I spent 60 minutes on the treadmill, going 3.6 miles and burning 711 calories.  Afterwards, I wasn't really hungry, but snarfed down one of those Atkin's Indulge bars and had maybe 5-6 ounces of turkey smoked sausage for dinner.

I probably won't get to work out tonight unless we get out of bowling early again.  I had 2 scrambled eggs and 2 sausage links for breakfast, and I'll be having an Atkins shake for lunch.  Dinner tonight will consist of baked salmon in a tequila-lime marinade, and steamed asparagus.

Are you using craigslist yet?

I've been using craigslist a lot lately.  The raleigh version, that is.  Most major metropolitan areas have their own craigslist - even Norfolk.  In the last few days, I've purchased a 16" pink bicycle for Emily for $20 (it's a birthday present so don't mention it to her!), and a very nice Yamaha musical keyboard for $50.  I've also sold some items on craigslist lately too - a wood entertainment center that we'd purchased at Ikea about 18 months ago, some bose bookshelf speakers I'd purchased in the early 1990s, and a few other things.

Ebay is nice for things that are easy to ship, but certain things are a lot easier to sell on craigslist, and you can get rid of items at a fixed price much quicker.  Heck, my parents sold a utility trailer that they bought 15 years ago for over 70% of the original purchase price!  And they did so within 6 hours.

Posted by rickroot at 8:39 AM | Link | 5 comments
05 September 2006

Ebay Buyers Beware!

swdiscounters fraud!

Sometimes, I'm thankful for American Express.

I recently made a purchase of Doom3 on eBay for 99 cents plus shipping.  The total amount was $7.99.  The description was very specific about what's included - only the CD is guaranteed, and they are not tested, and the items are sold as is.  They only check for the CD, they said.

So I figure, for $8, if they ship me the Doom CD-ROM with no registration code, fine, it'll be $8 lost.

Instead, I got the box, the registration code, the manual.... and two copies of Disk 2, along with one copy of disk 3, and no copies of disk 1 or disk 4.

swdiscounters FRAUD!

They of course refused to do anything about it.   In my opinion, they failed to ship the listed product, and so they're committing fraud on ebay.

At any rate, I was suspicious up front, so just in case I paid for the item with my American Express card.

After attemping to get swdiscounters to either refund my money or ship me the missing CDs, which they refused to do, I contacted American Express, and they kindly refunded my money.

which means they took the $7.99 away from swdiscounters.

I love my American Express.  This is exactly why I use it for almost everything.

Posted by rickroot at 10:30 AM | Link | 4 comments
19 February 2006

Incoming Mail is 90 percent spam!

Anatomy of a Mail Server

So, I run my own mail server, hosting mail for a variety of domains for myself, my friends, and some customers.
I was looking at the log files the other day and here's what I found:
In the last 7-8 days, my server accepted connections approximately 41,000 times. Each is an instance of someone trying to send mail to one or more addresses on my server.
I use something called RBL lists to block connections from known spammers. These RBL lists helped me immediately rejected 32,000 of those incoming connections.
I also use something called CHKUSER that checks to see if the recipient is valid before accepting the message. Approximately 3,000 of these incoming connections were messages for invalid users. For example, nearly 800 of them were mail for ric@arborsites.com, an email address I haven't used in 5-6 years.
Next, I use something called simscan, which looks at the content of each message and tries to determine if it is spam. Although I set the threshhold fairly high, about 1000 of the messages were rejected because they were either spam or contained a virus. And only 76 of them were viruses.
That means, of the 41,000 incoming connections, 36,000 were outright rejected because they were probably spam.
Of course, spam still gets through. I use Mozilla Thunderbird as my email client, and it tags a fair amount of incoming mail as spam too using Bayesian filtering. I train it to know what spam is and what's not, and it's pretty good about separating the spam from the non-spam.
Bottom line, maybe 10% of the email coming into my server is legitimate email.
That just sucks.
Posted by rickroot at 1:04 PM | Link | 2 comments
07 February 2006

Some German Chick Is Trying To Hot Chat Me

first let me say that I don't speak german, and I don't do hot chats.

The other day I accepted an ICQ message from someone who does not speak english.  I used babelfish (an online translator) to do some translations and had a minimal conversation with her but the communication was poor and I said goodbye.

She messaged me again today, and I thought I'd share the translation of our chat transcript with you.

(13:40:04) 229907403: hi ric ich bins jill
(13:40:26) Rick Root ICQ: hi
(13:40:59) 229907403: wie alt biste noch mal
(13:41:14) 229907403: über 20 ne
(13:44:16) Rick Root ICQ: Ich bin traurig, aber ich verstehe nicht.
(13:44:54) 229907403: wwwwwwwwwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaasssssssssssssssssssssss ich auch nich
(13:45:48) Rick Root ICQ: What is nich?
(13:46:36) Rick Root ICQ: "which I also don't"?
(13:46:50) 229907403: egal ich verstehe nichts
(13:47:43) Rick Root ICQ: Where are you from?
(13:48:00) 229907403: deutschland
(13:48:06) 229907403: und du
(13:48:25) Rick Root ICQ: North Carolina, in the United States
(13:50:14) 229907403: und warum schreibst du dann auf deutsch
(13:51:15) Rick Root ICQ: Weil Sie Deutsches sprechen. Ich benutze einen Übersetzer.
(13:51:25) Rick Root ICQ:
(13:52:02) Rick Root ICQ: Aber einige der Wörter, die Sie verwenden, übersetzen nicht gut.
(13:53:11) 229907403: verarsch mich nich
(13:56:27) Rick Root ICQ: Ah, you must be a dirty girl.

You see, that last line translates to "ass me nich" ... I don't know what "nich" means but after doing a google search for "Verarsch mich" it seems that all of the sites with that phrase are porn sites.

Learn something new every day.

Posted by rickroot at 11:05 AM | Link | 18 comments
03 November 2005

Coffee-flavored beer, or beer-like coffee?

Nestle has filed patent applications all over the world for a new invention of theirs that is basically a cross between beer and coffee.  It's a fermented coffee drink that foams and pours like beer, but has a strong coffee taste, the classic rich coffee aroma, and a caffeine kick - but no alcohol.

Personally, I don't like coffee so it sounds gross to me, but you coffee lovers out there might like to read more...


Posted by rickroot at 11:29 AM | Link | 3 comments
20 October 2005

Pop The Cap - North Carolina Beer Laws Updated!

A twice former co-worker of mine, Sean Wilson, founded an organization called Pop The Cap, whose purpose was to lobby for changes to North Carolina's antiquated restrictions on alcoholic content of malt beverages.

Thanks to the organization's efforts, the state assembly passed a bill which was signed in August, 2005 that raises the allowable percentage of alcohol from 6% to 15% - allowing the "craft beer" industry to find it's way into North Carolina.

If you ask me, it was a silly restriction anyway, limiting the alcoholic content to 6%.  I mean, why?  Wine has 10-15% alcohol, and of course liquor is 25-50% alcohol (unless you live in Indiana, where we used to get something called Everclear that was 190 proof!)

At any rate, I look forward to seeing some good brew pubs pop up around the area.

I was at the Bass Lake Draft House in Holly Springs this Sunday and I noticed their "featured beer" had 8% alcohol.

Sean Wilson worked with me both here at Duke and back in the KOZ days.

Posted by rickroot at 8:41 AM | Link | 1 comment
03 October 2005

Peak City Grill - A Disappointment

My wife and I took our daughter and my parents to the Peak City Grill for dinner Friday night, and I was extremely disappointed in the menu, the food, and the service.

First of all, I was disappointed at how "fancy" the menu was.  Bar and Grill restaurants (or Grill and Bar restaurants) should have burgers, at the very least.  Obviously, this place wants your money so you can't go in there and spend $10-$15 on dinner.

We ordered an appetizer - the Bruchetta.  3 small pieces of bread with toppings.  It was an extremely small appetizer for $7.  My wife ordered the crab cake appetizer for her meal and it was very small too.  Perhaps they should put "Feeds 2" on the menu.  Most restaurants I've been to have appetizer plates suitable for 4 people.

I had a T-Bone steak with fries.  The steak was tolerable, but not great.  It wasn't very thick (I like a good thick steak).  The steak on top of a bowl of french fries.  In order to cut my steak, I had to figure out what to do with the french fries.  Many of them ended up spilling onto the table.  My dad had a similar problem with his ribeye served in a bowl of mashed potatoes.

Get some plates, darn it.  Big ones.  Bowls are for soup.

The service was horrendous.  Word to the waitress - straws belong in your apron.

We had a water spill (thanks to my daughter), and we asked our waitress for a towel.  She said she'd go get one.  About a minute goes by and we decide to use the napkins to wipe up the spill.  Cheap polyster napkins don't absorb much.  About 5 minutes go by and we spot a bus person and ask to borrow his towel to wipe our table off.  Our waitress finally shows up with a towell after we've wiped the table clean.  We ask her for fresh napkins since we used ours to attempt to wipe up the spill.  She says she'll get some.  5 minutes later, we have a Sprite spill (again, thanks to my daughter).  We have no napkins still and we grab another towell from another bus person.  Meanwhile, we see our waitress again delivering drinks an taking o rders and we ask her again for Napkins.  She tells us how she has to go back and get all new silverware sets.  Fine, just go get us some napkins!   A bus person finally comes back with napkins and we get the table cleaned off.  The waitress doesn't bother to offer us refills or fresh glases - we had to ask for them.

Oh, the glorified saltines they serve as "cracker bread" seem exceptionally cheapl.  I do like the pepper jelly and cream cheese they give you but still.  Some restaurants serve nice warm bread that makes you want to come in to have dinner.  Saltines don't do much for me.

On top of all this, they had no homemade salad dressings I was interested in.  Mix up some thousand island or honey mustard dressing.

I couldn't have been more disappointed by my experience with the Peak City Grill.

We may go there again in a year or so to figure out if they've gotten any better, but even if the service improved, I still wouldn't want to go there because of the menu.

We spent $55 on our dinner.  Bruchetta, T-Bone w/Fries, Crabcake appetizer, chicken tenders w/fries, 1 glass of wine, 1 glass of beer, and a kids sprite.  I could've gotten a much better dinner at any number of places for less money.

Posted by rickroot at 10:05 AM | Link | 60 comments
21 September 2005

I won the lottery!

Hey look, I won the lottery!

website www.luckyday.nl
REF: MLI/231-ILGI0432/04
We are pleased to inform you of the result of the Lottery Winners International programs held on the 20th of Sept. 2005. Your e-mail address attached to ticket number 20511465697-62955 with serial number 472-971106 drew lucky numbers 8-66-97-22-71-59 which consequently won in the 2nd category, you have therefore been approved for a lump sum pay out of  €1,000,000.00  (One Million Euro)
Due to mix up of some numbers and names, we ask that you keep your winning information very confidential till your claims has been processed and your prize/money Remitted to you. This is part of our security protocol to avoid double claiming and unwarranted abuse of this program by some participants. All participants were selected through a computer ballot system drawn from over 200,000,000 company and 300,000,000 individual email addresses and names from all over the world. This promotional program takes place annually. We hope with part of your winning you will take part in our next year €5,000,000.00 (Five million Euro) international lottery award.
To file for your claim, please contact our/your fiducial agent
TEL: +39-340-911-6212.
Email: contcconsultancy@netscape.net
Note that all winning must be claimed not later than  17th of Oct. 2005. After this date all unclaimed, funds will be included in the next stake. Please note in order to avoid unnecessary delays and complications please remember to quote your reference number and batch numbers in all correspondence. Furthermore, should there be any change of address do inform our agent as soon as possible.
Congratulations once more from our members of staff and thank you for being part of our promotional  program.
Note: Anybody under the age of 18 is automatically disqualified.
Sincerely yours,
Mrs. Helen Van Colle
Lottery Coordinator.  
Posted by rickroot at 11:05 AM | Link | 6 comments
18 August 2005

Save Krispy Kreme!

Sometimes, good companies make bad decisions.

Back in the 80s, you probably remember "New Coke" - one of the worst marketing disasters in history, and something that is taught to every student in every business education program in the country.  "New Coke" was a case where the Coca Cola Company didn't understand the appeal of their own flagship product.  They reformulated it, did all the right marketing stuff - focus groups, taste tests, etc - and they launched it to the great dismay of Coke fans everywhere.

Sure, some people liked New Coke, and I can only assume that it was very successful in early taste tests.

But you can't change something like Coke.  They learned their lesson, re-introduced Coke as "Coca Cola Classic", and eventually phased out the miserable failure that was "New Coke".

Which brings me to my point.

It's not exactly the same story, but when I moved to the Triangle (Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill) in 1998, I discovered a wondeful donut shop called Krispy Kreme.  Their "flagship product" was a standard glazed donut.  They had a machine that pumped them out one after the other, and you'd go to the Krispy Kreme store and get them warm and fresh off the conveyor belt.  Krispy Kreme donuts were so much better than other standard donuts that they became a huge phenomenon.

Then, during the dot com heyday, Krispy Kreme went public.

And somewhere along the way, they decided they could go big time by selling donuts in grocery stores - either boxed or in a display case where people could pick and choose.  Not only grocery stores, but gas stations as well.

what they failed to realize was that much of the appeal of the Krispy Kreme Donut was getting them warm and fresh.  Sure you could nuke 'em for 10 seconds and they'd be warm, but it's just not the same.  Granted, I still think the Krispy Kreme glazed donut is the best donut out there, but it's not light years better when you get them in a box, as I did this morning.

Krispy Kreme was born right here in North Carolina - Winston-Salem, to be exact.

In the entire Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area, there is but one Krispy Kreme donut store.  In fact, there are only 10 in the entire state of North Carolina.  It is my opinion, that there should be at least 10 in the Triangle alone.  I'd open one myself in Apex, except that their web site says there are no franchise opportunities anywhere in the United States.

Their stock has dropped from the $40/share down to around $7 today - in large part because investors have probably realized that with their current strategy, Krispy Kreme is NOT going to take over the world.

Posted by rickroot at 10:02 AM | Link | 2 comments
25 July 2005

Back from the Beach

We visited Topsail Island this weekend.  When Adrienne was little, her dad had a good friend whom he taught with at Eastern Michigan University who had a vacation home on the island.  This was back in the mid 80s.  Anyway, Adrienne and her family took several summer vacations at Topsail Beach, and since we moved to North Carolina, they've been kind enough to invite us down to visit as well.

When we went to Myrtle Beach earlier in the year, Emily was afraid of the ocean - as she always has been.  The waves scared her.

However, she is obviously over that fear now, as she found playing in the waves was a lot of fun.  I've always enjoyed it too =)

At any rate, Adrienne and I also had dinner at Latitude 34, an "up-scale" restaurant on the south end of the island.  We had eaten there for our first anniversary back in 1998, though it was under different management then, and a different name - Beauchaines.  The menu is fancy, but being an island restaurant, you don't have to dress up to go there, thank goodness.  Who takes fancy clothes to the beach?  Well, the service was great and the food wasn't too bad either.  Check it out if you're in the area.

We had a great time - I'm really glad that they invite us down, it's always a pleasure to visit.  I think next year we're going to plan a week long trip and rent a place with Adrienne's dad, step-mom, sister and brother-in-law.  Plenty of nice 4 bedroom second row places nearby for around $1000 a week in the summer.

Posted by rickroot at 1:55 PM | Link | 1 comment
19 July 2005

Boredom After Hours

On my way home from bowling tonight, I stopped by Target to pick up something bronze for my wife.  I know it's silly, but one has to stick to traditions, even if you don't generally exchange anniversary presents.  After wandering throughout the store, I found a bronze light switch cover in the hardware section, and some Neutrogina "Instant Bronze" sunless tanning spray in the lotion aisle.  Decisions, decisions.  Well I bought both.  And a card.  She got me a card too.

In the checkout line, I also decided to satisfy my sweet tooth and I picked up a Dove Dark Chocolate bar.  It was delicious, and it's the reason why, at 11:40 PM, I am still awake.

The Tiger game ended over an hour ago - I would've normally gone straight to bed.  But between the chocolate and the looming thunderstorms, I can't sleep.  In fact, I'm wide awake.

At least it's raining.  It was 98 degrees here today.  The local rock station gives away a case of Bud every hour when the temperature is above 96.1 degrees.  At any rate, since Erin is here and we're not under watering restrictions, I can at least water my lawn most days in the morning.

Well, I've just found a bug in my blog software - actually probably configuration issue, so I think I'll work on that for a while.

Posted by rickroot at 11:45 PM | Link | 1 comment
18 July 2005

AAA Trinity Audio - Foolish Spammer

okay, so not all spam is easy to fight.  Much of it comes from outside the United States, sent by professional spammers, advertising companies that operate outside of the United States and have no legitimate contact information and no real way to punish the spammer.

However, today i received a poorly formatted spam message alleging to be from someone at Microsoft.  The email itself was advertising a Shreveport company called AAA Trinity Audio.  A "legitimate" company with an online store powered by Yahoo.

Upon investigating the email headers, I saw that it was actually sent from a Mindspring/Earthlink personal DSL account:

Received: from user-1120nrg.dsl.mindspring.com ([] helo=jlo333)
    by pop-tawny.atl.sa.earthlink.net with smtp (Exim 3.36 #10)
    id 1DuYOt-0007hd-00
    for rick@webworksllc.com; Mon, 18 Jul 2005 12:23:27 -0400

I also found out that the web site was hosted by Yahoo's web site hosting division.

Well both Yahoo and Earthlink have rigid anti-spam policies, so it was actually pretty simply to report this schmuck to his internet provider (Earthlink) and his web hosting provider, Yahoo. I don't imagine it will take long for his web site and online store to be disabled and for his internet access to be disabled.

Posted by rickroot at 12:52 PM | Link | 5 comments
15 July 2005

Extended Vehicle Warranties

When my truck had about 65,000 miles, with the looming expiration of the Ford Premium Care warranty, I began to worry a bit.  I want to keep it for a long time, so I ended up purchasing a third party extended warranty from Continental Warranty.  It wasn't cheap, but it covers the truck for another 4 years, 48,000 miles.  Since I don't drive it every day anymore, I think the 4 years will probably come first.

Anyway, I've now got almost 72,000 miles, so my Ford warranty just expired, and it looks like my transmission has failed.  Had a fun time driving it to the dealership today.  They took it out for a drive and called me about an hour later.  "Internal failure of some kind".  In order to determine what's wrong, they have to actually tear down the transmission, so they called to authorize that.  If what's wrong with it isn't covered by my warranty, that's $400 right there.

We'll see how good this extended warranty turns out to be.  I'll keep you posted!

Posted by rickroot at 7:07 PM | Link | 4 comments
23 June 2005

A Kiss Is Just A Kiss

So I was reading The Onion today and checked out the "Savage Love" advice column, which I do from time to time because it generally amuses me.

They were publishing letters from adult gays and lesbians giving advice to young gays and lesbians, and I found the following letter interesting:

SPECIAL NOTE:  Continue reading at your own risk!  It's PG-13, but if you are my parents, you might find the following a little disturbing!

Posted by rickroot at 11:12 AM | Link | 1 comment
05 June 2005

Memorial Day

I am personally thankful for those willing to serve this country with their lives. That includes all vets, both during war and peace. Even my wife, whose active duty station in the Navy was at Pearl Harbor, fixing gauges and such.

The following is a partial list of the American service men and women who have given their life in service to this country in the war in Iraq.

The war in Iraq is not one that I agree with, but that doesn't lessen the sacrifice that these people, and their families, have made.

Posted by rickroot at 12:42 AM | Link | 3 comments
19 May 2005

Washington Sex Scandal

What is this?

This is an exact reproduction (from Internet Explorer cache) of the notrious Washingtonienne blog.

Who created it?

The author is Jessica Cutler (Wonkette interview, WaPo interview, pictures, links). Jessica's book based on this blog will be available June 1, 2005.

Who restored it?

The archive was saved from the dustheap of history by Kevin at Wizbang and restored to it's original (unedited) glory. The original Washingtonienne page was NEVER cached by Google.

Where do I start?

The entry below this is the last entry at Washingtonienne. If you'd like to start at the begining click here to view the first post.
Posted by rickroot at 3:51 PM | Link | 1 comment
05 May 2005

How a Lightsaber Works

Thanks to good ol' Marshall Brain for this one!

Friend of mine sent me this link today.  It's an article on HowStuffWorks.com about light sabers.


An excerpt:

Important Safety Information
A lightsaber is not a toy! Keep it out of reach of children at all times. Lightsaber locks are required in most states.

There are two ends to any lightsaber -- one end has the belt ring, while the other end houses the blade arc tip and blade emitter. NEVER point the blade emitter of a lightsaber toward your own body. NEVER look down the "barrel" of a lightsaber, even if you are "sure" it is in safe mode. If you accidentally activate the lightsaber, serious injury could result.

Posted by rickroot at 2:41 PM | Link | 3 comments
22 April 2005

Big Day Tomorrow!

Annual garage sale *AND* the 2005 NFL Draft!

So yes, our neighborhood garage sale is tomorrow, and we missed it last year, so we've got a TON of stuff to get rid of.  Plus we're going to be moving soon, so that's another good reason to have a garage sale.  8am to noon... but the first buyers usually show up around 7.

My dad is coming over tonight to set up the booth he uses for his craft shows, that way we can set up the booth and get a lot of our stuff set up tonight... otherwise we'd have to get up at like 5am tomorrow!

I'm a Sports Geek

Yes, it's true.  I have full intention of either watching or listening to the NFL Draft tomorrow afternoon.  I'm mostly interested in two things:

  • Who the Lions pick
  • Where my favorite players (from the University of Michigan) go.

I'm also interested because of the drama this year.  There is no bona-fide #1 draft pick, but if the 49ers pick a quarterback #1, that quarterback is going to expect to be paid like a #1 draft pick, and to last year's Eli Manning, that meant a LOT of money.  Everyone agrees that the available quarterbacks this year are simply not worth it.

Personally, I think the 49ers should draft Braylon Edwards #1.  Edwards could be a great wide receiver, and they wouldn't have to pay him anywhere near what Eli Manning got last year.  Plus, Braylon is from Michigan =)

Yeah, I'm a sports geek.

Posted by rickroot at 10:07 AM | Link | 1 comment
11 April 2005


I've got a one track mind when my little girl is sick

Daycare called today.  Emily was sick, so I went to pick her up.  She had a fever and complained about numerous things.  After a nap, we went to our 5 o'clock appointment and it turns out that she's actually fine - has some kind of virus or something.

A while later, I remembered something.  I had scheduled a DUMUG meeting for 5:30 in the Alumni Affairs office.  That's the Duke University Macromedia Users Group, of which I am the user group manager.

We had a remote presenter who was ready to present, and nobody was there.  I wasted a lot of people's time tonight and I feel pretty shitty about it.

Posted by rickroot at 8:04 PM | Link | 1 comment