Friday, November 24, 2006

Jonathan Frakes, Genie Francis and the Meaning of Christmas

Jonathan Frakes (yes, that Jonathan Frakes) made an appearance at the Belfast, Maine planning board the other night, to speak out against a proposed social services center that would be housed in the former Jed's Restaurant.

Jonathan Frakes of 31 Searsport Ave. pictured homeless drug and alcohol abusers getting run over as they walk to the service center.

"I feel the project would be a blight on the community and would deter business," Frakes said.

Of course the former Will Riker is quite concerned about business near the service center, since his wife Genie Francis (yes, that Genie Francis) has recently opened a home furnishings store about a tenth of a mile from Jed's. Here's a satellite image to give you an idea. The former Jed's Restaurant is at 49 Searsport Ave., while The Cherished Home is at #31.

First, let's look into Frakes' painful imagining of "homeless drug and alcohol abusers getting run over as they walk to the service center".

The speed limit on this stretch of Route One is 35mph, I believe. I'm not sure, but I believe that there may even be a sidewalk on the side of the road. It's hard to tell from this picture on The Cherished Home's website. Regardless, there's plenty of room for pedestrians on the side of the road.

Look at this satellite view, which pulls back a bit to show the bridges from Belfast proper to the East Side.

The lower bridge across the Passagassawakeag River is purely for pedestrians. It's just been nicely refurbished, at no small expense. Lots of folks in Belfast wanted more pedestrians coming your way, Jonathan. Sorry. But you knew that before your wife opened the store.

Maybe Mr. Frakes is concerned about the folks who live in the trailer colony along the eastern bank of the Passy. Lucky for them, they've got a crosswalk where their road meets Route One.

How about the folks who are coming from out of town, and don't know their way around? If Grace International Corp. gets the social service center up and running, I'd have to imagine that their clients would be able to make use of the Waldo Community Action Partners' Transportation Services.

That takes care of the safety concerns, which Mr. Frakes wisely voiced prior to making his true objection. Namely, that the proximity of the social service center to his wife's business will hurt his wife's business.

Okay, it's probably true. But here's why I have little sympathy.

Just look at some of the products Francis is selling. This is the sort of retail establishment that, like most, will get its big sales during the Christmas shopping season.

What happens when some authentic Christians show up in the neighborhood, and try and help the poor and afflicted? Nope, can't have that!

I wish I had a better word than hypocritical to use here, since it doesn't really seem to fit. But the fact that Frakes and Francis seem willing to economically exploit one of the major Christian holidays while working to thwart the activities of Christians who are focusing on charitable deeds doesn't seem too becoming.

I'm just a Buddhist in the backwoods of Maine who's likely going to eternal damnation, as Mike Hein of the Maine Christian Civic league disparagingly referred to me. But I know enough to support Christian efforts to help the poor, battered women and addicts. Even if I were a Christian, I probably wouldn't be the kind of Christian that would join Grace International Corp. But I would support their efforts in this project. Wholeheartedly. Even Buddhists understand the True Meaning of Christmas.



Linking to the following blogs with open trackback posts: Pirate's Cove, The World According to
, Comedian Jenée: People are Idiots, Woman Honor Thyself, The Hill Chronicles (Layla's back!), Don Surber, Right Wing Nation, Rightwing Guy, Leaning Straight Up, Cao's Blog

Tagged as:

I Got Paid by PayPerPost

I'm back from the extended out-of-state training sessions, and am happy to report that the whole time I was gone, PayPerPost was steadily dropping payments in my PayPal account for the posts I had written in the previous month. At this point, since my blogging took a backseat to my other jobs over the last thirty days, they've caught up with my posts. I've been paid $286.01 to date, and have sent six bucks to charity. That averages out to about seven bucks a post. Not too shabby. Since the average post takes me fifteen to twenty minutes to write, that's an hourly rate in the twenties.

I also got a box full of goodies from Edmund Scientific in the process, and I've still got a few of those to review.

I do seem like an underachiever compared to the folks who are on the leader boards at PPP, with their thousands in earnings. But for a blogger like me who wants to pick and choose the advertising that appears in blog posts, PayPerPost is an easy way to get some extra spending cash. Knowing that there's a stream of cash coming every few days makes blogging fun.



This is a sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are nevertheless my own. Please read my disclosure policy on sponsored posts.

Filed Under:

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Borat is a Must-See

Most of the time, movies fail to live up to hype. Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan is one of those rare cases where the movie is much much funnier than I had imagined.

Its sense of humor is very crude, but where lesser films would have depended on crudeness and shock value to entertain, this one goes the extra mile and always adds a nice, unexpected touch to every situation. The fact that most of the people in the movie don't realize that Borat is just a character makes it all the more revealing.

The relentless barrage of "isms" that come from Borat's mouth, and those that others offer, also provide the movie some actual redeeming social value. I can understand why these frat boys felt a bit humiliated by their appearance in the movie. Especially the guy who one minute is bemoaning the alleged power minorities have in the U.S., and the next minute agreeing to play a perverted Kazakhi game involving a mouse.

It's also a rare case of a movie based on a TV skit character that leaves you wanting more. As a projectionist, I had to pump up the volume several times on opening night because people were laughing so hard and long.



Linking to the following blogs with open trackback posts: Conservative Culture, amboy times, stageleft, The Uncooperative Blogger

Linked by Rightwing Guy. Thanks!

Filed Under:


I've signed up for a new paid-to-blog service, ReviewMe. Actually, similar to Lisa Renee's experience, I received an email touting my "preapproved" status a few days ago. It turns out that ReviewMe is part of the Text Link Ads family.

At least four features distinguish ReviewMe from other post-sponsoring marketplaces. First, it requires that each sponsored post be disclosed as such. Thus, every post that I publish on this blog that has been sponsored thru ReviewMe will have disclosure text appended to it, with a link to my disclosure policy. I've already been doing a similar thing with all my other sponsored posts, but now the text will be more generic to reflect the fact that I'll be considering sponsorship from multiple sources. I will categorize ReviewMe posts as, strangely enough, "reviewme."

The second distinguishing feature is that advertisers are not allowed to require a positive review of their product, service or website. In the long run, I think advertisers will be better served by getting honest evaluations from the bloggers they are paying to post reviews.

The third distinguishing feature, and the one that gives me great joy as a careful writer, is that, upon accepting an assignment, a blogger will have 48 hours to complete the post and submit it.

The fourth distinguishing feature is that each blog is evaluated in terms of incoming links, traffic and rss subscribers, and posts are compensated accordingly. It will be interesting to see how this model of sponsored posts will work.

So far, this is the only opportunity open to me to blog about, so I can't give much info about personal experience with ReviewMe. Signing up was a snap, since I was preapproved. Navigation about the site is easy, and they have a blog that indicates things are really just getting started. I'll keep you posted on how things progress.



This is a sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are nevertheless my own. Please read my disclosure policy on sponsored posts.

Disclosure Policy

I, Tor Lindahl, do hereby declare that this is my disclosure policy as relates to blog post content at Tor's Rants. It is in effect as of Sunday, November 12, 2006.

I personally write, edit, moderate and otherwise generate all content on this blog. If you have any questions, please use the contact info in the sidebar, or lay it on me in a comments section.

Some of my blog posts are sponsored by companies, organizations or individuals. I may receive compensation for such posts in many forms, including (but not limited to) cash, products or services for review, travel, or event tickets. I will always clearly disclose sponsored posts with text at the end of the posts.

Even tho I may have received compensation in return for writing a blog post about a product, service, website or other topic, the thoughts and words in the post will be my own. Still, as is the case with anything you might read in the blogosphere, please conduct your own due diligence as to the factual accuracy of anything I have written in any post, sponsored or otherwise.

In any post, sponsored or otherwise, it is my intent to disclose any relationship that my readers may perceive as a conflict of interest. I also would like to remind my readers that my writings are influenced by my background, occupations, religion, political affiliation and general irritability.

"What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build our life of tomorrow: our life is the creation of our mind." -- Dhammapada

There are also third-party ads that run in various areas of this webpage. I derive income from allowing these ads to run on my blog, and from the interested visitors who click through to visit the advertisers' webpages.

I also will sometimes include affiliate links to products I am discussing in non-sponsored posts, or on other areas of the webpage. If you click on the links and order products from the websites, I will receive referral commissions from the sales. I don't bother to label such links as affiliate links, since most folks will easily recognize them as such. If you're an idiot who can't recognize an affiliate link not sure, just ask.

For help in writing your own policy, go to



Sunday, November 5, 2006

Joe Baiungo and His Campaign Signs

I've gotten an email from Joe Baiungo, the local candidate for District Attorney, whose campaign signs have been creeping me out for weeks.

Tor: Someone emailed me a copy of your blog about my signs; you're not the only one that has commented on the fact that the eyes seem to follow you (the FedEx driver said he waived to me three times the other day). And, yes, they have been the subject of some vandalism; some more creative than others. In Bristol, they drew me up as Gene Simmons from Kiss.

I also recognize the inference about the egotism; the only thing I can say is that it was not comfortable for me to post pictures of myself all over the coast; but the signs have had the effect of getting the attention of people to a race that they otherwise would not know much about.

Regardless of whether I have your support or not, I am hoping you are encouraging people you know to get out and vote for their preferred candidates for this election.

Respectfully, Joe.
Joseph W. Baiungo
111-A Church St.
Belfast, ME 04915
(207) 338-6841

Actually, in the time since I commented on Baiungo's signs, I've had the opportunity to do a little bit of due diligence on the District Attorney's race. Indeed, due to the fact that I'll be out of state on election day, I've already cast my absentee ballot. Baiungo got my vote, and it wasn't just because he sent me an email with many semicolons. For those investigating the issues, a good place to start is at this exchange of letters at VillageSoup. I've also had a few conversations with folks who know Baiungo, and they all felt he was up to the task of being a good prosecutor.

It's good that Baiungo plans to put more emphasis on prosecuting child sexual predators. I do hope that he'll consider making a similar decrease of emphasis on prosecuting nonviolent crimes like ownership of more than a certain amount of marijuana. If we could get folks who just enjoy the use of certain substances out of jail (disclosure: I don't partake, and don't suggest that anyone else should), there'd be plenty of room for the folks who truly need to be removed from society.



Filed Under: