Post by ClarkGriswold on Jul 12, 2011 21:24:54 GMT -5
One of his students asked Buddha, "Are you the messiah?" "No", answered Buddha. "Then are you a healer?" "No", Buddha replied. "Then are you a teacher?" the student persisted. "No, I am not a teacher." "Then what are you?" asked the student, exasperated. "I am awake", Buddha replied.
I got a random message out of the blue from my first girlfriend to whom I rarely talk to and haven't heard from in about a year.
hey- I had a weird, and pretty uneventful dream last night but you happened to be in it. we and like a hundred people were waiting around for a choir teacher to show up so we could take his class. a group of hipsters were drinking pbr and playing simon says while waiting, and you claimed they weren't cool enough for you to hang out with and proceeded to find a group drinking out of a flask.
I want to marry a billionaire...preferably a cute, smart one. Anyone got suggestions???
I hear Hugh Hefner is available these days.
Uhhh...not! Cute was one of the qualifiers and tho in a grandfather that likes to pinch ravishing 20 year olds butts kind of way I guess he IS....but that isn't really what I was going for! LMAO! But thanks for the thought!
you have great friends GL, its just that a lot of us live too far away.
on a more somber note, this story is creepy enough as it is but it's a little too close to home. The girl who was killed is one of my husbands' good friend's daughter. When I last saw her she was a beautiful sweet little girl. www.ajc.com/news/few-answers-in-midtown-1025655.html
just another reminder to each day enjoy life to the fullest and tell those you love that you love them.
So I got told a few minutes ago that I go to too many concerts, and should practice some moderation.
What? Who told you that? Just shoot em.
I have my own job, pay my own bills, still save up some money. Why not go out doing things I enjoy?
With the way the Republicans are going, I rather have fun now while I still can - before they completely Quack us all over. It doesn't matter if you're like my parents and saved up oodles of money for big emergencies, we'll all end up in the poorhouse once they get their way.
Family A: This family had a albino Burmese python(not that color plays a part in this killers guilt) that they could not afford to feed and they did not have a proper secure lid on top of the snake's cage, they used a blanket . The snake gets hungry and goes after their 2 year old daughter and kills her. Sad story indeed, very sad. These parents quacked up big time, as parents. They did how ever call 911 and immediately reported this accident/lack of any clear judgment to the authorities.
Family B: Daughter goes missing for a month. Nobody calls the police or reports the young girl missing. A matter of fact, the mother, lies about where her child is and goes out partying and drinking and involved in wet-t-shirt contest and such. The missing child shows up months later buried in a field with duct tape around her mouth.
WTF is wrong with this world!!! Family A is found guilty and could be sentenced to 35 years in prison. After their wrong, they did the right thing. Family B, after their wrong, did not do the right thing and she is now free and will probably make millions off the death of her baby.
Sorry to rant about this biznatch, but it drives me nuts! Our justice system is quacked!
If you have any Borders gift cards, USE THEM ASAP!!!
They are liquidating all of the stores, and I just read an article that said gift cards may be voided on Friday.
Wow - I knew they'd taken a major hit as of late, but I didn't realize it was bad enough that they were shutting down all their stores. There's a mall only about a quarter mile from my house, and one of the two anchor stores was a Borders until it shut down in the first week or two of the year. Ever since, that mall - which used to always be packed - has practically become a ghost town. It's had an enormous negative impact on our local economy.
There is still a Barnes & Noble not that much further down the street... for now. But the Kindle, Nook and iPad are going to do for the print industry what the iPod and other mp3 players did for the music industry. It's going to make it easier for independent artists to get their work out there, which is good - but retail locations are going to suffer badly as a result.
It’s the summer concert season and, as usual, many fans are frustrated that rampant ticket scalping online has made seeing their favorite performer almost as much a frustration as a thrill. But now a new group says it wants to help.
This week a new nonprofit group, the Fans First Coalition, announced itself with a mission of protecting ordinary consumers from predatory ticket scalpers. The group appeared to have broad support from the industry, including prominent artists like R.E.M., the Dixie Chicks, Maroon 5 and Jennifer Hudson.
What fans might not know is that the coalition is financed by Live Nation Entertainment, the parent company of Ticketmaster, and that it has grown out of a lobbying fight between Live Nation and StubHub, the biggest legal online ticket reseller, over control of the multibillion-dollar secondary ticketing market.
Muddying the waters further, there is another group with a confusingly similar name, the Fan Freedom Project, which also claims to represent the interests of consumers. But it is largely financed by StubHub, a division of eBay.
The organizations, which were introduced with the help of Washington public relations firms, are of a sort typically referred to as astroturf groups. They are unusual for the entertainment industry but to political watchdogs, the idea of powerful interests creating apparently populist nonprofits is all too familiar.
“This is a classic,” said Ellen S. Miller, executive director of the Sunlight Foundation, which monitors lobbying, “where you find many so-called grass-roots organizations financed by interested industries to fight battles. The campaigns present them as ground-up activities, but they are really nothing more than fronts for particular interests.”
For both sides of the issue, appealing to ordinary fans could help improve longstanding image problems. Anyone can sell tickets on StubHub, but a large portion of its users are brokers, or professional scalpers — not a very beloved constituency. Ticketmaster has long been criticized by fans for the surcharges it adds to tickets (some of which go to pay theaters and promoters).
Over the last decade many states have lifted scalping restrictions, allowing a robust secondary market to develop online. That often pushes ticket prices for the most in-demand shows out of most consumers’ reach, but the market dynamics can also help fans; a StubHub spokesman said that so far this year almost half the tickets there have sold for less than face value.
Both the Fan Freedom Project and the Fans First Coalition say they support basic consumer protections. But they differ over paperless ticketing, a technology that has also become the contentious lobbying issue between Ticketmaster and StubHub, which have spent the last year fighting state by state to influence legislation on ticketing.
Paperless ticketing works like an airline e-ticket, with no traditional ticket printed when a customer places an order. Instead, a fan shows his credit card at the theater box office to enter the show, guaranteeing that the person who originally placed the order is the same one attending the event.
The technology is favored by Ticketmaster and some artists as an antiscalping measure. But it is viewed as a threat to the market dominance of StubHub, which sold more than $1 billion in second-hand tickets last year.
StubHub and the Fan Freedom Project believe that a ticket should be treated as a commodity to be traded or resold at a buyer’s discretion. “As fans, we should be able to sell or give away our tickets to anyone we choose, anytime we choose, in any way we choose,” the Fan Freedom Project says in its mission statement.
Last year, Ticketmaster failed to prevent a change to New York’s scalping law, supported by StubHub and scalpers, which required that consumers have the option for paper tickets. Similar fights have spread to Minnesota, North Carolina, New Jersey and Tennessee, and a bill has been introduced in Congress that would prohibit many restrictions on reselling tickets.
“This issue may get settled on K Street rather than Main Street,” said Gary Bongiovanni, the editor of Pollstar, a concert industry trade publication.
Although Live Nation and StubHub helped create the two nonprofit groups, neither is represented on their boards. Yet Live Nation’s stamp is amply evident on the Fans First Coalition. Of the 35 artists listed among its members, at least 21 are managed by Live Nation and its affiliates.
The company’s competitors also represent a minority of the coalition. The coalition’s secretary, David Balcer, is the director of ticketing at a theater operated by A.E.G. Live, the second-largest promoter after Live Nation. But Randy Phillips, A.E.G.’s chief executive, said that the company itself had not been invited. A spokesman for the coalition said that in time the new group expects to attract members from throughout the industry.
Nathan Hubbard, Live Nation’s chief executive for ticketing and the head of Ticketmaster, acknowledged in an interview that the company supported the Fans First Coalition. Scalping, he said, has become such a widespread problem that it has become crucial to protect ordinary buyers, he said.
“This company hasn’t focused on the fan, and the industry as a whole hasn’t focused on the fan,” Mr. Hubbard said. “And as a result we have a fan-experience problem across the board. Everything you’ve seen us do publicly, we’ve been pushing for how to re-orient the industry on what’s right for the fan.”
The Fans First Coalition denounces scalpers; its Web site defines them as people who “scoop up vast quantities of tickets using sophisticated tools, and then engage in deceptive and unscrupulous marketing practices.” But it stops short of calling for a ban on reselling.
Some industry observes say that is because Live Nation owns TicketsNow, a secondary ticket exchange that is one of StubHub’s biggest competitors. Ticketmaster has also said that people can resell its paperless tickets, although only within Ticketmaster’s system.
Both the Fans First Coalition and the Fan Freedom Project call for a ban on “bots,” computer programs that snatch up reams of the best tickets for resale.
“The Internet has revolutionized the way fans access and purchase tickets, but it has also created an environment where fans are routinely victimized by fraudulent ticketing practices,” Michael Marion, the general manager of the Verizon Arena in North Little Rock, Ark., and president of the Fans First Coalition, said in a statement. The coalition, he added, “seeks to put an end to these practices and ensure fans have a good event experience.”
Like plenty of lobbying efforts, the coalitions have created some odd allegiances. The Fan Freedom Project counts the National Consumers League among its members. Sally Greenberg, its executive director, said that the decision to join the side of ticket scalpers was difficult, but that her group’s opposition to paperless ticketing — which Ms. Greenberg said limits consumer choice — won out.
“We’re sometimes involved with people who are strange bedfellows if we think it serves the interests of consumers,” she said. “Washington is very much this way.”