ldyjocelyn

#39: "The little man is healthy, happy, and as loud as his daddy"

Thread Title Poll  

60 members have voted

  1. 1. What should be the next thread title at FCA?

    • New car...See Clay in Spamalot...New car...See Clay in Spamalot..
      4
    • Clay makes spending money on him so enjoyably easy ... and irresistible.
      1
    • I am still here and I still adore this man and have no idea why.
      5
    • Clickables and lickables!!!!!!!!! Life is good again.
      3
    • He's this wonderful mystery. With a great package.
      9
    • WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!
      3
    • With Clay Aiken we've already won the Lotto!
      3
    • Never boring. Always expensive. And worth every cent!
      13
    • He simply makes me smile when I see him.
      14
    • Its not that I don't have a life, its just that these Clay things are so much damn fun!
      5


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No sooner do I order my tickets for November, then there is a discount through November 8th. Sheesh.

I have a question - do you think , now that the last date you can buy Spam tickets has been moved to Feb 1, that Clay may stay on until that date? That would be a good question for Clay.

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Play do they only sell tickets so far out. Is there any reason to think Spam won't just go on for years and years...well at least months and months after Clay is gone.

Hi Standy By Clay...thank you!!

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Well, someone somewher said there wasanother show booked in the theater this spring. All other shows are selling to infinity and beyond! Only Rent and Spam and limited engagements have no dates passed a certain time.

I think I found a way to get wicked tickets for a meager additional fee,. I will look into it more tomorrow.

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Man, it's been a long day. OK, where did I leave off? Oh yeah, in line for the train to Guangzhou. Y'all might be surprised to find that there are not a lot of black Americans in China. And my few Africans as well. Well. I had gotten my ticket and was in line, when this black woman in African dress I don't know from Adam sez,"Pardon" in a vaguely French way to the people behind me and cuts in line behind me, which I found to be distinctly annoying. I ask," Who are you?" but that doesn't seem to do any good since I couldn't say it in either French or Chinese. I shrug and go on. We go through the first set of x-rays, we then go through Customs the first time, I show my passport and think, "this was easy." I need to stop thinking like that. I find the right train and realize I can't figure out my car or seat number - happily someone shows me after I sit in four wrong seats. The train was very comfortable and the ride only about an hour and 45 minutes. Off we get, and head for the real customs, which puts your luggage thorough 3 different x-ray machines. And pulls what few black people there are over for extra screening. The guard actually pulled out my trashy novel with the shirtless hunk on the cover and showed it to the other guards. Happily. he put it back. I exit Customs to a raucous sea of humanity. I approach what I think is the tourism Kiosk, and it turns out to be some hardcore hustlers pushing their hotel. I let them get me a cab which I know was stupidly over priced, and went to my hotel. Oh, my hotel. Well, hard as it is to believe, the lobby is gold. Like a metallic gold. Tacky doesn't begin to describe it.

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The look of surprise on the receptionist's face is not reassuring. She says something in Chinese. I just pull out my e-mail and hand it to her. She calls over 2 other clerks. After much whispered discussion, they finally find my reservation. I fill out a registration card that actually uses carbon paper. Then they ask me for cash for one night. I tell them they agreed to a credit card for 3 nights. We get seriously into charades. We finally agree tothe price on the email, which was 218 yen (or $34 USD) instead of the 594 yen on the board over the desk. I am horrified to realize thatthe Chinese people checking in next to me appear to be paying that. I badly want to say, "Never pay Rack rate" in Cantonese, but can't quite manage it.I'm already taking up three of the clerks. The one that sort of speaks English says they are putting. me in a. deluxe room. One of the ones that doesn't speak English takes me up to the sixth floor. The elevator looks like they shipped it straight from the Bates motel. Except it's red indoor-outdoor carpet. That books like it belongs in a hazardous waste site. The hall carpet is worse, because it's not indoor-outdoor, just regular old incredibly nasty carpet. The room isn't super bad through it looks like they tried to recreate the room at the Courtyard in Hong Kong using the early version of Trading spaces with a $100 budget. And didn't maintain it for about 10 years. It did have a nice size plasma TV. But I didn't see an ethernet connection. Didn't get a wireless connection either. In my first real panic, I desperately call back downstairs. after I clerks come upstairs (neither of whom were the one who spoke English) and lots of pantomime, they understand my problems. Apparently "deluxe" rooms don't have internet they move me down to the 2nd floor, and the carpet is EVEN worse. But than an Ethernet cable. and a dying 3-inch key. No plasma TV,and the AC controls are completely in Chinese. But I have internet. I also have a refrigerator that's only purpose seems to be to hold cans, because it certainly keeps nothing cold. The bed feels like plywood with maybe an inch of a mattress like material. I begin to realize this is way different than Hong Kong Way different It is so not a tourist town.the next morning I get up and go to the front desk to at about the best way to get to Qing Ping market-which is supposed to be famous. apparently the English speaking clerk only works at night, and my "Cantonese" just got blank stares of incomprehension. Finally, I ask to be taken to the rail station - and we all breathed a sigh of relief that they understood-that - they have a 30 year old golf cart that use to ferry people to the train station. Me, I was going to the U.S. consulate. It's 2 blocks from the train station, and hill, I figure someone there has got to speak English. I get to the consulate, and there is a line out the door. I go up front and explain to a dude that I do not need any paperwork done, I just have a question. after working my way through about 4 different people. it finally occurs tome just to show them my passport. oh they tell me, You don't have to wait in line. Sigh. So upstairs I go, bypassing large numbers of people. When I finally get to the American citizens part, I have to take 9 number. It's a rule. So I pull number 7. The desk agent calls, "1". Than "2". no one answers. all the way to "7". I sigh again. They ask what do I want. I hand them the notes for the tourist sites I want to see, and say I need somebody to write them down in Chinese for me. and I need the name B a good dim sum place. They did it, and I went down stars, hailed a cab, gave him the note, and he took me straight to Qing Ping: Which was indescribable. It was like a microcosm of Guangzhou.What looks to me like horrible poverty built right next the most up-to-date mall. My hotel, which was probably hot shit 20 years ago, and now looks like it belongs in Cabrini Green is one street over from an incredible Westin. The juxtaposition is disconcerting to me. I managed to avoid buying any of the live snakes, scorpions, bugs, frogs, turtles, chickens; ducks, and various and sundry unidentifiable pieces of meat hanging everywhere.

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If I never see another dried scallop, it will be too soon. The place was HUGE! But then, Guangzhou is much bigger than I thought, easily the size of L.A. But the taxis are cheap. And so far the dim sum doesn't seem to be any better than Hong Kong.

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Hey KAndre...I'm still up.... yay..I'm going to read your latest update. It's the best travel log ever. You need to go on Amazing Race... in the words of my SIL it would be AWESOME.

ETA: OK that was some funny shit. Cracking up at customs 1 and Customs 2. Glad you got your book back... wonder if they thought it was porn LOL. And thank god for the internet eh? Who needs plasma tv.

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KAndre and Scarlett, thanks for letting us know all the fascinating details of your trip. How much longer are you going to be there? It IS very weird to be confronted with people on a daily basis who have no idea what you're talking about. Sunday we went out to by a table and chair set for the office lunch room. The table and chairs we chose were mismatched in the floor display and we wanted to make sure that the chairs we were buying would actually match the table. Finally, after a lot of pantomime, we understood that the set we were getting would be delivered in a box and master would assemble it when it as delivered. We also got out of the conversation: cash only, delivered by taxi with master the next day, and the color of the seat upholstery. I guess they never got that we wanted the wood to match because when it was delivered it didn't. And John shrugged and said, "It'll be fine." At some point you just have to chuckle and go with the flow.

The juxtaposition of wealth and poverty is something that's hard to get used to, though. And I've learned to knock at least 2 stars off any hotel rating. How is the use of credit cards there outside of Hong Kong? Not many places here take them.

I think I'm going to ditch the school work for a few hours and watch some videos. I am in major missing him frame of mind this week....and I know I'm going to be seeing him soon! I think it's time I got back into watching tennis. We're getting the US Open in prime time on into the wee hours on Eurosport, it's in Russian but I got through the Olympics with it. I can do tennis, easy.

Good Morning Folks!

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Hee, I immediately thought of Clay's Kimmel interview about Chinatown and the octopus legs in dirty water. It also reminds me of the descriptions I have heard of the markets in Taipei. My brother lives there and my mom visited once. There is the chance that I may accompany her back next year, if my brother doesn't get his ass over here soon. His daughter is turning 10 this week and we have yet to meet her.

I've always wanted to go to NYC during the holidays and I finally will.

Me too! Can't wait. What's good to see in NYC in December? I figure the Rockefeller Centre, and the windows on 5th Avenue. Am I on the right track?

The pin ordering was v.v. easy. Thanks couchie and cindilu2!

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Hmmm.. is it a bad sign that *I* didn't get any email about the pins? :wacko: Hee! I didn't know there was a box to check for stuff like that.

Pins are ready for order...Order form can be found here:

Geesh I swear every single time I have to relearn how to do the paypal form.

Thank you Cindilu2...they look great!

I'm pretty happy with the way they turned out - glad you guys like 'em!! :thbighug-1:

Loving the reports from all our world travelers!

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The Broads have their final matchup for this round up! Another tough one...but we always knew these were going to get harder as they went right? Anyway, it's Solitaire from AI3 vs. the St. Paul Invisible "clutch."

Morning everyone!

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Good Morning Everyone:

23 Days until "Spam, Wonderful, Spam"

:woohoo:

31 Days until Clay is Partying with Paula!

:woohoo:

52 Days until The BAF Gala!

:woohoo:

Everyone have a great day!

Kim

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Good morning.

Ugh - tell me those aren't worms or baby snakes in that one picture.......KAndre you are brave, I swear. Here's hoping you and my sb meet up as planned!

No Clay content this morning so will just post some pictures from wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy back.....a little trip down memory lane.

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(toes again....hee!)

Now - look at the first picture and then look at this one:

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Do you think Clay has filled out a little? Got a nice set of shoulders on him!!!!

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So.... if K'andre does not post in a few hours, how do we send out a rescue team? I didn't know you could go to the consulate for translations. I thought you only called them if you were in jail or something, nothing an FCAer would have to worry about.

Very courageous about going to the bird market, wasn't that one of those places where the bird flu started? But then again, the US government declared Jersey tomatoes a source of food poisoning and made the farmers destroy their crops when, whoops, it turned out to be from Mexican peppers.

Keeps those "cards and letters" coming, I am hooked on the vicarious adventure

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Hi guys. Just popping in to share a really interesting article I found this morning while reading comments about Hillary's speech last night (love that woman!). Take the political references out and who do you think of? According to some of the comments, it is not just us who have problems with the "media" and so-called journalists.

http://www.niemanwatchdog.org/index.cfm?fu...kgroundid=00275

How unscrupulous campaign strategists are taking advantage of a quirk in our brains – and what reporters can do to stop helping them

COMMENTARY | August 25, 2008

Because of the way humans process information, political journalists who think they are dispelling false beliefs may actually be spreading them. Two brain experts offer ground rules for reporters who want to avoid becoming accessories to disinformation campaigns. Rule one: Stop repeating things that aren't true.

By Sam Wang and Sandra Aamodt

sswang@princeton.edu and sandra.aamodt@gmail.com

In this year's mud-filled presidential campaign, journalists have a responsibility to help the public distinguish fact from fiction. Unfortunately, current reporting practices are undermined by the quirky and often misleading ways that our brains process contradictory information. Understanding those quirks suggests four techniques to help journalists dispel false beliefs.

According to a recent Pew Research Center survey, Americans increasingly get their news from multiple sources. More than one-third use Internet-based sources such as Web sites, blogs, and even social networking sites. Only a minority rely entirely on traditional sources, including print, radio, television, and cable news. The survey did not include chain e-mail, which has fed rumors that Christian presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama is a Muslim. This proliferation of sources creates competitive pressure on journalists to bend their standards in order to get a story quickly.

Our brains tend to remember facts that accord with our worldview, and discount statements that contradict it. In one Stanford study, 48 students, half of whom said they favored capital punishment and half of whom said they opposed it, were shown two pieces of evidence. One confirmed the claim that capital punishment deters crime, and the other contradicted it. Both groups were more convinced by the evidence that supported their initial position, a phenomenon known as biased assimilation.

This is one reason that propagandists can be effective simply by creating confusion. Unscrupulous campaign strategists know that if their message is initially memorable, its impression will persist long after it is debunked.

The human brain also does not save information permanently, as do computer drives and printed pages. Recent research suggests that every time the brain recalls a piece of information, it is "written" down again and often modified in the process. Along the way, the fact is gradually separated from its original context. For example, most people don't remember how they know that the capital of Massachusetts is Boston.

This phenomenon, known as source amnesia, leads people to forget over time where they heard a statement - and whether it is true. A statement that is initially not believed can gain credibility during the months that it takes to reprocess memories from short-term to longer-term storage. As the source is forgotten, the message and its implications may gain strength. Source amnesia could explain why, during the 2004 presidential campaign, it took some time for the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth campaign against Senator John Kerry to affect his standing in the race.

In another Stanford study, students were exposed repeatedly to the unsubstantiated claim that Coca-Cola is an effective paint thinner. Those who read the statement five times were nearly one-third more likely than those who read it only twice to attribute it to Consumer Reports (rather than the National Enquirer), giving it a gloss of credibility. Thus the classic opening line "I think I read somewhere," or even reference to a specific source, is often used to support falsehoods. Similarly, psychologist Daniel Gilbert and his colleagues have shown that if people are distracted from thinking critically, they default to automatically accepting statements as true.

Finally, ideas can spread by emotional selection, rather than by their factual merits. Memory formation is aided by the universal emotions of fear and disgust. Moral disgust played a role in 2000, when Bush campaign operatives spread false rumors that Senator John McCain had fathered a mixed-race child, damaging McCain’s support among southern Republican primary voters.

Journalists should avoid presenting both sides of a story when one is false - and take into account how readers' brains process the disagreements. The following four rules can guide their efforts.

1. State the facts without reinforcing the falsehood. Repeating a false rumor can inadvertently make it stronger. In covering the controversy over a New Yorker cover caricaturing Barack and Michelle Obama, many journalists repeated the charges against the candidate - often citing polling data on how many Americans believe them - before noting that the beliefs were false. Particularly damaging is the common practice of replaying parts of an ad before debunking its content.

A related mistake is saying that something is newsworthy because "the story is out there." Reporting on coverage by a less credible source such as The Drudge Report, even with disclaimers, will inevitably spread the story. False statements should not be presented neutrally since they are likely to be remembered later as being true.

2. Tell the truth with images. Nearly half of the brain is dedicated to processing visual information. When images do not match words, viewers tend to remember what they see, not what they hear. Karl Rove has said that campaigns should be run as if the television's sound is turned down.

Television journalists should avoid presenting images that contradict the story. One recent CNN report on autism was accompanied by images of concerned mothers, vaccines, doctor’s offices, and autistic children - even though the voiceover reported a scientific finding that debunked a link between vaccines and autism. Another recent story featured a threatening swarthy face subtitled "Obama the Antichrist?" - a statement that CNN would presumably not claim to be true.

3. Provide a compelling storyline or mental framework for the truth. Effective debunking requires replacing the falsehood with positive content. A good response to the McCain rumor, for example, would tell about his adoption of his adopted Bangladeshi daughter Bridget, thereby accounting for photographs of him with a dark-skinned child.

4. Discredit the source. Ideas have special staying power if they evoke a feeling of disgust. Indeed, brain pathways dedicated to processing disgust can be activated by descriptions of morally repellent behavior. The motives of the purveyors of falsehoods can provide a powerful story hook. A recent example is the press coverage pointing out Obama Nation author Jerome Corsi's motivations and past of racist Web commentary and allegations of Bush Administration complicity in the 9/11 attacks.

To avoid contributing to the formation of false beliefs, journalists may need to re-examine their practices. In 1919, Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote that "the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market." Our brains do not naturally obey this admirable dictum. But by better understanding the mechanisms of memory, perhaps journalists can move their modern audience closer to Holmes's ideal.

Sam Wang, an associate professor of neuroscience and molecular biology at Princeton University, and Sandra Aamodt, a former editor in chief of Nature Neuroscience, are the authors of “Welcome to Your Brain: Why You Lose Your Car Keys but Never Forget How to Drive and Other Puzzles of Everyday Life.”

Edited to add (because I always forget something)....LOVE the early pics of Clay!

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Keeps those "cards and letters" coming, I am hooked on the vicarious adventure

Me too! KAndre and Scarlett, you do AWESOME recaps! I'm very much a non-verbose writer (except when for some reason I am verbose), but I love how conversational you all are.

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pkmiller

Hi guys. Just popping in to share a really interesting article I found this morning while reading comments about Hillary's speech last night (love that woman!). Take the political references out and who do you think of? According to some of the comments, it is not just us who have problems with the "media" and so-called journalists.

http://www.niemanwatchdog.org/index.cfm?fu...kgroundid=00275

How unscrupulous campaign strategists are taking advantage of a quirk in our brains – and what reporters can do to stop helping them

Thanks for posting this article. It does explain why seemingly intelligent people can be sucked into believing something untrue.

Oh, I wish that courses in Critical Thinking were required for all students in our schools.

cindilu2 Love the pins. Thank you for creating them.

K'andre I am really enjoying your travelogue...there is a kitten in a cage along with the chickens...I hope it is being sold as a pet and not something for dinner.

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Um. Pkmiller, some of us believe honest journalists and reporters without agendas are a bit more rarer than dodo birds. There may be some out there, but for the most part, I have not encountered them. So, while it may be good advice, many will do just the opposite.

I realized I many have insulted some people with family members who are reporters, but it doesn't count if they have not crossed my radar.

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Whew! Meetings, meetings and more meetings today. Now it's time for lunch. I think I'll run downstairs, grab a sandwich and head back here to read KAndre's latest travelogue! :ready6:

ETA: I'm glad I ate before reading, or I'd be trying to clean bits of turkey sandwich and baked Lays out of my keyboard with a Lysol disinfecting wipe! :hysterical:

Just got SPAM mail!

Oops - I cut off a bit . . .

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That's CUTE! And the the guy in the pic ain't bad either! Oooooh, I hope I can scrape together the funds to get back to NYC this time, see Parker's daddy soil his pants, and meet up with some FCA'ers again! :partytime2:

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Anna, guess who?!?!

I said hi to you in the meet and greet forum.

I sure hope you scrape up some money. What do you think about renting a car and we'll just sleep in it too :cryingwlaughter: No need to worry about a hotel!

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Anna, guess who?!?!

I said hi to you in the meet and greet forum.

I sure hope you scrape up some money. What do you think about renting a car and we'll just sleep in it too :cryingwlaughter: No need to worry about a hotel!

Hi there!!! :thbighug-1:

Hey, we don't need to rent a car - we can sleep in my VUE! Gas to get there is more the i$$ue, but I think by January something will work out.

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Gosh, it's slow here...

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BTW...the last one reminds me -- on Friday night, August 29, Fox is rerunning Clay's AYSTAFG episode. Remember how CUTE he was on that show?

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