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Happy holidays!

By the time you read this, I will have barricaded myself in my house and started on my annual Ignore Christmas vacation. No mistletoe, no Miracle on 34th Street and not a drop of egg nog to be found. What works for the ostrich works for me, and there is no holiday so big it cannot be run away from. Ho ho ho!

By JULES ALLEN

© St. Petersburg Times, published December 14, 1998


By the time you read this, I will have barricaded myself in my house and started on my annual Ignore Christmas vacation. No mistletoe, no Miracle on 34th Street and not a drop of egg nog to be found. What works for the ostrich works for me, and there is no holiday so big it cannot be run away from. Ho ho ho!

www.DialogBoxes.com/In a testimonial to how stupid and difficult computers are to use, this bunch of jokers brings you some real and fabricated pop-up message boxes from various computer systems. The more you use a PC, the more you encounter these supposedly helpful messages. They're displayed when an application or operating system tries to tell you something helpful. My personal annoyances are those that ask you to confirm an action such as deleting a file or removing a large section of text. "Yes, I'm darn sure I want to remove that, Dopey!" I think as I click "Do it." I can't wait for voice recognition so I can get into a shouting match with my PC when I try to uninstall Internet Explorer version 54.

members.aol.com/gulfhigh2/words.htmlWordsmiths, teachers and big-brained coffee shop smart alecks are going to simply adore this site. It contains a Scrabble player's nirvana: bunches of words that do odd things like end in Q or have six consonants in a row. During the holiday season, simply have these tattooed to the inside of your eyelids and give the family a severe word game whopping. Thanks to local word-wrangler and math whiz Jeff Miller in Pasco County for e-mailing this in.

www.rsihelp.com/Near and dear to my heart is the study of ergonomics, or how to position yourself in front of a computer for the maximum amount of time without getting bedsores. (Note to self: Look up ergonomics later.) There is some very good information on repetitive stress injuries, warning signs and a review of three keyboards. This site is about 40 percent billboard for the author's consultation and lecture-circuit business, but of course you have to pay for your Web hosting bills somehow. You'll note she has liberally sprinkled pictures of herself around and is much better looking than I am. Except for Dave Gussow, who isn't?

www.interhack.net/pubs/whatsrelated/The sky is falling! All right, it's not quite falling. But located somewhere between pure trust and total paranoia sits Netscape's little What's Related button. If you have recently updated your Netscape browser to at least version 4.06, you'll notice this little extra to the right of the URL line. And if you've clicked it at any point, this page will tell you exactly what type of information you've handed over to Netscape. I just turned mine off as I thought it was boring.

www.thedailyapple.com/I decided I would get a jump on all the fitness Johnny-come-latelys by joining the YMCA. It'll be a mad rush in January as the hordes descend to shed the holiday blubber. With all this newfound energy, I've even scoped out a few fitness sites like the Daily Apple, which is my kind of site, by the way. Plenty of USA Today-size articles with no big, confusing medical words in them.

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