Tuesday, June 27, 2006
I know that I usually have more posted here by now, but I have a good reason.
I've been getting ready for a trip that I'll be taking to San Antonio, Texas later this week, so I haven't had the time to post here. However, once I'm there, I'll try to get caught up on stuff that I wanted to post. Heck, I might even post some pics of San Antone while I'm there! Gotta love the Internet Age!
Anyway, keep checking back, because I will be posting here before the end of the week. :-)
In the meantime, read this story about Axl Rose. What's up with that?
Saturday, June 24, 2006
In the DC universe is a new superhero whose name in Chinese translates as “Mother of Champions.” She is called “Mother of Champions” because her superhero power is… well, she can give birth to 25 children at a rate of every third day. I realize that superhero stories tend to push the concept of “suspension of disbelief”, but this is a bit much even for the superhero genre! Does this poor woman ever get to do anything normal, like going out to eat or visiting a theme park? Plus, a woman as fertile as she is, I can imagine telling any man who comes too close to her “Don’t touch me, or I’ll have 25 of your kids!” I can't imagine a man who wouldn't be frightened away by such a threat.
With basketball season over, now it’s time to get into baseball. Earlier in the baseball season, the Texas Rangers had a 5 game lead in their division, largely due to the fact that they are in the worst division in baseball. During that time, I had said that the Rangers needed to work on extending that lead while the other division teams were doing poorly. I had said that they needed to extend that lead to 10 games, then 15 and more while they had the chance. But did they listen? Of course not! Well, now the lead is gone, and they are battling the Oakland A’s for the division lead. So far, they’ve been exchanging the lead as one team wins while the other loses, and then changing places as the other team wins while the first team loses. This is the sort of thing that I had warned about. Sigh. Fortunately, there’s still more than half of the season to go.
Ozzie Guillen: The Mouth heard 'round the world
And speaking of baseball, Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen made news this week for uttering the "f" word to a sports columnist. No, not THAT "f" word, the other one -- "fag". I remember some years back talking about another sports figure who also made news about his comments: John Rocker. Back then, he had talked about not wanted to ride New York's subways next to undesirable folks, including "a queer with AIDS". Not surprisingly, he got grief for that, and he was ordered to undergo sensitivity training, as Ozzie was told to do. I can understand why MLB would fine players for saying such things, and I can even understand suspending them for a certain amount of time, but I think that the sensitivity training is largely going to be a waste of time.
Will this training actually help these players to be more sensitive, or will it instead teach them to shut up and let them stew in their juices? With Rocker, I had said that --while his speech was offensive-- he had as much a right to say it as anyone else has to say something offensive. Rather than try to censor Rocker, it's best to just let him mouth off so others can see how bad he is. Censoring would only make him a martyr, and he doesn't deserve such an honor. It's best to just let these players sink or swim in regards to their comments by respecting their freedom of speech, rather than come down in such a way that is more likely to create resentment rather than help them see the errors of their ways.
Also, others have a right to protest Ozzie's statement. That's the beauty of our freedom of speech. Others have the right to tell Ozzie that his remarks are offensive, and that they reflect poorly on the Sox, and on MLB in general. That way, he has to defend his remarks --or apologize for them. That's how this should play out; that's how freedom of speech should work. "Sensitivity training" is only for show to make it appear that the person in charge is doing something about an offensive person; but in truth it will accomplish nothing. I fully doubt that Gullien is going to come out of sensitivity training more sympathetic to homosexuals. If anything, he'll be more resentful --and NOT more sensitive.
News of our animal friends
Now for a couple of notations of our animal friends. First, this story of a goat named "Billy" (what an imaginative name!) in England, who got butted out for disorderly conduct during a review. The goat got out of formation and disrupted the review --all in front of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth! Horrors! Well, the goat got a demotion for that. I just hope that the other goats were paying attention.
Another disorderly creature is a pelican in this story, in which she ran into a car due to being intoxicated --but from possibly eating tainted algae, not from downing brewskis. In the story, it reports of similar strange behavior from other pelicans. Sounds more to me like the pelicans have learned how to party from the teenagers and college students who have parties on their beach. Or perhaps they watched too many episodes of MTV's Spring Break. Couldn't they have picked up other, more respectable habits from humans?
Some of my more regular readers know that I've pretty much settled in on making these Weekend Wrap-ups. However, you also know that I tend to experiment with other ideas in order to push my writing and artistic talents into new, more challenging directions. Let me pop this new idea at you and see what you think. How about, once a week, I have "Topics Tuesday" or "Topics Thursday"? Once a week on Tuesday or Thursday, I shall discuss a certain topic and try to talk about it for the average length of a column -- usually 750 to 800 words. It could be a current topic in the news at the time, or it could be my take on a given issue that comes up once in a while.
I really want to work on the opinionating part of my blog entries, because that's the main reason that I made it. Plus, I want to get into the habit of writing on a consistent basis. If I set myself up to write a column on Tuesday or Thursday, then it makes it easier to motivate myself to write. Why Tuesday or Thursday? Because it's easier to remember when I stick the word "Topics" in front of it. Maybe I can come up with something earlier in the week and post my comments on Tuesday. Or, if nothing's coming on Tuesday, I'll wait until Thursday and do it then. I can also try to plan an editorial cartoon to go with it.
I'll still do my Weekend Wrap-ups on Saturday or Sunday, and maybe I can make Friday "Freaky Friday", in which I pick an unusual news item and talk about that. The other days of the week can be for other commentary, or for me to post some artwork or interesting photographs. This is a work in progess, as you can see. ;-)
Thursday, June 22, 2006
That title rightly belongs instead to the New York Yankees in the 2004 ALCS, who--after being up 3-0 against the Boston Red Sox-- proceeded to lose the next four to them. The Mavs, as you should recall --since it was just last week!-- were up 2-0, not 3-0. I can see how folks in the East Coast may think of the Mavs' collapse as being the worst ever, because they're likely still in denial over their collapse to the Sox in '04. It's that ol' East Coast Bias rearing its ugly head again. ;-)
Nope, sorry Yankee fans... the Great Choke Award stays in the Big Apple. >:-)
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Google Earth is your program to discover that. :-)
Here's the page to download the programs.
To learn more about Google Earth itself, here's the home page.
Anyway, once you've set up the program, type in your city so that it will zoom into your city. Scroll around and check it out. Once you've played around in your city, type in a city that's somewhere across the ocean. Then watch as the program flies from your city to that other city. It's probably how things look from Superman's perspective.
"Up, up and away!"
In a rather depressing turn of events, the Dallas Mavericks’ run for the championship ended last night. It was rather depressing, because mere days ago, the Mavs were up 2-0, and there was already talk of parade routes and such. Unfortunately, such talk proved premature, as the Mavs hadn’t won the championship yet. NOTE FOR NEXT TIME (if there IS a next time): Win Championship Before Talking Parades!!
First, I gotta give the Heat credit. They overcame their own obstacles to get to the championship, including starting out the championship series down 0-2. But they fought, and they fought, and they fought. And Dwayne Wade had an awesome series. He played like Dirk Nowitski should have played. If Wade doesn’t get the MVP for the series, then Mark Cuban should complain about that just as vociferously as he did about the officiating.
While the Heat fought for their championship, the Mavs responded by wilting and complaining. And while I love Cuban to death for what he’s done to bring the Mavs back around, sometimes he needs to sit down and shut up. I agree that the officiating was rather suspect –if it was enough for Avery Johnson to complain about it, then it was suspect—but sometimes Cuban does more harm than good whenever he goes off on one of his rants.
Now my complaints about the Mavs. Somehow, someway, they are going to need to make driving to the basket the bread-and-butter of their offensive strategy. While having perimeter shooters is great, nothing affects an opponents’ defensive strategy than an aggressive attack plan like driving to the basket time and time again. Find big, strong guys that are hard to stop when they drive to the basket, or get small guys that can run around the big dudes like a deer running around in a forest –in other words, SOMETHING that involves moving towards the basket for a high-percentage shot as well as a chance of drawing a foul.
Either option would be better than the perimeter shooting strategy that the Mavs kept falling back on time and time again. And those 3-pointers! ARRGGH!! Logic should tell you that if you’ve made only 1 out of 10 3-pointers during a given game, then you just don’t have it going for that game, and you need to do something else to get your baskets –like driving to the basket and drawing a foul.
In other words, if you can’t get the threes from beyond the arc, then get them the old-fashioned way: at the free throw line. While threes can be fun and exciting, they need to be used selectively –they should not BECOME the whole offensive strategy for a team’s offense. That’s like playing the lotto as a retirement plan!
The Mavs have their work cut out for them in the off season. While there is no need to replace many of our starters, I think some of our bench can be offered up for better players. My # 1 trade bait is Keith Van Horn. The guy’s got the skills –so long as he stays healthy. But his inconsistency and unreliability are only going to get worse the older he gets –so the Mavs might as well let him go and try someone else.
I’d like to hold on to DeSagana Diop (I’m not sure exactly how that name is pronounced, but it always sounded like “Savanna Jack” to me) if possible, but if he can bring a player with similar skills AND who can score, then I’m willing to let him go, too. Jerry Stackhouse is also likely expendable for the right replacement. I want to keep our core players intact, though, since they are used to working with each other, and now they can provide more leadership for the rest of team with this recent playoff experience under their belts.
Anyway, I am glad to have had the Mavs get this far. It was a great ride –disappointing in the end, of course, but how many teams would kill for the chance to be in a Finals? As with any sport, there’s always next year, and with the growth and learning experiences from this year’s playoffs, it gives us hope for future championships.
Thanks for the ride, fellas. See you next year.
Monday, June 19, 2006
Now, I happen to have opposed this war --not so much its mission, but how it has been carried out. But before this blog entry becomes an anti-war rant, I shall continue with the point about Joe Lieberman. I happen to like Joe Lieberman, and I wish that he had gotten to nod in 2004 to be the Democratic representative for president instead of John Kerry. I think the Dems bungled badly in choosing John F. (the F is for "flipflop") Kerry, because he basically was a clone of Al "I invented the Internet" Gore. Joe is the kind of Democrat I can support, even if I happen to disagree with his views on the war.
The reason for that is because Joe seems to be a man of honor and integrity. During Bill Clinton's scandal with Monica Lewinski, Joe was the only Dem who had any balls to point out the wrong of Clinton's behavior. It was partly because of that bravery that he was nominated as a running mate for Al Gore in 2000. However, it was not enough to give him the nod for 2004.
That's unfortunate, especially giving the Dems' recent cries of "a culture of corruption" in regards to the GOP. Joe could have been at the front of that --that is, if the Dems were truly interested in rooting out the culture of corruption. In other words, the Dems' cry of outrage over that culture is for show only. No doubt, once back in power, the Dems will simply substitute the GOP's culture of corruption with their own. That's how jaded I am of our politicians' ability to change.
But Joe would have been different. He could have helped the Dems return to their roots. Instead, they've opted to continue heading down the path to their destruction that is being led by Dems like Howard "YAAAHH!!" Dean. However, Joe can see the signs, as evidenced by his comments below (and which is in the article that I linked above):
"I know I'm taking a position that is not popular within the party, but that is a challenge for the party --whether it will accept diversity of opinio or is on a kind of crusade or jihad of its own to have everybody toe the line. No successful party has ever done that."
And thus, we see that Joe can read the writing on the wall, as many former Democratic supporters such as myself have also seen: The Party of Diversity is on your side so long as you accept their idea of diversity. In that article, it mentions that Joe may have to run as an independent in Conneticut's primaries later this year. I truly hope he does, because it could serve as the start of something that will break the two-party deadlock that has been in this country for far too long.
Saturday, June 17, 2006
Yep, those congress dudes gave themselves a pay raise. Grass is also green. The sun rises in the east and sets in the west. Water is wet. Why this was news, I don't know. Ah, if only it were that easy to give myself a pay raise.... I would have been retired by now! The hardly unexpected thing is, they did it a sneaky way in which they didn't have to actually vote on giving themselves a raise --it's automatically done due to some legislation that automatically factors it in ----
---unless the House votes to deny themselves that raise.
---but they'll deny themselves a raise the very same day that I marry Halle Berry.
Well, the Dallas Mavericks sure made themselves look silly in Game 4. Talk about their butts being handed to them...
Even with that, I still believe that the Mavs are going to win it all. But now, they're going to have to work harder for it, and even harder than they expected, because Jerry Stackhouse has gotten suspended for a game for a hard foul that he gave Shaquille O'Neal. Silly Stacky. Only Shaq can get away with those kinds of fouls!!
But I got faith the The General will straighten them out --you'll see. Coach Avery has made those adjustments so far in these playoffs, and he just needs to do them for two more victories. In a move to get away from distractions and to help them get their focus back, The General has moved his team's practice from Miami to Fort Lauderdale.
Uh... Isn't Ft. Lauderdale where all those Spring Breakers go to? And isn't that were they film a lot of those "Girls Gone Wild" videos? Well, the Mavs' attention will certainly not be distracted by the bad vibes in Miami while they're away in Ft. Lauderdale--let's just hope that they stay focused on basketball, and are not distracted by something else entirely!
"Officer, I can explain..."
A car chase in Dallas ended in a very unusual way. Somehow, the taxi van that the thief hijacked ended up dangling --yes, dangling-- from a utility pole wire. The attached article mentions that the taxi ran into the pole, but it does not explain how it ended up dangling from that wire. My guess is that he hit the pole so hard (and at a slight angle) that the front end of the van jumped up that high to snag its bumper onto that wire. One thing you gotta say... whoever installed that wire onto the utility pole did a DAMN good job!
Pic of that church as it looks from the side
Remember that church pic that I posted here earlier in the week? Here’s how it looks from the side. The red arrow shows the end that I took that pic from earlier in the week.
In the close-up below, you can see how even the shingles emphasize the slant of the roof.
However you might feel about the design, it does certainly draw attention. If that was their goal, it certainly was accomplished.
Thursday, June 15, 2006
Will Rogers, who died in a plane crash with Wylie Post in 1935, was probably
the greatest political sage this country has ever known. Enjoy the following:
1. Never slap a man who's chewing tobacco.
2. Never kick a cow chip on a hot day.
3. There are 2 theories to arguing with a woman...neither works.
4. Never miss a good chance to shut up.
5. Always drink upstream from the herd.
6. If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.
7. The quickest way to double your money is to fold it and put it
back in your pocket.
8. There are three kinds of men: The ones that learn by reading.
The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to
pee on the electric fence and find out for themselves.
9. Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes
from bad judgment.
10. If you're riding' ahead of the herd, take a look back every now
and then to make sure it's still there.
11. Lettin' the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier'n puttin' it back.
12. After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started
roaring. He kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him. The moral:
When you're full of bull, keep your mouth shut.
ABOUT GROWING OLDER...
First ~ Eventually you will reach a point when you stop lying about your
age and start bragging about it.
Second ~ The older we get, the fewer things seem worth waiting in line for.
Third ~ Some people try to turn back their odometers. Not me, I want people
to know "why" I look this way. I've traveled a long way and some of the roads
Fourth ~ When you are dissatisfied and would like to go back to youth,
think of Algebra.
Fifth ~ You know you are getting old when everything either dries up or leaks.
Sixth ~ I don't know how I got over the hill without getting to the top.
Seventh ~ One of the many things no one tells you about aging is that
it is such a nice change from being young.
Eighth ~ One must wait until evening to see how splendid the day has been.
Ninth ~ Being young is beautiful, but being old is comfortable.
Tenth ~ Long ago when men cursed and beat the ground with sticks, it
was called witchcraft. Today it's called golf
And finally ~ If you don't learn to laugh at trouble, you won't have anything
to laugh at when you are old.
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
But rather than dwell on this one loss, let's instead check out this pic of a local church:
In the pic above, the roof has a very severe slant. The edge of the roof that is at this end (the back of the church) is much lower than the front end (with the cross on top), so that you end up seeing an interesting visual effect of the roof looking like some kind of border or trim around the back entrance to the church, rather than being the roof of the church. I'll let you look at this for a couple of days, then I'll post how this church looks from the side, so that you can see what I mean about the severe slant of the roof.
Monday, June 12, 2006
Last night's game showed how well the Mavs can adjust to their opponents' strengths and weaknesses. The Mavs did so well that the Big Man Shaq was made to sit down for most of the game. The Mavs made a more concentrated effort to get the boards, which helped them enormously. If there was a game that the Heat should win, it's tomorrow's, because they're playing in their home court in Miami, plus now they're desperate for a win. However, I don't want the Mavs to give them hope that, if they win one game, then perhaps they can win another. I still stick by my prediction of the Mavs in 5, althought I won't complain if they end up sweeping the Heat. ;-)
Saturday, June 10, 2006
Yep, folks, the reason that I haven't posted since Wednesday is because the Blogger site had some kind of mechanical problems, and I couldn't log on. To make up for my absence and just because I love you guys, this week's Weekend Wrap-up will be a little longer. :-)
Dallas Maverick win Game 1
Normally I save the sports stuff until the end of my Weekend Wrap-ups, but I'm so excited by the Mavs finally getting to the finals and winning game 1 that I couldn't wait to get to this entry. First, it was an ugly win, but more important than that is that it was a win. The one thing that I did see right off the bat for the Mavs to work much harder on is rebounding. They were outrebounded as a team for the first time in this playoffs. And unlike the Phoenix series, driving to the basket to get the foul won't work as well against someone the size of Shaq. This stresses the need for the Mavs to work on their perimeter shots and their 3 pointers.
However, unlike both the San Antonio and Phoenix series, it didn't take a first game loss for the Mavs to learn how to adjust to a new team. That's a good sign, and it's also why I'm changing my prediction for this best-of-seven series. Before I had said that the Mavs will win it in 6. Due to this mid-game adjustment in game 1 to win it, I now think that the Mavs can win it in 5. :-D
Terrell "Terrible" Owens wears Shaq's jersey to Mavs game
Remember that old Jim Croce song that has these lyrics? “You don’t tug on Superman’s cape. You don’t spit into the wind. You don’t pull the mask off the ol’ Lone Ranger and you don’t mess around with Jim.” Well, Terrell “Terrible” Owens would do all those things.
In probably an indication what is likely to come for the Dallas Cowboys, T.O. came to the Mavs game wearing a Miami Heat jersey with Shaq’s number. He had on a Mavs’ hat, but the whole thing smacked of an ego trip to get attention. The best thing to do would have been to ignore him –which is the last thing he’d want –but the sports media isn’t about to ignore someone as controversial as T.O. I hope some huge Mavs fan gave him a wedgie.
Man-hugging blog entry
On a site that I frequently post on, I posted the text of my man-hugging blog entry from earlier this week. Boy, I tell ya, that started a conversation the length of which I did not expect. Apparently, some folks take this issue very seriously, and I was lectured on how things are done differently in other countries and how in some countries, men even kiss and hold hands as well as hug. Well, gol-ly! I guess we've been doing it all wrong, then! Others talked about how they (the men, that is) aren't keen on man-hugging largely because their fathers weren't affectionate in that way with them.
Seriously folks, that blog entry was meant more as tongue-in-cheek humor rather than as a serious expression of dissatisfaction of hugging my fellow men. Yeah, I'll hug my buds and male family members --it's really not that big a deal. I just found Randy Galloway's column the topic funny enough to mention here and on that other site; I didn't mean to open up anyone's repressed memories of how they didn't get along with their fathers and such. By all means, go hug those men!
But I still prefer to hug women. That hasn't changed.
Hillary, Gore and Kerry: The Democrats' 3 Stooges
In this column, Peter A. Brown comments on Hillary Clinton's recent showing in Florida, in which she couldn't pull 50% even against GOP unknowns. According to conventional wisdom (I just gotta find out who this "Conventional Wisdom" guy is, since they quote him so much), a candidate who can't get 50% against an unknown is not likely a winnable candidate. Well hell, I coulda told them that about Hillary Clinton. Hillary has too much baggage to win as president. Plus, her recent attempt to "reinvent" herself as a moderate comes off as so phony that it's unbelieveable even by a politician's standards. The main draw for her running in the first place is largely that she will be the first female candidate to run as president. But this is a novelty that won't work as intended so long as Hillary is the candidate. No doubt that Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity have literally a file cabinet or two of stuff that they can bring up against her should she indeed become the Democratic Party's candidate for president.
Other possible candidates include Al Gore and John Kerry. I say, no and no. They both lost to Bush, despite having so much working in their favor; especially Kerry, who couldn't beat a wounded candidate who had a poor showing in the debates. So I say go with somebody else --someone who isn't known to be a liberal hack. Go with someone who really could be a draw, even for members of the GOP. My recommendation would be Joe Leiberman. It's not going to happen, of course, but if the Dems really were serious about unseating the GOP's power structure, this this sort of bold move is what they would need to do. Too bad that it ain't gonna happen.
"Animal House" raided
In a case of life imitating art, the fraternity house that inspired the 1978 movie "Animal House", was raided by the police after a two-year investigation. Thanks largely to this movie and the reinforcement given by stations such as MTV, universities now seem to have a reputation for using time in college to party and get drunk. I think that's unfortunate. I don't mean to be a prude, but I'm rather tired of hearing how some college student literally drank him or herself to death because they overdosed on alcohol. Time spent in college is supposed to be a time of learning --but what does a college student learn when they drink themselves to death?
Many universities have been trying to fight this perception of college life being a 4-year long bacchanalia, but at this point in time, it's an uphill battle. But it's a battle that still needs to be fought. These young people work so hard to get where they are, and their parents spent so much time and love on their children, and for what? For these parents to lose thier children in such a way as death by alcohol overdose, there's no other way that this can be described than as as a senseless tragedy. This insanity needs to stop, folks, and colleges need to dry out. I don't mean to end this blog entry on a down note, but this is a serious matter that needs addressing.
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
I am starting to wonder if some men have more than one phobia?
I don't see anything wrong with hugging, yes a handshake between coworkers, but a hug when you have not seen your brother in a long time. Or your Father. Or a good friend.
Well, see --you're a woman, and women hug each other all the time. Women kiss each other, even. Heck, they even go to the bathroom together. This is the communal nature of women, and there's nothing wrong with that. Women work in groups with other women, and I sincerely believe that God meant it that way.
But us men, well... we're hunters. We work alone. We like our space. And we get suspicious of men who hug us too long. We especially get suspicious of men who kiss us or go to the bathroom with us. It just ain't done. This is also why we're suspicious of the king dude in the Burger King commercials.
We're just a suspicous sort, in other words. I think God meant for us to have that like women with their communal nature. It must be a Natural Law or something.
And of course, that also means that we save all our special hugs and kisses for the women in our lives. ;-) :-D
Added June 8, 2006:
Wearing pink, hugging other guys.... I am scared to think of what some women will want us to do next!!!
Yep, that's how it starts. Before you know it, we're "metrosexuals". Imagine if our caveman ancestors took up being metrosexuals. They would have never gone hunting! And then where would we be today?
Perhaps they would have still gone hunting, but have been better acessorized.
The only accessories the cavemen should have needed was a spear that can be thrown with reasonable accuracy.
And perhaps a beer, but only after the hunt. One should never drink and spear-chuck -because you might spear the wrong target.
Okay, now to address a serious issue for men. I speak, of course, of man-hugging. Sports columnist Randy Galloway of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram has written a column on this very important issue, and he covers the issue very well. In short, men hug each other only during certain times --like the Dallas Mavericks winning the Western Conference Finals. When the Mavs win the NBA Finals (notice that I said WHEN. It will be the Mavs over the Heat in 6 games!), then it will be acceptable to hug men again. But only one time, and briefly. There's rules about this sort of stuff. The issue of man-hugging probably already has several entries in that "Man Laws" website. So in summary, we'll hug other men, but only under certain circumstances --and we won't enjoy it.
We'd much rather hug women. ;-)
Monday, June 05, 2006
This is a string of video clips of cats doing crazy stuff.
It's either a funny video of cats or a video of funny cats (maybe both!). Either way, it's so funny that I had to try real hard to keep from laughing out loud at work!
Friday, June 02, 2006
Some of you may not remember that there once was a Batwoman. Well, she's back, and she's gay. Actually, she's not the first gay superhero. I can think of at least three or four that have already come out, so I don't know why this is necessarily news. The attached article stated DC Comics' desire to provide diversity in the types of characters that it presents. However, it also mentions some comments that if diversity is indeed being sought, then why not have a fat, ugly superhero? I agree. Can't a fat, ugly person still be heroic, rather than as "comic relief" as they're usually portrayed? And while we're on the issue of diversity in superheroes, I have never seen a prolife superhero. This push for diversity in the superhero biz still needs some work.
Boston College prof quits over Rice's appearance
Steve Almond, an adjunct professor at Boston College, has resigned in protest over the appearance of Dr. Condolezza Rice speaking at the school's graduation ceremony. While he's entitled to his views on Dr. Rice and the war in Iraq, his resignation is simply foolish. Does he make his statement? Yes, he does. Well, she's spoken, and she's still Secretary of State, and the war in Iraq still goes on. But now, he's not working at Boston College anymore. It was a foolish act, because now he is not present to continue making his stands and statements there. This is not how to discuss and debate the issues. Walking out only means that you are no longer there to help with the defense of your side of the issues. Even worse, it makes you look like a sore loser who can't take debate and discussion unless everyone agrees with you. Now the students at Boston College have one less defender for those in opposition of the war in Iraq. Way to go, Steve-o.
This makes me realize that there's a certain pattern that often happens when issues of importance are discussed. Sometimes a speaker will dominate the debate by being loud and vitriolic. If a given speaker of a given side can't dominate a debate with his (or her) loud and vitriolic words and behavior, then he's likey to either be escorted out, or he'll storm off on his own. In either instance, it's good for a debate for such a person to be taken out of the debate, for if he is allowed to continue this behavior, then nothing will be discussed other than what that person wants discussed.
Debating has become a lost art that needs to be recovered, and Steve Almond's action above is not the way to recover that much needed skill. While he didn't try to dominate the issue of Rice's appearance at Boston College, he still chose to remove himself from the debate --which in essence, is a virtual admission from him that he had no counterargument for Rice's views, so he chose to excuse himself from the scene instead by using this "walking out in protest" cover. If the anti-war supporters want their views heard, then they need to keep their butts planted where they need to be, and stop any more of these silly, self-serving "look at me!" displays.
After an exciting win in Game 5 (including a 50-point performance from Dirk Nowitzki), the Dallas Mavericks need to go ahead and finish off the Phoenix Suns tonight, because the Miami Heat have already won their series. If the Mavs lose this one and go to a Game 7, then that gives the Heat additional time to rest before the NBA Finals begin. With Shaq not being his old self, the last thing we would want is to give him additional time to rest. Let's keep him playing fatigued! Of course, the Suns won't just lie down and die for the Mavs, but the last game showed what the Mighty Mavs can do to the Suns if they wanted to. It also showed what they can do to any team if they wanted to. It's enough to win this series tonight, and it's also enough to win a championship, if they really wanted it to.
While the playoffs are going on with the Mavs, the Texas Rangers have been relegated to the "In other news" portion of the local sports scene. So far, the Rangers have stayed on top of the AL West --mainly because they are the only team in the division above the .500 mark. At this point, we gotta take what we can get, so this will have to do. But they need to work more on consistency, because while our current level of play may be enough to keep us on top of a poor division, this will do nothing to prepare us for the opponents that we face in the post season --should we be so fortunate to make it there. While it's good that we're barely winning more than we're losing, we still need to strive to be better than that. Let's stretch that 5 game lead into 10 games, then 15, and then as much as possible. Let's pad that lead as much as we can, because who in the world believes that the rest of the teams in our division are happy to be where they're at? They don't want to stay where they're at, they want to be where the Rangers are: at the top of the division! All the more reason why the Rangers need to work on not just winning enough, but winning more than that.
And speaking of baseball, Texas Christian University's baseball team has shocked its opponent, Oklahoma University, with a come-from-behind win in the first round of the college baseball playoffs. Just as a reminder, the TCU football team also shocked the OU football team by defeating them at the start of the last season. OU must be getting pretty tired of us, eh? ;-)
Have a great weekend, folks!
Thursday, June 01, 2006
Some of you have inquired about the digital camera (DC from here on) that I am using for the pics that I’m posting here. It is an Olympus Camedia C-765 Ultra Zoom. Here is a link to a review of the camera in PC Magazine.
I think my camera normally goes for about $250-$300, but I got it for about $135. I got it at that price because it was the store’s last one, it had been on display, AND it was not going to be carried anymore by that store. My timing, in other words, was impeachable. ;-)
Having used film cameras all this time, I was used to all the control that I had over taking a photograph –especially since I used a 35mm SLR with a zoom lens. This DC lacks some of that control. However, the other features that it has more than makes up for what it lacks. What I’m about to say next is rehash for those who have DCs, so I’m sorry for that, but some of my readers are considering switching over, and they need to know of the benefits of using a DC.
One big bonus of using a DC is that there’s no film to take to a drug store for developing. That saves the cost of developing the film AND the gas that is used both to drop the film off and to pick up the developed pictures. Also, I know immediately how the pics look right after I take the pic, and I can delete the ones that I don’t like. I also save the cost of making reprints to give to others. I simply e-mail them to others who want copies, and if they want to get prints made, they can do it themselves. Unlike regular film, which has rolls of about 24 or 36 pictures, my DC can take well over a hundred, or more if I select pics with a low resolution. Even at a very high resolution, it’s still more pics than a 36-frame roll of film.
Not only that (and as you have seen here in recent days), taking pictures in black and white or sepia does not require a separate roll of film. It’s just a simple matter of programming the DC to switch to these features, and then to switch them back to color once I’m done. If you’re new to DCs and want to be able to explore some of what a DC can do, then I’d recommend something like the camera I have.
When it comes to shopping for DCs, a good rule of thumb is to pretty much forget those that cost less than $100. They are usually lacking many of the features that make having a DC worthwhile, and they’re often pretty crappy anyway. Expect to spend at least $200 if you want a DC that’s worth your hard-earned money. Make sure it has a view screen for viewing your pictures (Very important!). That way, you can see the pics that you’ve taken, and you can delete them if you don’t want them. Most DCs at that price range also have some sort of zoom feature, which can be very handy.
One feature that you might look for --and that my DC lacks-- is the ability to connect to an external flash (usually there is a jack somewhere on the camera body that allows for this connection). The flash on my DC is rather weak, so if the subject is too close, then there is a lot of glare in the photograph –but if the subject is too far away, the picture then comes out dark. Plus, the flash is rather focused in its light, and an external flash that allows for diffused light will give the needed light without the glare.
Also, my DC lacks a remote control for taking pics without having to be at the camera to press the shutter. With a remote control, you can be in the pictures, too! Yes, I know that I could just use my DC’s timer, but the remote feature is still a handy feature to have. If you get a DC with these extra features, then it will most likely add to the cost, but then you'll also be getting all the camera that you'll probaby need for the time being anyway.
Eventually, I want one of those DCs that work like a 35mm SLR film camera, but those babies run over $800 or more –t’ain’t cheap, in other words. Right now, I just want to master what a DC can do, so that when I get one of those fancy jobs, I’ll have a better idea on how its features work.
If you have any other questions regarding DCs, drop me a line and I’ll try to help you if I can.