Monday, December 31, 2007

Words to Auld Lang Syne video

If you've ever wanted to lead the singing of "Auld Lang Syne" but didn't know the words (kind of a requirement, wouldn't ya think? You can't exactly hum your way through it if you're going to be leading the singing!), then this video's for you. Practice a few times so that you get pace and beat correctly, and then have at it! And while you're at it, have a Happy New Year!

You know, I'm glad that we can wish each other Happy New Year without someone getting their underwear in knots like saying "Merry Christmas" upsets some people. ;-)

With this video, this completes "Post a Video Every Day" month. I missed one day, but I still posted more than 31 videos when you count out the final total. And with that, I'm taking a break for a few days, but I shall be back to posting on Friday. By then, you should have shaken off the effects of celebrating tonight, anyway!

Thanks for your interest and readership in my humble little corner of cyberspace. I wish you all the best in the coming year, and I look forward to what the new year brings. See you on the other side of midnight!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Call of Duty game video

I had actually purchased the Call of Duty game way back in the summer, but I forgot about it, and it sat in my trunk until Christmas day this year! Fortunately, it still worked.

This game was not meant to be set up in such a way that you got "x" points for shooting "X" amount of enemy soldiers. No, this game is meant to give the player a feel for what it was like to be in battle. In some respects, it does just that. For one, there's certain lessons learned from what weapons work best in a given situation. For instance, a rifle that shoots one bullet at a time and which you have to discharge the empty shell each time puts that soldier in a distinct disadvantage when the other guy has a machine gun.

I learned right away to rip off one of the German guns and use that instead. Also, sometimes a well placed hand grenade works better than a head-on assault. And just yesterday, I fired off an anti-aircraft gun and shot down Stukas. That was pretty cool.

But the lesson I came away with is that war is not glamorous. Rather, it's a lot of killing. I wish I could remember a quote from someone who fought in the war who said something along the lines that war is just butchery. You're just going out and killing to keep from being killed. Also, death for you can come from anywhere. There were times during the game that I was crawling along, and then I heard a bullet whizzing by. Even when I looked around, I couldn't see where it was coming from.

The one thing that Call to Duty didn't provide is what happens when you're injured. In a real battle, all it takes is one bullet to shatter your arm or leg bone, and you're severely handicapped in a battle that's still going on. But in the game, you aren't even slowed down - even with a lot of injuries - and you just grab a first aid kit to get your "life meter" back up. There is one instance in which you can experience "shell shock" in which your vision gets blurry and your movements are slowed down, but it's temporary. It's such costs that survivors of war experience, and for which the game lacks.

Of course, there's limits on what a game such as this can provide. And it's not like we would WANT to actually feel a bullet wound or the ongoing effects of "shell shock" - nowadays referred to as "post traumatic stress disorder" - but even so, in this game you come away with at least a taste of what combat in WWII was like.

The game did intrigue me enough that I might seek out the later editions of this game just to see what kinds of adjustments they made since the first one (it was from 2004). If I get the later editions, I'll let you know what kinds of adjustments they made.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Series of "news" clips from The Onion

Below are a series of clips from the site known as "The Onion". I check this out from time to time, because many times their "news" reports crack me up. You'll see what I mean.

Queen Elizabeth II to stop waving? Say it ain't so!

Queen Elizabeth II Will Leave Behind Long Legacy Of Waving

I wouldn't put it past some health care "professionals" to advise doing some of the "suggestions" below!

In The Know: Is The Government Spying On Paranoid Schizophrenics Enough?

It's tough being rich at Christmastime...

Report: Nation's Wealthy Cruelly Deprived Of True Meaning Of Christmas

This one's funny because of the statement it makes that the women that are portrayed in the entertainment industry can be as mean, tough, and independent as men - so long as they're sexy doing it. In some ways, women have come a long way; in some ways, things haven't changed. Oh, well - at least there's less of them tripping over something when a bad guy (or critter or alien) takes pursuit. ;-)

Evangeline Lilly Wins 'Best Wet T-Shirt Fight Scene' At Strong Women In TV Awards

By the way, folks, this entry puts me ahead of the pace of trying to post a video every day this month. Fear not, however. I shall still try to post a video every day for the rest of this month.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Ron Paul exposed?

This video is of Tim Russert interviewing Ron Paul. So what do you think? Did Russert catch Paul in a conflict of views vs. actions, or did Paul explain his side well enough? I'll comment more on this later.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

What Child Is This? video

This video is of the nativity scene that has been in my family for a long time. It was from my great-grandfather, and by the best guess of some family members it's at least 4o years old, but probably older. I've also noticed while shopping that, despite the "push" to get the religious element out of the Christmas season, I still saw quite a few nativity scenes for sell, and in various sizes, from the very small to the very large for outdoor displays. It's good to see that we can still express such forms of worship.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Sorry for the lack of a video yesterday, but I was still working on the video that appears today. I was gone most of the day yesterday shopping, followed by a visit to family, and by the time I got home, it was late and I was exhausted. And besides, Santa hadn't come to my house yet, so I needed to go to sleep anyway! ;-)

This video is of my own Christmas tree, shot with a simple Flip! camcorder and put together using Windows Movie Maker, plus "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" added in the background. It came out pretty nice, I think.

I'll try to make up for the video that I'm now behind on, but it won't be today. I have family coming over, and you probably should get yourself going somewhere else as well. Go out and enjoy yourself, and I'll see you here again tomorrow!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Saturday, December 22, 2007

And now my own video!

This footage was shot last month at TCU's Sadler Hall. This is the first year for their light show.

Next year when I go shoot this again, I'll try to remember to bring my camera stand, which should help prevent the shaky image of this year.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Video month update

Just a note that I'm surprised that I've made it this far, even if I'm largely just posting videos this month. Even so, it's not easy finding videos worthy of posting here. YouTube may have thousands of videos, but many of them are of poor quality, and I know that you all expect me to post something at least worth watching, thus the challenge for me in looking for them. 10 days to go!

Bruce Springsteen "Santa Claus is coming to town" video

The Boss singing "Santa Claus is Coming to Town".

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Christmas lights

For the next 5 days: Christmas videos!

Imagine if you were drunk or high, and came upon the display below:

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

We Are the World video

One good mullet video deserves another. (Hmm. Is there such a thing as a good mullet?)

How many of the stars can you name this time around?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Do they know it's Christmas video

When was the last time you saw so many mullet haircuts at once? So how many of the stars in the video can you name?

Monday, December 17, 2007

Making movies

Today, instead of posting a video, I'm including a link to an article about making movies: Suburban Spielbergs.

I advise printing out that article right away if you want to keep it, because that site only keeps such links active for a week, and then later you'll have to pay if you want to print it from the archives. Also, here's a link to their slide show of the products discussed in the article.

I recently purchased a small camcorder called a Flip Video Camcorder, and I find its convenience very handy. (image of camera is shown below) It's easy to use, and it doesn't use a tape or disc to record its images. You just plug it directly into your computer and save your image files that way. I would recommend it as a good starter for a camcorder.

As for movies, right now I'm using Microsoft's Windows Movie Maker, which is basic and easy to use. When I feel ready to move up to those other programs listed in that article, I'll go with them.

Once I have some mini movies made, I'll post them here. I'll get back to posting videos tomorrow. Now go make some movies!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Godzilla trailer from the 1950's video

Back when I was a kid, I thought that Godzilla was totally cool. Now my nephews think Godzilla is cool. It's good to see that some things never change. They even have a video game of ol' Godzy.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Wingsuit video

Humans can't fly, but wingsuits is as close as it gets. Check it out!

It looks like it works by the same principle as flying squirrels, who don't truly fly, but glide.

Friday, December 14, 2007

First appearance of T-rex in Jurassic Park

The first Jurassic Park movie is so cool. I haven't seen the sequels, but I don't think that they did as well at the box office as the first one. By that time anyway, it's hard to match the originality of the first movie. Below is the scene in which the T-Rex first appears. He's not as big as Godzilla, but he doesn't need to be. He's plenty scary enough!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Video 4-fer

As some of you may have noticed, I didn't post a video yesterday. I'm going to make up for that today by posting two, plus two more! This will square me up through Thursday, and I'll get back to posting on Friday.

These 4 videos are in a style called "Matrix" after the movie (If you've never seen the movie, then you won't get the style displayed in the videos below until you watch the movie). Anyway, these videos had me rolling. Enjoy!

Las Vegas to have mob museum

For those of you planning to visit Las Vegas in about 2-3 years, you might pop by the mob museum that's going to go up there.

Yep, Vegas is officially acknowledging that it has a mob problem, in other words. ;-)

Monday, December 10, 2007

"Getting to know your Friends" Christmas edition

Below is from an e-mail that I got. Attached are my responses, followed by the same questions but left blank for you to cut-and-paste and forward it to other people you know.

If you wish, send me your responses and I'll post them later in a separate entry (don't worry - I won't put your name unless you want me to).


Welcome to the Christmas edition of "Getting to know your Friends". Here's what you do, and try not to be a SCROOGE!!! Just copy (OR forward) this entire email and paste into a new e-mail that you can send. Change all the answers so that they apply to you. Then send this to a whole bunch of people you know, including the person that sent it to you... 'Tis the season to be NICE!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Both

2. Real tree or artificial? Artificial

3. When do you put up the tree? The tree goes up late November, the decorations in early December

4. When do you take the tree down? After January 6th (Feast of the Epiphany)

5. Do you like eggnog? Sometimes

6. Favorite gift received as a child? I don't think that I can pick just one. I got lots of nice stuff as a kid.

7. Do you have a nativity scene? Absolutely. Both at home and work.

8. Hardest person to buy for? My mother. She never wants me to get her anything, so I always have to guess.

9. Easiest person to buy for? My brother. He can always use a Best Buy gift card.

10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? The Christmas that I didn't get that 60 inch HD TV, which so far has been every Christmas! Seriously, just as I don't recall a "best gift", I don't recall a "worst gift" either. As corny as this sounds, to me Christmas is more than getting gifts.

11. Mail or email Christmas cards? Both

12. Favorite Christmas Movie It's a Wonderful Life (picking one wasn't easy, by the way).

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Mostly in December, but sometimes in November if I find a good gift at a good price.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Not that I'm aware of. (however, no one's ever given me fruitcake)

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? As a Hispanic, it can't be anything other than tamales.

16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Both! Seriously!

17. Favorite Christmas song? O Holy Night (not easy to pick just one)

18. Travel for Christmas or stay at home? Stay at home

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Slasher, Smasher, Masher and Nixon, Comet and Stupid, Dumbass and Blitzkrieg. Oh, and the one with the red nose: Dumbkopf (Santa has some strange names for his reindeer).

20. Angel on the tree or a Star? Star

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Eve

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? The insistance of news media and retail outlets to say "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas", and the use of "Xmas" as a way to not say "Christmas". Their justification is that they don't want to offend those that don't celebrate Christmas, but they ignore those that DO celebrate Christmas.

23. What I love most about Christmas? The fact that a babe in a manger had such an effect on world thought and history.

(below is for you to cut and paste and forward to others)

Welcome to the Christmas edition of "Getting to know your Friends". Here's what you do, and try not to be a SCROOGE!!! Just copy (OR forward) this entire email and paste into a new e-mail that you can send. Change all the answers so that they apply to you. Then send this to a whole bunch of people you know, including the person that sent it to you... 'Tis the season to be NICE!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?

2. Real tree or artificial?

3. When do you put up the tree?

4. When do you take the tree down?

5. Do you like eggnog?

6. Favorite gift received as a child?

7. Do you have a nativity scene?

8. Hardest person to buy for?

9. Easiest person to buy for?

10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?

11. Mail or email Christmas cards?

12. Favorite Christmas Movie

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?

16. Clear lights or colored on the tree?

17. Favorite Christmas song?

18. Travel for Christmas or stay at home?

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer?

20. Angel on the tree or a Star?

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year?

23. What I love most about Christmas?

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Friars and Gregorian Chant

This article is about some local friars. It's good to see that our secularized world hasn't dulled those who seek another, better way (Note: this news site often deletes these articles after a week, so the link may be dead by this time next Sunday).

In our day and age, with all that we have to get our attention, I admire those that are able to turn all that away and look for "the meaning of life" elsewhere. It takes a strong person to be able to pull themselves away from all that life today offers. I'm not sure that I could do that.

Today's video is of some Gregorian Chant. I have about 3 Gregorian Chant CDs that I purchased, and about another 4 that were sent to me free from various abbeys and monasteries. Done right, GC can be very moving. The best way I can put it is that it lifts you out of this world and puts your mind in another place and time.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Video of cool Japanese robot

Check out this video of a Japanese robot!

Note that this is NOT a guy in a robot suit, but an actual, living breathing robot! Okay, it's not alive and it doesn't breathe, but it IS an authetic robot - and a very sophisticated one at that. The engineering involved to make such a device is beyond most of technology today, but no doubt in the not too distant future, we'll have such robots helping us around the house.

The one in the video is taller than I thought - it looks to be about 3 feet tall. However, if I ever become famous, I'd like a robot goon as protection. Maybe 3 or 4 robot goons, with nicknames like "Muscles" and "No-neck" and "Knuckles", so that people know that they're not to be messed with.

Yeah, that'd be cool.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Links to what Global Warming causes

Check this out! This page is a link to all that is caused by global warming, according to news articles from around the world. Dang!

I'm old enough to remember when global cooling was the big threat. How did we turn things around so badly in a mere 20 years that we've gone from cooling to warming? From a geological perspective, 20 years is not even a blink of an eye, so how could we have such a devastating effect on the planet in so short a span of time?

What I don't understand is how global warming doomsayers think they know how the weather is going to be in the coming years when even today's weather reporters, with all their knowledge and technology, don't even know how the weather's going to be 2 weeks from now?

Methinks me smells a scam afoot, and its name is carbon credits. Purchasing carbon credits is supposed to be a way of reducing greenhouse emissions, but its practical application is fraught with potential for abuse. For instance, a power plant that is a major polluter can purchase enough "carbon credits" to "offset" the damage done by their polluting while doing virtually nothing to reduce their polluting.

Someone out there is raking in bucks on a scam, and others are protecting him. And of course, we're left to foot the bill. I'm going to pay attention to the candidates for president to see what they say about what they'll do about global warming.

Oh yeah, and I've said this before, but it's worth saying again: If Al Gore isn't concerned enough to make his own house energy efficient, then why should the rest of us be concerned?

Twas the Dark Knight before Christmas video

This video is rather interesting. Batman sure has taken on a more dour personality since the days of Adam West.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Rock and Roll McDonald's!!

A video titled "Rock and Roll McDonald's!!!

So get down, already!

(I wonder how many people have sung that song in a McDonald's? I wonder how many of them got kicked out?)

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

1984 video

This MacIntosh commercial ran in 1984, and it introduced its line of computers.

This version using Hillary Clinton appeared earlier this year:

So what happened to the actress in the commercial? She went to work as a waitress at Hooters, of course! ;-)

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

"Linus and Lucy", aka "Peanuts Theme"

While most of you know this piece as the theme from Peanuts, it's actually titled "Linus and Lucy". It took me a while to find a piano player on YouTube that didn't torture the piece. Not being a piano player myself, I imagine that learning how to play this takes more skills than something like "Chopsticks"

Uhh... Playing Chopsticks is harder than I thought! I'll just sit and watch someone else play the piano and stick to writing!

Monday, December 03, 2007

We Like to Party video

Another video with a catchy tune. If you don't catch yourself at least tapping your foot, then you ain't got a musical bone in your body! ;-)

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Snow and Heat Miser

Post a video a day month continues! This is a catchy tune from an old Christmas special. See if you don't catch yourself singing it later! :-D

Barbie vs. Hayley

Playing out at my local university is what I can only call Barbie vs. Hayley (Smith of the TV show, American Dad).

To understand what I'm talking about, read the two following links:

Nothing wrong with racing to the altar, Image Magazine Winter 2007, page 32

(scroll down to page 32 to see the column)

Column pushes outdated generalizations of women, TCU Daily Skiff, Letters to the Editor, Nov. 29, 2007

That a young woman today such as the author of "Altar" could still hold such stereotypical views of her gender is rather surprising. I suppose it shouldn’t be, but it certainly was surprising to the campus community that had discussed her column at length.

But let’s go ahead and ask the painful question of “Are there still women who go to college just to find a husband?" While I doubt any of them would admit it publicly, I think that there might be more out there than we think. Why do I say that? Well, answer the following question as honestly as you can: Are there women out there so lazy that they’d rather get married so that their husband can be the one working so that they wouldn’t have to? Surely you know of a few.

I also know of women who’d rather be on welfare than work for a living. However, let’s be fair: There are men out there who’d rather marry a rich woman than work for a living. There are also men out there who’d rather be on welfare than work for a living. Laziness is not restricted to just one gender – it’s equal opportunity. Before any of you start thinking that I'm implying that those on welfare are all lazy, let me quickly add that there are also lazy rich people.

As laziness is not restricted to one gender, neither is laziness restricted to only those on the lower income scales of society. Lazy rich people are different (besides income level, that is) from lazy poor people in that they can hide their laziness better. In fact, rich people can hide a lot of their sins better. That's why you don't find rich people on death row. Before I start getting into one of my gripes about the unfair distribution of the death penalty, let's move on.

So by now, I think most of you can agree that there can be such a thing as a rich lazy person. So - what does a rich lazy person do, then, to look like they're doing something with their life? Some go to college, because that's a respectable thing to do (or maybe their parents made them go). But as lazy people quickly find out, being in college is work, even if they aren't employed while in college like many college students are. So what does a rich lazy college student to do?

For rich lazy women, one strategy is called "pursuing a MRS degree". For rich lazy men - well, there's trust funds (such lazy folks are often called "trust fund babies" - the wealthy equivalent of a lazy poor person living on welfare). In either case, they are able to continue their pursuit of avoiding work. You would think that it would eventually occur to such people that avoiding work can be so much work that it might actually be easier to just get a job! But figuring out something like that takes work, and since they're lazy....

So now we see that a woman pursuing a "MRS degree" can exist, even in our day and age, because laziness - like death and taxes - is eternal. We'll always have lazy people just like we'll always have tax collectors and lawyers. Kinda depressing, ain't it? Let's move on.

Getting back to the issue at hand of the altar-pursuing columnist, things didn't end there, of course. Such a controversial topic isn't just going to roll over and die - and indeed it didn't. Rather, things got interesting! On Friday (Nov 30 2007), the columist who wrote "Racing to the altar" had written a clarification column, and it appeared in the student newspaper: Image Column Intended to be Satire, not Serious Commentary

Also, the editors of Image Magazine (where the "Altar" column first appeared) commented on the issue as well, and their comments likewise ran in the paper on the same day: Magazine Content Contains more than opinion columns

But even so, there was one more column on this issue, and the writer apparently wasn't aware that the "Altar" column was satire: Finding Spouse not sole purpose of getting college education

If you're not a lazy person and have read the original column that I linked above (If you've read this far, then you must not be lazy!), then you're probably like me and most of the rest of the campus in that the "Altar" column didn't come across as satire. It sounded like someone who was stating their genuine view. There's ways to write in which the satire of the piece is obvious, but the satire wasn't obvious in the original "Altar" column

For the writer, here's something to consider: If one person didn't see the column as satire, then maybe that one person just doesn't know satire. If 2 or 3 people didn't see the column as satire, then that might be other people who don't know satire. But if nearly an entire campus of over 9,000 people didn't see it as satire, then maybe it didn't come across as satire. There's only so far that claims of the lack of sophistication of the audience will take ya.

I hope that this whole experience is taken by the author as a lesson in life about how one presents one's self - that is, there's good ways and bad ways to do it. It's cool when you find good ways to present yourself, but you can really learn from the bad ways of presenting yourself. In fact, it's from the lessons learned from the bad ways that you learn what the good ways are. But one has to be willing to learn them. Therein is where a writer is made or broken.

Another lesson can be learned from this experience by the writer of the Letter to the Editor, but that's going to be an entry for another time. It's not because I'm lazy, but that my fingers are tired now. According to MS Word, I've written over 1,000 words!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

December is "Post a video every day" month!

Yep, you read that right! This month, I will try to post a video every day! Cool, eh? Let's hit the ground running, shall we?

Imagine living across the street or next door to this guy! It'd make anyone a Grinch! Although it is fun to watch...

Friday, November 30, 2007

Ron Paul

Having already said that all the other candidates are pretty much the same and not really worth talking about (because I can't really say anything about them that hasn't already been said), now it's time to get to the one candidate who has sparked at least enough interest for me to comment about here. Check out this article about Ron Paul and how he differs, not just from the other Republican candidates, but from the vast majority of politicians, Democrat or Republican.

Thing is, Paul has run before - way back in the 1980's, actually - but back in those earlier times, there wasn't an Internet and other hi-tech stuff to help reach out to potential voters. This makes Paul's current campaign success a creature of the modern age, and unique because he's attracting both disaffected Democrats AND Republicans. The only other comparable candidate who got such a cyber boost was Howard Dean in the '04 election, who was humming right along until the infamous "primal scream" basically helped bounce him out (it was more than just that, of course, but the 'scream' didn't help).

While Paul may be riding the wave of frustration of voters not happy with either major political party, he's also more than just a "I'm not one of them" candidate. Based upon what I've read on him so far, he's truly dedicated to the concept of "public servant", which is what appeals to a lot of people. There hasn't been this kind of candidate since Ross Perot almost did the same thing way back in the '92 election. Perot did well enough that both the Dems and GOP truly sweated it out until Perot stumbled and bumbled at the worst possible time by constantly delaying on whether he'd run or not (basically, he was the '92 version of Fred Thompson today).

Ron Paul has views that land all over the ideological spectrum - from being anti-abortion to being against the war in Iraq, so I'm like a lot of people in that I like some of the views he has, and I'll put up with some of the views that I disagree with, because they're not such that I would count him out as a result. I really like the fact that he's pro-life, because not many candidates have that kind of courage of convictions to stick to such a view. For that alone, he almost has my vote.

I say "almost" because it is the nature of politicians to say and do anything to get someone's vote, and I want to make as sure as I can that Paul isn't just another one of those kinds of politicians. This is largely because I am keeping in mind that old saying that "if something seems too good to be true, then it probably is". Call me cynical or skeptical if you will, but we've all been sold these bills of goods before only to find out that we elected a dodo bird (the past two presidents, basically).

I want to believe that Paul is who he's portrayed to be. If he is that person, then he's the kind of person that we need right now. We need such an independent minded person who's out to serve his constituency rather than his political party. If he is not selected by his party to be the GOP candidate for president (which is virtually 100%, since he is opposed to the Iraq war), then I hope he becomes an independent candidate. Yes, his party will rip him for "taking votes away from the GOP and helping Hillary win", but both parties need to see that the U.S. is fed up with the way things are. Not only do I hope he'll become an independent candidate, I hope he also wins. What a thing to drop into the laps of both parties!

However, first I want to see that he is who he says he is. One thing at a time. But right now, I like what he's said so far than what I've heard from all the other candidates. I'll keep you good folks updated. There's still almost a year to go, after all!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The 2008 candidates for President

I've been meaning to get back to this all month, and now the month's almost over. Dang!

For starters, here's a link to the New York Times' listing of the candidates: Election Guide 2008 - Presidential Election

That link provides a list of candidates, along with brief bios and other info.

I had planned on discussing each candidate separately over the course of the month, but as I did the research, I noticed that there just isn't a whole lot of difference among them. We all know that the Democratic candidate is going to be largely left wing and that the GOP candidate is largely going to be right wing, so discussions of the differences among the individual candidates is, in truth, irrelevant. In other words, with the Dem candidate, you're getting someone who's pro-choice and who largely believes in a collectivist philosophy when it comes to the role of the government, regardless of whether you pick Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, or John Edwards.

You might as well be picking among the jacks in a deck of cards, because no matter which one you pick, it's going to be a jack. So really, what's the point of having this very early start to the campaigns, and what's the point of all these debates? And while we're at it, why are some of the early primary states so concerned over which one of them holds their primaries first? We know what we're basically getting, so why go through all that? Just pick one of those Dems and run with it. Same with the GOP candidates.

The only one that has sparked something of an interest for me is Ron Paul. I'm going to do more research on him, and he'll be the only candidate that I'll discuss separately later in the week. However, pretty much I'm very likely to vote for a 3rd party candidate for the very first time ever - so unimpressed am I with the current slate of candidates. Paul is something of an oddball when it comes to his views as compared to both his party's views as well as compared with the views of the Dems. You'll see later what I mean.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Christmas is only - X - days away!

In case you don't feel the pressure of getting ready for Christmas yet, this site tells you how much more time there is to go. Then you'll get the ol' heart rate going up. ;-)


After all, it don't feel like Christmas is coming until you feel the panic of knowing that you have only so much time left to do your shopping!

Now hurry up and get stressed! :-O

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Assorted Thanksgiving Goodies

Just a quick note that I'll be away celebrating Thanksgiving with the family tomorrow, and I probably won't post again until Monday to get caught up on other stuff. In the meantime, enjoy the Thanksgiving-related goodies below.

John A.



Subject: FW: Turkey Poem-

When I was a young turkey, new to the coop,
My big brother Mike took me out on the stoop,
Then he sat me down, and he spoke real slow,
And he told me there was something that I had to know;
His look and his tone I will always remember,
When he told me of the horrors of..... Black November."

Come about August, now listen to me,E
ach day you'll get six meals instead of just three,
"And soon you'll be thick, where once you were thin,
And you'll grow a big rubbery thing under your chin;"
And then one morning, when you're warm in your bed,
In'll burst the farmer's wife, and hack off your head;"

Then she'll pluck out all your feathers so you're bald 'n pink,
And scoop out all your insides and leave ya lyin' in the sink;"
And then comes the worst part" he said not bluffing,"
She'll spread your cheeks and pack your rear with stuffing."
Well, the rest of his words were too grim to repeat,
I sat on the stoop like a winged piece of meat,
And decided on the spot that to avoid being cooked,
I'd have to lay low and remain overlooked;
I began a new diet of nuts and granola,
High-roughage salads, juice and diet cola.

And as they ate pastries, chocolates and crepes,
I stayed in my room doing Jane Fonda tapes;
I maintained my weight of two pounds and a half,
And tried not to notice when the bigger birds laughed;
But 'twas I who was laughing, under my breath,
As they chomped and they chewed, ever closer to death;

And sure enough when Black November rolled around,
I was the last turkey left in the entire compound.
So now I'm a pet in the farmer's wife's lap;
I haven't a worry, so I eat and I nap;
She held me today, while sewing and humming,
And smiled at me and said: "
Christmas is coming..




Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Cool nerd gadgets

It's been awhile since I did a "Note on the Journey to Nerdville". Today's note is not about something that I've recently purchased, but about a recent issue of Parade magazine, which had an article about cool nerd stuff that you might consider getting. Here's a link to the article: Gadgets that work for you.

Other articles from that issue of Parade:

Simplify your Electronic Life

Home Smart Home

Join the Home Theater Revolution

From Original to Digital

And last, this article on Digital TV Transition and Public Safety.

If you haven't already thrown out Sunday's paper, be sure to grab the Parade (November 18, 2007 issue) and hold on to it. Or you can just create a bookmark of this particular blog entry. :-)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Cheerleaders suspended for Spears routine

Watch the video below, and let me know what you think. This note continues after the video.

So were the cheerleaders suspended over the routine, or over their defiant behavior when asked to leave? Just from what the cheerleaders themselves are describing, it sounds like they were being obtuse when asked to leave, thus the cheerleader coaches had little choice but to up the punishment.

So what do you think? Did the cheerleaders deserve what they got, or were the coaches over-reacting?

Friday, November 16, 2007

Hey, maybe I was wrong about "ho ho ho"

Maybe I was too quick to judge those people yesterday wanting to ban "ho ho ho".

Remember that song, "Santa Baby"? Below are a few of the lyrics:

Santa Baby,
Just slip a sable under the tree
For me
Been an awful good girl
Santa Baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight

Santa baby,
a '54 convertible too
Light blue
I'll wait up for you, dear Santa baby,
so hurry down the chimney tonight

Think of all the fun I've missed
Think of all the fellas that I haven't kissed
Next year I could be just as good
If you'll check off my Christmas list

Aha! See that one line? "I'll wait up for you, dear Santa baby". What's going on there? Why would she wait up for him - unless she knew for sure that he was coming? Sure, Santa may be delivering toys for the most part, but - what's he doing on the side??? That song just might be giving us a clue!

But also, consider the song, "I saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus"! Some lyrics of that song:

Wow! mommy's kissing Santa Claus!
I saw mommy kissing Santa Claus
Underneath the mistletoe last night
She didnt see me creep
Down the stairs to have a peep

She thought that I was tucked up
In my bedroom, fast asleep
Then I saw mommy tickle santa claus
Underneath his beard so snowy white
Oh, what a laugh it would have been
If daddy had only seen
Mommy kissing Santa Claus last night

So! Santa's also fooling around with married women! Boy, this just explains a lot, doesn't? I wonder of Mrs. Claus knows about this? Surely there's an elf private eye who can get the goods on Santa and his - extracurricular activities - so that Mrs. C can nail him for everything he's got!

In light of this, ol' Santa make Bill Clinton look like a choir boy by comparison!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Sidney Santas told not to use "ho ho ho"

Read this story! It's hilarious! PC run amok!

Apparently, in Sidney Australia, the Santas there are being asked to not use "ho ho ho" because it can scare little kids, and also because "ho" is a slang American term for whore.

For one, Santa's been saying "ho ho ho" for generations, and only NOW are these people concerned that this greeting would be scary to little kids? And I don't think ANYONE ever believes when Santa is going around saying "ho ho ho", that he's soliciting for prostitutes!

Aren't there better things for these people to worry about?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Miniature photography of non-miniature subjects

Check out this site!

It's a style of photography that makes the subject look like it's a miniature model. How'd the photographer do it? He used a near-sighted camera! Next he's going to get the camera some - corrective lenses! Man, I crack me up. ;-)

Anyway, be sure to click the link at the bottom to learn how the photographer took some of those shots. Below are a couple of images from that site:

A Really Big Show

Investment experiment

On December 26th, I'm going to try a yearlong experiment. I'm going to take $250 and invest it somewhere to see how much it can make in a year's time. This is just to see what one can do with such a small investment. In other words, I'm hoping to make this a lesson in economics.

I'm the first to admit that I'm not the wisest investor, but I hope to learn more. And in the process, hopefully you'll learn as well on how to invest your money on something other than beer, clothing, or comic books. However, what I want to do until December 26th is to ask your advice on where I should invest that $250. E-mail your suggestions to me, or post a reply to this entry.

Once I've made that investment, I'll try to post monthly progress reports, and then on December 26th, 2008, we'll see how much my original investment managed to make. Hopefully I will have made SOMETHING by that time. And this is also if we haven't elected a Democrat for president in November of '08 (bada-BOOM!). ;-)

If my experiment is successful, then I'll try it again the following year, perhaps by re-investing the new sum. I'll keep you all updated - in the meantime, send those suggestions.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Christmas season starting VERY early

Some of you regular readers know that I love Christmas, and that I'm the kind that says "Merry Christmas" instead of the generic "Happy Holidays" or "Seasons Greetings" (What kind of greeting is "seasons greetings" anyway? Why the hell are we greeting a season? I never understood that). I've had columns and blog entries on this very topic, but in short I've said that, just as I can wish a Jew "Happy Hanukkah" or a Muslim "Holy Ramadan", a non-Christian can say "Merry Christmas" to me. None of us have to belong to the faiths of those holidays in order for our wishes to be sincere.

However, this year I noticed that many stores had already put up Christmas decorations when it wasn't even Halloween yet. It made their displays a scene right out of the movie, The Nightmare before Christmas. I love Christmas, but even I have to admit that this is too durn early! Yes, retailers need to make their money, and the Christmas season is their season to make their money. But how much more money are they going to make by starting the season before Halloween as opposed to starting it at least closer to Thanksgiving? Traditionally, the Christmas season started the day after Thanksgiving, in which at the end of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Santa Claus would appear in his sled and reindeer.

I suppose that retailers would reply by saying that, with all the time, planning, and investing it takes to set up the Christmas season, they need more time to get things going, and with so much depending upon a successful season, they need to maximize the duration of the season so that they can maximize their profits. It's all about money, in other words. Christmas didn't use to be the big deal that it is now - the familiar hustle and bustle of the Christmas season is largely their doing.

But it's not just the retail outlets that are starting too early. Radio station KVIL in Dallas is already playing Christmas music 24/7! See, 24/7 Christmas music is another issue altogether! How many times can you hear the many variations of "White Christmas" and "Winter Wonderland" before going nuts? And I do not wish to hear "Frosty the Snowman" (what does he have to do with Christmas anyway?) and "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" in any way, shape, or form for many, many years to come.

So by the time you're bombarded with holiday decor at retail outlets and from holiday music on the radio (not to mention all the holiday specials on TV), one gets a case of Yuletide Overload - by which time that one is tired of Christmas - and it's not even Thanksgiving yet! Part of me thinks that there is a conspiracy out there by the anti-Christmas crowd to give us too much of what we want, so that we get tired of it, but then I think, "Well, they're being bombarded by all that as well - and why would they put themselves through more of what they don't want?"

Nope, the profit theory makes the most sense. So put up with the blinking lights and cheese holiday songs, folks. It won't be over until - gasp - next year.

And here I am talking about all this! ;-)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Old video archives related to the JFK assassination

You history buffs - especially those of you into JFK assassination conspiracy theories - will find this site interesting.

It's from the video archives of Dallas' CBS affiliate, KDFW Channel 4. It presents videos that aren't available anywhere else, and more will be posted later.

JFK Video: The Dallas Tapes

Hillary Clinton's recent performance in the debate

For those of you who have asked, my thumb is better. Still not 100%, but certainly better than Monday when I last posted. At least I'm able to type at close to normal speed. Let's hit the ground running, shall we?

Hillary Clinton

I'm going to discuss Hillary some more later in the month, but I had to mention her now well-known subpar performance in the last Democratic debate, as well as her less-than-stellar defenses afterwards. One tactic she needs to leave out of her defensive arsenal is the "I'm just a girl" defense. I refer to her claim that all those men "ganged up on the woman" in the last debate. That's an "I'm just a girl" defense. They "ganged up" on her because she's the front runner in the polls right now, and not because she's a woman. That's what those lagging in the polls do to try to get the lead for themselves. (by the way, if I were one of those other candidates, I'd keep bringing that up each time Hillary tries to use it).

Hillary, as the first prominent female candidate for president, you'll be setting the example for other women to follow. Yes, certain expectations are going to be put upon you that are not put on men, but in turn, you will not have certain expectations placed upon you that are put upon men, so it balances out, thus it's not a legitimate argument to bring up in your run for office. Plus, one of your selling pitches is that you can handle the office of president like any man could. Here and now is your chance to prove it.

You can't have it both ways, claiming to be tough one minute and throwing out the "I'm just a girl" gender card the next. You will be flagged for it each time you use it, and it will certainly be used against you by the GOP later if you end up being the Democratic nominee.

I'm certain that she's been told this, but I am highly doubtful that she will be able to resist resorting to it if she feels such pressure again. In light of that, this suggests that she doesn't have the mental toughness to be president - and that has nothing to do with her gender. Someone described the difference between Bill Clinton's public persona and Hillary's in this way: Bill is Bugs Bunny while Hillary is Elmer Fudd. I couldn't have put it better myself.

Below are two YouTube clips of the debate, parts A and B. Below that is a link to Part C so that you can view the other parts of the debate, which is broken down into other parts identified by the alphabet.

Part C

Feel free, of course, to agree or disagree with what I've said above. I will note here that I have not yet seen all parts of the above debate, but I will try to. At the next Democratic debate, a magnifying glass the size of sports stadium dome is likely going to be over Hillary. The only advice I will give to Hillary is, don't use the "I'm just a girl" defense, 'cause it'll sink you faster than Bill can score a cheap date.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Taking a short break

Just a quick note, folks, that I'll be taking a short break. Not because I've run out of stuff to talk about, but because I've injured my thumb from trying to relive my glory years when I played backyard football. Don't worry, it only hurts a little bit (I've had worse injuries during my glory years), but right now my thumb does not like typing, so I'm going to give it a rest so that it can recover. If all goes well, I'll get back to posting on Friday.


Saturday, November 03, 2007

Testing - Embedding videos

Hi! I'm testing how to embed videos into my blog. Enjoy!

Curly Shuffle video:

Superman punching Darkseid:

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Editorial Statement for November 2007: Election 2008

Don't blink. Next year at this time, we will be very close to voting for our next president. A year will go by just like that. Just look how quickly this year has gone by!

For this month, I'll be discussing each of the presidential candidates. Now's the time to do it, because by this time next year, we'll be down to two - or maybe three, if there's an independent.

And in truth, I hope that there is an independent candidate. Even though I'll be talking about each of the candidates, I don't really like any of them so far. Both Democrats and the GOP are trying to play it safe and are sticking to candidates that won't upset their respective apple carts too much.

Ralph Nader, a candidate in 2000 and 2004, is suing the Democratic party over their alleged efforts to keep him off the ballot in 2004. I hope the case goes to trial, and I hope that it becomes very public, because I want one of these parties to get exposed for their efforts to keep third parties from growing. We deserve more choices than Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum. I'll be posting the text of the article after I finish this entry, because the articles don't generally stay up for more than two weeks, and I want us all to be able to follow the progress of this lawsuit.

Anyway, I'll be discussing each candidate one at a time during the course of the month. During the weekend, I'll post a schedule of which candidate I'll discuss at what time. And then later in the month, I'll try to introduce some of the third parties out there so that you know that they are out there.


Ralph Nader sues Democratic Party (Yahoo! News Oct. 30, 2007)

WASHINGTON - Consumer advocate and 2004 independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader sued the Democratic Party on Tuesday, contending officials conspired to keep him from taking votes away from nominee John Kerry.

Nader's lawsuit, filed in District of Columbia Superior Court, also named as co-defendants Kerry's campaign, the Service Employees International Union and several so-called 527 organizations such as America Coming Together, which were created to promote voter turnout on behalf of the Democratic ticket.

The lawsuit also alleges that the Democratic National Committee conspired to force Nader off the ballot in several states.

"The Democratic Party is going after anyone who presents a credible challenge to their monopoly over their perceived voters," Nader said in a statement. "This lawsuit was filed to help advance a free and open electoral process for all candidates and voters. Candidate rights and voter rights nourish each other for more voices, choices, and a more open and competitive democracy."

Among other things, the lawsuit alleges that the DNC tried to bankrupt Nader's campaign by suing to keep him off the ballot in 18 states. It also suggests the DNC sent Kerry supporters to crash a Nader petition drive in Portland, Ore., in June 2004, preventing him from collecting enough signatures to get on the ballot.

The lawsuit seeks "compensatory damages, punitive damages and injunctive relief to enjoin the defendants from ongoing and future violations of the law."

Nader's attorney, Bruce Afran, argued that the DNC would be terrified of having the case come to trial. He said he hoped the committee would choose to settle the case and apologize.

"This is a case designed to make sure other independent and third party candidates will not be subject to the same kind of conspiracy in the future," Afran said.

Nader received 463,653 votes in the election, or 0.38% of total votes cast.

DNC spokesman Luis Miranda declined comment on the suit, citing a policy on pending litigation.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

And all of a sudden, it's Halloween day!

Sorry I haven't posted in the past few days, but I've been rather busy. Later today, I'll post a pic of my costume. I think it's cool. :-)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Halloween fun

Here's some Halloween fun for you, from a wise-crackin' skeleton. I may post other Halloween goodies as they come to me.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Do the Math

From an e-mail that was sent to me:

Subject: Fascinating Mathematics

Study this a bit as you read it.......follow the sequence of numbers, it's really fascinating.

Beauty of Math!

1 x 8 + 1 = 9
12 x 8 + 2 = 98
123 x 8 + 3 = 987
1234 x 8 + 4 = 9876
12345 x 8 + 5 = 98765
123456 x 8 + 6 = 987654
1234567 x 8 + 7 = 9876543
12345678 x 8 + 8 = 98765432
123456789 x 8 + 9 = 987654321

1 x 9 + 2 = 11
12 x 9 + 3 = 111
123 x 9 + 4 = 1111
1234 x 9 + 5 = 11111
12345 x 9 + 6 = 111111
123456 x 9 + 7 = 1111111
1234567 x 9 + 8 = 11111111
12345678 x 9 + 9 = 111111111
123456789 x 9 +10= 1111111111

9 x 9 + 7 = 88
98 x 9 + 6 = 888
987 x 9 + 5 = 8888
9876 x 9 + 4 = 88888
98765 x 9 + 3 = 888888
987654 x 9 + 2 = 8888888
9876543 x 9 + 1 = 88888888
98765432 x 9 + 0 = 888888888

Brilliant, isn't it?

And look at this symmetry:

1 x 1 = 1
11 x 11 = 121
111 x 111 = 12321
1111 x 1111 = 1234321
11111 x 11111 = 123454321
111111 x 111111 = 12345654321
1111111 x 1111111 = 1234567654321
11111111 x 11111111 = 123456787654321
111111111 x 111111111=12345678987654321

Now, take a look at this...


From a strictly mathematical viewpoint:

What Equals 100%? What does it mean to give MORE than 100%?

Ever wonder about those people who say they are giving more than 100%?

We have all been in situations where someone wants you to GIVE OVER 100%.

How about ACHIEVING 101%?

What equals 100% in life?

Here's a little mathematical formula that might help answer these questions:



Is represented as:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26.


H-A-R-D-W-O-R- K

8+1+18+4+23+15+18+11 = 98%



11+14+15+23+12+5+4+7+5 = 96%


1+20+20+9+20+21+4+5 = 100%

THEN, look how far the love of God will take you:


12+15+22+5+15+6+7+15+4 = 101%

Therefore, one can conclude with mathematical certainty that:

While Hard Work and Knowledge will get you close, and Attitude will
get you there, It's the Love of God that will put you over the top!

It's up to you if you share this with your friends l just
the way I did.

Have a nice day & God bless!!!


Okay, the ending has a referenc to God in it.
It didn't kill ya, did it? ;-)

Anyway, I thought that all that math was rather interesting. Who knew that one could have fun with numbers - other than "creative accountants", that is... ;-)

Monday, October 22, 2007

Chinese recalls

What with all these recalls of Chinese products that have lead in them...

....Superman must be going nuts right now trying to use his x-ray vision, don't you think?

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Pics of butterflies

When I went out house shopping yesterday, I came across some butterflies sitting on some low tree branches, which allowed me to snap the pics below. They came out pretty good, donchathink?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Church bulletin notations

You probably have gotten these from time to time. They still crack me up. :-D


Subject: Church bulletins

They're back! Church Bulletins! Thank God for church ladies with typewriters. These sentences actually appeared in church bulletins or were announced in church services:

The Fasting & Prayer Conference includes meals.

The sermon this morning: 'Jesus Walks on the Water.' The sermon tonight: 'Searching for Jesus.'

Our youth basketball team is back in action Wednesday at 8 PM in the recreation hall. Come out and watch us kill Christ the King.

Ladies, don't forget the rummage sale It's a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Bring your husbands.

The peacemaking meeting scheduled for today has been canceled due to a conflict.

Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our community. Smile at someone who is hard to love. Say 'Hell' to someone who doesn't care much about you.

Don't let worry kill you off - let the Church help.

Miss Charlene Mason sang 'I will not pass this way again,' giving obvious pleasure to the congregation.

For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs.

Next Thursday there will be tryouts for the choir. They need all the help they can get.

The Rector will preach his farewell message after which the choir will sing: 'Break Forth Into Joy.'

Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on October 24th in the church. So ends a friendship that began in their school days.

A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall. Music will follow.

At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be 'What Is Hell?' Come early and listen to our choir practice.

Eight new choir robes are currently needed due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones.

Scouts are saving aluminum cans, bottles and other items to be recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children.

Please place your donation in the envelope along with the deceased person you want remembered.

The church will host an evening of fine dining, super entertainment and gracious hostility. Potluck supper Sunday at 5:00 PM - prayer and medication to follow.

The ladies of the Church have cast off clothing of every kind They may be seen in the basement on Friday afternoon.

This evening at 7 PM there will be a hymn singing in the park across from the Church. Bring a blanket and come prepared to sin.

Ladies Bible Study will be held Thursday morning at 10 AM . All ladies are invited to lunch in the Fellowship Hall after the B. S. is done.

The pastor would appreciate it if the ladies of the congregation would lend him their electric girdles for the pancake breakfast next Sunday.

Low Self Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 PM . Please use the back door.

The eighth-graders will be presenting Shakespeare's Hamlet in the Church basement Friday at 7PM. The congregation is invited to attend this tragedy.

Weight Watchers will meet at 7 PM at the First Presbyterian Church. Please use large double door at the side entrance.

The Associate Minister unveiled the church's new tithing campaign slogan last Sunday: 'I Upped My Pledge - Up Yours'.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Public restroom of the future?

This past weekend, I went to a restaurant that - in 1940's gangster movie lingo - would be called a "greasy spoon". I go there from time to time because the food's good and the price is reasonable. Anyway, it had been a while since I went to this place, probably more than a year. No reason - it's just not at as convenient a location as other places I go to.

Anyway, I went the bathroom to wash my hands because I had just gassed the car and my hands got dirty handling the pump. Lo and behold, I saw in this greasy spoon a touch of modern technology that has been appearing in other local restaurants lately: It was the "no-touch towel dispenser", the kind where you just wave your hand in front of the dispenser, and it spits out a section of towel for you so that you don't have to touch a handle to do it yourself. Their dispenser was out of order, and there was a roll of paper towels sitting on top of it, so at least it's good for something. But that's beside the point. The point is that this little greasy spoon even had this wonder of modern technology.

In other bathrooms, you can also turn on the faucet and flush the toilet without touching them. I've been told (but I've yet to see it) that there is such a thing as a "no-touch soap dispenser". On top of that is a news article that I wish I had saved, because it was on a door handle - for your foot! Yep, it's at the bottom of the door, and it's just large enough for someone to insert the tip of their foot so that they can open the door.

So what's with all this "no touch" business? Germaphobia, my friends. All these no-touch devices limit how much we come in contact with these things, which theoretically should limit our chances of exposure to nasty germs and stuff. So far, I've yet to see a bathroom that has all of the above. But imagine that: You enter the bathroom door by pushing it - maybe with your elbow or your shoulder. For men, when you go to the urinal, there's some device there that will flush it for you when you leave. In the toilet stall, there's another device that will flush it for you as well when you're done "taking care of business" (I'm assuming that the ladies' rooms have such devices as well in their stalls. I honestly don't know).

You will still have to handle the stall door to lock it, and you'll still have to handle the toilet paper. Maybe that's something that the bathroom engineers are currently working on (there is this device in the works). Anyway, after that, you can turn on the sink, get some soap, and get some paper towels all without having to touch them. And then we leave by using the foot handle. Them ol' germs have a much tougher time getting to you, but we still need to get that chance of getting germs down further. You still have to sit on the seat, and your shoes still touch the floor.

So what's next? I think that it's Zero-G bathrooms. You just push your way into the bathroom, and float in. No touching anything. There's still the problem of how you "take care of business" in zero-g, because you need gravity to "take care of business". Maybe that's something else that the bathroom engineers can take care of. Still, it's nice to see that there are bathroom engineers out there so dedicated to our hygiene needs.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The new 7 Liberal Arts

Once in a while when someone asks me what I got my Masters degree in, I tell them "Master of Liberal Arts. (there's even a national organization of us!)" Most people don't know what that is, so I tell them kiddingly, "That means that I can tree-hug, recycle, and tax-and-spend with the best of them!" Most of the time, they have to think about that a second to know what I'm talking about, but they always get it. My kidding reference is talking about "the art of being liberal today."

Sadly, there's also a lot of truth in that. Being liberal today means embracing certain viewpoints, or "you're not one of us". In other words, it's become a conformist way of thinking that would be considered ironic by that very same group of people a mere two decades ago. Being liberal used to mean being open-minded, but now it means something else, and it's not anything good.

What got me thinking about that is when someone asked me "So what are the new 7 liberals arts today?" I gave that some thought, and I told him, "You know, you just gave me something to blog about!" So let's get into what the new 7 liberal arts are now today....

In the past, the seven liberal arts were described as thus:


Later, they became:


However, now the "liberal arts" can be defined as thus:

Abortion Above All to the point that it is a de facto religion
An embracing of the communist concept of the redistribution of wealth (aka "taxing and spending ")
An embracing of environmental issues to the point that it is a de facto religion
An anti-religious outlook in life to the point that it is a de facto religion (ironic, eh?)
Darwinian understanding of evolution to the point that it is a de facto religion
Sexual "free-thinking"
Blame (or bash) Bush for everything

Notice that I say "to the point that it is a de facto religion" four times. That's important, because it means that today's liberals have embraced those viewpoints to the point that they now consider those views as dogmas - that is, beyond discussion much like a religious dogma. That is, if you criticize abortion, evolution, global warming, or their anti-religious views, you are criticizing their religion. Making such political, social, or scientific views into religious dogmas is neither good nor logical, and it is damaging to society if it is incorporated into law.

I once considered myself a liberal, but the above list of the new "liberal arts" has pushed me out of that category and has now made me into an "anti-liberal". By the way, this is NOT the same thing as being conservative - even though conservatives are largely anti-liberal. However, while nearly all conservatives are anti-liberals, not all anti-liberals are conservatives. That's probably the best way that I can put that. I've said before that I'm an independent, so with this new refinement, let's now call me an anti-liberal independent. For today's liberals, I'm a conservative, because anything to the right of them is conservative.

Somehow, someway, the classical liberal arts got subverted by these perversions of classical thinking, which is a shame, because such thinkers are needed today. With my blog, I am trying to do my part to restore that classical line of thinking so that logic and reason can one day rule the day once more. There's always going to be a need for the "old school".

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Left brain vs. right brain

What direction does the woman below seem to be spinning?

Here's info from this site on what it means when she's spinning in one direction or the other.

However, below is the same info:


The Right Brain vs Left Brain test ... do you see the dancer turning clockwise or anti-clockwise?

If clockwise, then you use more of the right side of the brain and vice versa. Most of us would see the dancer turning anti-clockwise though you can try to focus and change the direction; see if you can do it.


uses logic
detail oriented
facts rule
words and language
present and past
math and science
can comprehend

order/pattern perception
knows object name
reality based
forms strategies

uses feeling
"big picture" oriented
imagination rules
symbols and images
present and future
philosophy & religion
can "get it" (i.e. meaning)
spatial perception
knows object function
fantasy based
presents possibilities
risk taking


Just so you know, I saw the woman spinning clockwise. Not surprising for an artist brain like mine. Also, I couldn't make the dancer spin the other way, even when I bribed her.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Texas Tech's Michael Vick shirts cause controversy

Texas Tech university suddenly found itself in the national spotlight over some Michael Vick shirts that one of its fraternities was selling. The shirt was supposed to be for TT's upcoming game against Texas A&M. A&M has a cheer of "Gig 'em", so the shirt saying "Vick 'em" was a play of words on that cheer. On the back was a silhouette of Vick holding up the A&M mascot by a noose (as shown below).

As expected, TT has ordered that the fraternity stop selling the shirt. By that time, 250 had been sold, and an offer has been made to replace free of charge the Vick shirt with another that says "Wreck 'em". So far, no one has taken up that offer. Know what they should have done? They should have offered to at least pay back what the buyers paid for the shirt.

Know why? Because the buyers know that they could probably get boo coos more bucks now that the shirt has gained notoriety. I checked e-Bay, and it was on sale there, but it's already been removed probably because of the notoriety. However, I bet it will go up again. While the shirt is certainly questionable in taste, e-Bay has had worse on sale on its site.

Michael Vick is probably going to have to put up with stuff like this for the rest of his life. I still don't understand why someone like him with all the money and fame and future success he had going for him would get involved in something like dog-fighting. Basically, he just threw away not just his career, but his personal reputation. I am very certain that other shirts and posters with similar content will be on the way. In other words, Vick should accept that this is probably only just the beginning...

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Don't be such a yutz!

Yesterday I was looking up a certain word to see if it was Yiddish (the word was "schlub"). I went to Wikipedia, and discovered that there are a whole lotta words in the English language that are of Yiddish origin! Check this out!

I remember "schlemiel" and "schlimazel" from that old Laverne and Shirley TV show, because that was in their opening song. I have also heard other words such as bagel, chutzpah, schlep, and schmo. I've even used oy vey at one time or another. But there are other words that I haven't heard of. For instance...

noodge : to pester, nag, whine; as a noun, a pest or whiner

tummler : an entertainer or master of ceremonies, especially one who encourages audience interaction

pisher : a nobody, an inexperienced person (for some reason, there's several Yiddish words for various types of foolish or dim-witted persons)

meshuggener : a crazy person

ganef or gonif : thief, scoundrel, rascal

macher : big shot, important person

mishpocha : extended family

Click on the link above to see more. So don't be such a nudnik and go check it already! What am I, your teacher or something?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

This blog is going to the birds!

Okay, folks... I'm just testing one of the new features of this blog site. See if this works for you all:

The bird I taped was rather shy. Maybe he doesn't like paparazzi.

In this clip, there is a bird in the branches, if you look closely. He was chirping rather loudly, which is why I taped him.

Pretty cool, eh? I'll try to post other video clips later.

Tony Romo does it again!

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo has done it again! I can't think of anyone else who was further in the jaws of defeat as Romo was, and still managed to snatch victory away like that. As a writer, it's my job to come up with words to describe ideas and concepts; and yet, I'm at a loss to explain Tony Romo style football. Therefore, I have appealed to a higher authority on such sports matters. I have appealed to none other than Mr. Fair and Biased, Randy Galloway. Below is my e-mail to him:

"Mr. Galloway,

You are urgently needed to come up with a term to describe the kind of football that Tony Romo plays. I come to you because of your creativity for coming up for names like this. I cite your previous efforts, such as Deion "Nine Toes" Sanders, Shaquille "Tormented Toe" O'Neal, and the recent "El Dorado" Owens. And of course, who can forget "hoodoo voodoo" to explain why things go wrong.

So now you must come up with a term for Romo-style football. Who else can take a badly bobbled snap and make it a 4 yard gain AND a 1st down? Who else can have 6 TOs and still win the game? It's a sort of reverse "hoodoo voodoo" when you think about it. Don't get me wrong - I'm glad we're winning, but I don't know how much my heart can take! ;-)

Anyway, I hope you come up with a good "Randy-ism" to explain Romo-style football. "

If he replies and if he offers his term, I'll let you good folks know about it.

The game with the New England Patriots this Sunday is likely going to be a huge ratings draw. I wonder what else Tony Romo is going to come up with?

Saturday, October 06, 2007

A Halloween feelgood story

This is the kind of feelgood story that restores faith in your fellow man - and woman. In Fort Worth, there is a little girl who has an inoperable brain tumor. Currently, due to some steroids that she has to take, the poor girl is swollen everywhere. And yet, despite all this, the neighborhood that she lives in decided to give her an early Halloween because the girl loves Halloween. So this past week, they all got together, wore their costumes, and went trick-or-treating. All for this little girl. Here's a video clip from a local TV station about the same story.

Nowadays, it's rare to see that kind of cooperation among neighbors. Usually we are lucky if we can talk to other members of a household, much less someone who lives next door. We have so much to distract us, such as our TVs, video games, and computers. And yet, these people got together for this little girl because she likely would not live to see October 31.

And during the research for this story, I just found out that this little girl died. Below is her picture before she got the cancer. Please pray for her and her family. I also hope that this lesson on neighborliness goes beyond that one neighborhood. Hopefully the young girl's life will teach us all a lesson on the beauty and fragility of human life. The girl wears an angel costume in the picture below. I like to believe that she is wearing the real thing now.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Japanese robo-suits

Watch out, folks! The elderly may soon be coming after you wearing suits worthy of Robocop!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The Week Magazine

If you look to the right, you'll see a new link titled "The Week Magazine". Basically, it has articles from news outlets from around the world. It's called "The Week" because it prints once a week, and also because it runs articles from that week's top news. It's a real good way to get caught up on what's been going on recently, as well as finding out what's going on in other countries. Real interesting stuff.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Editorial statement for October 2007: My independent views (posted over the course of the month).

In August, I posted my liberal views. Last month, I posted my conservative views. This month, I post the views that are neither liberal or conservative. But first, understand one thing before I continue: Just because the views below are neither liberal or conservative, don't assume that they are moderate. In other words, my views below are NOT "middle of the road". I rarely sit on the fence, because I view holding a moderate view as a way of not answering the question. It's like saying "Neither, and both."

Don't get me wrong - if you are just studying an issue, then it's quite natural to "wait and see" before you come to a decision on a certain issue. However, if you're permanently "waiting and seeing", then you're just avoiding making a decision so as to not make the wrong one. However, not making a decision is the same thing as not voting during an election. It's said that when you don't vote, that counts as a vote for the guy that you don't want in office. I would respect a rabid left or right winger who is consistent in their views rather than someone who was "trying to be open-minded" so as to not make a stand.

I just wanted to make sure that you don't view my views below as "moderate". Calling me a moderate offends me, so don't call me that! I'd rather you call me a liberal or conservative - or, my preference, an "independent". Okay, I've said enough about this. :-)

* Euthanasia

I am totally opposed to legalizing euthanasia. I think that opposition to euthanasia should be a liberal view, but liberals seem to be favoring it as a "right to die". Conservatives haven't gotten totally on board in opposing it yet, and any opposition is largely because liberals favor it. In other words, it's largely lip service - just like their opposition to legalized abortion.

* Immigration

I am for securing our borders, but against making English the official language of the U.S. I think that those who are here illegally should get that taken care of. I think that the U.S. should make a one-time offer to illegal immigrants that, if they turn themselves in, then they'll be allowed to stay so long as they start the process to becoming legal right then and there. And they must stay on the path to legalization until they finish. I am against blanket amnesty because that's not fair to those who have been going through the process of becoming citizens the right way.

The illegal immigrants should also become legal because their employers are taking advantage of them by vastly underpaying them. Why otherwise would employers risk hiring groups of people that are here illegally? In the long run, when the Dems and other like-minded people try to get illegal immigrants the kinds of rights that the rest of us enjoy, they're only hurting the very people that they claim to want to help. In truth, the Dems are only out for the short-term gains, and if it ever became an albatross to try to help illegal immigrants, then the Dems would drop them like a rock. Thus, the illegal immigrants are victimized twice.