Sunday, November 30, 2008

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving has two qualities for me, a combination of contemplation and Americana that makes it one of my favorite days of the year.

The act of giving thanks makes us count our blessings and truly and actively consider them, and not necessarily in a religious context, although for me that’s a major component of it.

This Thanksgiving turned out very different than expected, but I am still very thankful.

We were all set to have the family come celebrate Thanksgiving together at our house, but on Monday I ended up having to take Season to the hospital's emergency room as she was having some neurological issues that demanded attention.

Luckily we were assigned a very competent and compassionate doctor. Unfortunately the doctor felt that Season was exhibiting symptoms of multiple sclerosis so she was going to have to be admitted to the hospital to undergo tests and begin treatment as soon as possible.

Since that moment we have been very concerned about what the future holds in store for us, but I have faith in Season's strength and tenacity to fight this disease and that we can get through what ever happens next together.

Season ended up having to stay in the hospital until Friday afternoon. That meant that we couldn't have Thanksgiving at home as we had originally planned so instead we all gathered in Season's room and had Thanksgiving dinner courtesy of the hospital cafeteria.

Not exactly the feast I had looked forward to, but the important thing was that we were all together and I felt very fortunate to be able to spend that day with the people I love most.

Season is at back home now and the neurological problems seem to have gone away. She still feels a little dizzy now and then, but hopefully once the doctor can pinpoint which subtype of MS she has he can begin to treat it in earnest and that will clear up too.

I was going to go through a list of things that I am thankful for, but I think I'll just mention...

I am very thankful that Season was able to get such great medical care and that the whole family was able to come together to give her support and show her how much she is loved.

I feel so blessed and thankful to have such a wonderful woman as my partner. She fills my every waking moment with joy and happiness. She is my heart. She is my calming spirit. I love her so much.

I don't know how I got so lucky, but I am most thankful that Season has graced my life with her presence.

I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving and hope that you at least took a moment to count your blessings. You never know when everything you took for granted can change.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Terrorist Attack In India

Terrorists strike in Mumbai, hold hostages...

Teams of gunmen stormed luxury hotels, a popular restaurant, hospitals and a crowded train station in coordinated attacks across India's financial capital, killing at least eighty-two, wounding two hundred and fifty people and taking some Westerners hostage. A group of suspected Muslim militants claimed responsibility.

A series of explosions had rocked the Taj Mahal Hotel. Screams were heard and black smoke billowed from the century-old edifice on Mumbai's waterfront. Firefighters sprayed water at the blaze and plucked people from balconies with extension ladders. After dawn, the fire was still burning.

My sympathies and condolences to the families of the victims.

Mumbai has frequently been targeted in terrorist attacks blamed on Islamic extremists, including a series of bombings in July 2006 that killed one hundred eighty-seven people.

Here at home Federal authorities have received a "plausible but unsubstantiated" report that al Qaeda may have discussed targeting transit systems in or around New York.

Hopefully these terrorist's and their violence will not dominate this holiday careful out there.

Addams Family Values Thanksgiving Play

Pocahontas and members of the Chippewa tribe rewrite history...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Coca-Cola Christmas Grenades

Just in time for Christmas Coca-Cola has rolled out their new holiday bottles that I believe are meant to look like Christmas tree ornaments, but to me resemble something less benign.

After you've drank the soda-pop you can easily add water and some dry ice to convert them into little festive holiday hand grenades!

If they happen to come in the Diet Coke variety adding some Mentos could also be fun.

I can see getting suited up as Santa with a bandoleer of these nifty plastic coke bombs as a possible Project Mayhem activity.

After all nothing says Merry Christmas like a nice explosion, but be very careful not to shoot your eye out kids.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Celebrity Bric-A-Brac Theatre

The First Thanksgiving
Narrated by: Sean Connery
Starring Christopher Walken, John Madden, Owen Wilson and more...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Could You Step It Up A Notch?

It always seems strange to me how easily I am able to vanquish the cohorts of ten to twenty anonymous ninjas that frequently attack me during my daily routine. Do these men not practice? Do they take no pride in the historic art of ninjitsu? Who purports to be the trainer of these slobs? Is wishing for my ninja enemies to be better trained too much to ask for?

It usually only takes one blow to incapacitate these so called "ninjas." Why don't they know how to take a hit? I would gladly spend a day at their training facility and hit them at half or three quarters strength to toughen them up. They can never block my attacks either. Its just one swing and they are down. Pathetic.

Also, there is the issue of tactics. They always seem to attempt to encircle me and then only to come in one at a time. I thought the whole point of surrounding someone is that you can all attack in a well orchestrated flurry of destruction, but, no, that would take some kind of coordination. That would clearly be beyond these hacks. I think that my enemies just pick people up off the street and put them in black uniforms. Any respectable master would weep upon watching these farcical attempts at the martial arts.

Seriously, this is starting to get depressing...

Could you at least spare me the dignity of a worthy opponent?

So many questions...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

One Of These Days...

I'm going to break a huge news story on this blog.

I'm talking story of the century here.

Unfortunately no one will believe me. Despite my constant insistence that I never lie and that things I say really do make sense.

It will be your loss though, for you will be unable to use this vital piece of information to your advantage, and I will.

On second thought, if I can use this to my advantage, why would I ever tell you?

It's not like I make money off this blog and its not like I care about my journalistic credibility.

Forget it then. I will not break any huge news stories on this blog.If my sources give me anything good, I will sit at home content in my advanced knowledge of world events, modifying my plan for world domination while you will sit at home blissful in your ignorance.

That will probably work out best for the both of us.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Enjoy Your Lifetime Of Servitude...

A conspiracy theory attempts to explain the ultimate cause of a usually political, social, or historical event as a secret, and often deceptive, plot by a covert alliance of powerful people or organizations rather than as an overt activity or as natural occurrence.

Although historically there have been plots successfully and unsuccessfully carried out by groups of people, the term is mostly used negatively to dismiss allegedly misconceived, paranoid or outlandish rumors.

There are conspiracy theories concerning Abraham Lincoln's Assassination, The Moon Landing, and even The Attack On The World Trade Center.

I even came across one regarding how the CIA invented crack to subdue inner city populations. I found the idea quite inspiring as a scheme to take over the world. Drug addiction makes people very certain ways.

If you control their access to the drug, you control the addict.

Now how to enact this on a large scale?

It is difficult to expose a worldwide population to a drug without their knowledge and consent.

So I explored another avenue...

There are certain things upon which every man, woman and child is just as dependent as the addict to his drug.

That's right, I am referring to food and water.

Yes, if you control those, you control the world! Best of all you can make the shortage appear to result from some other outside cause. Say economic crisis and then by the very fact that I am the only one who can supply it, I will be lauded as a hero and elevated to emperor for life.

No one will dare bite the hand that feeds them, so to speak.

When will I enact my plan you ask? How will I possibly take control of the world's food and water supply? What, do you think I am some kind of cartoon villain who would expose the details of my plan when there is any possible chance of affecting its outcome?

No. I did it thirty-five minutes ago.

Enjoy your lifetime of servitude.

Monday, November 17, 2008

L33t Haxors Pwned My PC

Didn't think it would happen to us, but it did...

Two out of the three computers on our home network were infected by a virus on Thursday that totally incapacitated them.

I had to completely wipe the hard drives and do new installations of the OS and all programs.

We didn't loose any of our personal documents, pictures or mp3s luckily. There are backup copies of all that stuff on an unaffected external hard drive, but it still has been a big pain in the ass.

I'm still attempting to get everything back the way it was and my job's IT department is working on reinstalling all my work related programs.

At least one good thing came of it though...

Since both our computer were down Season and I got two days off from work to just relax together.

So, thanks Zero Cool and Acid Burn for creating that virus and unintentionally allowing me to spend some extra time with my sweetheart. Now go off and hack the planet elsewhere please.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veterans Day

To many people, especially the nation's thousands of combat veterans, this day is an important reminder to pay tribute to the service and sacrifice of the men and women who in defense of our freedom have bravely worn the uniform of the United States.

Today, I read stories of celebration and remembrance of our military veterans and I am honored to be among that group of Americans.

I take enormous pride in how my fellow servicemen have fought, how they lived, and now take time to truly remember their sacrifices.

Our brave men and women in uniform – both past and present – are the storm that gives chase to evil and safe harbor to liberty.

From one veteran to another, I salute your service.

To the civilians I'd like to say thank you for your support, it was a pleasure and a privilege to serve.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Heist

Toyota has a launched a peculiar ad campaign in Australia for their new Corolla featuring a kitten/human hybrid with an attitude...

Look out bad kittens! Pouncer is taking those sardines right meow!

Semper Fidelis

Happy Birthday to the United States Marine Corps!

Today, November 10th, the United States Marine Corps celebrates the birth of the organization, founded in 1775 by the Continental Congress. Two hundred and thirty-three years of service.

Please join me in raising a toast to all the brave men and women of The United States Marine Corps. Those who serve, those who have served and those who have fallen in defense our great nation.

Thanks drop and give me twenty!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Talk To Me Goose...

In other political news: Since “Maverick” wasn’t elected the next best thing we can do now is support “Iceman” in his endeavor to represent the good people of New Mexico as their governor.

According to the New York Post, in a cell phone interview from Bulgaria, Kilmer said, "There's a rumor that I'm maybe thinking about running to be governor of New Mexico." "Well, it's sort of true."

Is his ego writing checks his body can't cash?

"After I wrap this film, I'm off to LA to see my kids then home to New Mexico to talk to friends and see what they say."

Sounds like he feels the need...the need for speed.

"I know I'm not yet qualified for the job."

Don’t worry Val neither is Obama and he's about to be President.

"It's not like I need fame. If that's what it's all about, I wouldn't live in New Mexico." (Burn!)

Good luck Val Kilmer, even if you don't win you can still be the governor's wingman any time.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Kiss A Wookie, Kick A Droid...

An a capella tribute to John Williams

News Of Hope And Change...

In domestic news: Apparently the Obama campaign is implementing his policies on Americans before he even takes the oath of office.

Lines were long and tempers flared Wednesday not to vote but to get paid for canvassing for Barack Obama. Several hundred people are still waiting to get their pay for last-minute campaigning. Police were called to the Obama campaign office on North Meridian Street downtown to control the crowd.

Perhaps the campaign thought there were other people more deserving of the money.

Eventually people did start getting paid, but some said they were missing hours and told to fill in paperwork making their claim and that eventually they would get a check in the mail.

“Still that’s not right. I’m disappointed. I’m glad for the president, but I’m disappointed in this system,” said Diane Jefferson, temporary campaign worker.

“It should have been $480. It’s $230,” said Imani Sankofa.

Maybe when Obama said he would only raise taxes on those making over $250, he literally meant $250. Go home and wait for your free healthcare.

“They gave us $10 an hour. So we added it. I added up all the hours so it was supposed to be at least $120. All I get is $90,” said Charles Martin.

"I worked nine hours a day for four days and got paid half of what I should have earned,” said Randall Waldon.

Campaigning for Obama was all fun and exciting until it’s your hard-earned money he’s screwing with.

Some people weren’t satisfied with filling out a claim form for money they felt was still due to them.

“They say that they gonna call you or they going to mail it to you, but I don’t know. We’ll see what happens,” said Antron Grose.

“Talking about they’ll mail it to us. I ain’t worried about that, man. They’re not going to mail nothin’,” said Martin.

"I want my money today! It's my money. I want it right now!" yelled one former campaign worker.

Stop being so selfish and unpatriotic!

It doesn't stop there...

Obama's new website has a section titled: "America Serves"

Obama will call on citizens of all ages to serve America, by developing a plan to require fifty hours of community service in middle school and high school and one hundred hours of community service in college every year. Obama will encourage retiring Americans to serve by improving programs available for individuals over age fifty-five, while at the same time promoting youth programs such as Youth Build and Head Start.

Isn't this a direct violation of the 13th Amendment, I believe. It mentions specifically the abolition of "involuntary servitude"...

Under his plan, Obama has said [insert college] students would be required to "serve" in order to keep their scholarships.

I realize the amendment was to abolish slavery, but would requiring students to serve fall under "involuntary servitude"?

UPDATE: The website page has now been changed and suddenly, all mention of “required” has been disappeared and the college tuition incentive has been added.

Since when do we need a government mandate to tell people when and where to volunteer their free time? Paying someone to “volunteer” doesn't hat diminishes the whole act of volunteering?

At one time in our history church groups would volunteer to assist their community. Now, we have indoctrination into the Church of Obama where you will be compelled to serve. Doesn't everybody think that the best way than to instill a sense of community is by force?

Maybe not...which might explain the sudden surge in firearm sales.

Also, a case of post-election nerves sent stocks plunging Wednesday as investors, again anxious about a recession, began questioning what impact a Barack Obama presidency will have on business and the overall economy. The Dow Jones industrials dropped more than four hundred points and the major indexes all fell.

In foreign news: Excited that the candidate they endorsed won the election, Hamas celebrated by breaking the six month ceasefire and firing rockets into Israel.

Not to be left out of the fun, around the same time that it became clear Barack Obama would be the next President of the United States, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev announced plans for Russian deployment of a new missile system on the EU border.

This is posted presented kind of tongue-in-cheek, but it makes me wonder...Is this a taste of what we have to look forward to?

Thursday, November 06, 2008

What Next For Obama Supporters?

Macs vs. PCs

Like Republicans and Democrats

PC and Mac users also have a similar bitter rivalry

Will it be a fight to the death or will diplomacy win the day?

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Happy Guy Fawkes Day

On the day after the election of Barack Obama, it's especially ironic that today also happens to be Guy Fawkes Day. With that in mind, here's an excerpt from a speech in the movie V for Vendetta (influenced by Ayn Rand) from the title character, "V", addressing his struggle against a totalitarian government:

“Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn’t there? Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. How did this happen? Who’s to blame? Well certainly there are those more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again truth be told, if you’re looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror. I know why you did it. I know you were afraid. Who wouldn’t be? War, terror, disease. There were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. Fear got the best of you, and in your panic you turned to the now high chancellor...He promised you order, he promised you peace, and all he demanded in return was your silent, obedient consent. Last night I sought to end that silence. Last night I destroyed the Old Bailey, to remind this country of what it has forgotten. More than four hundred years ago a great citizen wished to embed the fifth of November forever in our memory. His hope was to remind the world that fairness, justice, and freedom are more than words, they are perspectives.”

United We Stand...

I'd like to be optimistic, but it seems my predictions were off.

Jimmy Carter has just won his second term.

Economy a bit on the shaky side: Check

Unpopular Republican President blamed for the loss successor: Check

Trouble with Iran brewing: Check

Energy crisis: Check

National newcomer Democrat elected as president: Check

Career Washington insider elected as Vice-President: Check

Russians/Soviets feeling belligerent and expansionistic: Check

Seriously though, I hope that President Elect Obama will be a better President than Carter was.

I can't think of any words adequate to the occasion of America electing its first black President, so I'll just say this: This may be a bleak day for the Republican Party and for conservatism, but come what may in the years ahead, it's a great day for our country.

My sincere congratulations go to President Elect Barack Obama for his victory last night. I’ve never supported him and I will likely disagree with him a lot, but like it or not, he’s my president.

As a great man once said “Country first.”

Since the Democrats hold nearly all the cards now with a majority in both chambers of Congress (which is kind of scary) they really have to put up or shut up. I happen to believe that Obama and Congressional Democrats will do things that cause harm to America. Unless his victory somehow leads him to become a centrist rather than a liberal ideologue once in office.

I have certain principles, beliefs and ideals. I had them before yesterday, I still have them today, and I will keep them long after President Elect Obama takes the oath of office.

I do not consider myself to have an overarching ideology. My principles, beliefs, and ideals were assembled on a point-by-point basis, derived from careful and rational thought on each issue individually. As such, the assigning of any such labels or categories to me means nothing, and the rise and fall of those labels and categories trouble me not one bit.

Yesterday, many of my principles, beliefs, and ideals were rejected by the majority, but I don't feel alone. John McCain won about 48% of the vote after all. I do not take that as a rebuke in the least. Rather, I see it as a challenge to continue espousing the things I believe in, as strongly and persuasively as I can.

I do not take it as an "opportunity" to re-examine them. I do that on a regular basis anyway. I have arrived at them by my own experiences, thoughts, studies, and contemplations. As those are ongoing processes, they have already been tested and revised and corrected when needed. To say that I suddenly need to re-evaluate these things because of an election is to say that I do not hold them that dearly at all, and they are subject to the approval of the majority.

They are not and they never will be.

I have concerns about President Obama and his plans for America.

I very well may be wrong.

Lord knows I've been wrong before, on enough other issues.

Unfortunately the facts are not showing me that I am at this time.

If President Obama does pull off his plans and they do make things better despite my fears to the contrary...

At that point, with actual facts before me, I will re-evaluate my principles, beliefs, and ideals, and how they apply to certain issues.

But not yet.

Not without evidence to the contrary other than "a lot of people disagree with you."

I shall wait and see.

Until then, though, I will remain true to my own self.

I'll close with President Elect Obama's own words:

"Let us resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long... while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress... And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn-- I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your president too."

The work ahead is not the President's alone; the task is for all us.

United we stand...divided we fall.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Let's Get Ready To Rumble!

Bring It On!

(Click for large)

(Click for large)

Get Out And Vote!

Nothing like exercising your democratic right to vote! U-S-A! U-S-A!

The polling place was very conveniently located; I could actually see it from my backyard; at a local church. I did have to wait in line for approximately an hour and forty-five minutes though.

It seems almost strange that after at least eighteen months of presidential campaigning and political theatrics it all comes to an end in one day.

I voted for John McCain for president along with the other local level politicians who I thought were good choices too.

There was something odd that I heard while in line though. An oddity that seemed prevalent on both sides. One person said that he had to elect John McCain to protect his values and another said that it would take an Obama administration to affirm his.

Politicians are not going to make your morals right or wrong. Politicians will not affirm anything about you. If you are voting for someone who agrees with you, that's fine, but to think that your morals or values will be in jeopardy if a certain politician loses?

Vote for the politician you agree with, but don't think that a "loss" means that your morals are in jeopardy or that your character may be in danger of being lost. They aren't.

You do not need John McCain or Barack Obama to tell you how to live and what is important. We all have what, I believe it was C.S. Lewis called, a sort of moral law engraved on our hearts.

Our morality, whether we find it guided by faith, reason or any of the various -isms in the world our morals as, individuals or a people, are not in jeopardy.

So, go out and vote, but don't lose sight of your own moral compass. Even if the "Other Guy" (whomever that is for you) wins the election, you are still you. The country will go on and you as an individual will still have choices to make.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Night Light