Sunday, January 31, 2010

Next Door Neighbor's Baby Just Discovered...


.....crying.

Had Fun Last Night

Last night, if you can believe it, Eddie and I went out to a club and had a blast.
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We went with Schilagi and the Douglet, and (lucky for us) a friend was playing really early - but let's not take away from the fact that Eddie and I got out of the house and to a beer / rock club. How early? He got a spot at 7PM! But still - we drug it out in 15 degree weather to the Lower East Side.
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This is an old picture of J. Jeffery Martin - who we saw play last night. It was all his own songs and it was a kick.
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I had seen him in a show (The Happy Embalmer) and now we are facebook friends. We got invited to his gig at the National Underground - so we went. We talked with him a little before and after he played.
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Actually, afterwards one of his college friends (this girl) was drunk and chatty. I shuffled her off onto Ed. Then Ed and I shuffled her off on Jeffery. It was fun (the night - not getting rid of the drunk chick - although that was pleasent).
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And for the girls out there, yes, he is straight!
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After we ate at Joe Doe (where we ate with Steve Demille) and it was good - but we were a little buzzed.
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Eddie is - right now - winging way to Vancouver, so Trev and I are alone for about 10 days.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

One Word Rebuttal to "Intelligent Design"

Testicles
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Let's face it, testicles are evolution at its worst. God allowed evolution, fine. But he didn't design these bad boys. I say this after much thought - and after walking the pup in 0 degree wind chill (-15C for you Brits). There are much better design choices for the berries.
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1) Allow sperm to live at body temperature! Ta-Da. Design flaw solved. Put those bad boys inside where they don't play elevator tag in the cold.
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2) Make the stuff as you need it! We don't have sweat bags that go expand and contract, do we? No. When we need it, we sweat. It should have been easy to design sperm on the fly.
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And don't tell me it can't be done. If aerodynamics require, then poof, no bag of tricks. Just think, you never see a Robin or Finch flying around in the heat with his nuts flapping do you? See, it can easily be done!
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Hey-suz, I hate the cold!
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(ps - no picture accompanies this post.)

Friday, January 29, 2010

Seen Everything? How About A Kosher Jewish Vaudville Brunch?

And, no, I am not kidding. After the success of the Gospel Brunch and the Beatles Brunch here comes the Big Bupkis Brunch...
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Oye Vey..
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Yiddish Theater Brunch: “The Big Bupkis”Performed by the New Yiddish Rep Company
Sunday, January 31, 2010
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Join the Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy (LESJC) for a unique Yiddish Theater Brunch program, "The Big Bupkis! A Complete Gentile's Guide to Yiddish Vaudeville." This irreverent performance will include comedy, magic, ukulele music, hypnotism, stories about Sophie Tucker, a Yiddish bullfight poem, and other theatrical rarities. For those who may have attended last year's Yiddish Theater Brunch and enjoyed Shane Bertram Baker's show, this will be a different and more elaborate performance.
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There will be an ample, strictly kosher, dairy brunch served which includes bagels, bialys, spreads, dried fruit, coffee and pastries.

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In the lead role will be Shane Bertram Baker, Yiddish vaudeville actor extraordinaire. A Kansas City native, he is acknowledged to be the first Gentile to perform Yiddish vaudeville. How he escaped life in a trailer park in rural Missouri to gain renown in New York's booming Yiddish vaudeville community is richly described and illustrated in this fascinating performance. Mr. Baker will be accompanied by the legendary Steve Sterner, New York's premiere silent film accompanist. Rimshots, bells, and whistles will be delivered by the remarkable klezmer drummer, Matt Temkin. Allen Lewis Rickman, who has extensive experience in Yiddish theater, co-conceived and directed "The Big Bupkis!" The show combines English and Yiddish, with English supertitles projected over the stage.

Great Post for the Nerds Amoung Us (I'm Looking at You Harris)


This is a great article about the iPad and why it may kick ass.

Oh My Heavens! 18 degrees is cold

Wowza. Just walked the pooch!
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18F is cold.
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I'm going to go back to bed just as soon as I can find my nuts.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Zelda Rubinstein Passed away

Zelda Rubinstein passed away. For most people she will be remembered for the movie Poltergeist. Not me.
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Partially because I didn't see the movie.
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But foremost, because Zela worked with those of us at the Revolver (the gay video bar I worked at) to teach people about AIDS and using condoms. Back when condoms still made people nervous and everyone said rubbers. It was a million years ago.
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I remember when she came to the bar - we had a meeting one afternoon before we opened. She came with the L.A. Cares organization - which later morphed into APLA (Aids Project LA), one of the biggest support organizations in the world.
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Anyway, she came in with the team to train us bar tenders on how to talk to people about HIV - this was before it was HIV and was still GRID (Gay Related Infectious Disease). But the steps to remain safe were the same. Use condoms, be careful.
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She was sweet and spoke with us very directly. It she could be comfortable talking about sex in natural terms then we could to (and did - to customers all the time).
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L A Cares provided condoms and lube, which bartenders reminded people to take with them until it became a habit.
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So my memoirs of Zelda are very warm. She did a lot of good for my friends and community.
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ps;
And, as you can see from the really hairy male model - at the time as a smooth blond guy I was not a "looker".

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

iTablet


iWant
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Bush and Obama Have Given Direction to Kill US Citizens Abroad

so... Bush and Obama have given direction to kill US citizens abroad - does this bug anyone besides me? Not terrorists, per say, just people we are furious at.
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There is a story in the Washington Post - and at the end they discuss that Bush after 9/11 gave approval to kill US Citizens if they were organizing or aiding terrorists. The latest person that we added to the kill list is the New Mexico born Iman who corresponded with the Muslim Terrorist that killed people at Fort Hood. But there is no proof he either planned or aided the action - if fact we don't even accuse him of that. Sure he is a dick and asshole, but are we the country now that kills people for thoughts and words (but allows corporations free speech)?
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Glen Greenwald discusses this here along with other citizens we have approved to be killed overseas that aren't terrorist (including drug dealers and people we think might know the Taliban).
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Is it just me or isn't this not so "American Values".... Also our intellignece hasn't shown us any proof. And the last time they showed us proof of weapons of mass destruction they were, you know, WRONG!
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Finally what the fuck are we doing killing people in Yemen for the last few years? I mean we have been there arguable for years before the airplane attempt ever happened. Aren't we suppose to declare war or something before we attack countries willy nilly.
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(from the Washington Post)
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After the Sept. 11 attacks, Bush gave the CIA, and later the military, authority to kill U.S. citizens abroad if strong evidence existed that an American was involved in organizing or carrying out terrorist actions against the United States or U.S. interests, military and intelligence officials said. The evidence has to meet a certain, defined threshold. The person, for instance, has to pose "a continuing and imminent threat to U.S. persons and interests," said one former intelligence official.
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The Obama administration has adopted the same stance. If a U.S. citizen joins al-Qaeda, "it doesn't really change anything from the standpoint of whether we can target them," a senior administration official said. "They are then part of the enemy."

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Both the CIA and the JSOC maintain lists of individuals, called "High Value Targets" and "High Value Individuals," whom they seek to kill or capture. The JSOC list includes three Americans, including Aulaqi, whose name was added late last year. As of several months ago, the CIA list included three U.S. citizens, and an intelligence official said that Aulaqi's name has now been added.

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Intelligence officials say the New Mexico-born imam also has been linked to the Army psychiatrist who is accused of killing 12 soldiers and a civilian at Fort Hood, Tex., although his communications with Maj. Nidal M. Hasan were largely academic in nature. Authorities say that Aulaqi is the most important native, English-speaking al-Qaeda figure and that he was in contact with the Nigerian accused of attempting to bomb a U.S. airliner on Christmas Day.

Finally Used My Grandfather's Line

Those of you know have had the pleasure (?) of going to the theater, movies or concerts with me that have probably heard - more than once - me parrot the words of my Grandfather. "It was okay, but they passed a lot of good places to stop."
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Well, I used it in a review the other day for "Rough Sketch." It was very well done, but too long.
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I quote (so you don't have to read to the end). (Link over on the left with the other play reviews)
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Finally, Rough Sketch passed the perfect place to stop. Very late in the show, there is a scene that ends on a note of beautiful ambiguity, tension, love, anger and distrust. I wanted to jump up and applaud. And then the play stumbled onward for a little while longer toward an ending that wasn’t ambiguous at all. Rough Sketch was not an easy journey of love and courtship, but it was often enthralling. The ending, however, was perhaps just too tidy.

the conundrum of the internet for me (because I'm cheap)

The Internet occasionally presents a conundrum to me.
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For example, support a local shop that might be a mildly more expensive - or buy direct and save money - at the cost of the local shop.
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This example is Empire Coffee and Tea. As you can see from the picture to the left, they have been in their location since 1918. Their location is right around the corner from my house. They are on 9th Ave,and have lasted through the depression, the bad neighborhood, the Port Authority Bus Terminal moving in, bums and Starbucks!
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Yesterday, I thought I discovered this quaint new shop (the web site left me humbled - I discovered a store that was 90 years old :-), I went in to get loose leaf green tea.
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I drink a lot of loose leaf tea. It's healthier than coffee and loose leaf green has almost as much caffeine. In the morning I have green tea - and I brew black loose leaf for ice tea that I drink during the day.
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So (get to the point!), the loose leaf was $6.95 a 1/4 pound ($13.95 for a pound so next time I can save money). And it is quite good.
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This on the other hand is Boba Tea Direct's web site. Where I can get tea a lot cheaper, but without the girl to tell me what is stronger, which she likes and the human touch.
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I have decided to pay a little more to hopefully keep the shop there (and not turn it into another wireless cell phone store or $.99 pizza shop). But I understand how hard it is to make money with overhead when competing against the Internet. If the shop was 6 blocks away,instead of right around the corner - I would have no problem turning to the Internet in the winter.
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hummmm

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

So... Interesting Thing About My Ears


I have, to put it kindly, be generously endowed in the ear department. Oh scoff if you like, but in the Mysterious Far East big earlobes are considered a sing of great wisdom - hence the pictures of Buddha with giant lobes.
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I too have giant lobes. And the big huge elephant ears to go with them.
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But here is what I have learned recently from earbud headphones... My ear canal only takes the "small" ear bud. Yes, there is a reason my ears flop around like human satellite dishes - I need them to bring noise to my tiny little ear canals.
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It is one of those tricks of nature that I would have missed had it not been for iPods and the iPhone.

Monday, January 25, 2010

I Love Maps


I love interesting maps. This map is based on the following (select it to enlarge)...
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What states might look like if, as with Congressional districts, their borders were periodically redrawn to reflect population changes...This map is by Neil Freeman from FakeIsTheNewReal.org. It's based on a division of the country into 50 state units with more-or-less equal population -- 5 to 6 million apiece -- and preserving existing boundaries where possible. (As with the new state of "Missouri.") I love many of the other state names -- Lincoln, Joaquin, Tombigbee. My childhood home would have been along the border of Coronado and Mojave. In a reapportioned Senate each of these units would have two votes.

Chicken Neck and Triple Chin

I am getting a horrible Chicken Neck with a 3rd and 4th chin. I haven't gained all that much weight, but it is awful. I think it is partially genetic. I was lucky to get my hair line and color from my Grandfather, unlucky to get his chin(s) ; (and bi-polar disorder, but that is another story :-).
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So what to do? What to do?
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I can't afford a face lift right now (at least ED says I can't, I don't know why... except I am not working yet.).
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So I think I will follow the lead of Katherine Hepburn from Lion In Winter. I shall wear a crown, with a neck scarf. Sure people with think I am crazy - but they won't think I have a triple chin!
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Saturday, January 23, 2010

ggrrrrrrrr!


(Presented sans comment - link)

Cahoots! That's MY Word!

CAHOOTS!!!!
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Cahoots is my word. I have used it on nincompoopery and I always get the question from my honey, "Cahoots? Are you sure that is a word?"
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And I explain it is. And we go on.
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Now it shows up on MSNBC. And my honey has shared the word with NBC, which has shared it with MSNBC.
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And now, it leads.
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Here is the screen capture of the story page. LINK

Friday, January 22, 2010

New Salon Feature: This Week in Crazy


And their first winner is (drum roll please) ......... Clarence Thomas, who thought the new ruling about corporate donations didn't go far enough. He wanted to roll back the rules that require disclosure of what corporations donate to or against. Crazy Indeed!

Bradley Smith: DickWad or Just Stupid?

This is Bradley Smith. He is proof you don't have to be smart to go to Harvard Law.
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With regards to the recent Supreme Court Ruling (discussed below), he wrote this in today's US Today....
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...."Thursday's Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission will lead to more corporate and union independent political spending. That was, after all, the idea, and those of us who have long argued for less regulation of campaign finance believe that that is a good thing. There are many times when citizens both deserve and ought to hear the voices of unions and corporations, directly and unfiltered.
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That said, the various "doomsday" scenarios being floated by critics of the decision, claiming that corporations will dominate American politics with billions of dollars in expenditures, are pure science fiction..."

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Perhaps someone should explain to Mr. Smith some other "science fiction" of the past.... Submarines, planes, telephones that talk without phone lines, space travel, robotic manufacturing, test tube babies, cloning, television, windows that go opaque or clear depending on the time of day. Perhaps Mr. Harvard Law needs to investigate before spouting his asinine comments.

New Supreme Court Decision for my UK Friends


Just in case you thought we weren't crazy enough over here, there is a new Supreme Court ruling. The Court's Conservatives have promoted the idea that they are not ideologues (that is Republicans in Robes) and they are only looking at the Original Constitutional words.
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Surprising then that they took a small question (could an outside group of voters show a movie that was very derogatory towards Hillary Clinton within 2 weeks of an election) and gave a HUGE answer, "Corporations should be free to spend as much as any other person and at any time in a campaign." (Analysis all over the web - but here too)
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Well, this is nowhere in the Constitution - which should belie all that crap about not being an "activist" court. They are clearly activist, just for Republicans. As for Corporations being "people", they have different tax breaks, different exemptions, governments are allowed to condemn property to give to corporations for public good (as approved by this very same court). (Conversely, the governement cannot condemn property to give to another "person", nor can a city give taxes breaks to allow a "person" to locate there, nor... well there are too many examples to provide to refute this obviously transparent ruling. One interesting outcome being persued in Michigan is can a Corporation run for City Office - and be able to spend as much as "it" wants?)
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What this does is finally turn over our government overtly to corporate interests. Who base their headquarters in the Bahamas to avoid taxes - but are free to spend as much as they want to change elections. By the way, actual HUMANS from the Bahamas (or England or whatever) are NOT allowed to contribute to campaigns.
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I could describe it in many many ways, but none of them would include the words "conservative opinion". Assholes.
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It is yet another stake in the heart of our Republican form of government.
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Thursday, January 21, 2010

WAIT! That's My Job!


Megan McCain is trying to take my title!

Wow! Some Interesting Testimony

There was interesting testimony in the Prop 8 Trial going on. Full summery here... but I was surprised by this...
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In some of the most dramatic evidence presented to date, Professor Segura commented upon a number of documents that provided a shocking glimpse of just how deeply the Catholic and Mormon churches were involved in supporting Prop 8 and intertwined with the official pro-Prop 8 campaign. "One document sent by executive director of the Conference of Catholic Bishops to bishops in California thanked the Catholic Conference for its "unusual" efforts in supporting Prop 8 and applauded the Mormon church for its "financial, organizational, and managerial contributions" to the campaign." Other documents detailed the Mormon Church's extensive collaboration with the campaign, including mobilizing more than 20,000 volunteers and coordinating messaging and fundraising. Professor Segura testified that this level of coordination among powerful religious groups to target a particular group was unprecedented.
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The legal arguments against Prop 8 basically turn on if the proposition was motivated by animosity against a minority - which would involve the abrogation of the 14th amendment of the US Constitution. So the groups who wrote the Proposition are now arguing it was not motivated by any bad feelings towards gays. In fact, their defense has been that gays are already well placed as a non-minority and therefore discrimination cannot be the reason that they pushed Proposition 8. Unfortunately (for them- although good for Ed and I) there is a ton of their own evidence, dispositions and video records that it was motivated against sinners and faggots.

Some Thoughts on Albuquerque

So, some random thoughts about my trip to my uncle's memorial service.
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First, my cousins have grown into very nice people. Below is a picture of Elise and her boyfriend, Bob, on my right, and Alana and her boyfriend, Max, on my left. They were a lot of fun and made me feel really really welcome.
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I think a lot has to do with the fact that Elise has visited a couple of times - and we are all facebook friends.


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Now, I don't wish to be mean (which always means that I am about to say something mean), but...
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Albuquerque is not the prettiest city in the middle of winter.
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I think it gets too cold for palm trees and some cactus - so there are a few trees that can live in the weather. Unfortunately they all shed their leaves in the winter - so the prevailing color is kind of, well... dirt brown...



A picture from the plane upon my approach.
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On the other hand they have some fun areas (Downtown, Nob Hill / University)... but generally it is the people that make the city in Albuquerque. And I had a good time.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Good for Mrs. McCain


This Cindy McCain, not the daughter Megan (who already has done this - see below).

Eddie's Birthday Present


So you never know what to get Eddie. So for his birthday (which is tomorrow) I bought him the Dyson Fan. technically, of course, the "Dyson Air Multiplier". It is wicked cool, and I got number 90 (they still weren't ready at Christmas).
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I say this now, even though his birthday is tomorrow because they delivered it unwrapped to the door and he got it.

Republican Scott Brown wins in Mass


So the state of Massachusetts has elected a Republican, Scott Brown, to replace Ted Kennedy. I think this surprises no one.
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Here is the way I see it. President Obama, in his own way, has somehow managed to piss of independents AND his own base -without picking up any other support.
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His supporters / enablers say that he has done some amazing things and point to the economic recovery / saving from a depression. Let's give him credit for that. But in most other areas, he seems adrift and wishy washy.
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Maybe staying out of the fray of Healthcare was a good idea to not have it fail - but it is going to fail now or be so watered down to be lousy. A little leadership and pushing would have helped legislation along (say like George W did to get the tax breaks that are really fueling the deficit). With 41 Republican Senate votes, Healthcare is dead unless you buckle in to Olympia Snow or you use reconciliation. And for some odd reason you won't do that (even though - again - that is how Bush passed the tax breaks, because THEY WERE IMPORTANT TO HIM).
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As for the base, following the footsteps in doubling down in Afghanistan - not closing Gitmo - supporting a surveillance state - these are going to piss off your liberal base. And, the way they were done, they won't impress independents. You seemed to be ashamed of them. Well the base is pissed and independents think your are hesitant.
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Plenty of time to recover, particularly if the economy improves, but it is a recovery back to where you were. I am not sure this white house sees that they have screwed the pooch. And, if you don't see that, you can't fix it. You have to mend fences with either the base or the independents - your attempts to spilt the difference have made you look like a tool of Rahm Emanuel.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Wow.. Why Haven't We Heard about UCLA Basketball in a while


BECAUSE WE SUCK. That's why.
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We scored 46 POINTS AT HOME in a loss to USC. U...S...C!!!! They coach quit due to cheating!
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1 - 2 -3
So Long Chief!!!

One Man Shows are Really Hard!


I think that too many performers think 1 man shows are easy. They are not nearly as easy to pull off as they expect. I mean Sheri Rene Scott here was amazing.
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But her story had a moral and music and laughter.
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Last night I saw a show with laughter. That is not enough.
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I have reviewed about 4 one-man shows. I didn't like most of them. I don't know if it is me or the shows - but they don't work. All in different ways.
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Last night's show was funny, but had no real purpose. No thematic thread to hang his stories on - and so it just came off as singular satisfaction for the performer.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Review of Safe Home Home


My Review of Safe Home is up. This was the show where I saw the original Harper from Angels in America.
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I liked it a lot.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

New York is NYC because we have more important things to do....(updated)

If you search for something on google in New York, you write something like "geography bookstore nyc". Because we are in a rush in New York and we just write NYC. Just like Los Angeles writes LA.
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Here in Albuquerque they write ABQ. Not because they are in a rush, but Albuquerque is just hard to write. It has 2 q's, for goodness sake.
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Anyway, I am here in Albuquerque at the Hotel Andaluz for my Uncle Timo's memorial service. Ed made me wear a suit and it turns out my Uncle forced the office into casual days - so in his honor no one wore a suit.
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a) We were more alike than I knew and
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b) yeah, Thanks honey!
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So, it was cool to hear people talk about Uncle Timo from a work, friendship and music perspective. His best man came from Connecticut. A friend of his from Chapman College came (that I probably met when I was young) was there and asked about my mom (I think Rick or Rich or whatever had a little crush on my mom).
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It was cool. I also got to hang out with my cousins Elise and Alana, they are cool. And I spoke with Connie (Timo's wife) a lot and her sisters. Anyway, it has been interesting and fun, but I have the god awful early flight out tomorrow. I'll post pictures later (I didn't bring the right adapter).
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ps I got a text from Elise to go to a club for a drink before I left and I totally went, but there was this long long line - and I am old and tired and drank too much tequilla yesterday and am now bunting... I have an early flight (he whined).

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Dog Heaven and Hamster Heaven


Most of us really understand about Heaven when a dog or a hamster dies. We are told they go to "doggie heaven" or "hamster heaven". (Cats don't go to heaven... they know why.)
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What if human hell is hamster heaven? Imagine if you were in a infinity sized room filled with habitrails and your job was to feed them one after the other after the other after the other.
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Who's in heaven now?
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ps - I couldn't sleep last night... msg or something...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Lane Kiffin leaves that "Awful Tennessee Orange"


Tennessee as spurned lover.
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ps - I am cool with Kiffin as SC coach. We already beat Kiffin once.

Joke on how they see us

Here is a joke from a British friend (names are changed to protect the innocent). It shows how they see us and themselves. I would have changed Australian to Los Angeles and American to New York - but same idea.
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How do you tell the difference between....
a UK Police Officer, an Australian Police Officer and an American Police Officer?

Answer:
Pose the following question:

You're walking down a deserted street with your wife and two small children. Suddenly, a dangerous looking man with a huge knife comes around the corner, locks eyes with you, screams obscenities, and raises the knife and charges..

You are carrying a Glock .40, and you are an expert shot. You have mere seconds before he reaches you and your family.

What do you do?

UK Police Officer's Answer:
1. Well, that's not enough information to answer the question!
2. Does the man look poor or oppressed?
3. Have I ever done anything to him that would inspire him to attack?
4. Could we run away?
5. Could I possibly swing the gun like a club and knock the knife out of his hand?
6. What does the law say about this situation?
7. Does the Glock have appropriate safety built into it?
8. Is there a Health and Safety issue here?
9. Why am I carrying a loaded gun anyway and what kind of message does this send to society and to my children?
10. Is it possible he'd be happy with just killing me?
11.Does he definitely want to kill me, or would he be content just to wound me?
12. If I were to grab his knees and hold on, could my family get away while he was stabbing me?
13. Should I call 9-9-9?
14. Why is this street so deserted?
15. We need to raise taxes, have a paint-and-weed day and make this a happier, healthier street that would discourage such behaviour?
16. If I raise my gun and he turns and runs away; do I get blamed when he falls over running away, knocks his head and kills himself?
17. If I shoot him, and lose the court case, does he have the opportunity to sue me, cost me my job, my credibility and I will lose my family home?

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Australian Officer's Answer:

1) BANG!


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American Officer's Answer:

1) BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG!
Click....(sounds of reloading)

BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG!!!!!!!!!!!

Click.
Daughter: “Nice grouping, Dad! Were those Winchester Silver Tips?''

I always think it is funny when Simon & Garfunkel ...

I always find it funny when Simon and Garfunkel sign on to play something (Jazzfest in New Orleans this year). They HATE each other now. This only happens when they are both broke.
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"China is a Bubble Waiting to Happen" Meme

I find it interesting when an idea spreads like wildfire across the media to become accepted theory, particularly when it is 180 degrees from the accepted ideas before it. I also know that the term for this is a "meme", but didn't know where it came from. Wikipedia gave me those details .
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(A meme (pronounced /ˈmiːm/, rhyming with "cream"[1]) is a postulated unit of cultural ideas, symbols or practices, which can be transmitted from one mind to another through speech, gestures, rituals or other imitable phenomena. The British scientist Richard Dawkins introduced the word "meme" in The Selfish Gene (1976) as a basis for discussion of evolutionary principles in explaining the spread of ideas and cultural phenomena. Examples of memes given in the book included melodies, catch-phrases, beliefs (notably religious beliefs), clothing fashion, and the technology of building arches)...
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Anyway the current meme is that China is a huge bubble and the next to burst. It has burst upon the scene so fast, and seems to be such wishful thinking on many people's parts - I tend not to trust it.
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Today, in the New York Times, Thomas Freidman, also discusses this idea. He is of the opinion that even if it is a bubble - it is less important than we think. Because as most bubbles are asset bubbles (house prices, stock prices, tulip prices (the original bubble)) - but China has spent a considerable portion of its inflow on infrastructure, education and the foundations for corporate growth. Even if the housing prices are a bubble, his theory goes, the rest of China will come through pretty damn well.
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And since T. Freidman is a smart guy (he wrote The World Is Flat) I tend to take his opinions seriously.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I love Hatchbacks... Even a Ford!


I like this new Ford Focus car from the car show. More here...

Argh.. Simplistic Journalism at it's "Best"

The headline here at MSNBC is "‘Somalia for Yemen is ... like what Pakistan is for Afghanistan’ " because nothing says thoughtful like an asinine analogy.

So what do they mean by this?
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Are they made up of a single tribe of people cut in half by an arbitrary colonial border? No.
Did they used to be one governance unit (first by Persia, then by the UK) artificially cut later? No.
Are they at least neighbors? No.
Are they at least the same race? No.
Do weapons get shipped to Somalia for their use internally and show up in Yemen? No.
Does America depend on Somalian to help our fight in Yemen? No.
Is Somalia a precarious yet tenuous Democracy while Yemen is at War? No.
Is Somalia an American partner & friend helping in our war in Yemen? No.
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In fact, MSNBC Brainiacs, Somalia is a completely failed state with no pretense of a National Government - no allies and unable to define it's territory - as it is made up of multiple tribes, colonial backgrounds, ethnicities and people. Which - is not the case in Pakistan.
As for Yemen, it is a single coherent ethnic country and has been since the Biblical Birth of Jesus (home of Myr). Unlike Afghanistan - it doesn't have a recent history of invasion by superpowers, it is not dependent on illegal drug trade for it's income and it's oppression of women is non-existent in comparison to Afghani practices.
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Are we creating boggie men out of them because they are both Muslim? Oh right - that's it.
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Deep thought and journalistic integrity or a 'scary' picture for the front page of MSNBC. You decide.

I want to say I am shocked.. SHOCKED.. but I'm not.


Harold Ford Junior has decided to run against Kristin Gillibrand, the current New York Senator.
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Ms. Gillibrand was appointed after Senator Clinton was made Secretary of State.
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Senator Gillibrand is from a conservative Upstate district, but has tacked left(er) since being our Senator. I like her, in fact I have donated to her campaign previously.
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And now we have Harold Ford Junior, conservative Democrat who moved to New York (and Meryl Linch) after losing a bid in Tennessee.
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See here is my problem, in Tennessee he was a very conservative Democrat - pro-life and anti-gay. Now he wants to run in New York as Pro-Choice, Anti-Homophobe. Really?
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Senator Gillibrand has pulled the same trick, but at least she has followed through. She has been reliable votes in the Senate for the things I believe whether she believes them or not.
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I am not sure I want a handsome mixed-race slick politician who says all the right things but doesn't mean them as my Senator. I already have one of those as President thank you - and i am not pleased with the way that has turned out.
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Monday, January 11, 2010

Tonight's Explorer Club Talk

So tonight Eddie and I went to the Explorer's Club of New York for a talk.
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It was my second time there and Ed's first. You will have to ask him if he liked it, but it was totally totally cool.
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First, the Explorer's club is the coolest place in the world. In the anti-room is a stuffed Polar Bear, shot and donated by Rudolph Valentine! Also a sled used by the first aircraft to circumnavigate the North Pole.
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Plus free wine.
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Then we heard a talk from Cary Wolinsky - who is a photo journalist, primarily supported by National Geographic - who talked about textiles of all things. And it was amazing.
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He used his pictures and talked about wool, silk and cotton (touched on Linens). It was surprisingly interesting - and his pictures are amazing.
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At one point he was trying to see how fast wool grew (apparently if you don't shear sheep the wool doesn't stop growing). In the picture he took below he had a New Zealander cut half the sheep to test the grow. Unfortunately, the sheep was too heavy on one side, fell over and they had to try it a different way.
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In the picture below it is a woman of Panama who makes the cotton prints based on patterns they see in nature. They have a different blouse for every day of the year.
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Anyway it was a great discussion, Eddie saw the club (and loved it) and it was cool.
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Plus I learned things about silk worms I never knew (fascinating things).....

NBC Picks up "The Event" Pilot: written by a friend!

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So, our friend Nick wrote and co-executive produced a pilot called "The Event". The bomb that is the Jay Leno show cancellation has one silver lining - and that is that NBC had to pick up a lot of new pilots. And Nick's was one of them!!!
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yay!
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Lynn, Ed, myself and Bradley meet Nick and his (then boyfriend) Aaron in Australia one Christmas vacation, at a resort by the Great Barrier Reef.
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Nick (and his now husband Aaron) attended our wedding at Gavi's house 18 months ago. They live out in the Valley.
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And speaking of an overachieving couple, Aaron recently completed his doctoral degree. He studies earthquakes (so I assume it is a Dr. of Geology - but I might be wrong). All I know is that every time I hear of a big Earthquake somewhere Aaron is off.
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In fact, the year we meet them at Christmas in Australia, the giant Earthquake and Tsunami occurred on Dec 26th in Indonesia. Aaron pretty much flew from vacation in Australia to LA and back to Indonesia with a team of researchers.
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So there you go, a power couple cross of a future Aaron Spelling and Indiana Jones.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Precious The Movie


Precious is definitely one of the movies that suffers from hype. The acting (by Mo'nique and the lead) are outrageously good. But the movie is .. well you know the story. And the movie kind of is the story - so you just watch it play out.
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I gotta say, unlike "The Accused", the rape scene was handled early and delicately. And, as much as I can't stand movies with violence particularly violence against women or kids, it might have been handled delicately.
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That sounds totally awful, but it makes Mo'nique the monster much more than the actual horrible father.
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I don't know. I didn't love it - and not for the reasons I expected not to love it for.

Not Gloating.. Just the Facts Ma'am


I am not gloating (Thurmond), just stating the facts.....
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Saturday, January 09, 2010

UW hands No. 4 Purdue 1st loss, ends losing streak to Boilermakers

Wooooo Hooooooo!!


UW hands No. 4 Purdue 1st loss, ends losing streak to Boilermakers

Jan. 9, 2010 2:39 p.m.

Madison -- Purdue’s quest to establish the best start in the history of the men’s basketball program was quashed.

The Boilermakers’ four-game winning streak over Wisconsin, which included two games at the Kohl Center?

That was snapped, with both pleasure and power.

Three days after suffering their first Big Ten Conference loss of the season, the 17th-ranked Badgers responded by getting contributions from up and down their lineup en route to a 73-66 victory over the fourth-ranked Boilermakers Saturday afternoon at the Kohl Center.

“We had a tremendous team coming into our home court,” said senior Jason Bohannon, one of a trio of guards who dominated the Boilermakers. “We came off a tough loss at East Lansing. “It was a big statement for us to come out strong and play well in that first half and finish strong.”

Friday, January 08, 2010

I will admit it.. I am a little afraid of the women who send me Maxine cartoons....


Question:
What do you get when you mix PMS with GPS?
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.Answer:
A crazy b-tch who WILL find you!

My oh my... I have no comment (almost) (LINKS Fixed)


The story is here.
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The web site is here.
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My amazement is here (he said holding his hand at chest level)

HUGE PROPS to NYC Unemployment Officer Scott W.

Man, I gotta say a New York City Unemployment Officer has been proactively helpful. I haven't really dealt with a Civil Service person this helpful since... well ever.
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As we had my first meeting I explain how I got my PMP certificate to qualify for jobs like the one I have been doing. He immediately jumped up, checked some details and found that since I did the program before December 31st 2009, I qualified through a unique program for reimbursement of the training (turns out it was specialized and necessary for an in demand occupation).
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Today he touched base with me via phone to set up a time next week to come in and sign the appropriate paper work to get my money back. Since it was significant ($1800), I am thrilled.
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Anyway, he is just a regular Labor employee doing a bang up job. And you don't hear that kind of good news enough. Props!

Is the Blind Side "Christian"?- CLARIFICATION

A great and smart friend called me out on this post. I wasn't clear (her comments are still listed). So I will make a couple of corrections in the text in blue italics - but first let me state. What I meant as a take-away here is that the leaders of a moment (and in this it is Christianity - put it happens with Democrats or Catholics or Gays or any group with self proclaimed leaders) these leaders do a dis-service to the people by claiming to "own" a positive position while not owning their other positions. Not the people - the self-proclaimed leaders of a group.
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So, the Daily Beast (a fun web site if you have never been - Tina Brown gets great stories daily) had an article a few days back that keeps popping into my mind. The article goes into how Christians (with a capital "C") have made "The Blind Side" a hit.

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In fact, if you can't read it, the sub-headline is "The Blind Side has tackled Hollywood, passing the $200 million mark this week. Nicole LaPorte examines the underground, faith-based force that’s fueling the film’s success. "
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Maybe it is partially true. But Ed and I have seen it twice and took Bradley once - and most of the Christians I know told me I am going to hell. (Me, personally in the case of my father's funeral - even though they all said I was a great grandson to Zela and it was too bad I was going to burn in eternal hell-fire.) If you haven't been, The Blind Side is a story of love, redemption, looking past the surface, giving to others and seeing the best in people.
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To many of us in the real world, that is "christian" as in the bible, but is not "Christian" as in church goers whether Evangelical, Catholic or Baptist (Southern or nominal) Leadership. The leaders of these groups often espouse the antithesis of charity.
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And this leads me to wonder if many Christians know that they are perceived as main creators of true and angry hate right now? To say to a group of friends in New York or Los Angeles that I have good Christian friends (which I do) is to be meet with - at BEST - a skeptical eye-brow raise. And I wonder it my Christian friends have any idea how it is that many people see them AND how much of this is the doing of their own religious leaders.
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We see them (these leaders) on television screaming at women who are often having to make the hardest and worst decision of their lives.
We see them shooting doctors and crowing about it on TV.
We see them condemn health care as "socialist" - because only those that can afford medicine should get it.
We see their pastors flying to Uganda to help pass laws that will give the death sentence to gays and prison sentences to family members that don't turn them in.
We see them closing churches in Maine and Soup Kitchens in Washington DC to raise money to fight against marriage rights for committed couples who want to mark a covenant to their spouse in front of God.
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Christians watch the Blind Side and see Sandra Bullock as a Christian woman who helps a stranger. And their self-proclaimed spokespeople go and write on the web about how their religion is a good one that makes people want to see this.
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Non-Christians watch the Blind Side and see her three Christian lunch mates who laughingly joke that they might even consider having a fund raiser for the blacks on the other side of town. These Church goers can't help but assume that this big black man is going to rape her daughter. We watch the Blind Side and wish more people were less Christian and more people were like Leigh Anne Tuohy.
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A lot of Christians think many secular liberals hate them. We don't hate the people. We hate the lies, half-truths, cherry picked biblical stories that excuse their "condemn thy neighbor attitude" and the true hate they throw at us daily. And if that sounds disingenuous- then try the mirror version, "Hate the Sin, love the Sinner".
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I guess my point here is that if Christian Leaders really were like Leigh Anne Tuohy, we would all be cool with them. But you have to act like that at least some of the time.
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And if we all - whether Christian or not - if we do act that way; if we do show charity towards others, kindness towards the less fortunate and at least a tolerance of each other - I think the world would be a better place. End of sermon.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

And.. In News You Might Have Missed

Whoops!
In a "blink and you miss it" moment. There was this nincompoop moment from the Slovak Security Agency. The Slovak police put actual and fake plastic explosives into a vacationers suitcase, to test a bomb sniffing dog. The dog found it, then they took out the explosives. But, it turns out only the fake explosives. The real ones traveled to Dublin with the returning tourist and his wife.
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So the agency told the Irish Terrorism police that this guy had plastic explosives, but didn't tell them "how" they knew. Two hours of closed intersection and three hours of arrest later, the Slovak Embassy called to "clear up" the situation.
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Nifty and Nonsensical!

This is both totally cool and nonsensical. It is a Hollywood created need. So for some movies (Minority Report springs to mind, but they did it in Avatar too), they needed see through screens, so you could see what Tom Cruise was doing (besides some really bad acting) AND see the computer screen.
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So Hollywood created the "see through screen". Not really practical, but whatever.
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Now wait for it.
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Since it is so "cool" a computer company is working on one. I quote " It's only a proof of concept, but this is laptop with a clear OLED screen—but a stone's throw from those floating 3D displays of Avatar. Practical? Not necessarily. The future? OBVIOUSLY.".
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Again, silly - but cool!

Gizmodo link here.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

100 Years?

Disney On Ice: 100 Years of Magic? Really? I can't imagine that Uncle Walt was creating ice shows at 8 1/2 years old in 1910. I mean, I give him huge props. Hell, I worked at the Character Shop - but still... 100 years on Ice?.
PS..this was the character shop. I had the BEST job, I was a breaker, so I didn't have to spend 8 hours folding T-shirts or stocking plush.
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Also, in 1977, a girl and I held the record for highest sales on 1 register in the history of the Park on 1 grad night!
ps.. Yesterland has it wrong on it's "Adventure Thru Inner Space" page. AFter 1975 you did not exit into the Monsanto Display area, you exited directly into the Character Shop, where the poor workers had to listen to "...the bouncy theme song “Miracles from Molecules” by Robert and Richard Sherman—the team responsible for the music for It’s a Small World. " for their entire mind numbing shift.
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Miracles from molecules are dawning every day, discoveries for happiness in a fab-u-lous array! A never-ending search is on by men who dare and plan: making modern miracles from molecules for man!
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Every atom is a world, an infinity unfurled! A world of innerspace without an end! A world of mystery, of endless energy, with treasures more than man can ever spend!!!
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Miracles from molecules are dawning every day, discoveries for happiness in a fab-u-lous array! A never-ending search is on by men who dare and plan: making modern miracles from molecules for ma-a-an, making modern miracles from molecules for man!
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Miracles from molecules around us every where, there are miracles from molecules in the Earth, the sea, the air! Now men with dreams are furthering what nature first began: making modern miracles from molecules for man!
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Repeat until you puke.