Saturday, May 31, 2008

What a Pain in the Neck!

Arthritis, that is. Thanks to both my parents having arthritis, I have it. Worst part, is that I have it in my back and neck. I've done pretty well so far, but lately it's been getting worse.

A couple of years ago it really started bothering me. I'd get headaches, dizzy, and of course, it would hurt. I wouldn't mind so much but with an 8 year old daughter it often holds me back from doing everything I'd like with her.

I did a couple bouts of physical therapy and I've got medication that helps. But, lately, it hasn't been enough. I blogged about seeing a neurologist once with regard to our healthcare system . . . that's why. For my arthritis. Well, the time finally came . . . cortisone injections.

I said "no" to them once before. I really wanted PT to work. But when you wake up with a headache, go throughout the day with a headache, and go to sleep with a headache, something ain't right. I finally said "yes" to the injections.

The idea is to inject cortisone in to the joint to reduce the inflammation that's pressing on the nerves that are causing symptoms. People have it done all the time. It's just that the spine is a dicey area. Be it the neck or back.

So I had the injection done this past Friday. I was reeeeeally nervous about it. Upset, too, that I'd gotten to the point of needing them at all. The future doesn't bode well for my neck.

When I got to my doctor's office, I checked in. A couple minutes later the receptionist called me up to her desk. Seems she forgot to put me on the schedule. On the one hand, I was happy. I could leave and maybe forget the whole thing. On the other hand, I mentally psyched and ready. I'd just have to go through it all again. After talking with my doctor, they decided I should stay and wait. So I did. It was an honest mistake. But, my wife and I were both off from work for this so it made more sense to hang out for a bit.

It didn't take long. About an hour. As a nurse checked me in, I got a better idea of what was going to happen. While we were talking, my doctor pokes his head in and says, "I'm ready!". Time to go. I could have a little sedation, but I don't. Time to man up.

I laid down on a table face down. They use fluoroscopy to visualize my neck and placement of the needles. After washing the area and positioning me just right, my doctor says "a poke and some burning to numb the area". Needles don't bother me. In fact, had I thought about it, I would have videotaped this. I've had years of allergy shots. So I'm battle hardened. Procedural pain doesn't bother me either. Except in the mouth. Dentists (shiver) I hate 'em.

After the numbing poke (no big deal) we wait.

(Any plans for the weekend? See any good movies lately?) Then . . .

"OK, I'm going to place the needle now. You might feel some pressure. Tell me if anything hurts."

Nothing does. Well, except my back . . . from laying on my stomach and holding my neck in a weird position. I figure that's not what he's asking about.

"I'm close to the joint . . . you might feel pressure . . . "

I do. Feels like my throat is closing. Being pressed on. Hurts a little.

"A little contrast dye . . . good . . . now the medicine."

I feel pressure but it doesn't last long.

"Needle out. Let's do the other side."

And he repeats the same thing on the other side of my neck. This side doesn't hurt at all. It took about 15 minutes to position me and about 3 minutes to do the procedure. Kind of what I thought, but much worse with screaming, blood, crash cart, and seeing Patrick Swayze.

After that I get up and walk to where my wife is waiting. She's shocked I'm done. As the numbness wears off, I can taste the lidocaine. Even after the dentist I get a little woozy from the lidocaine. I rest.

Today my neck hurts and it's stiff. I've iced it and taken ibuprofen and I'm doing OK. Tomorrow I should be good as new.

No guarantees this will work, but everyone thinks it will . . . and I'm hopeful. If it does, it could last several after which the nerve could be burned. Which would last about a year.

So, not bad. Not bad at all. Patrick will have to wait.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


Last time a bunch of us met at Papa's, the subject of technology and the internet came up. Specifically, who was using what, and just how useful is some of this stuff. You may have noticed that I tried Twitter for a bit. It's gone simply because I can't imagine anyone really needing to know what I'm doing at any given moment, and because it takes a bit of effort to constantly update it. I don't follow anyone's Twitter, for that matter. Most of you are boring.

It DOES take one to know one . . . I admit it!

Anyway, Digsby, Facebook, RSS, etc., were all discussed and their usefulness debated.

Well, I own Macs and use them at work. One thing that is useful (to me) is iChat. And with everyone at work on a Mac it's very easy to "chat" with other people at work. Of course, we don't use it to chat, but we do use it as a quick and easy way to communicate with each other. One can even pass files back and forth. It's very convenient.

I've also chatted with a friend of mine in Florida. While not quite as simple as talking on the phone it doesn't cost anything extra and it's kind of fun.

Well, my sister in Phoenix bought a MacBookPro recently. I told her to get a Mac account so we could chat. She did. The other night we hooked up. Thing is, the Mac laptops have an iSight camera (webcam) built in. We were able to video chat with each other! How cool is that? Very Jetson-esque. Now, I know this is nothing new but it was the first time I was able to video chat with someone else . . . with audio. It was very cool. For me and my sister it means being able to "visit" a little more often. Additionally, when my mom comes over to her house we can plan on video chatting so my mom can see her grand daughter more often.

I love technology!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I see a rabbit. I see devastation.

I certainly don't mean to make light of the areas hit by tornados this spring. While there have been few deaths, the destruction has been immense. Even living through a tornado there's great loss. It's certainly been a strange year thus far. Of course, I'm waiting for the alarmists to come out and blame the tornados on global warming.

Memorial Day was one of those weird days. It felt like being inside in the winter and suddenly opening the window on a cold day. It dropped what . . . 20 degrees in a matter of minutes? My sister in Arizona reported that it was 110 one moment and 55 the next. Their shift was due to the tornados that struck to the north.

Anyway, I took the picture of the clouds when the weather shifted. You can see the different hues in the clouds. What you don't see, obviously, is how much and how fast the clouds were billowing. It was quite remarkable . . . and beautiful.


Recently, recordings of conversations between Hulk's son Nick and his dad, and Nick and his mom have been released to the public. You'll recall, Nick was 16 and racing when he got in to an accident in Florida. He wasn't seriously hurt but his passenger, John Graziano, just recently home from the Iraq war, was. In fact, he remains in a vegetative state in the hospital and his injuries are likely permanent.

Since the accident, the entire Hogan family has been strangely distant about the incident. Part of this was understandable as Nick would be facing charges and possibly sent to jail. Still, little was said, and their actions didn't seem to be consistent with those who are remorseful.

In court, Nick WAS remorseful, and took responsibility for his actions. He got 8 months in jail. Two weeks in to his sentance and he's crying like a baby. CNN has a good story with the audio tapes here:

Nick Bollea's jailhouse tapes

I've watched "Hogan Knows Best". The Hulk struck me as a guy who cared for his family, would do anything for them, but constantly battled a gold digging wife who was more of a friend than a parent and who wanted, herself, to be cool. Nick struck me as completely spoiled, talentless, and an idiot. Lucky to have been born into the Hulk's clan. Brooke struck me as somewhat nicer, a little more talented, but riding on daddy's credit card coat tails non the less.

Well, I am about half right. If you listen to the audio you can't help but come away thinking what a bunch of shitbags they all are. Hogan and Nick talking about a reality show, Mama hulk thinking she's suffering more than John's mother, and Nick crying to get out. There's no remorse, no lessons learned, no responsibility. It's disgusting.

Clearly they didn't realize what they were saying would become public. I'm sure there are those who feel this violates some kind of right Nick has. Don't care. They been outed in the worst way possible . . . truthfully. In 8 months or less, Nick will walk out of jail and is certainly young enough to go on and live a long and fruitful life. Daddy will obviously see to that. Heaven forbid Nick should do anything for himself.

Mean while, John Graziano lies in a hospital bed brain damaged. His future is unknown but will likely require life long care.

It gets worse.

Just recently, Brooke got into an accident when a car veered in to her lane causing her to crash in to a wall. She and her passenger weren't hurt. She gives credit to her brother Nick for reminding her to fasten her seatbelt.

An egomaniac, a whore, an idiot, and a skank. Great family.

Houston, we have a problem

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The international space station's lone toilet is broken, leaving the crew with almost nowhere to go. So NASA may order an in-orbit plumbing service call when space shuttle Discovery visits next week.

Until then, the three-man crew will have to make do with a jury-rigged system when they need to urinate.

While one of the crew was using the Russian-made toilet last week, the toilet motor fan stopped working, according to NASA. Since then, the liquid waste gathering part of the toilet has been working on-and-off.

Fortunately, the solid waste collecting part is functioning normally.

Russian officials don't know the cause of the problem, and the crew has been unable to fix it.

The crew has used the toilet on the Soyuz return capsule, but it has a limited capacity. They now are using a backup bag-like collection system that can be connected to the broken toilet, according to NASA public affairs officials.

Don't Miss
Discovery crew to haul massive lab to space station
"Like any home anywhere, the importance of having a working bathroom is obvious," NASA spokesman Allard Beutel said.

The 7-year-old toilet has broken once before but not for as long a time, said Johnson Space Center spokeswoman Nicole Cloutier in Houston.

Discovery is already set for launch Saturday, with a planned docking with the space station Monday.

Cloutier said NASA officials are considering having some parts flown to Cape Canaveral, Florida, and placed in the shuttle during its countdown, an unusual and delicate situation. Because the shuttle's payload weight is limited and balance carefully calculated, it will be tricky to try to figure out where the parts can go, said Kennedy Space Center spokesman Bill Johnson

Discovery's main payload, a 32,000-pound Japanese laboratory addition, is so big that the shuttle's boom sensor system had to be removed to make room for the lab.

It's not like they can pee off the back of the Space Station . . . or open a window and dump a jug . . . or stop at the nearest fast food place . . . or hold it! This is a major problem!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

They were made for each other

Bill and Hillary. You know, I really thought that they both, at best, tolerated each other. Especially since Bill's Whitehouse days and his philandering ways. Now, I think they were made for each other.

First, it was Hillary claiming a "right wing conspiracy" when first defending hubby. At this point, I can't be sure that she really knew what was going on. At the time, and even up to about now, I didn't think she did. I believed she was duped and looked like a fool.

Now, we have Bill claiming the press is "covering up" the fact that Hillary is actually winning the general election over Obama.

" 'Oh, this is so terrible: The people they want her. Oh, this is so terrible: She is winning the general election, and he is not. Oh my goodness, we have to cover this up.' "

He's not specific as to who "they" are but my assumption is the press. He goes on to say that she isn't being given the respect she deserves.

"She is winning the general election today and he is not, according to all the evidence," Clinton said. "And I have never seen anything like it. I have never seen a candidate treated so disrespectfully just for running."

Well, he's entitled to his opinion. He might be right. I do think it's entirely possible for Hillary to be the democratic nominee come fall. But not by popular vote.

Whatever the case, these two are clearly made for each other. The only question is, who wants the Whitehouse more, Hillary, or Bill?

There's bad, and then there's baaad.

I've been meaning to watch "Crank" for some time. Jason Statham seems like one of those "take no sh*t" kind of action guys that'd be fun to watch. Well, it was on last night on Showtime so I watched it.

It was bad. Really bad.

But I watched it through. As bad as it was there was something compelling about it. I did the same thing with "Shoot Em Up". A god awful movie. But I watched it through. Yet, I couldn't get past about 15 minutes of "Talladega Nights", and about the same amount of time of "Babel". Why?

I guess with action movies there are good guys and bad guys, and you want to see the bad guys get their butts kicked. That usually happens, If a movie is supposed to funny but is just moronic (as was/is the case of Talladega Nights) then I'm not compelled to watch. Babel was making little sense and had nothing to draw me in so, again, it was easy to turn off. With action movies, the action drives the movie. But, it better pay off, though. "Crank" was a bit weak at the end. I was a little disappointed.

Just another in a long line of movies I'm glad I didn't pay money to go see.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Wi-Fi bye-bye?

Group wants Wi-Fi banned from public buildings

A group in Santa Fe says the city is discriminating against them because they say that they're allergic to the wireless Internet signal. And now they want Wi-Fi banned from public buildings.

Arthur Firstenberg says he is highly sensitive to certain types of electric fields, including wireless Internet and cell phones.

"I get chest pain and it doesn't go away right away," he said.

Firstenberg and dozens of other electro-sensitive people in Santa Fe claim that putting up Wi-Fi in public places is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The city attorney is now checking to see if putting up Wi-Fi could be considered discrimination.

But City Councilor Ron Trujillo says the areas are already saturated with wireless Internet.

"It's not 1692, it's 2008. Santa Fe needs to embrace this technology, it's not going away," Trujillo said.

The city attorney hopes to have a legal recommendation by the end of the month.

I can't say that I know if this is a real problem or not. It seems like a weird thing to make up or take offense to as it often is with the PC crowd. Let's say it is a real problem . . . how do these people deal with the cell phone signals that are PRACTICALLY EVERYWHERE? Not to mention the internet signals that ALREADY EXIST wirelessly?


Celebridiot of the Day

Sharon Stone makes this insightful commentary about the China earthquakes:

"Well you know it was very interesting because at first, you know, I am not happy about the ways the Chinese were treating the Tibetans because I don’t think anyone should be unkind to anyone else. And so I have been very concerned about how to think and what to do about that because I don’t like that."

She goes on to wonder if it was "bad karma" that was responsible for the quakes. Oh, and she's good pals with the Dali Lama.

Another fine example of a hollywood retard thinking the universe revolves around them and trying, desperately, to remain relevant.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


I stole the headline as I liked it so much. In addition to the hypocrisy often wielded by the left when it comes to energy use (cars, planes, homes) there's another commodity that hasn't been talked about much . . . water. It's strange enough that people would want to build homes in Phoenix but to then want a lawn? Of course, when you're a lefty elitist, you have to have the best looking lawn, or property. Never mind you could be in an area short on water. Here's more from TMZ:

Celine Dion must have some serious deposits to flush -- she's passing enough water in a Florida house to fill a 50-gallon bathtub ... every four minutes.

Here's how Celine's all wet: Utility records in South Florida show that a property owned by her company Renlec Management used 6.5 millllllion gallons of H20 last year. As the Palm Beach Post points out, most residential users in the same county use around 100,000 gallons of water per year -- so Celine uses about 65 times as much water as the little guy. (Her reps had no comment.)

And Dion isn't the only Martin County celeb whose water waste will go on, and on, and on: Tiger Woods, who's building a house on Jupiter Island, used about 300K gallons a month, mostly for landscaping and tree-planting, according to his peeps.

Back in Phoenix, most responsible developers use the surrounding natural landscape and incorporate that into the design of their properties. Even golf courses will use recycled water to aid in their needs.

But, not the elite. It's just water, right?

Theory of Relativity

So my daughter asked me to come out and play with her yesterday. She had a fever but you know how kids are. I tried to tell her she should rest but she said she's been resting and feels good now. Then I remembered I sprayed the lawn for weeds. I told her that we'd have to wait until tomorrow to play on the lawn.

"Tomorrow?" she said "That's like forever!"

"It's not that long." I said.

She answered, "It is in my world."

Ha! You know, she's right.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

More on AI

A few more thoughts . . .

The JoBros . . . entertaining. Boys trying to act like men, though. Bands like this tend to become a caricature of themselves. Only real talent will prevail. That may not be the case here.

Jimmy Kimmel isn't funny.

The Gladys Knight clip was good. Too long. But good.

I like George Michael. I think he has a tremendous voice. But talk about bringing down the mood. Geez.

All over the news there's shock at the Cook win. Like me, just about everyone expected Archuleta to win. Everyone also mentions the comments made by Simon the night before. See? Well?

David Cook Wins

Well, I hope my intuition doesn't doesn't reflect on my football picks this season or I'm in trouble.

I DVR'd the final last night as I went to my daughter's piano recital. Sorry to the two or three of you that may have stopped by looking for the live blog. A few thoughts:

First, these are adult, individual styled singers. They are not The Kids From Wisconsin. All the group singing was horrible . . . and stupid. That said, what ever drugs Paula is on Amanda is on more of them. What was her deal? She blew chunks. Large chunks. So did Jason. Looking back now it's amazing either one made it to the finals.

The women did much better than the men. Again, there's no good reason to do group songs but the guys really sucked. Amanda was a joke . . . embarrassing, really. Could be she and Jason really didn't want to be there. Still, have some integrity with your singing.

I thought Michael and Carly did very well. In fact, I think it was choice of song that did Carly in. She's better than Syesha.

Archuleta sang better than the singer for One Republic did. Yow.

Brooke with Graham Nash was extremely cool. My second favorite performance.

My third favorite was Carrie Underwood. Man she can sing. Her outfit sucked, though. Kinda weird and skanky at the same time. She doesn't have to do that.

The two highlights of the night . . . David Cook and ZZ Top. That was not only cool but a great performance. And, of course, Cook winning. I have to admit, I'm really surprised. I feel he deserved to win, but there just seemed to be an awful lot of Archy supporters out there. It will be interesting to see what happens now for both Davids.

With the reported record amount of votes cast, did Simon's "knockout" comment rally the Cook troops? We know he was pulling for Cook. Was it a calculated comment? There no way to know but it is interesting. The momentum seemed to be in Archueta's favor.

His dad probably beat him with his belt.

So . . . now what? Well, wait for Cook's first CD. And . . . Hell's Kitchen!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

AI Finals

I hate to admit it, but I thought Archuleta won the night last night. He peaked at the right time, chose good songs, and put himself in to the song better than he had before. I didn't like Imagine as much but the other songs were strong. David Cook did well, but none of the songs were the kind of goose bump inducing performances as in the past.

As a result, although I really don't think this is about talent as much as it is about popularity, I believe David Archuleta will win.

There are some positives to this. One, David's dad will find out just how controlling this industry can be. If he's to be a factor in David's life, he's going to have to learn to step back and accept the things that happen. That could be hard. For David's part, he's a good fit for the puppet masters. Do what's he's told and sing. Again, his dad will be the problem.

As for Cook, he wins either way. If he comes in second, it will just mean he's free to do what he wants. Which might be best for him. If he wins, he'll have to play puppet boy for a while but the exposure will certainly help him once his duties are done.

Either way, David Cook will be a much larger commercial success than will be Archuleta.

As for the show, tonight is one of the reasons people aren't watching as much. 2 hours?!?! I'm really not sure what the show will contain but not only is that a lot of filler, it's just too long to wait.

Over all I thought the live blog went well. I had fun. I think I'll have it on tonight so check back.

Monday, May 19, 2008

American Idol Live Blog!

Log on tomorrow to join me in a live blog of American Idol. As usual, performances are on Tuesday, results on Wednesday. Not sure if I'll live blog the results, but I'll be here for the performances.

When you log on tomorrow, you'll see a special "chat" window available. You'll be able to read comments posted by me and others, as well as post your own.

See you tomorrow!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Tragic? Yes. A lawsuit? Not even close.

When tragedies occur I think it's natural for people to want to blame someone or something for the event. That something could be so absolutely random and without cause or reason is beyond many to comprehend and accept. I would react that way. If something happened to my daughter I would want to blame someone or something. But I hope that I would come to accept what was merely an accident as just that.

I slipped on the ice at work and broke my ankle a few years back. While it was winter, the ice in the parking lot was a result of early morning dew that had become icy. Not because anyone failed to properly react to conditions. I knew it was slippery. I walked carefully taking half steps to the door. But as "luck" would have it, I slipped and snapped my ankle in two. It was a severe break. As a result, I also developed a blood clot in both lungs, and a staff infection. Both put me back in the hospital for treatments.

I never once thought about suing. There was no way I could honestly say someone was "negligent" about the conditions that morning. It was a freak accident. All things considered, I may have been lucky. Remember how Dr. Atkins died?

Well, this is a long set up for this article:

Parents to Sue Maker of Metal Baseball Bats Over Son's Injury

There's no question this is tragic . . . and a hardship on the family. That it happened to a 12 year old boy is all the more sad. But, it's not the bat manufacturers fault. While I sympathize for the family, this stinks. Even if you could make the case that metal bats are somehow partially responsible for this boy's condition, what the sense in suing the Little League and the store that sold the bat?

I'm sorry. This is what's wrong with our society today. If it's not accepting responsibility for our actions, if it's not feeling "entitled" for doing nothing more than being offended or being stupid, then it's needing to sue someone because we can't make money off of fate. I don't want to see this family lose everything as a result of this accident. But, why then should a company be forced to close putting out of work dozens of workers . . . or another family lose everything because they lost their store, or the Little League suffer as a result of a tragic twist of fate?

Time and time again we have seen tragedies happen and have seen society respond. Reach out and people will respond accordingly with an out pour of sympathy and support.

Go about it this way and you may end up with nothing.

Global Foolishness 114

After Hurricane Katrina we were told hurricanes would increase in frequency and severity because of global warming. The following year we had the calmest hurricane season in quite some time. Since, we've been told that hurricanes really don't have much to do with global warming, or we've been told that the reduction in hurricane activity is some how consistent with global warming models.

I think the point isn't whether I know if climate change and hurricanes have a correlation, it's that the experts themselves don't agree.

Study Refutes Link Between Global Warming and Hurricanes.

The most interesting part of the article to me is that Knutson once agreed with those who thought global warming was and would be responsible for more frequent or more intense, or both, hurricanes.

But, I'm sure someone will claim a money trail and pass off this expert as baloney.

I'd prefer a good italian sub.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

First the Wicked Witch. Now an oompah Loompah!

This is scary! Click here.

Aaaahhh! My eyes!! Ahhhhhhh!!

You know I'm not one of those who sees every woman as a size 4. I understand there are various shapes and sizes, and that one can be healthy without being skinny. In fact, I like women with a little more to them than just skin and bones.

At the same time I understand that over all what we define as a babe or a hunk isn't . . . Rosanne Barr or John Goodman. But then, neither one of them is trying to pass themselves off as sex symbols.

Well, maybe they are. Anyway.

In Britney's case . . . wasn't she hitting the gym to reshape herself?

What happened?!?!


(Note: this post was altered from its original state. It was written late at night while on pain medication. I felt it inappropriate so I changed it. I apologize to anyone to read it.)

Hell Freezing Over?

First, the JournalSentinel recommends ending the ethanol mandate. While the JS doesn't slam ethanol as much as it deserves to be slammed, it makes this closing statement:

The government is right to set goals for renewable sources of energy and alternative biofuels, but it should not determine which technology wins. The best one should.

(Fainting) (Thud)

Wha . . . ? Wow. You know what that's called?

The free market.

Well, if that wasn't enough, Jim Doyle used his veto powers to re-craft the budget bill that, get this, cuts spending and holds the line on taxes!

(Fainting) (Thud)

Wha . . . ? Ow . .

Oh. Sorry. To be brutally honest about it, Jimbo did a MUCH better job than the republicans did with the budget! Sure, one could nit pick. But the truth of it is . . . Doyle did a great job with what he had to work with. The JS article is here.

Might Doyle belooking over his shoulder a bit at Walker?

Boots and Sabers posted a quote by Jim Sensenbrenner from the GOP State Convention:

“Unfortunately, Speaker Huebsch decided to push it [the budget repair bill] through the Assembly. And he did so in a manner which does not fix the problems of overtaxing, and replaces transportation fees with more state borrowing - exactly the same move which helped destroy the Republican brand. Everyone can see this is a political shell game that simply postpones the hard decisions.

Sometimes, leadership consists of saying “NO” to bad policies, rather than going along to get along.”

He's absolutely right. Thanks to Doyle, we have a budget that cuts more spending the the assembly version did, and holds the line on taxes. Good job Ji . . .

(Thud) (Birds chirping!)

Friday, May 16, 2008

Free Speech Follow Up

The obvious issue in the Lori Drew case is that of free speech. But, there are two other issues . . . personal responsibility, and stupidity.

Again, it may be difficult to prove Lori had intent, or that she was even one of the few that could be help responsible for creating the MySpace page that was used to bully Megan. Denying it sure makes her look guilty. After all, if she really wasn't involved, shouldn't she come clean and turn in her daughter? That's a tough question. On the other hand, if she was involved, I would think coming clean would not only be the right thing to do, but people would sympathize more readily if she showed remorse and stated she never intended for anything to happen.

Lying will just get her in to deeper trouble.

The other issue is that of stupidity. Beyond being a shhitbag, she's an idiot. What person would be so blatantly stupid as to do something so widely public, so potentially scrutinized, so potentially traceable, as to do something like this?

There's another interesting twist to this story. Cyber vigilance. That story is here.

It makes for an interesting debate. If we allow free speech to the extent that a shitbag can cyber bully a person in to killing themselves, we need to also allow those who tattle. The irony here is that the same mechanism that Lori used to bully Megan was the same that lead to her undoing . . . the internet. In this case, it was well deserved. But what about accusations that are fabricated? Is it free speech then?

Free Speech Has It's Consequences

Charges were filed against a woman for "cyber bullying" a 13 year old teen to a point that she committed suicide. The story is here.

I don't know if the courts will have success with this or not, but I'm happy charges were filed. While there may not have been intent for Megan to kill herself, it's non the less a twisted thing for an adult to do. Lori Drew intentionally conspired to antagonize Megan. Personally, I don't see this as much different that verbally threatening someone . . . which can get you arrested.

People will scream "free speech!". But the truth of the matter is that free speech has consequences. And when those consequences lead to actions that result in fatalities, people need to be held accountable. No. Lori shouldn't be charged with murder. But, Megan was already predisposed to being very vulnerable. Lori took advantage of that. It was a deliberate and calculated action to get Megan to do harm to herself. That's wrong. Had Megan been an adult, I might think different about this. But, she's not, and I think Lori is pathetic. To do this because her own daughter had a falling out with Megan.

What a great mom. What a great role model she is.

What a shitbag she is. I hope she gets time.

You're My Best Friend

First off, this is long over due. I guess I needed just the right moment and inspiration to dedicate a post . . .

to my wife.

Yep. You heard me. My wife. Married 22 years and we're still best of friends. Why?

My wife and I share many things in common. But of the more important components to our relationship is the core belief of personal responsibility. We're honest to others and ourselves. While we may not care what other people think from time to time, we care that people believe us and believe IN us.

We also make each other laugh. A lot.

Both of us can have a very dry sense of humor. Very dry. To a point that it gets us in to trouble. My wife can sell a dry joke all day long without wavering.

The other day we were discussing . . . some . . . uh, . . . people. I can't name names. But, we were discussing them in a very honest manner. VERY honest. Extremely honest. BRUTALLY honest. Sorry. You get it. Well, each time the other person made a comment it just got more and more snarky to a point that we both started laughing. Then my wife said something that almost put me in intensive care. Oh man . . . I was in bad shape. It took a good 10 minutes for me to recover.

This was just the other day. Today, I call my wife from work and ask her to turn on my computer at home so I can access it from work. I needed to check a file to get a phone number. I wasn't real sure where it was otherwise I would have just had my wife look for it. Well, when I logged on, I noticed my wife was reading an email. Again, I can't get in to specifics but it was in response to someone and something. Well, I started typing a reply from work on her reply. Once she figured out what was going on she, my wife, started typing things to me. We were, in effect, chatting. Well, it got rather naughty. Explicitly naughty. I was working hard to contain myself at work . . . while fearful someone might come to see what was going on with me. It was juvenile, but funny. I was giggling the whole time.

Huh. Maybe I should pick up some wine for her.

Anyway. I love you, honey. You make me happy. You make me laugh. You are my best friend.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

China Earthquake

I can't imagine the grief that families are going through in China. Not only is the loss of life great, but the manner in which it occurred seems to make it more tragic. The fact is, many, including children, were buried alive and didn't die right away . . . or haven't yet and will. The chances for many of them to be rescued in time is probably small. That is simply horrific. Then, to have no option but sit back, listen to the screams, and not be able to do anything about it should be something no one should have to suffer through.

My heart goes out to all those who lost a child in China.

To make matters worse, China has a one child policy. This leaves many parents with nothing. While a second child doesn't make up for the loss of another, it's at least something to cling to during tragedy and loss. Many have been left with nothing.

Be sure to hug those you love today.

Polar Bears get protection . . . but not really

Environmentalists to me are, for the most part, retarded. First off, they are so often wrong about environmental issues. Particularly, what to do about things. Part of that isn't their fault. Like the human brain, for example, the environment is a huge complex subject. But like other scientists in other disciplines, they refuse to acknowledge either that they're wrong about something, or that they simply don't know.

Second, issues often become political.

And so it is with the polar bears. Recently the government put the polar bears on the endangered list. It was already a threatened species. The difference is that threatened can lead to endangered which can lead to going away.

The problem is that the government was pressured to put the polar bears on the endangered list by environmental groups . . . largely because of the push for global warming policies. What's strange is that the numbers don't add up. The polar bear population has actually doubled in the last 40 years from 12,000 to 25,000.

That's doesn't seem endangered to me. That sounds more like growth.

The other weird thing about the enactment is that the government made it clear that this listing is one of title only. It is not intended to lead to further regulation with regard to greenhouse gases, or restrictions due to the environment. The article is here.

In the end, the polar bear's fate will rest with the courts.

Perfect. Everyone loses.

New SpyGate problems!

Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter wants answers about the unauthorized spying . . . by the New England Patriots!

Arlen Specter Demanding Probe Of 'Spygate'

Maybe he's pissed that the Steelers didn't make it in to the playoffs and is looking for someone to blame. Maybe he lost money on the Steelers?

Whatever the case, the last thing Republicans need right now is some nut in the party making waves like this. What's more . . . just as steroid use is the business of the sport in which it is taking place, it's not the role of government to be involved with such matters.

I wonder of he could get me tickets?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Let's go for a nice hazardous hike!

Wow. Think you've got . . . a pair? This is nuts.

El Caminito del Rey (The King's pathway) is a walkway, now fallen into disrepair, pinned along the steep walls of a narrow gorge in El Chorro, near Álora in Málaga , Spain . The walkway has gone many years without maintenance, and is in a highly deteriorated and dangerous state. It is only one meter in width, and over a 700-meter fall, and over time it has also lost its handrail. Some parts of the walkway have completely collapsed and have been replaced by a beam and a metallic wire on the wall. Many people have lost their lives on the walkway in recent years. After four people died in two accidents in 1999 and 2000, the local government closed the entrances. However, adventurous tourists still find their way into the walkway.

Watch this video. It made me weak in the knees.

Mountain Hike

The video is tracked by music by Michael Darius. Visit his site here and listen to his music. Great stuff.

But I think I'll listen to his music from somewhere safe.

The Wicked Witch of Everywhere


Mommy, make the bad lady go away!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Playboy posts quarterly loss, shares drop

Adult entertainment publisher Playboy Enterprises Inc posted a quarterly loss on Tuesday because of weaker publishing and domestic television revenue and forecast more trouble during the year, pushing its shares down 8 percent.

Playboy lost me years ago. I had been a loyal subscriber for 25 years until I finally stopped. Several things happened:

1. As I got older and smarter I started snubbing the liberal slant the magazine had.

2. Nudes of women I can't imagine anyone wanted to see (Nanci Sinatra, LaToya Jackson, Carnie Wilson, . . . Joan Collins!)

3. The promise of nudes that never came (Landers sisters, Janet Jones, others)

4. Fake breasts. I hate them.

5. Hugh's pathetic behavior.

It didn't help that Hugh allowed many of the Playmates to appear on Howard Stern. Much of their appeal was lost when I found out just how stupid they were. Skanky, too. Yuck.

The article doesn't mention that Playboy magazine has been in decline for years. It's been in bad need of a face lift for some time. It did get a little better some years back when Playboy brought on board someone from Maxim magazine. Still, it just has a stuffy look to it.

And still all those fake boobs.

Speed Racer crashes and burns

Seriously, did anyone watch the trailer to this movie and think, "Wow! I've gotta see that!"? Apparently, Warner Bros can't believe more people didn't think that and may have trumped their numbers to claim a number two spot for a weekend open gross.

WHAT A DISASTER! 'Speed Racer' $20M Weekend Half What Warner Bros Hoped; Rival Studios Accuse WB Of Inflating #s

This, by the brothers that gave us The Matrix. But, it seems to fit:

The Matrix - great movie.

Matrix 2 - not so good.

Matrix 3 - (I quote from Love Actually) A festering turd.

Speed Racer - churned bile and other matter.

Look for the DVD next week.

Fallon in for Conan

Ugh. First off, Jay Leno couldn't be leaving fast enough for me. I never liked him. I always thought he was a talentless, funny-looking oaf who couldn't conduct an interesting celebrity interview if his life depended on it. How he's had the success he's had is beyond me. I don't watch any late night talk show regularly, but I do like Conan. His whole demeanor is just nicer than Jay's. For me, anyway. Ferguson is just annoying.

When I heard about Conan taking over Late Night, I was kind of disappointed. While I only watch when there are interesting guests, I though Conan had a show that he was able to do by his own rules. Which made it funny. I could be wrong, but going over to Late Night might clip is wings a bit . . . and he may not work as well.

Well, it now gets worse. Among the many talentless people out in hollyweird, there are two that I find the least talented . . . and the least funny. One of them is Dana Carvey. OK. He does some good impressions. But that's about it. He tries to come off as this witty, snarky kind of guy and he's just not funny. Not at all. The other . . . Jimmy Fallon. I never thought he was funny on SNL and all of his movies suck. So, hey, like never-weres Jimmy Kimmel, Carson Daley, and Craig Kilborn, let's put him on a late night talk show! Yep, Fallon will replace Conan next year.

Guaranteed, he will suck.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

What's with the women? Guys? Hello?

CHINO HILLS, Calif. — A nanny pulled a 2-year-old girl from the jaws of a coyote when the animal attacked the toddler and tried to carry her away in its mouth, officials said.

The girl was playing Friday in a sandbox at Alterra Park in Chino Hills in San Bernardino County. Around 10:30 a.m., the caretaker heard screaming and saw a coyote trying to carry the child off in its mouth, officials said.

The babysitter grabbed the child and pulled her from the coyote's grasp, the sheriff's department said in a statement.

The coyote then ran off into nearby brush.

The child suffered wounds to her buttocks and was taken to Chino Valley Medical Center and was later released, director of nursing Anne Marie Robertson said. She was later transported to Loma Linda University Medical Center to receive the rabies vaccine.

San Bernardino County Animal Control and the State Department of Fish and Game were searching for the animal, Wiltshire said.

Miller said there was another attack in the area in October when a coyote bit a 3-year-old girl playing in a cul-de-sac. The girl needed treatment for puncture wounds to the head and thigh, Miller said.

Again . . . wow! Quick and decisive thinking on the part of the nanny. Who knows what would have happened. Carrying it off back to the den? Yikes. Again, good thing we don't have to know. At 2, I would think this incident will be soon forgotten. Along with the rabies shots. Traumatic non the less.

Another hero!

Friday, May 02, 2008

Score two for the good guys . . . I mean, girls!

This is an incredible story. A 13 year old teen is home sick from school. While in her room hears intruders enter her home. She ducks under the covers in her bed and texts her mother at work nearby. When the mom gets home she's struggles with one of the intruders just as the police get there and arrest the pair. The story is here.

What strikes me about this is how incredibly cool under pressure Lauren was. The intruders actually sat on the bed where she was hiding! OMG! Hard to say what would have happened had they found her but, thankfully we'll never know.

Then, for the mom to get in to a confrontation . . . that takes some guts, too. Although I'm sure the protecting mom instinct took over at that point. Still, incredible.

So, hats off to two real super heroes. Ya done good. Real good.

One the other end of the story is the remark from one of the intruder's mother:

"I believe in my daughter. She is a goodhearted individual. But she has made a bad decision and she'll pay the price for it."

Yeah, right.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Shooter apologizes to girl he left paralyzed

I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand you have a person carelessly and without regard to the consequences fooling around with a gun. It's not clear to me why Anthony Warren had it in the first place. Whatever the case, you don't go shooting a gun off in a city neighborhood. Period. Kai Leigh will never walk again. Warren will one day walk out of prison.

On the other hand, he didn't mean to do what he did. And we have someone taking responsibility for his actions and trying to do some good as a result. Anthony Warren participated in the video for Boston's Peace Month with 9 other inmates in an attempt to reach out to other teens. The story is here. There's a video here.

While Kai may never walk again, I think she'll do just fine.

Carey and Cannon Canoodle

E online reports that Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon have married in a private ceremony in the Bahamas.

Carey and Cannon Canoodle

So what? For the most part I couldn't care less. The big question is . . . how long will it last? I give it 6 months. You?

Juggling cats and tossing babies

In India, if you want to bestow upon your baby good luck you have it tossed from a 40' tower. On to a sheet, of course. Strange but true, this 500 year old ritual is still performed today. Have a look. But be warned, it's a little nerve wrenching. From CNN:

Needless to say, we couldn't get away with that here . . . and I'm not sure I'm unhappy about that. Sorta makes what Michael Jackson did pale in comparison.