Sunday, May 16, 2010


I just heard that Ronnie James Dio, former front man of Black Sabbath after Ozzy left, and hard rock start under his own name with hits like 'Rainbow in the Dark' and 'Holy Diver' passed away. He was 67 and I started thinking of all the really big rock stars around that age that are still alive but won't be for much longer, especially since a lot of them got started in and survived the drug drenched 60's and 70's. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend, Roger Waters and David Gilmour, Ray Manzerek, Grace Slick, Ozzy himself, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, Jeff Beck, Rod Stewart, David Bowie and Lou Reed, Elton John, and last but definitely not least Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney...all born in the 40's or earlier. Heck, even my fave author of all time, Stephen King, was born in '47. All these jukebox heroes will be gone soon and all we'll have left is the music, but at least we'll have that.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The World is Falling Apart

Well, it's been awhile since I've been on here, was trying to cruise through April without getting too caught up in things since April usually turns out to be a crazy ass month, plus I had a lot of things to take care of in my real life. April came and went without too much incident apart from the usual crap, but no major school shooting or domestic terrorism at least. Last night I watched 'The Day After Tomorrow' and '2012' (fun!) and thought about all the natural disasters and crazy ass political/social turmoil going on around the world right now. We've had SEVERAL major earthquakes around the world, serious flooding, blizzards last winter (it's still snowing in some US states!), tornadoes, the HUGE environmental disaster still unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico that is the BP spill, the Iceland volcano which subsequently shut down Europe's airspace for a while and it hasn't fully recovered, our country going nuts over the new immigration laws passed in Arizona, the collapse of Greece's economy and riots and now deadly rioting in Thailand. In the movie '2012' as they lead up to that year starting in 2009, there's crap like this going on and it's a really strange coincidence. Do I think anything will actually happen on 12/21/12? No I do not. But, shit, something may happen before then and it will have nothing to do with the Mayans!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Earth Fights Back

We've only been through four months of this year and have seen more natural disasters than are seen in most years total! It started off with the unbelievable earthquake in Haiti (followed by others in Chile and China) and the earth seems downright unstable with a smaller quake at the Mexico-US border near Mexicali and the record ash spewing from the volcano in Iceland that practically shut down European airspace a while back. As El Nino diminishes, it's going out with a bang with tornadoes slamming into Mississippi a couple of weeks ago and this week serious flooding in Nashville and the SE. It's funny when quakes hit Haiti you can count on the Limbaugh's and Pat Robertson's of the world to say it's because of the sinful people there and the judgement of God. I haven't heard from them this week after tornadoes, floods and now the gigantic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico off Lousisiana. I guess it only works when it isn't the capital of Godland. I forgot to mention the piles of snow that fell this past winter. For us here in Texas, with El Nino diminishing, our green time that finally came back after years of drought will start to go away quicker and the heat will be back sooner than we want. I do wonder about good old Mother Nature though. Is she telling us something? 2012 is only a year and a half away and the movie depicted situations like's like '2012' meets 'The Day After Tomorrow'....OH NO!!! You can't even run to hills in this scenario.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Second Civil War

A couple of weeks ago I finished 'The Big Sort', which I've already written about on here already. I let Lee borrow it to read next and I've been telling a lot of people about it. What's fascinating is that it came out 3 years ago but is so pertinent now as we as a society seem to be splitting up and dividing even more so as the book predicted. I'd love to see the author's take on the last couple of years especially. Today I watched two movies from the Civil War period, 'Cold Mountain' and 'The Outlaw Josey Wales' as I was thinking about what it would be like if we had another event like that horrible tragic part of our history. Of course, in 1865 there were literally two halves of America, north and south, with a definitive line drawn across the middle and distinct areas with their own ideologies. What we have now is more city vs. suburb, urban vs. rural, coastal vs. the middle, with some leftovers even from back in the 1860's, the NE vs. the SE. There's a lot of talk about private or state run militias, more lax gun laws being passed by various states, including this week in Arizona where they are also getting ready to pass a law that will let cops stop anyone they want (but probably that look Hispanic) and question them/ask for documentation. I'm sorry, but this sounds like they can profile all they want. I've been reading the blogs and bitching about these news stories and read a lot of awful hate filled words out there. It's one thing to say someone's illegal and should go back to wherever they came from, but to blame them for crime and even fucking littering in one case! And no one mentions the fucking companies that not only hire illegals but even go into fucking Mexico and recruit them! And what do we expect when we're this un-fucking-believably rich country here even when our economy is bad and in Mexico it's a complete nightmare at this point? What would any of these people do if they were stuck in that situation? It's easy to say stupid shit from a computer terminal, but I HIGHLY doubt they'd say anything to any Hispanics, even if they knew any. Arizona is turning as crazy as Florida, S. Carolina and Virginia. And what's with the fucking guns already? Obama hasn't done ANYTHING federal against gun ownership, and meanwhile states, as I said before, have been relaxing their gun what the fuck are these people really afraid of? With so much rhetoric, guns, racism and whatever else seeming to ramp up, you can't help but wonder when it will all just explode. What we need is a leader that anyone can listen to, that can bring some sort of consensus back, and most of all that abhors all this violence and champions peace. We need it badly!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

WTF America?

Man, I don't add anything in a week and this country turns upside down. Last weeekend the House met to pass the sweeping Health Bill endorsed by the President. Outside, teabaggers gathered and began to FINALLY show their true face - RACIST SCUMBAGS! It's about time they fessed up. They called a congressman that marched with MLK a n*%$#er and Barney Frank a 'faggot'! The bill passed anyways but that didn't stop anything, it only got worse. Bricks started being hurled at Democratic congresspeople's windows of their offices. A tea party add in N. Virginia gave what they thought was the congressman's address and said 'drop by' but it was his brother's home and some lunatic cut the gas line to the house! Several got threats over the phone and email and did the Republicans try and talk to these groups and see about calming things down? Of course not! In some cases, like 'Boner' they actual used words like 'He's a dead man back in his home town' and that fucking cunt Bauchmann said 'We're armed and ready in Minnesota, a revolution is good every now and then'. The worst thing I saw today was some sort of call to arms on April 19. They're using that day they 'claim' because it's the day the American Revolution began in 1775 with the battles of Concord and Lexington, but more recently it's the anniversary of the Waco compound attack in '93 and the Oklahoma City bombing in '95!!! They actually were calling for people to try and get as close to Washington with loaded guns as they could. THIS IS FUCKING CRAZY!!! As a historian I know how volatile that week in April can be...Columbine, Apr 19, Virginia Tech, Apr 16...hell even Hitler's birthday is April 20th! I abhore violence. I'm a pacifist. It's been 150 years since this country split in two and began a horrible 5 year Civil War that left the most casualties in any war American's have fought, the most destruction on our own soil, and an amazing President shot dead at the end of it. In some ways we've never recovered from that event and now these fuckers are actually yelling as if they'd like another Civil War! I mean what person that really loves this country would want that? Are they THAT sore of losers? Or is it that we've become so divided and only talk to or listen to people that are like our ideology? This sort of behavior has always begot violence. If you only listen to those that agree with you then it's a self fulfilling prophecy of destruction...and to have the idea that 30% of the population AT MOST can dictate what the other 70% do is just plain stupid. White people are scared because they see more and more Hispanics every day and hear stories of how they will be a minority in a few decades. They are like cats backed into a corner and they are lashing out in complete desperation now. Why don't they try and actually get along with those that don't look or think exactly like them? That's what made this country WORK in the past. Instead they'd rather tear it down to rubble than do that. And rubble is what they will get because even a pacifist, gun hating liberal like me will do everything in my power to defend myself and those I love against these creeps and if they think they're little revolution will help them out they're gonna really hate the one after that because then the 70% will hunt each and every one of them down and run them into the fucking ocean. And I guarantee this if these fuckers keep on going this direction and Obama gets assassinated. Guarantee it. You want a revolution? You'll get one and you'll just wish your end times came right then and there before we get to you. You may be the loudmouth on the block now, but the sleeping giant will awaken.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Today's the Day

Sunday, March 21, 2010 - The day Obama's administration sinks or swims. At least that's the way the news is setting up (and Repubs for that matter). If his Health bill doesn't pass today then this will be a one term Presidency a la Jimmy Carter and that's exactly how the Repubs want it so they've fought it tooth and nail despite the fact that it's completely toothless now without the public option and many concessions. The Dems should have just passed this thing as the House passed it back when they had the Filibuster votes, but because they didn't it really makes me wonder who they are conceding to, Repubs or big insurance and pharmaco? I hate how it's been set up like this too. If it doesn't pass it doesn't automatically mean that his adminstration is over, just like if it does pass these same people will say 'Well, his administration could still fail' but if it fails they'll say 'His administration ended today!'. And of course these are people that seem to be fine with throwing four years of America and have everything stagnate just so they can get back in office in 2012. On the Dem side, they had the biggest majority in decades last year and they completely blew it! They waited, and now everything will be this kind of battle instead of just passing laws on Health Care, the environment, etc. and just telling the Repubs to go piss up a chain because that's what Repubs would say to Dems. They don't want to be as bad, but sometimes you have to play tough to get things done and they promised the American people change and getting things done. Sure, they had to deal with the financial crisis, but I'm not so sure that was even handled very well since some of the same players are in the White House or the government still. Did Wall Street suddenly move out of the White House? Alas, it did not. The least they could have done was to give the people something too if they felt they needed to 'help out' Wall St. yet again. So today is the big vote. I still hope it passes but it's like voting for a guy you don't really like to keep another guy out of office. I will hope this passes, but only so it will finally be at least something passed to see if it works instead of just bickering for months and months on end.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


This is an excerpt of the screenplay from the movie 'Waking Life' in regards to freewill. Russell and I were talking about it at lunch and I decided to put this on here:

In a way, in our contemporary world view,
It's easy to think that science has come to take the place of God.
But some philosophical problems remain as troubling as ever.
Take the problem of free will.
This problem's been around for a long time,
since before Aristotle in B.C.
St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas,
these guys all worried about how we can be free...
if God already knows in advance everything you're gonna do.
Nowadays we know that the world operates according to some fundamental physical laws,
and these laws govern the behavior of every object in the world.
Now, these laws, because they're so trustworthy,
they enable incredible technological achievements.
But look at yourself. We're just physical systems too.
We're just complex arrangements of carbon molecules.
We're mostly water,
and our behavior isn't gonna be an exception to basic physical laws.
So it starts to look like whether it's God setting things up in advance...
and knowing everything you're gonna do...
or whether it's these basic physical laws governing everything.
There's not a lot of room left for freedom.
So now you might be tempted to just ignore the question,
ignore the mystery of free will.
Say, "Oh, well, it's just an historical anecdote. It's sophomoric.
It's a question with no answer. Just forget about it."
But the question keeps staring you right in the face.
You think about individuality, for example, who you are.
Who you are is mostly a matter of the free choices that you make.
Or take responsibility. You can only be held responsible,
you can only be found guilty or admired or respected...
for things you did of your own free will.
The question keeps coming back, and we don't really have a solution to it.
It starts to look like all your decisions are really just a charade.
Think about how it happens. There's some electrical activity in your brain.
Your neurons fire. They send a signal down into your nervous system.
It passes along down into your muscle fibers.
They twitch. You might, say, reach out your arm.
Looks like it's a free action on your part,
but every one of those-- every part of that process...
is actually governed by physical law:
chemical laws, electrical laws and so on.
So now it just looks like the Big Bang set up the initial conditions,
and the whole rest of our history,
the whole rest of human history and even before,
is really just sort of the playing out of subatomic particles...
according to these basic fundamental physical laws.
We think we’re special. We think we have some kind of special dignity,
but that now comes under threat.
I mean, that's really challenged by this picture.
So you might be saying, "Well, wait a minute. What about quantum mechanics?
"I know enough contemporary physical theory to know it's not really like that.
"It's really a probabilistic theory.
There's room. It's loose. It's not deterministic."
And that's gonna enable us to understand free will.
But if you look at the details, it's not really gonna help...
because what happens is you have some very small quantum particles,
and their behavior is apparently a bit random.
They swerve. Their behavior is absurd in the sense that it's unpredictable...
and we can't understand it based on anything that came before.
It just does something out of the blue, according to a probabilistic framework.
But is that gonna help with freedom?
Should our freedom just be a matter of probabilities,
just some random swerving in a chaotic system?
That just seems like it's worse. I'd rather be a gear...
in a big deterministic, physical machine...
than just some random swerving.
So we can't just ignore the problem.
We have to find room in our contemporary world view for persons,
with all that that it entails; not just bodies, but persons.
And that means trying to solve the problem of freedom,
finding room for choice and responsibility...
and trying to understand individuality.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Cable battles

Cable companies have been monopolizing viewership for close to 30 years now, though initially there were several companies that would compete in an area, by about 15 years ago it had come down to one main company per major city or network area. Like AT&T's monopoly before 1982, these companies don't just cover one city, but have statewide networks and almost national coverage, or they cover a powerful network area like New York City. Time Warner, Cablevision, Comcast - these are huge corporations that pretty much do just enough to not be considered a monopoly but might as well be one since any other competition in their areas are pretty much nill. I've noticed a trend recently where just before some major TV event, a cable company will 'suddenly' get into a battle over fees from the major networks and the next thing you know there's the threat of the channel disappearing from that cable company and a lot of pissed off viewers. I first saw this in September of 2007 as the World Series was getting ready to start and NBC and Time Warner went toe to toe. NBC went off the air here in Austin for a few weeks and the one show I was keeping tabs on at the time, 'Heroes', was missed and I never went back to it. This happened again recently with the Big 12 Championship and this weekend it's ABC and Cablevision in NYC while the Oscars are on tonight. I don't believe in coincidence anymore so just like strikes that happen at the worst possible time this seems like a ploy to me and not just some random 'Oh, the contract's up now and someone won't budge'. The big three networks, barely hanging on for dear life up against cable channels and putting out crappy reality shows and zero good sitcoms anymore are charging higher and higher fees to the cable companies to run their networks. But these cable companies have money falling out of their ass, yet they put on the 'poor me' mask when this happens as if they couldn't afford the fees. The cable company is really just a middle man created after network television wasn't 'free' anymore and this just got worse with the digital tranfer from a couple of years ago where NO channels are free and you HAVE to view them via some sort of cable company...sounds like more strong arming to me by you guessed it, the monopoly cable companies. These companies don't really care about the viewers, but if the networks go bankrupt and all the shows that are still watched by America, and this includes the Super Bowl, the Oscars and still a few damn good shows like 'Lost' then who really loses here?

Sunday, February 28, 2010

I feel the earth...move...under my feet

Man, this is already going to be known as the Year of the Quake (I can see Time's end of year special). Another month, another quake, this one even more powerful than the one in Haiti on Jan. 12th, but striking just off the coast of central Chile. The big difference here is that Chile is one of the richest countries in Latin America and has stricter building codes due to it's more recent history of quakes...ones the population can actually remember (1960) vs. 250 years for Haiti. They also had the resources to respond faster and so far the death toll is numbering in hundreds, not hundreds of thousands! I just watched the 1974 classic 'Earthquake' the other day which is weird too. I'm still wondering when a quake that strong strikes an area with now 14 million people in it because it's entirely possible. In the movie they talk about where to evacuate 4 million so 10 million people moved there in the past 30 years! Of course they may have been just talking about LA the city and not the metro, but you would think they'd be worried about the entire LA basin. Mother Nature will definitely be the hot topic in all end of year lists what with the earthquakes and unbelievable snow accumulations and storms that have covered the northern two thirds of the country especially the Midwest over to the Northeast. Even Dallas got a foot of snow, tying overall records, earlier this month. Here in Austin we finally got a good snow show last Tuesday but it was gone by the next day. El Nino is having a lot to do with the colder wetter winter season we've been having. All these morons are saying stuff like 'Where's Global Warming?' and 'Al Gore's an idiot' but no matter what we keep doing to the planet, El Nino and La Nina will continue to happen AND they may even be more enhanced BECAUSE of the warming of the earth. I love it when a bunch of couch meteorologists and climatologists suddenly spring out of the woodwork not to mention all the Republican senators who suddenly seem to be experts in these fields. Man has got to face that no matter how much we think we are in control of the earth, we are reminded daily that we are not. Nature is in control and we're just along for the ride.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Austin Joe

On a sunny clear blue February 18th, a fire broke out suddenly at a house about a mile from mine around 9:15 in the morning. 30 minutes later a small plane took off from the Georgetown Municipal Airport and headed due southwest. The light plane got lower and lower as it approached the Arboretum area just a few miles south of my house. It crossed the 183 freeway and slammed into the Echelon Building, which houses several federal offices including an IRS site. The plane was probably full of jet fuel because it impacted on the rocky landscaping just outside the first floor but the plane exploded into the first floor and caught the other seven stories on fire. People began running out of the building and an Iraqi vet that works at a glass place driving by at the time stopped and helped five people get out of the smoke filled second floor with a ladder from his truck. In the end 13 were injured, two seriously, and one federal employee did not make it. Since a national news story was going on Austin became the focus of the country for the day. The freeways slammed shut with traffic and on-lookers. The news websites lit up and of course everyone here at work started talking about it. Things took an even more strange turn when it was found out that he was deliberately hitting the IRS and that office because he had posted a 'manifesto' online that discussed his long painful history with the IRS. Brett got a hold of it on a specific website and sent it to the team then about 10 mins later we could no longer into the if it was shut down by the government. Still, I read the entire thing and had to admit that I agreed with most of his tirade. What he did to make his point was completely crazy but he wrote that people only seem to notice a body count (true!) and he felt like he had to do something dramatic to make the point. Lee Humphries said that he agreed with what he said too but now anyone who has that viewpoint might be looked at as complete cook like 'the guy that flew a plane into the office building' which I also agree with. Unfortunately for most of the issues he was railing against there is no easy solution and it may very well take some sort of 'revolution' to overturn the problems but some other crackpots may view this as the new standard to get their point across and in the divided us and them states of America this kind of crap may become more prevalent. I drove by the building on the way home and saw it from the ramp going from 183 to MoPac. Later that night, after seeing Rich and the Obits at Momo's I drove back by it again so that I could go slower and take a longer look. Luckily more people didn't die than could have.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Farthest Right

I've seen several stories this week about incumbent Republicans being challenged this year by folks even further to the right than the incumbent already is. In every story I see the same byline, the newcomer riding on the coattails of the public just hating whoever's in power right now, accusing the incumbent of not being liberal, but NOT CONSERVATIVE enough. Over and over I see them accusing the incumbent of voting with liberals as if trying to get things done and coming to the middle or compromising is a bad thing instead of acknowledging that that is how things have been done for the whole history of this country and why it's worked for the most part. In fact, the more the two sides got together the more things worked and more things got done. This is taking the us vs. them ethic to the extreme. What worries me is that in a year where it seems the general consensus among voters is to replace every single person currently in office and Dems are currently more in number, that we're going to get a complete flip flop back to Republicans in power. These new guys claim things like the 'tea party' groups aren't necessarily Republican, but they are DEFINITELY not Democrat or liberal so likely as not they will vote Republican or worse, something even further to the right than that. If that happens then the groundwork will be laid for something even worse happening in '12. Do I personally trust either side? Not really since our country SHOULD have more than just two parties to choose from, BUT I DON'T want a takeover by people that make even Cheney look like Ted Kennedy! At that point I would have to leave the country but why should I have to leave the place of my birth and let me make this perfectly clear...these kooks are NOT a majority of Americans, but they yell the loudest and keep the rest quiet. What I'll probably do instead if their little 'revolution' happens, is make damn sure I'm part of the next revolution that actually puts forth what the majority wants, and that's for the sides crap to end and for people to really work together to get things fixed for real and not just for now but for the future.

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Land of Retards

This story is so retarded it hurts...oh wait, I better not type that since I may have the Palin goon squad hunt me down. A few weeks back a story revealed that Obama's top advisor, Ram Emanuell, used the term 'fuckin' retards' to describe some liberals that were bitching about some Obama policies they didn't like. Palin saw the story and immediately put out a statement on Facebook saying that he should resign or be fired by Obama for his insensivity (she has a child with Down's Syndrome). First I laughed since I figured she probably felt the same way about liberals and this just looked like someone trying to get someone else fired quickly. Personally, I use the term all the time but I'm not saying someone has Down's Syndrome no more than when I used to say everyone was fag this or fag that back in the early 80's and meant they were homosexuals. Both can be nasty terms if used the wrong way, but when I use them they are really being used as if I was just saying someone's an asshole and not really specific, just not using the word asshole. Still, if she were so offended by this word then how come not long after when she was asked about Rush Limbaugh's constant use of the word actually defended him saying he was using it satirically but Emanuell was not? This is complete and utter bullshit. If she really hates the word then she should not want to hear it from anyone and if she doesn't care if Limbaugh says it then shouldn't say shit about Emanuell saying it. Unfortunately no one corners her in that way and puts it in that context. Nice going 'news' networks.


That's just one of the terms being used by the 'news' networks in regards to the biggest snow totals in history for places like Washington DC, Baltimore and Philly after two huge storms dumped 4 feet on them over the past couple of weeks. Yesterday, 10 inches fell in the Dallas area (and I'm very jealous) which was the most since I was 11 back in '78 living up there. Of course, along with these amazing weather events comes the completely non-scientific idiotic morons on Fox and radio saying 'Where's global warming now?' and calling Gore an idiot. If they'd even seen 'An Inconvenient Truth' they'd know that we've been hitting 'hottest year on record' over and over for over a decade now and one big snow winter does not change the overall trend. These weekend meteorologist seem to know all about climate. Heck, even the most retarded of these guys had to have seen and promptly made fun of 'The Day After Tomorrow'...but apparently don't remember what happened in that movie because it was a whole 3 years ago! Someone on Facebook was bitching about the cold December we had here in Austin and was saying that Gore was an idiot and I wrote 'It's funny how quickly we forget the record setting 68 days at or above 100 degrees just a few months ago!'. I didn't get a response on that one because there's really none to give. This really goes back to my post earlier this week talking about everyone living in the present.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

American Dream a Lie

The one good thing about the housing bubble bursting and the last few years may be that politicians can no longer use home ownership as a symbol of the American dream. What we've learned is that not everyone can own a home so the American dream is not for everyone. Even more though is that it used to be a goal to attain because ownership meant 'not throwing money down the drain' with a rental. Well guess what sports fans? That's a big line of horseshit now. Right now I'm in the process of trying to sell our old house and boy are we pouring money down the drain just to get rid of it AND today we checked with the homeowner's insurance company to see if they'd cover the $8500 it will take to repair the foundation and OF COURSE THEY WON'T! I mean why else would we pay these assholes money over the years? They cover earthquakes and landslides - TWO THINGS THAT NEVER HAPPEN HERE! Just like they don't cover storm and flood damage on the coast, they want to make sure that you pay them money and they never have to give it back at some point! That's their fucking goal, while a woken up America's goal should be to not buy a fucking house and just rent it. Then you never have to worry about rising property taxes apart from how much your rent goes up, homeowner's insurance that doesn't cover anything, and all the other things that suck money out of your wallet. Heck, if you live in an apartment you don't even have to buy a lawnmower or pay someone to do your lawn! FUCK IT! FUCK THE AMERICAN DREAM...unless I can become a politican or inherit a company it's not really going to happen for me or 95% of the rest of Americans.


I think I've figured out now why Sarah Palin is even being considered a possible candidate for President in 2012. The Republicans have been completely defeated from '06 to '08 and they are desperate and there's no Ronald Reagans waiting in the wings. The teabag phenom actually started as a tea 'party' put on Ron Paul and friends back in '07 but no one reported it and it wasn't consdired a 'movement' but now that the desperate Neocons have taken over it's suddenly a big deal and these same assholes don't even like Ron Paul and have people looking at knocking him out of his seat in Texas! Palin supposedly endorsed Ron's son running in Kentucky but that's all window dressing. With someone like Palin as their new poster child, it shows just how desperate their party is. They claim their against both major parties but that's bullshit that anyone can see through and she did just run for the VP nom for Republicans did she not? Nope, no Reagans here. Reagan not only finished his first term as governor of California but finished a few more terms whereas she did not. Is there even another Reagan out there to be had? If there was they'd be all over him or her like white on rice but there's not so they're having to polish this Alaskan turd as much as they can. I'm torn as to wanting Obama to go up against her in '12. On the one hand, it seems like an idiot like her would be easily defeated and would be a plus for Dems, but then I see that W got elected twice. It's hard to say who's a bigger retard, but even he finished his first governor's term and he's willing to be a puppet whereas she doesn't seem to like having to answer to others, which could be her eventual downfall. Apparently she's already talking to people in Washington about a possible run, so if she does run and let's say has Rick Perry, our illustrious governor, as her running mate and they win in Nov, 2012, then the apocalypse will come a month earlier than the end of the Mayan calendar.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Money Pit

It was almost four years ago that Jena, Leslie and I decided instead of adding rooms to our house on Deerbrook that we'd look for a new house. Because we had just paid off our last credit card and were literally rolling in money AND the housing bubble was at it's most inflated, we had 'luck' in finding a behemoth 6 bedroom house in Round Rock with a view for only $197K. We thought it was the most amazing house ever with plenty of rooms for all of our hobbies and junk and it seemed to be in good shape for a ten year old residence. One thing we didn't think to check was the foundation. The hills of western Austin are mostly hard rock and the houses on them are basically attached to the rock so they don't move, but the area east of 35 is the same crappy waxy blackland soil that you find in Dallas, a soil that expands and contracts with the heat and cold, wet and dry but at least in Dallas it's flat. This house was on a hillside with an amazing view for Round Rock especially at night. Well, the cursed manor (so called after everyone has moved out or is trying and all the problems that have come up over the years). First there was problems with toilets, then dying trees, the yard fence, doors not closing or opening, and finally the floor cracking. I agreed with the divorce decree to help Jena sell the house and at first it looked good because the seller's market has slowly come back to Austin after the housing disaster of the last two years. She got the house inspected and it didn't seem bad at first, but then she finally got the foundation looked at. They said the whole front and southeastern end of the house is sliding down the fucking hill! It's not a matter of replacing some tiles in the house, but relevelling the entire house and doing a lot of damage in the process including possibly busting the sewer line or the main water line! We wanted to put it on the market March 1 but now if we get this done, the repair won't start till then and we're looking at another month not to mention having to get the lines checked after. She asked the realtor if we could make getting the foundation fixed as part of the agreement and she said that there's no way we could sell the house as is. We might be able to ask for $203K for it if we get it fixed at least then if we have to lowball around $190K we could still pay back the $8500! it will take to get the foundation fixed! This whole thing makes me want to run away to the mountains and never come back...or just slit my wrist. I really hate this. It's not bad enough that I had to get divorced and lose everything except my friends and job, but now this. I don't know how we're going to pay for this shit. I do know that I'm thinking of never trying to own a house again. They used to say you were 'throwing your money away' on rent, but it doesn't seem that way anymore. Just another bullshit American dream trying to be sold to someone.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Obama and Republicans

I had been getting pretty distraught at how things were going for Dems during January and the country in general then Obama decided to finally get some balls again and take charge as his first State of the Union Address came up. In the address he got onto Repubs for apparently not wanting to get anything done in government, but he also got onto Dems for running to the hills whenever anyone said they had problems. He also hit the Supreme Court for their shitty decision from the week before regarding Corporations donations to elections and influence. As he spoke about it, Justice Alito actually shook his head and mouthed 'That's not true'! WTF?! The SC is supposed to sit there and not give any impression one way or the other no matter what, but now that that asshole called Obama a liar last year during a speech to Congress I guess this is the way we're going. The day after the speech he went to a conference with nothing but Repubs and made sure on air that everyone saw him take questions and answer very honestly and blunt. He really showed some guts doing that and got me feeling the best I have in a while about the process. Then he and the military leadership called for a final ending of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' and started to try and fulfill one of his campaign promises. The debate got into Congress and of course the Senators speaking immediately against it were from Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi. This weekend was some sort of Tea Party Convention, in Tennessee of course, with Sarah Palin as the keynote speaker and she was calling for a new American Revolution. Here's what I don't get. If ANYthing like this had happened when Bush was President, they would have been labeled as traitors to America, anti-patriots trying to destroy this country. But NOW it's okay to do what they are doing. Hell, these very same people would be leading the charge of anti-patriotism. It's all fucking bullshit.

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Wonderful World of Driving

I'm finally going to do an entry on something I've been doing for 27 years now and have a complete love/hate relationship's called driving a car. One of my favorite things to do is drive across large open country on a trip with the music on...doesn't matter if it's a flat plain of grass and a two-lane blacktop, or through a beautiful mountain pass. One of my least favorite things to do is sit in traffic or be in traffic that's moving and noticing the stupidity of other drivers around me. I think I'm a pretty good driver. I have been in two major wrecks and both times it was old people that ran into me. The second was questionable as to fault, but Allstate having both mine and the old ladie's policy decided to say it was all my fault and then dropped me (thank God!). Those both happened very early on and apart from a small fender bender in the parking lot here at work a few years back I haven't had any wrecks. As for speeding, sure I've done it, but I've only been ticketed twice and the first time was total bullshit since it the cop didn't use a radar and thought since I was passing someone going really slow in the opposite direction of him that I was speeding. I'm a very defensive driver and an observant person anyways and there lies the problem. When I'm driving in the city, all I notice is how bad the other drivers are. Growing up in Dallas, I've seen some pretty crazy 'driving'. Up there, the law is if you think you're driving too fast in a lane on the freeway there's always someone that will go up your ass and need to go faster. Here in Austin it's a little more laid back than that though more and more are moving here from Dallas, Houston and San Diego so that's changing. The problem here is the road network that was poorly planned from the beginning and hasn't really finished getting to a good place. In DFW all freeway interchanges have exit ramps for every direction. In Austin, not one single interchange has all the ramps! I know that's hard to believe but it's true. NOT ONE! I'm not sure which frustrates me more though, the slow pokes that drive under the speed limit in the fast lane and 'creep' around a corner or the crazy bastards that are constantly switching lanes (but not getting any further ahead) and perpetually crawling up your ass or someone else's. Cars are the last bastion of control for most people so they think that they can do no wrong in these machines. The first reaction EVERY SINGLE TIME when someone screws up and you honk is for them to flip YOU the finger! The windows are never rolled down but they yell at you from inside their little cubby hole. Then there's the inability to use a blinker, whether it's some asshole trying to cram his way into your lane or someone who eventually wants to get over but has to do it at the last minute because they never put on the blinker so that you could know they wanted over. I let people over all the time if they'll just give me that blinker. If there's an exit ramp and a line in the exit lane, people have to try and squeeze in at the last second. I'll let a few in while further back but as the ramp is literally splitting off the main roadway I hug the bumper of the car in front of me so that they will literally have to hit my car to get in. Then there's the people that are behind you in a lane, feel you aren't going fast enough, so they go around you then STOP AND TURN right in front of you! They couldn't wait another few SECONDS staying behind you before turning? I just don't get that at all. I know when there's traffic because I go online before leaving work and looking at a map, and I will go out of my way to be on a road that is at least moving instead of one that is just sitting and wasting gas and time, but if you get stuck there and NO ONE can move, why do people feel the urge to honk? What do they want you to do, drive 'through' the car in front of you? I love that shit. My final observation is driving and weather. Weather happens but some people seem to only know how to drive one way...FAST. So even if there's ICE on the road they will drive fast. Then there's the opposite who see one rain drop on their windshield and they slow down 10mph. ARGH! So there you have it...driving in the 21st Century. Still no flying cars (Back to the Future II is only 5 years away now, and Blade Runner 9) and the trains that were promised 3 YEARS AGO still have not started. I have noticed with more people fired that even the busier times of year seem to have less traffic. You gotta look for the bright side of the crap.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Return of the Gilded Age

As if the loss in Massachusetts wasn't bad enough this week, yesterday the Supreme Court overturned a decades old law that kept corporations and unions from using money from their treasury to support a candidate for office and kept them from using thinly veiled support advertisement right up to the actual election. This was of course led by Mitch 'Moonshine' McConnell, Republican from Kentucky. This means that now corporations, which already have a stranglehold on government and elections will have even more of one. They didn't overturn the 1907 law (though they'd like to I'm sure) that keeps corps from outright giving money directly to candidates, but the path we're following may be leading there. I really hope that Obama gets the chance to replace some more SC judges in his term because the SC has kept this country more conservative even in less conservative times like the 90's because Republicans appointed judges for all but 4 years from 1968 to 1992. Think about that! The 1907 law was one of many passed during the Progressive period that put an end to the Gilded Age where big business ran the country for 40 years after Reconstruction. Are we headed for a New Gilded Age? Are we already there? With all that has happened with banks and Wall Street over the past few years it's like they've set up shop in the White House so what's the fucking difference? And is it coincidence that this happens after Republicans get their asses kicked in 2006 and 2008 and now sentiments are changing and we have an election this year? I think not.

Color vs. black/white

I got into an interesting discussion with Russell yesterday about the visual perception of color vs. black & white. We were talking about old photos and he said that when he was a kid he thought that photos were shot in color but older ones were SO old that they had faded to black and white. I told him about my friend Tim who thought that everyone saw in black & white until 1939 when the makers of 'The Wizard of Oz' INVENTED color and put it in the movie and from then on everyone could see in color! I was mentioning how it seems like a black & white picture just looks older. I was looking up tornado info a couple of days ago and found black & white photos of the Topeka tornado of 1966 and they looked like photos from the Tri-State tornado of 1925 or even older ones, but then I found a color video of the same storm happening and it looked like it was current if not only happening a few years ago! We also discussed film vs. live action video. Recently I've been watching these DVD's with the live action broadcasts of the Super Bowls and some of these are from the 70's but for some reason the live broadcast looks clearer and sharper, and looks as if it could have been just a few days ago, but NFL films movies of the very same game are grainy and look old. We guessed that maybe it was the type of camera used because television broadcasts, especially of the Super Bowl, would have been using the latest camera technology to send the game to the TV network and into living rooms around the world and I noticed it was usually stationary in the booth above the 50 yard line with later games having a few other stationary cameras in the end zone and on the sidelines. While the same game is captured in a whole bunch of other angles for the NFL films show, but the camera may not have been as high quality. All of this is visual perception and you have to wonder if everyone sees it the same way? I was watching Super Bowl X the other week and apart from the quality of the video used, it looks exactly like it did when I'd last seen it at Danielle's first birthday party back on January 18, 1976 and of course that was viewing it through the TV technology of the time, i.e. the television brand and type we had at home, which back then was pure analog and going through an antennae and not a cable box.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


I'm feeling pretty sick to my stomach right now. When Edward Kennedy died last year, his Senate seat, held by him for over 40 years, was up for grabs. Massachusetts has leaned liberal for decades and the Democrats figured it was a shoe in for Coakley to take Kennedy's place especially since she was backed by the Kennedy family. Then something happened, the same fucking assholes that have been scheming for the Republicans for the past 10 years got the machine going again and started spreading bullshit lies, and got probably every single Republican in the fucking state to go out and vote today and guess what? Coakley fucking lost! The ironic and really sad part of this is that the health bill, fought for for decades by Kennedy, hasn't been passed yet and this will tip the scale away from the filibuster break number needed by the Dems, SO the seat Kennedy once filled will now have this fucking asshole in it that will probably keep the very thing Kennedy fought for from happening. Even Obama himself went to the state over the weekend to campaign for Coakley! I like Boston mainly because it seems to be an intelligent city in an intelligent state but could the voters not see what would happen here? WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK?! I'm really getting sick of the whole thing. If the bill doesn't pass now and Obama looks more and more like Carter (one term only) I quite possibly will be through with politics. Someone on Facebook said something about 'the pendulum has swung' to which I responded, 'Sure, there are cycles but what the fuck happened to our time at bat? We've only had the President AND Congress for a fucking year, they had it for 8!'. I just don't understand how this could happen. I thought with Obama's election that things were finally starting to balance out, but now it's seeming like it was just a fleeting temporary moment and now things will go even further to the right...just what we fucking need! I'm sorry, but this makes me angry. Angry at the stupidity of people to believe everything they hear. Angry at their ability to let themselves be duped by the same retards that have been working it for the Republican machine. These are the same assholes that made sure we didn't have a serious green bill before we went to Copenhagen. And now without the fillibuster power, NOTHING will get done. NOTHING. Apparently this is what Republicans and a lot of fucking sheep want.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Societal and Personal Shift

It's funny that as everything in my life apart from my job has been turned upside down in my own life that's it's happened on a much larger scale for society with the Great Recession or whatever you want to call it. I just read an article called '17 Ways Consumers Are Changing' and as I read it not only did the changes seem to be good things, like less waste, frugality, less credit card debt and more cash and smaller is better, but I seemed to be doing most of the things listed. I'm in a smaller house, smaller car, volunteered the most I ever have, moved away from brands, and even though I still collect movies, I'm coming close to selling all my CD's since I've copied all the files onto a hard drive and my I-pod and I've even been thinking about getting rid of a lot of my books. The last one on the list, though, has hit me like a shot today. 'Redefining Success' and saying that it's not about money and things anymore but doing something you actually want to do and feel satisfied with. One of the reasons I was so down last year was because what I had been defining as success, tons of money and a gigantic house, were gone, but now it shouldn't seem as necessary and as time goes by it won't. Even when I was in that big house, driving the SUV and not worried about money ever, I still thought, 'did I need all this and is this what I really want?'. That last entry is talking specifically about my job. We've been losing people and you can tell that they are trying to restructure things so that they can 'lose' more but I was thinking about that. What if I lost my job? Would it be so bad? I'm making the most money I've ever made in my entire life but I'm not happy. I'm only happy when I'm up on the stage playing for people and hanging out with good friends. What I should do right now is think about what I really want to do. I had discussed possibly getting my teaching certification finally and I know that I love to explain stuff to people, especially the young and the next generation coming up. Part of my reevaluation of my life should not just be my psychology and my love life, but it should also look at how I'm spending the rest of my life with my career because it's something you do every single day until you retire. I have a lot to think about.

Aging Boomers

I was watching the Golden Globes last night and noticing all the women in their late 40's to 60's that still look good but thought about how much money they have and how much work it is to stay looking that good. My dad's been working out at the gym every day of his life since the 60's and when he goes to these Forest Ave. High reunions every once in awhile he says they all look like old people, fat, gray hair, tons of wrinkles and what not, while he still looks younger. I also thought about the term '60's the new 40' or whatever and about the term 'cougar' describing older women that date younger men (there's even a TV show about it) and once again I see the Boomer generation not wanting to admit that they are getting old. It's not bad enough that as they get older they're going to suck all of what's left of Social Security before it's our turn, but they have to run away from aging in such a manner. Now, if they actually did take better care of themselves and not be as much of a burden on our medical system that would be great, but most people I see in their age group look that age, NOT 40 or 30. You know what? 60's the new 60.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Today is January 17th. On this date in 1994, the Northridge quake wakened LA in the pre-dawn hours, hitting hardest in the Valley, but collapsing part of I-10 west of downtown LA. The very next year on the same date, an even larger quakes struck Kobe, Japan killing 5000 people. Now this same week and a few days ago we have the Haitian quake. Right now it's looking like 45 to 50,000 dead in the initial quake and who knows how many more from sickness and exposure over the next few weeks. Aid is rushing in and our government is leading the way. This hasn't stopped complete fucking assholes like Limbaugh and Robertson from not knowing when to keept their fucking mouths shut and saying stupid shit about this situation, but political angles to just plain crazy shit about pacts with the devil and whatnot. If this incident gets people to stop listening to Limbaugh alone, well...I can't say it's worth it since I don't wish death and destruction on anyone that doesn't deserve it, but it's sad that it would take something this big to do that instead of people just turning these people off. Now, back to the geology. I find it so weird that this same week of the year has been witness to three of the major quakes in the past 20 years. Unlike the weather and climate, which are more controlled by time (seasons) I can't think of any reason why earthquakes would happen around the same time each year during these years. I guess it's something to look at OR just coincidence.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Corporate Ways

Yesterday, one of my friends that I met at work got fired. She and I talked a lot about her department over the past months and I guess we saw it coming, but what bothers me is just seeing how companies do their dirty work. They had really put her in a situation where she could not win. She worked in the call center for our company, which meant being on phones all day long with our outside customers (my area does the same but with our inside customers). Coming from such an environment where I worked before, I know how the 'slave ship' works. What surprised me when I started working here was that the call center had little turn around and the employees seemed happy. I believe this stemmed from the managers of that area that seemed to genuinely care about their employees and made a rough job something to be respected and even enjoy with lots of team building and what not. Then they brought in a new manager for the area and not long after they lost two or three great managers and the turn around began in earnest. Unfortunately, the company doesn't step back and go 'hmmm...I wonder what happened?' they just let it run. Part of this could be that this manager is sleeping with a manager in HR. Anyways, another thing that happens in call centers and companies in general is that when the economy is good and other jobs are available out there, they tend to be more lax with the rules, but when the economy turns sour the screws are applied in order to weed out people and save money. Unfortunately the call center takes the brunt since they are at the bottom of the food chain. This along with a sub par manager leads to a disaster. Therese had tried to work with these people, but she was also very vocal about problems she saw in their methods and they did not want to hear this even if it was true. In the end they fired her. What's weird is I heard from someone else that it happened around lunch time, but we didn't get the email from HR about it until 5pm. This email tells us to delete their domain account and turn off email immediately and usually comes as soon as they are walked out of the building. We got another one at the same time, and last week two were let go in the same day. I have a feeling this is going to be a regular occurance now but I could be wrong. Like the ark, they are led out two by two. The company calls it a RIF (Reduction in Force). I wish Carlin could give his response on that bullshit. It's a firing, but lets call it something that sounds like nothing so no one has to feel guilty. We had a firing of 12 people in one day late last year and it included someone from HR who usually was the one walking people out so that was sweet. This just smells. Our area had our one on ones with our manager this week and he told us something that sounds a little cryptic. They want to actually get project managers to take over our projects so that we can focus on stuff that we actually are supposed to be doing. That sounds great but it also sounds like they won't need all of us to do that. We'll see what happens. There's a part of me still leftover from the battle scarred landscape of last year that thinks if I get let go I'll just store my stuff somewhere (dad's?) and hit the road or something.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Haiti Earthquake

It looks like a 7.0 magnitude earthquake has struck Haiti tonight. No one knows the death toll yet because it just happened but from the descriptions of the destruction it sounds like it will be high. Something like this always makes me wonder...why does this happen to the poorest possible place it can? Haiti is THE poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere. But if you ask people which was the second independent nation in our hemisphere after us, most would not guess that it was Haiti. I pray that the toll will not be too high, but with poverty comes completely substandard building codes and you can only hope that most people got outside before their crumble ready building or shack came down around them. Aid is already being requested and pouring in and once again the Internet proves it's worth with the lightning speed the call has gone out to millions. How can a country so close to the U.S. be so impoverished? Then again, look at the border of Mexico. Juarez and El Paso could be on different planets. One in the richest country in the world and one of the safest cities in the US, the other a drug lord hellhole with thousands dead and more buried in sand outside the city while the ones that live there are in complete poverty. Could it be the color of the skin in Mexico and Haiti? Could it be the still radiating leftovers of our own colonialism aspirations over the past two centuries? Not to mention a laundry list of the worst possible 'leaders' money could buy in both places. Not an easy answer but one that's forgotten in the dust pall over Port-au-Prince tonight.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Under The Dome

I just finished Stephen King's latest this past weekend. I've been reading Mr. King since I was 12 and my first book was the stories of 'Night Shift'. King is still my favorite author after all these years. I know he's a lot of other people's favorite and many critics over the years have considered his stuff to be popcorn and no more, but I know that I like his style, his character development and his outlook on the world. I fell in love with his horror stories first since that was his initial bread and butter, and 'The Dead Zone' is still my favorite book to this day. 'The Stand' would probably be second and I usually read both of them every other year. I'm so glad that a comic version of 'The Stand' has been coming out for a year now because it's much more detailed and has a good visual sense that I've come to expect from this masterpiece. 'Under the Dome' is similar to 'The Stand' in many ways. There's a horror element, a group of people cut off from everything, sides are taken. My initial response to the 'cause' of the dome was sort of down because I was expecting more, but then I realized that it was like Shayamalan's 'Signs', it wasn't about the aliens but the family that had fallen apart and how they were brought together to deal with this. This story isn't really about the dome or what it's done, but how the trapped town reacts and it's also a microcosm in a way of all humanity 'trapped' on the Earth with nowhere else to go. In that respect I definitely enjoyed it and there were several sections were I ended up staying up too late and was groggy the next day because I could not put it down. What more could I ask? I'm disappointed in hearing that J.J. Abrams may NOT be doing the 'Dark Tower' series now...but maybe it's impossible to be done and the soon to be coming out comic version will have to suffice. Either way, I know Stephen King will have to die one day and then I'll be in uncharted waters...or I could finally write my own novels to pay my respects to him.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Playoff Mania

Well, the first weekend of the NFL playoffs not only went exactly how I wanted them to, but the last game was a complete doozy that I just witnessed! Of course I wanted the Cowboys to win and the Patriots to lose and was not disappointed in either game. The fact that they were pretty much blowouts even made them easy to watch. The Cowboys looked damn good! I didn't really care if the Jets beat the Bengals, but I figured if they did it would lower the ratio of home teams losing since the Cowboys were playing the Eagles at home. I'm not sure if we've ever beat the Eagles three times in one season but we have now AND finally got that fucking monkey off our back - the reminder of how long it had been since we'd won a playoff game! Earlier today I enjoyed watching the Ravens take out the Patriots in their own house and figured the Cardinals/Packers game was going to be another blowout when the Cards went up 17-0, but boy was I wrong! The second half saw a complete shootout between Rogers and Warner and the defenses fold as the points kept being racked up. By the end of regulation they went into overtime 45-45 just after the Cards kicker missed an easy field goal. Green Bay won the toss, but the game ended when Rogers dropped back, started to get tackled and got stripped instead and the Cardinal ran it in for the winning TD! I jumped up and hollered because it was so exciting! This is why I love football so much.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Arctic Blast

Well, despite what I said a few days back about people thinking some frigid air means global warming is bunk (and some surprising backlash from people I thought would think gw was real over the past few days) we have had one frosty night. When I got back around 1:30am this morning from seeing 'Avatar' in 3D at the IMAX with Brett, the temp gauge in my car read 18 degrees. This morning checking the news8 site, it apparently got down to 3 degrees (coldest in the state) at a gauge NW of Junction while records were broken in all locations with 17 at Mabry, 10 at ABIA and 6 at Waco. That's probably the coldest it's been since that cold snap just before Christmas in 1989 when I felt 0 degrees in Denton. I remember looking up at the crystal clear skies and being to see even more stars than normal as if the pollution had been frozen off or something. A warming trend is supposed to happen starting tomorrow but tomorrow morning promises another one in the teens. Once again, this is not completely unheard of here. In February of 1899 the biggest blue norther to hit Texas dropped Dallas to -8 (all time record), froze Galveston Bay and the front was recorded as far south as the Yucatan peninsula! Now that's an arctic blast!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Arctic blast

The country is being creamed by an icy blast from Canada this week. We're at freezing right now (no snow of course) even though it's sunny and 3 in the afternoon. We're doing much better than other parts of the country where it hit -52 for a wind chill in North Dakota, and is below freezing all the way down to Florida where the crops are being watered to actually keep them warmer and apparently iguanas, who are cold blooded, are falling out of trees! Snow is flying and ice is causing crashes and 150 mile long freeway closures from Wisconsin to Georgia. It's quite a mess out there but hey, it's Winter and this has happened before. Last night on Facebook someone wrote 'Screw Al Gore and his Global Warming ass, I'm freakin' cold'. I wrote back 'How quickly we forget the 68 days we were at or over 100 degrees last summer'. We do quickly forget but even more importantly it's amazing how we all suddenly become scientists/meteorologists that are experts on this subject. At the same time we don't want to listen to the people that have actually dedicated their lives to the study of the climate and see the trend. I don't have a meteorology degree, but I've been studying weather and climate for 30 years, wanted to get that degree (but Oklahoma and A&M have the best programs and forget that!), and I did get my degree in Geography (minor) and History (major). I've studied and been fascinated by the history of weather since I was a kid and a tornado flew over our house the day after my 6th birthday. I know there's a lot of political windbaggery on the subject of global warming and of course when politics is involved there's people trying to profit from it. We just can't seem to help ourselves. What I try to explain to people is that weather and climate are about balance just like every other earth system. There are cycles to it all land if it's really freakin' hot eventually it will get really freakin' cold to make up for it. With the global warming issue, we may be too late to change what the earth is going to do by itself to 'balance things out' and we may just need to look at how to survive whatever that may be. I don't think it will be the end of human civilization like some scaremongers want to push. What I have seen is that galvanizing events can cause change. In 1969, the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland caught on fire because it was so polluted. This led to the Earth Day movement a year later. Now cities are a LOT cleaner than they were in 1970. How much more cleaner do they need to be? Greenland melting, glaciers disappearing from mountain ranges, and each year being the new 'hottest on record' can definitely be a galvanizing force if we use it right and make the needed changes to at least try and slow the process. But a week of icy weather shouldn't take away the fact that we're still heating up. It's all part of the 'this is what's happening right this moment' syndrome. Global warming involves long range thinking, something we are sorely lacking.

Crazy Heart & Up in the Air

Over the past two nights I've seen a couple of movies, 'Crazy Heart' and 'Up In The Air'. The first stars Jeff Bridges as a burnt out country/blues singer playing crappy gigs across the Southwest and drinking/smoking himself to death. The story was familiar and reminded me a little of 'The Wrestler' with the redemption qualities, but what made it great was Bridges. I've always liked his style, especially 'The Big Lebowski' but that was just plain goofiness and this was some serious acting. I think he'll get nominated for an Oscar. I really liked the music as well and plan on getting the soundtrack. Shane had free passes for this pre-screening at the Arbor so I met him there with Fositi. The second movie is one of those rare ones that affect me the way 'Into the Wild' did. I saw it at the Drafthouse with Brett last night and was completely blown away. I laughed a lot since it's a comedy, but it had so much to say about us as a people today, about this time period (what a timely film with the unemployement story line), and also cried because I associated with the loneliness of Clooney's character and his flawed philosophy. The acting was unbelievable with Vera Farmiga as the tough companion in his home, the airport/airplane/hotel and Anna Kendrick, the young perky co-worker that has a lot to learn but still knows bullshit when she smells it. I knew I was going to love the movie with the opening credits showing the US from various locations as if seeing from a plane and edited in an amazing way, and with 'This Land is Your Land' (a funkier version) in the background. The music was also used well here and I'll be checking out that soundtrack too. While I associated with 'Into the Wild' as I was in my early 20's, this one shows that time period that comes in your 40's. It's so well written it hurts, and the comedy really bites at some points, but sometimes the truth is hard to hear. It's right up there with 'Inglourious Basterds' as my fave for 2009 now.

Monday, January 4, 2010

New Year/New Decade

2010! Twenty Ten!! I can't believe the new year and decade have arrived. All last year, being as bad as it was, I was practically 'craving' for this year to get here and now it is upon me. 2000 sounded kind of futuristic but 2010 sounds so much more. Maybe it's because of that movie I saw when I was in high school so many years ago. I put a statement of my wishes for the coming decade in Facebook and got a few responses. I mainly want a new peace movement to take hold and all the divisions that have been so prevalent to go away if possible. Maybe we need something really big to bring us together, but hopefully not some disaster like 9/11 or Katrina. It would be nice for something good to happen and bring us together for a change. For my first weekend of the the decade, I stayed in my house the whole time like it was a cave, stayed on the couch hanging out with Mollie and only venturing out once to get a burger and run some errands Saturday evening. It started with a quiet New Year's Eve at the Humphries. Russell came over for the Sugar Bowl on New Year's Day evening and I had a 'Lord of the Rings' fest on Saturday. I spent the rest of the time watching football DVD's of the old Super Bowls year by year. The last week of the 2009 NFL season was pretty good with Dallas shutting out Philadelphia and not only getting into the playoffs but winning the NFC East division! Texas plays Alabama in the BCS Championship this coming Thursday. I'm looking forward to start work on myself and get my life rolling down it's new path.