Saturday, September 30, 2006

choosing how you want to live

some strung together, somewhat related thoughts.

i don't want to allow fear to run my life. this includes how the gov't treats us, how i hear the news, how i allow myself to be marketed to.

although i have a critical (some have said prophetic) viewpoint at times, i will not become a cynic or have a critical spirit. i am seeking to enjoy life, live it to the fullest. it is the gift i've been given. i want to enjoy my family, friends, fellow soujourners in life. i want to celebrate your accomplishments and joys as well as my own.

i want to chase after my dreams, work towards them, and not give up on them just because they're far off at times. it's also nice when some of them come true.

i want to speak up when i see things going wrong, but also temper my voice so that i don't take on the personna of chicken little or the boy who cried wolf.

why yakomi school is special

i saw a headline on the fresno bee's website about an innovative elementary school in fresno unified, and the asst. dept. secretary of education visiting it. i was curious to know about the school, what they were doing that was so innovative, etc. i figured that this was the intention of the article.

nope. just a short piece about brown's visit. a mention of it being a magnet school for tech & science, which is unusual @ this level. but not much else. no story about what they're doing there, what's so innovative, or anything that fusd can really hang its hat on.

kudos, fresno bee. at least you did a vaguely positive story on our schools.

a link for adam

you like wood right?

the rest of you can feel free to look as well.

no one is twisting your arm guy

so, i saw a story about a theater owner closing his theater down for a few weeks because he didn't like the movies that were out, specifically jackass 2. the theater is somewhere in illinois. surprisingly, this guy lives just outside of fresno.

now, it's totally this guy's right to have his theaters dark. what i'm confused about is why he just didn't show movies that he did find acceptable. i don't think you're forced to show movies. in fact, i thought theaters bought the rights to show films. you don't want to show jackass or beerfest. you did show invincible. it's still out in the theaters, keep showing it.

wink wink, nudge nudge

i've updated my amazon wish list, in case anyone wanted to send me a birthday gift. the old b-day is a little over a month away. not that i really think any of my 30 or so visitors a day would actually send me a birthday gift.

(so, typing b-day made me think of bidet, and chuckle. then i had to spend a few minutes typing different spellings in google to figure out how to spell it.)

Friday, September 29, 2006

weekly pick installment

game------------------------me----------sg----------sg's wife
jets(+9) vs colts---------colts--------jets----------jets
bills(-1) vs vikes--------vikes--------bills---------bills
chargers(-2.5) vs ravens--chargers-----chargers------ravens
titans(+9.5) vs cowboys---titans-------titans--------titans
chiefs(-7) vs niners------chiefs-------chiefs--------chiefs
panthers(-7) vs saints----saints-------panthers------panthers
falcons(-7) vs cardinals--falcons------falcons-------cardinals
dolphins(-3.5) vs texans--dolphins-----dolphins------texans
lions(+5.5) vs rams-------rams---------lions---------rams
patriots(+6) vs bengals---bengals------patriots------patriots
jaguars(-3) vs redskins---jaguars------jaguars-------skins
browns(-2.5) vs raiders---browns-------browns--------browns
seahawks(+3.5) vs bears---seahawks-----seahawks------bears
packers(+10.5) vs eagles--packers------packers-------packers

last week-----------------9-5----------8-4-2---------9-3-2
(i admit, i'm not sure about the 2. is that tieing the spread?)

attention monticore & ann thrope

well, this goes out to anyone that watches abc's wife swap. fresno episode.

now let's just hope it's not the one up against prison break.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

gotta gotta get gotta get it right now

i'm not blaming target, but one of their lastest ads was the impetus for this post. in this ad, the song talks about wanting more, needing to have it right now, and so on. hey, it's marketing. i understand that it's their goal for me to buy things. especially things i don't need, but just want. or even things that i don't even really want, but buy because it's cheap, or that i'm just a shameless consumer.

i wouldn't say that it's fundamental to our nature to be such consumers. i want to say that it is a learned response. i think back to the ten commandments, good old number ten talks about not coveting (exodus 20:17). coveting is desiring something that others have. like, i want that new ipod because you've got it. it's wrongful desire. i gotta have it right now. so, these desires have been with us for a long time. we can't blame advertisers.

i want to live a simple life. this is not to say that possessions are wrong. but, am i driven by a desire to have more stuff just to have it? do i spend money just because we have it? can i just get by with what i have, which is already more than enough?

so, what is responsible spending look like? here's a scenario: i currently don't have a car. when i want to get around, my options are to borrow the car from the wife, ride my bicycle, or take the bus. lately, i've been thinking about getting my own transportation. so, do i buy a used car? or some little cheapy like honda's fit? i really like the jeep wrangler unlimited, with 4 doors. to be competitive in this high gas price world, they've slashed prices. does that make it worth it? or, the option i really want, get a motorcycle.

of course, the bike i want isn't the cheapest on the market. nor is it the most expensive. but should i get a high priced motorcycle just because i need an easier, faster way to get around?

this isn't the problem. it is a symptom. and maybe the bike isn't even the best example. but, it just seems that we're always being told to desire more than we need, to reap more than we sow. i heard about a new apple phone to come on the market (something much better than the rockr). my first thought, "i want that." i told heather about it, she felt the same way. do either of us need no phones? not right now at least. do i, with my 60gig ipod need a new one of those? no. but the idea of a phone with great ipod & isync technology makes me want it. or, you got a new car, so now i want one, too.

it's easy to turn down over the top advertisers like target. it's a much different story when it's subtle stories on the internet about a product. or a desire for an expensive hobby. in a lot of ways, i'm very tired of "keeping up with the jones'es" and chasing after the american dream. if we need something, well, fine, we can get it. but let's stop allowing ourselves to be sold on a way of life that is anything but healthy.

(and no, this isn't just my way of saying i want to be unemployed the rest of my life.)

storm large and the national anthem

hey, have i mentioned that i love reality tv? especially those done by mark burnett? tonight was the 2 hour finale of the contender on espn. i enjoyed the first season of this show, and have followed the second. anyway, i knew that since it was a two hour final for 2 boxing matches, there was going to be a lot of filler. so, for the first 15 minutes, i watched part of the cbs evening news that i recorded the other night. it had stories about richard branson donating a large sum of money to fight global warming, a story about walmart actually doing something good ($4 generic prescriptions), and a piece contrasting jim wallis (red letter Christian) and tony perkins (family research council) (watch the video here). i actually taped the newscast for that piece.

so, after i was done watching the old news, i flipped over to the contender. and guess who i saw getting ready to sing the national anthem. my favorite...errrrrr...most hated contestant from rockstar:supernova...storm large. throughout that contest she had over the top antics, in my opinion poor performances, and was generally annoying. today, she took the safe route and performed the anthem in normal fashion. i thank her for this. not that i'm a big purist on the anthem, but i do prefer it to be mainly traditional. i'll give you some vocal inflection and what not, and i thought the spanish version was a noble effort, and i love hendrix's re-arrangement, but normally, i say just give it to me straight. she did, and did a fine job with it. it wasn't whitney houston good. and, i'm sure i've heard it performed better by other famous singers, but this was good. it definately didn't suck. it wasn't terrible or insulting (see rosanne barr). nor did it score on the unintentional comedy level (see carl lewis).

he's a bad bear

yogi used to steal pic-a-nick baskets, this bear decided that it wanted to engage in mass murder. sure, it was only rainbow trout, but this padington look-alike took down 2500. that's one bad mutha watch yo mouth!

Friday, September 22, 2006

friday football picks

game-----------------------------me----------sports guy--------sg's wife
panthers (-3) vs bucs--------panthers------panthers---------bucs
browns (+6.5) vs ravens------ravens--------browns-----------browns
bengals (+2) vs steelers-----bengals-------bengals---------steelers
packers (+6.5) vs lions------packers-------packers---------packers
dolphins(-10.5) vs titans---titans---------dolphins-------titans
jaguars (+7) vs colts-----------colts---------jaguars---------jags
jets (+5.5) vs bills------------jets----------jets-----------jets
vikings (+3) vs bears--------bears---------vikings--------vikings
texans (+4) vs redskins------redskins------texans---------redskins
niners (+6) vs eagles--------eagles--------niners---------eagles
seahawks (-3.5) vs giants----seahawks------seahawks-------giants
rams (+4.5) vs cardinals-----cardinals-----rams-----------cardinals
broncos (+6.5) vs patriots---patriots------broncos--------broncos
saints (+3) vs falcons-------falcons-------saints---------falcons

last week-------------------12-4-------------8-8-----------11-5

i hate picking against the rams. i also want the saints to win (re-opening of superdome) but don't think they can pull it off.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

now you know how he feels

i almost feel guilty about posting this link, in light of what dana's got to say over here.

you tell 'em bobby. let the chairs fly.

tis the season

ah, it's that time again...fresh, new tv shows. this is good and bad. we get to see new episodes of shows we like, get to "experiment" with some new series, and laugh at the failures (or get ticked about one we like failing).

what i don't like about this time of year is that the syndicated shows get all screwed up. for instance, i used to watch seinfeld after the news. it was replaced by the gem of a show, according to jim. wha? and it's followed by an hour of everyone loves raymond. this stinks. or, i used to watch a few episodes of magnum, p.i. every day. not on anymore. replaced by davinci's inquest and the greg behrendt show.

it's a good thing we have cable and i've got other options. or at least one other channel showing episodes of seinfeld.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

october 5 2006

just a reminder to those who can, oct 5 is my art hop reception. 5 pm. salon 637. i think tomorrow i'll post a new shot of ripple. i'm really happy with how it looks. if it stays "wet looking" when it's dry, i'll consider it done. if not, i'll hit it with a coat or two of polyurethane to give it that glossy, watery look.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

amazing race 10

tonight was the premier of amazing race 10. mike came over and watched it with heather and i. as with many other shows, we always try and pick the winners. we eached picked two teams and a sentimental 3rd.

tyler & james - the ex druggy male models
tom & terry - fiesty boyfriends
david & mary - a coal miner and his wife

erwin and godwin - brothers from sf, one went to berkeley, one to harvard
peter & sarah - triathlete training partners
kellie & jamie - former co-captains of the 'Cock's cheerleading squad

bilal & sa'eed - muslim fathers from cleveland
dustin & candice - former miss america contestants
vipul & arti - the first (east) indian team ever.

and, partway through the show, i'm already screwed.
8:30 start, 9:10 bilal & sa'eed are eliminated. it wasn't a pit stop, but as with all reality shows on later seasons, got to switch things up.

winners of stage one, tyler & james
and losers of stage one, vipul and arti. eliminated.

man, i could not have picked worse teams. well, i guess if my other team had been david and mary, i would have lost 2 and had the team that is now in last.

life imitating art

a mummified body on csi:ny, another washes up on csi:miami. something fishy iis going on here...or not.

"the only thing with jurisdiction here is...the fire" - horatio

Friday, September 15, 2006

me vs the "pro" and his wife, too (or two)

so, i mentioned how i would have done last week picking nfl games compared to the sports guy and his wife. i thought about doing a blog about it, but then nixed the idea. that is, until he included a review of rockstar supernova in his picks. here's his thoughts:
1. You have to love any show where people get voted off and say final words like, "it was an honor being here, I grew up idolizing you guys, you're all legends" ... and the legends are Tommy Lee, Gilby Clarke and the dude with weird ears from Metallica.

2. Not only did the winner (Lucas) go from cooking chicken wings at Hooters to headlining a band of washed-up rock stars, but his original song "Head Spin" sounded like one of those haunting, Cure-like, romance-gone-bad tunes ... well, until he revealed that the song was actually about his mother. I'm telling you, stuff like this happened every week on "Rock Star."

3. The girl who should have won and didn't -- Dilana -- may or may not have been a dude. We'll never know. And frankly, I'm fine with that.

4. There wasn't a more mesmerizing summer TV presence than Storm Large (not a stage name, she claimed), who looked like the cute sister from Heart crossed with Jennie Finch, only with Mark Madsen's personality from every 2003 Lakers game thrown in. If she ever reproduced with Dane Cook, their kid would just stomp around holding its arms in the air, screaming "yeahhhhhhhh!" and making weird hand gestures until its head exploded. I am not prepared to live life without her. Couldn't she replace Elisabeth Hasselbeck on "The View"? I want to see Storm show off her pelvis tattoo to the girls, followed by Barbara Walters keeling over and falling to the ground.

5. Tommy Lee can't be calibrated on the Unintentional Comedy Scale anymore. It's impossible. Every time he decided to sit in on a performance and play drums, I couldn't handle it and had to leave the room. I'm not kidding. Watching him reminds me of being tickled as a kid, then the tickling going on for about 15 seconds too long, until you almost feel like you're going to throw up if it doesn't stop. That's Tommy Lee drumming for me. I can't handle it. Back to the column.

man, funny stuff. and, some similar stuff as what i've put here, and heather's had to hear me rant about at home. i was especially appreciated his comparison of storm large with mark madsen. speaking of madsen, does anyone else remember him at the lakers championship rally, translating who let the dogs out into spanish? and doing the cabbage patch?

so, since i wanted to include that, i figured i'd do a post as well about picking games, with a handy little matrix.

game------------------------------------me-----------s.g.-----------sg's wife
RAVENS (-11) over Raiders----------ravens-------ravens-------ravens
BENGALS (-10.5) over Browns------bengals------bengals------browns
DOLPHINS (-6.5) over Bills---------dolphins----dolphins-----dolphins
COLTS (-13.5) over Texans----------colts----------colts-----------colts
Lions (+8.5) over BEARS------------bears---------lions---------bears
EAGLES (-3) over Giants------------eagles--------eagles-------giants
VIKINGS (+2) over Panthers--------panthers-----vikings------vikings
FALCONS (-5.5) over Bucs----------falcons--------falcons------falcons
PACKERS (-2) over Saints----------saints----------packers------saints
SEAHAWKS (-7) over Cardinals---seahawks------seahawks----seahawks
JETS (+6) over Patriots-------------patriots--------jets-----------patriots
BRONCOS (-11) over Chiefs---------chfs(on the pts)broncos------broncos
CHARGERS (-12) over Titans--------chargers-----chargers------chargers
Rams (-3) over NINERS--------------rams-----------rams-----------rams
Redskins (+6) over COWBOYS------cowboys------redskins------cowboys
JAGS (+1) over Steelers---------------jags-----------jags-----------steelers

last week -------------------8-8(no pt spread)-----------7-9-----------5-11

i think the hardest picks of the week are the redskins/cowboys and the chiefs/broncos. both the skins and cowboys looked decent last week. but, the cowboys qb bledsoe is a sack-a-matic, and throws plenty of bad passes for int's (soon to be a qb controversy). the skins star rb was questionable last week but still played decent, but this week he's out. and, this game definately feels like it comes down to a field goal. but, despite what i've just said, i think the cowboys win by a touchdown.

in the chief's game, they've got one of the top 3 rb's in the league, and that's about it. i've also got said rb in my fairytale football league, so i hope he has a great game. the broncos looked terrible in their loss last week to my beloved rams, and it looks like they've got a qb controversy on their hands. always good in week 2. throw in their three headed rb monster, it's hard to know exactly what they're going to do. well, i think denver might win, but really think they'll lose. i definately don't think they'll win by 11 or more. so, the points it is.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

idiot update

the other day i posted a story about a t-ball coach on trial. verdict is in.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

rockstar finale

bottom 2 at some point included magni, toby and lucas. it ended up being magni and toby. wha? the best two? people are silly with their votes.
magni performed "fire" by hendrix for his song.
toby performed "white wedding" by billy idol for his song.

both did well, and neither should be in the bottom. these are the freakin top two. the band said this one was a hard one. probably because they figured this was the final decision. and magni is the next to go. toby better win. this all happened in the first 15 min.

then the final three got to pitch their case, and perform one last time.

lucas did "bittersweet symphany". jay hated it last time he did this song. i didn't hear it that night. but i hate it tonight. warbly, sounds like he's trying to do a punk version of the song.

dilana did "zombie". imagine me singing this song at kareoke. and there you have it. now, i'm kareoke fool, and i think i sing well, but if you've heard the cranberries do this song you know i wouldn't do it justice. and neither did dilanna. she sounded like a small dog barking on the end "oh oh" part.

toby did "somebody told me". toby doesn't sound terribly different than the killers lead singer, so he sounded pretty good. and he knows how to involve the crowd. (i'm impartial right?)

toby voted out next. nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo you idiots! worst move ever.

and after a commercial break, it's lucas. i thought he was an early favorite, but i thought his star dwindled over the competition. but at least dilanna didn't win. i don't know where this band will go, but i don't think it will be to the top.

odd, non?

here's a funny, sad, interesting little clip. it features some of my favorite things.

afternoon gems

i hate identity theft. really, who doesn't? fortunately, we haven't really had a problem with it. today, heather got a call, on her work phone, about a contested charge @ target. the person had just left a message, and heather was trying to get a hold of them. she also called me, to let me know what was going on, and to maybe have me run one of our free, yearly credit checks. you see, we don't have an account with target. at all. so, i got target's guest services number, tried to gain some info, but was unsuccessful. i was asking questions about someone else's alleged account, so i totally understand. i passed their number on to heather (a different on than was left). and, in the meantime, i ran our credit info. it's pretty cool. you can get your credit report, for free, from 3 different credit agencies every year. good way to know what's happening, especially in this day and age where it seems that every other bank, credit card company, or even the gov't, have your info stolen.

so, collected all the info i could, and it looked all good. no open accounts that we don't know about. i was especially pleased to see that there wasn't some bogus target account.

in the meantime, i also was flipping the channels. it was at the end of whatever bs i was watching, and i stumbled upon half time of a champions league match. bummer, half time. even worse, it's 2-2! i missed four goals, not because i was watching something important, but because i was watching junk. dang. i hate that. as you know, soccer doesn't generally have a lot of goals, especially at the top tiers. so, to have manchester united vs celtic in the champions league @ 2-2, wow. fortunately, it was half time, so i got to at least see the replays. not too long into the 2nd, man utd scored. they held on, but celtic played very well, had some nice attempts to equalize. but, manchester played much better, and barely missed 2 or 3 attempts to really put it away. at the end of the match, the mentioned that another match would be on espn classic. hey, i have that channel.

the match? lyon vs real madrid. sweet, i get to watch one of my fav's (real). i really am constructing this weird matrix of teams i follow in different leagues, and deciding who to root for in the chance they were to play.

so, i switched over to wait for that match. hey, heather is calling. she's spoken with target, and it's some other heather on the account, with a different social (neither of ours), an address in huntington beach, but with heather's work # listed. that's fishy, but it doesn't really open us up to any problems. phew.

so, a little stress today, but also some sweet soccer.

for those of you who have read this far, and want to know why i'm sitting at home in the middle of the day, yes, i'm still looking for work. in fact, some real positive steps are happening right now. i ran into an old prof the other day. he works where i want to work. anyhow, i mentioned that i needed to turn in my info to hopefully teach as adjunct faculty. he encouraged that, and also let me know that they're going to post an opening in my field soon. so, i'm also preparing my application for faculty. i've got a nice resume, and some good references (1 seminary prof, 1 faculty @ where i'm applying, 1 pastoral, 1 former employer). so, hopefully things will work out soon. i'm also getting all my junk together to substitute until these other opportunities pan out.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

rockstar supernova final 4 show

well it's down to this: four contestants left to front the group supernova. some lucky person will get to hang out with tommy lee, jason newsted, and gilby clark. tonight is part one of the season finale. from 15 to 4.

but first, fans voted for their favorite rocker that was eliminated, and ryan star won. he's already got a record contract from some company that mark burnett runs.

toby - "karma police", radiohead - decent. he's much better on uptempo songs. brought magni up for his original song, on guitar. "throw it away" - same original as last time, so i'm assuming they're all doing a repeat original. last week had more energy, and since we heard it two nights in a row then, it was new, fresh. now it's still good, but lacks a little spark. and the instrumental tracks on this song are really nice.

lucas - "fix you", coldplay - i think this showcased lucas at his worst. not really singing, just scratching it out. "head spin" - did a stripped down version of his weird song about his relationship with his mom. much better job actually singingg, showing off his talent.

(paula abdul was in the audience)

dilanna - "roxanne", the police - dilanna was good on this song. she, too, actually sang instead of just shouting out the lyrics. much improved. probably the best of the cover songs so far. and the other 3 contestants came out and sang back up. "supersoul" - apparently, this song is about freedom and moving forward, not angry. it's also not that good. at least she did it well. although she kinda had this rooster crow sound at the end.

magni - "hush", deep purple - hey, an upbeat song. good choice. well done. showed you can rock (something the other three didn't do on their covers). "when the time comes" - another good rocker, nicely sung performed. but tommy lee ripped the original, jason liked it.

i've got to think that tonight's favorites were magni & dilanna. i think the overall top two should be toby and magni. we'll see...

they'll cut-cha

it appears that some people just don't understand what steve irwin was about. and really, revenge killings? listen australia, put down the big can of fosters, sober up for more than three hours, and think about what you're doing.

here's a reason
to make sure you know what you're doing. i wonder if this guy is still a hero to his cause? even if he really botched the job.

i'm not convinced yet. i'm still only wearing my helmet part of the time. i wonder if this study holds up for motorcycles as well?

here's how addresses are supposed to work: each building is assigned one number, street, city, zip code, etc. no other building should have that same combination. what's that, eh? your city has duplicate streets, eh? canadians.

a fight between new media and old media. wiki's gonna get cha.

Monday, September 11, 2006

picking 'em all right

i wish i had thought of making picks this week on the nfl. i can't say i would have done that well (i think i would have been 8-8). anyone, my favorite sports writer, the sports guy, ran a column on friday making picks. he does this every week of the season, and it's interesting to see how he does. this season he was talking about picking against someone, and proposed a few options. because of his wife's correct pick on thursday night, and the seemingly obvious logic with which she did it, he asked her to make weekly picks. she agree, but with the only caveat being that she gets to write one other paragraph about anything, that no one gets to edit. now that could be funny.

so, as monday night football winds down, here's how i see it:
sports guy: 6-10
sports gal: 10-6
me: 8-8

now, the only variable that i'm not dealing with is the points spread. so, based on my understanding of the point spread, his record may be 7-9.

you're an idiot

no, not you, this guy. sometimes, you see stories about parents that are real jerks at youth sporting events. heck, last week there was the assistant coach that was angered by a late hit, ran onto the field and knocked down the opposing player, which then started a brawl between parents of the two teams, while the coach jumped the fence and ran off (initial hearing). i know, that sounds terrible. but this guy is so much worse. 8 year olds playing t-ball? if you see any jail time i anticipate that you're not going to have a favorable experience. and i don't have very nice feelings for his attorney either.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

remembering 9/11

five years ago, i woke up and started getting ready for an early morning class. it was my first semester of seminary (although i dropped out for a year and a half after this class). i was taking an introductory greek class, and we were in the first few weeks of class.

so, i woke up, jumped in the shower, and was listening to the radio. there was so much confusion as to what had happened at that time, and the reports seemed to indicate some sort of accident. both planes had already hit the tower by the time i was awake (6:00 a.m. west coast 2nd plane hit, not me getting up) but it was unclear as to what had happened. heather was getting ready for work, and she was telling me about something happening. the accounts were leaning less towards accident and more towards attack. as i got dressed, i turned on the tv. it was all so sureal watching the footage of the planes crash into the tower. and then their was footage of the pentagon fires. and then i watched the towers fall. so bizarre, so amazing, so stunning.

what do you do now? do i not go to class, or work later? i went over to the seminary, but was very distracted. several of us students were down in the lounge, watching coverage, trying to learn anything we could about what was going on. sifting through the information as well as the misinformation. and then, one of the oddest things, having our prof corral us for class. and some students were like, "what? you're going to have class?" but we went. and really, watching the tv wouldn't have changed anything.

that semester, i was also teaching as adjunct faculty over at the college. i had two painting classes and a drawing/design class. and i taught those classes after the tragedy. and i remember discussing it with students over the next few days, and just wanting things to normalize again. i couldn't take the rehashing of the footage.

but, although i was bothered by the attacks, i wasn't outraged. and i didn't feel any deeper sense of patriotism. and, being in fresno, i wasn't worried that we could be next (even if local news speculated how we could be due to our ag). it's not that i didn't care. i was sad that many people died. and, i hoped for survivors to be found, for miraculous stories. i knew that there was no way we wouldn't respond with military action. but, i just didn't feel all that much. when we visited n.y. after, saw ground zero and the whole area, it still didn't affect me.

i think it was about three or four years later, i watched a special that recounted the whole event. it interviewed survivors, family members of those who were lost, others involved. and it crushed me.

today, i hope we all remember those that were lost. let us mourn those who died here, but also those that have died worldwide in terrorist attacks and in war since 9/11. and, i hope that we're infuriated with politicians on both sides when they use such tragic events for political gain. let us not live in fear, but in freedom.

you've got to be kidding

let's see, evidence continues to pile up to the contrary, but the bush regime clings to their story that saddam hussein had al queda ties. the latest to claim it, vice president cheney. he also said, “there has not been another attack on the US,” which in his thought proves that we're doing the right thing, have been successful in the war on terror. of course, if that's your logic, than the clinton administration did a much better job (even though this "war" hadn't begun yet) because their was not an incident on the scale of 9/11 to happen under his administration (being that the war on terror does not seem to include domestic terrorists like tim mcveigh, only muslims).

at least cheney isn't completely dillusional. "Mr Cheney, who said last year the insurgency was in its “last throes”, acknowledged on Sunday that “we did not anticipate an insurgency that would last this long”. maybe that's part of the problem. you keep insisting on nonexistant connections, underestimate the strength and resistance of the enemy, rely on torture.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

two worthy links (a bunch of other's thrown in)

this morning, i woke up an was pleased to be able to watch a match en vivo on fox en espanol. man utd was playing tottenham hotspurs. i've been following tottenham a little bit this season because of a few things. first, although a big fan of the game, i never have invested too mucn into following just one international team. i've always been partial to the rangers, and a few years back started following the spanish yankees. granted, that was just before they became the galacticos, but this guy gave me grief one time about it. anyway, after this year's cup, the sports guy wrote a compelling article about deciding to follow a premier team, and choosing the right one. so, i've been a little more active about following the game internationally, checking out different league websites and what not. and, since i've never really put a lot of stock behind a single premier team, tottenham seemed good enough. (recently, manchester city has perked my interest too. claudio reyna plays there, and it looks like demarcus beasely may also be transferred there. although, it's a bit of a drawback to support a side whose name is man city when shortened.)

back to the point, i was watching a match this morning. united was up 1-0 and that's how it finished although tottenham has some great chances in the second half. just couldn't finish on a few great attempts. during the match, i noticed one of the digital banner ads was for an organization, found at they've got a really nice website (design wise) and an issue that is compelling and important (refugees worldwide, especially children). it also reminded me of a friend's of my brother. so i thought i'd link to as well. luc is a refugee himself, from congo, now living in south africa and working with nieucommunities. they've got some iconic looking design on luc's page (great for stencilling on your neighborhood wall).

Friday, September 08, 2006

well duh

today, the bbc had three stories about the war on terror. none of them surprised me. here are the headlines, "war on terror loses direction," "no sadam link to al queda" and "bush pledges victory." i read each of these stories, and wondered, does anyone buy what this guy is selling? that is, anyone that isn't a diehard republican. i'm not trying to just doubt what the president and his bunch are selling but it's like this guy is sitting on the hood of a hyundia and telling me that it's a lamborghini. and there are several mechanics that have been and keep on telling us that it's a hyundia. but the president sticks to his guns, insisting that it's not.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

odd news link dump

the moral of this story, know what you're eating. i thought berkeley students made good decisions.

the good sort of spam. well, sort of.

"He's a good kid," his sister said. "He just has a problem with stealing cars." man, florida. what a state.

what makes me laugh about this story isn't really the content. it's the location of the story in relation to the location of the newspaper. and i feel sorry for the girl. the other day, she was refused entry into bungalow 8 in ny (post-vma) and now she's blowing dui level numbers.

dear cops, when you raid a farm, don't leave the contraband behind.

some guy's scorecard for the war on terror. i'm not sure, but i don't think this one is winnable. this stat makes me really feel like we're doing the right thing, "The typical sentences recently imposed on individuals considered to be international terrorists are not impressive. For all those convicted as a result of cases initiated in the two years after 9//11, for example, the median sentence -- half got more and half got less-- was 28 days. For those referrals that came in more recently -- through May 31, 2006 -- the median sentence was 20 days. For cases started in the two year period before the 9/11 attack, the typical sentence was much longer, 41 months."

now, i don't have a link to this story, but what about the "shocking" announcement pres. bush made yesterday? really, we've been using secret prisons? oh wait, that's been in the news for over a year. and, as we keep saying, those techniques that we're using aren't torture.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

rockstar supernova results show

thank my lucky stars. storm large is sent home!


since i was home today at this time, i thought, i'll check out a show i dislike because it's been switched up a bit. that's right, i tuned in to the view. it took me approxiamately one minute before i was fed up with rosie o'donnel. yesterday was her first show, and i guess she told stories about her family. so today started with stories about her kids.

then, abc news broke in to tell us that the president will make a speech later about high ranking al queda detainees being held secretly somewhere. no one knows where. but they're being sent to gitmo, where they can be tried in military court.

thank you abc for that break in. i probably would have gutted out a significant part of the view just to blog about it. now, i'll change the channel.

fashionable guy

i like the new pope. he's got pinache. who doesn't like a guy with several different hats (see march 15)?

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

rockstar supernova and other news

down to five. they're all working on songs with the band. each gets to do a song from another band, and their own individually written one.

dilana - "behind blue eyes" by the who. she hurt herself somehow before the performance and so she's limited in performance (they said a torn calf muscle. if that's true, and she really tore it, ballsy.) pretty nondescript performance. "supersoul" average rock song.

(can i mention that i hate storm large right now. every week she's up, singing along, making a jackass out of herself during other people's songs. she's like those moms at beauty competitions doing the motions along with their kids. or like some attention hog that always wants all eyes on her. and unfortunately the camera complies.)

magni - "back in the ussr" by the beatles. sounds flat and uninspired. "when the time comes" - stp'esque. when asked why the performances were the same, magni's response, "both were done by me." funny. my thoughts during, meh.

storm large - "suffragette city" by david bowie. dave navarro played on the song with her. adn outshined her. i think the camera was on him almost as much as her. not good when you're trying to win a competition and you more or less disappear on stage. heather says she looks fat like fergie duchess of york or kirstie alley. i just think she sounds terrible. and still am confused how she's still in the competition. "ladylike" - started out interesting. then went downhill. basically the song sums up how she's manish. and heather said it had the best hook so far of the original songs.

lucas - "living on a prayer" by bon jovi - stripped down version. really good. and he resisted the urge to just jack it up @ the end, into some real loud type version. this reminded me a bit of radiohead. "headspin" - decent song. in my opinion, should have followed his mellow song up with some a bit more aggressive.

toby - "mr. brightside" by the killers. uninspiring. felt like he was going through the motions. "throw it away" - this song seams like something supernova would actually do. really good. i guess he was saving it on the last song, because this is good. and he knows how to move the crowd.

i have to think that toby and lucas did best tonight, and toby's got to be the favorite to win it all.

finally, in other news, bush compared bin laden to hitler. who's this bin laden guy? i thought that sadam hussein ordered the attack on the trade center. wasn't sadam hussein behind 9/11, forcing us to invade iraq and start the quagmire of our generation. i thought it was sadam hussein and his nuclear weapons that started the war on terror. what's that you're telling me? none of those are correct? so, i guess that since we found sadam's wmd's and brought functioning democracy and peace to iraq we're now going to find this bin laden character. wait, we didn't accomplish those other things either? seems like president bush has a lot to accomplish over the next two years.

also, tom cruise and katie holmes unveiled there baby. who? cares.

ruminating on police

over the weekend, many of you may have heard about this story about steve foley. police in the san diego area shot foley, a member of the san diego chargers football team. heather and i were discussing this case while watching some program on msnbc about video and policing. the program looked @ several different angles of how video has helped and hurt police. from incidents like the rodney king beating to in-cruiser cameras that protect police against false accusation, it was all there. but, it reminded me of this incident that recently has had some fallout although it happened about 3 years ago in miami (here is also a youtube link with complete video footage & some intview with lady involved).

today, i saw a link to a story about houston's police department. here's the headline, "one in three shootings by law enforcement officers in harris county since 1999 involved unarmed people. the chronicle examined more than 180 such shootings and also found 20 percent of those hurt were never charged with any crime. see what's happened in your neighborhood." it then gives you a database that you can access.

i know that law enforcement is a high stress and often thankless job. so, to all you cops out there doing it right, thanks. but i'm also sickened when i see so many stories about the abuses of public trust.

immigration debate

today in fresno there was a rally calling for a new immigration bill to be written. the rally was pro-immigration, and i had considered going. i think the whole immigration situation in our country is something that needs to be worked out. i'm for a pretty open policy.

tonight, i saw a story about immigration in other countries. interesting. in the story, it seems that the big issue is the recent arrival of so many africans. yet, the article also points out that africans make up only a small percentage of yearly immigrants to spain. now, it's slightly different here, as most of the people coming are actually from mexico, and most anti-immgration advocates focus on this group.

i know i'm sorta rambling here, but we're a nation built on the idea of immigration, have embraced the idea of "give me your poor, huddled masses, etc". i don't know what sort of philosophy spain has held in the past, but it sure doesn't seem to echo that sentiment. then again, neither does ours now.

Friday, September 01, 2006

a dress for scott

well, it's not one for him to wear, but one i knew he'd appreciate.

a great quote

i came across a great quote today. it's from edward r. murrow, via keith oberman (and i picked it up somewhere else)

"We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty," he said, in 1954. "We must remember always that accusation is not proof, and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law. We will not walk in fear - one, of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of un-reason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men; Not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate, and to defend causes that were - for the moment - unpopular."

link that has video & transcript.