Monday, January 30, 2006

state of the union

just curious, are you planning to watch the state of the union tuesday night @ 6?

nimby, n.w. fresno, & target

target wants to build a store in northwest fresno. okay, that's not outstanding. but, they've already been turned down by the planning commission. and, the land they want to buy is zoned for homes and office buildings so to change the zoning would require changing the city's general plan. okay, that sort of change wouldn't be that unheard of, but still. neighbors are understandably divided on whether or not the store should go in. calhoun, the district councilman is against it, and feels it'll be turned down @ the city council meeting on tuesday.

(read a little more here)

i wonder if those who don't want the target at their intersection go to one of the many others in fresno. or do they prefer walmart? man, i love nimby.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

anticipating this week

lots of good stuff on tap this week:
tuesday, we start a new home bible study @ church.
thursday is art hop. and it's the premiere the next round of survivor.
friday we've got a throw meet @ fpu.
saturday, well, i'm sure something fun will happen.
sunday, superbowl. go seattle.

today was the screen actors guild awards. now, i don't have cable so i didn't watch it. well, honestly, i wouldn't have watched it if i did. but, the winner for the best cast goes to...crash. awesome. beat out brokeback mountain. now, i haven't seen that one, but i did see crash. i think that either crash or walk the line was the best movie i saw last year. as i think about it, crash was the best. but, i figured that it wouldn't win awards, don cheadle would get screwed, and i'd have another thing to whine about. here's how good of a movie it was: roger ebert said it was the best he'd seen last year. roper, his partner had it @ #3. it's that good. of course, some hack @ said it was one of the ten worst movies of the year. really, where you watching the same movie?

congrats to the us mens national team. they won today, beating norway 5-0. i only watched parts of the game. heather was watching pelican brief at the same time, so i was flipping over on the commercial breaks. got to see one goal, so i was happy.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

175 and still kicking

this is my 175th post. they haven't all been good. but i'm pretty happy with the time and work i've put in here.

here's a great article on torture. of course, maybe i only think it's great because i agree with it. and, i was actually surprised of its source.

today, i spent a good portion of the afternoon doing something i never thought i'd do as a kid: smoking crack. no, just kidding. i was watching golf, the buick invitational to be exact. i've been playing golf now for about 8 or so years now, and still stink. but, in the last year i've really begun to enjoy watching golf. so very odd. although i don't think i've heard him today, david faherty cracks me up. okay, i must not have been paying attention because he just chimed in. funny irish accent, says quirky things, tells jokes, great announcer. btw, sergio is playing very well today. he's about to take a putt for the outright lead. lefty and tiger are also playing well. i still don't like tiger. well, that's not entirely true. i like him as a person, but i just don't want to root for him. maybe i'm a hater because he's such a frontrunner, but i tend to pull for lefty. that and he's a nike shill. but i do like what he's done for the game.

i can't believe so many media outlets are fawning over oprah for talking smack to the author of a million little pieces. a few weeks ago, she was still supporting him even though it was already apparent that his book contained many embelishments. so, now she's reversed her course, and made a big stink on her show. big freakin deal. "But in true television talk show fashion, Winfrey then used Frey confessions to offer a happy ending. He may have lied, but saying the truth on national television could set him free." oprah, you are not jesus. hell, you're not even kanye west. i don't like you very much.

so, to sum up #175, i don't like torture or oprah, i have mixed feelings on tiger, i like watching golf, george bush hates midgets.

Friday, January 27, 2006

movie review: rize

tonight, heather and i watched the movie rize. i enjoyed it.
here's a summary i lifted from
"Documentary film that chronicles the practice of "Clowning" and "Krumping", radical, energetic, and vividly extreme dance forms that have taken on enormous importance for black communities in south-central Los Angeles on many levels: as serious forms of spiritual and artistic expression, as alternatives to gang participation, as a means for knitting social fabric. Various personalities within the dance movements are profiled."

okay, that's a pretty bland, but accurate, description of the movie. frankly, i'd have much rather have watched a movie break dancing, as i'm a little more into that. but, it was definately cool to see the people in the movie doing their thing, where they come from, how they started, and so on. one scene in particular really stood out: it was a montage of old footage of african tribal dance and a sport similar to wrestling intermixed with these dancers doing their thing, as well as one particular guy out on playground. the guy on the playground was going slow, working through moves, but the whole shot was silhouetted. really nice looking. the piece was visually stunning, as well as a good connection point.

the film also did a good job showing people doing their best to find another way of life, a positive way, in the midst of so much negative. yet, they also have to deal with very real points of life. after a big competition, one of the organizers receives a phone call telling him how his house had been robbed during the show. others talk about leaving a show and seeing someone get shot on the corner. finally, one of the younger people in the film dies in a random shooting. it's not shown, but they include news footage and interviews with her family.

story of my life

a friend asked me a question yesterday. i was at practice, working. i had rode my bike, with my snazzy blue clip-in adidas on, so i was currently wearing some throwing shoes.* anyway, my friend asked me,
"are you ever going to use those shoes for what they intended for? in a competition?"

my reply, "no. probably not. i want to throw. i enjoy throwing. but i don't want to do all the work to throw well. like, train properly. lift weights."

there was a little more after, but that's the gist of it. as the conversation came to mind today, it became apparent that these few lines were did a great job to display the way i feel a lot of the time. i want to be at place x in life, but am currently at place y. it will take a good amount of work to get to place x. i guess i'm stuck at y.

this isn't completely true of my life. frankly, i'm doing the work to get to x right now. but, as it drags on in time i wish i was already at x. really, i wish i was at x 3 years ago, but hey, it takes steps.

so, maybe i will eventually do some training and throw competitively. but, i'll probably just keep sitting on my rear.

*the throwing shoes pictured here are blue. mine are the one of the previous releases, in white.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

some more thoughts

okay, the best quesadillas just have a little bit of cheese. too much cheese and it starts to taste weird. so, just a thin layer makes yummy eats.

tonight's csi had an error that is often seen on movies and tv. what was the error? well, there was a dead lady (surpise) and grissom lifted some fingerprints, or at least tried to, off of her eye lids. they noticed smudges on her mascara or whatever. the problem is, your eyes don't stay closed when you're dead. even if you push the lids closed, they re-open. come on csi, you're supposed to be a show about scientists, try and get it right.


ethan supplee is a funny guy. doing a great job on my name is earl. was also good in american history x and remember the titans.


anthrax's cover of got the time by joe jackson was great. the original's not bad either.


innocent until proven guilty

yeah, that doesn't mean crap in our society. accused of a crime? good chance your job will lean on you, help you out the door, and work to eliminate traces of you being there.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

funny quote

my wife heard a funny quote today on the radio. i can't say that it's true, but it's funny. well, i thought it was funny.

"there is more evidence linking bush and abramoff than hussein and bin laden."

which brings me to a story i saw in the paper today. the president assures us again that all the wire tapping is legal.
"If I wanted to break the law, why was I briefing Congress?" he said.

well, you also said that brown was doing a good job down in new orleans after the hurricane. he was asked to resign during that crisis.

you also said that there was clear evidence of weapons of mass destruction. well, you haven't been proved wrong yet, but, there hasn't been any found yet either.

and, your administration has asserted many times that iraq was linked to bin laden and 911, despite continued evidence to the contrary.

so, yes, i'm skeptical when you claim that the eavesdropping is all on the up and up. i have trouble not wondering who in the government is watching my internet usage, my spending habits, my reading materials, my phone calls. and to those who's answer is, "if you don't have anything to hide you shouldn't be worried," when did the government decide who i could talk to? i thought we had a policy that allowed people to say and think what they want, even if it differed from the government line. and, how many of you were calling the government jack booted thugs in the wake of waco, ruby ridge and other similar events. of course, where was the outcry on the left for maintenance of civil liberties at that time?

"I'm mindful of your civil liberties, and so I had all kinds of lawyers review the process," Bush told the Kansas gathering."

i guess that settles it.

vampires & sharks

i realize the news has to do their job. shoot, it's their job to report important events in the world and the community. but, really, there are ethical ways to do the job.

here's the story. i guy i know, who taught a biology class i took, and was a coach of mine, has been accused of a crime. fine, that's news. report it. but, it is wrong to interview college kids that have no idea about the crime. seriously, news hadn't even broke on the story on campus. so, you suckered some kids into making a comment by asking if they were involved with track. one thought he was going to be asked about the upcoming nationals on campus. you could have just taken the official response from the university, the statement from the police, and made your story. but you want sensationalism. you want shock. you want to catch someone saying something stupid. well, i'm glad that the two students i saw had good responses. i'm glad that the university had a good response. i'm also glad i didn't yell vampire or sharks at you when i saw you waiting for someone to jump. that wouldn't have been very nice of me.

"let's concoct more lies." - tabloid reporter, tonight's syndicated simpsons episode.

my awaited reading of simmons on kobe (how's that for a title?)

"On his 666th regular season game (seriously), Kobe scored 66 percent of his team's points. For the first time in the post-Shaq Era, Kobe has an identity beyond "Selfish gunner who destroyed a potential dynasty." He's the most exciting player in any professional sport."

hmm, maybe kobe's real name is damien, and the endless seas referred to in the omen is professional sports. could he be the antichrist?

"Not only is Mamba hogging the ball to a historic degree, just about everyone else on the Lakers seems OK with it. It's their only chance to win.

(One player seems to be resisting: Poor Lamar Odom, who's going to bludgeon himself to death with Phil Jackson's blank clipboard soon. When they're running the offense in which Odom sets up Kobe from the top of the key and then stands in place like a third base coach, I keep waiting for Odom to rear back and fire line drive baseball passes at Kobe to try to knock him unconscious. Frankly, there's still time.)"

poor lamar. he got his career on track, moved back to l.a., onto a team that has such great history. he was given a chance to play in a great market for a great franchise. unfortunately, he plays with a guy that won't give him the ball.

"The game made me feel the same way I felt while watching "March of the Penguins." I had always wondered what a penguin's life was like; once I knew how depressing it was, I wanted to sit in my garage with the car running. Sometimes it's almost better not to know these things. And Kobe's 81-point game was a little like that. For a perimeter player to score that many points, you have to hog the ball to a degree that's almost disarming to watch; it almost stops resembling a basketball game. More than Kobe's rising point total, Dad and I found ourselves fascinated by his icy demeanor, the lack of excitement by the guys on the Lakers bench, even the dysfunctional way that his teammates were killing themselves going for rebounds and steals to get him more shots."

i wish i'd seen the game, because i'd like to have seen how his team reacts to him. and really, is the game plan by chief triangle, "just get the ball to kobe, or you're on the bench,"?

"The best reaction belonged to Jackson, who seemed amused, supportive and somewhat horrified, like how Halle Berry's husband probably looked after sitting through his first screening of "Monster's Ball.""

that's a great line.

"...when I was watching ESPNEWS, and the graphic from the Lakers game popped up on the bottom of the screen. They flashed the Lakers final score, followed by something like, "BRYANT: 81 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists."

And I remember thinking two things:

1. "Holy crap! 81 points! 81 freaking points! Wait, that's a lot of points!"
2. "Two assists ... now that's comedy."

Maybe this was Mamba's ultimate destiny: One-man scoring machine, gunner for the ages, the real-life "Teen Wolf." Future generations will remember him for the 81-point game and his awesome 2005-06 scoring binge, not for being the second-best player on three championship teams. Hey, that's what they should remember. After all, plenty of NBA players have three rings. Only two NBA players have ever scored 81 points in a game. One is dead. The other lives on."

second best player...awesome. wait and see if he can do more.

short take on age

here are some facts about me:
17 years 5 months younger than Drew Carey, age 47
14 years 5 months younger than Michael J. Fox, age 44
11 years 0 months younger than Calista Flockhart, age 41
6 years 9 months younger than Jennifer Aniston, age 36
2 years 10 months younger than Alyssa Milano, age 33
2 years 1 month older than Colin Hanks, age 28
7 years 9 months older than Mila Kunis, age 22
15 years 8 months older than Madylin Sweeten, age 14

and that I was:

2 years old when CBS introduced Dallas
5 years old during the first airing of Hill Street Blues
6 years old at the time the first Cheers episode was televised
10 years old when L.A. Law was first aired on TV
11 years old at the time the series Married with Children began
14 years old when Seinfeld was first televised
15 years old in the month Home Improvement began
18 years old at the time the TV series Friends began
20 years old when Everybody Loves Raymond first aired
23 years old when Who Wants To Be A Millionaire began in the US

want to know facts about you?

Monday, January 23, 2006

lazy monday

here's a take off on the snl lazy sunday/chronicles of narnia rap. it's okay, definately not as good as lazy sunday is.

here's yet another called lazy monday. it's just a recreation of the snl featuring some ten year olds. not as good as either.

best yet, here's a video featuring some little kids doing the lyrics, but it's got the original video.

another funny vid

this one is a guy's submission to project greenlight. funny little clip of a guy breaking an important ten rules.

and another thing

oh yeah, watched snl again this weekend. dang, it sucked. but, as i was floating around the internet i found this gem. so, my theory is this: these guys can make great short videos, but their skits are terrible. and i mean terrible. here is an example of how bad it currently is.

Sunday, January 22, 2006


so, i've discovered over time that most of my bloggin friends don't update over the weekend. this isn't always true, of course. i even noticed that i tend not to blog much between friday afternoon and late sunday night (which is right now). so, here i am at the end of another weekend.

friday night several of us went and kareoke'd @ tokyo garden. i always enjoy this. really, i feel alive on the stage, singing some song. this time was sorta odd, as tokyo was full of a large birthday party. mostly people older than ourselves, and not regulars. if it was full of regulars, i wouldn't have felt a thing, but i was nervous performing in front of completely new people. so, i started w/mustang sally, in homage to wilson pickett. i did some other stuff, and had a good time. finally, i was really bummed that the machine glitched during ghostbusters. i really enjoyed clowning around with that song until the words disappeared. hmmm, maybe it was a ghost.

saturday, we watched four brothers and played some cards. good times, came out ahead.

today, watched the afc championship game and then off to church. i was sad to miss the seattle/carolina game, as it was the one i wanted to watch. congrats to pittsburg & seattle. of course, all sorts of people will be talking about how no one will watch the superbowl, numbers will be down, etc. shoot, i just don't understand that line of thought. most years, my team isn't in it. yet, i don't think i've ever missed the game.
later adam came over and we wathed the omen. decent movie. creepy at points, goofy at others. and, it affirmed my distrust of dogs. and hopping fences with big pointy spikes.

the other day, i was talking with someone about the west wing. today, i found this on la. times. answering our questions about the future of the show.

in other news, mamba scored 81, the rest of his team scored 41. they won, and it's not surprising that mamba continues to pour in points with little production by the rest of his team. i am a little surprised that they're third in their division. really, it can't be good to have a guy on your team that rarely passes, that always looks for his shot and then takes it, that doesn't do anything to make his teammates better. sure, he scores a lot, and will shoulder the responsibility, but the last two championships were won be teams that complemented one another.

finally, one of my favorite writers was wrong yet again about carolina.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

another opinion

i'm sure that this will be all over the internet, but i thought i'd include it as well. it's not as official as a papal bul (sp?), but it weighs in.

rest in peace, wilson

wilson pickett passed away.

ride sally ride.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

lost game

so, i was looking for the video for lost:the musical from a recent episode of jimmy kimmel. didn't find it, but did find this.

update - i found it. on youtube

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

rest easy

all you haters of intelligent design, rest easy. that school in lebec, gorman, grapevine, where ever, has decided to pull the plug on thei philosophy of i.d. class. they couldn't afford the legal fight.

in the sun

the first episode of scrubs tonight ended with a song called "in the sun" by joseph arthur. it's a great song, super nice lyrics. the funny thing is, i've heard it before but i don't know where. i don't have any of his records, it's not on any soundtrack i have. and yet, i know for sure that i've heard it.

anyone know where?

art update for real this time

these are two pics of one of my current pieces, tenatively called ripple. the painting is flipped from how it will be showed, as i had to turn it over to paint the whole ginormas canvas. okay, i flipped the top one in iphoto, it's also taken without a flash.

Monday, January 16, 2006

straight as a one dollar bill

dr. teeth says hello!

i was on a blog i read somewhat frequently, and she was asking people to de-lurk (introduce name is ed, and i'm a grad student, i like to paint, uh huh...wait a minute, when did this become a high school cheer?). anyway, one of the questions people were asked was who was their favorite muppet. and i instantly thought, what's the band leader's name? found dr. teeth, and then went looking for pictures.

(reverend lovejoy just said he couldn't put a hamburger on a hot dog bun. do you know why?)

so, thinking about dr. teeth, i was reminded of my desire to own one of these:

coming soon to my head...the homburg hat, aka the godfather hat. i've loved this hat ever since i saw it on michael corleone's head in the godfather. his was a dark gray, but i'm looking @ the black one.

and for those of you who know how much i love the guayaberas, is it too much to wear a suit?

Sunday, January 15, 2006


boy howdy. i was sure glad that tweety lost today. i enjoyed seeing the manning face over and over as receivers ran "wrong routes" and peyton's passes floated harmlessly to no one. and seeing him get sacked several times. i'm sure he's blaming the kicker for missing a long, but makeable field goal. never mind that his arm flapping and giant head didn't produce much all day. it was an enjoyable game, but i don't know if i'd call it great. some things i'm curious about:
1. does tony dungy feel punk'd by tweety? he sent in the punt team, tweety waved them off. i know they let peyton run the show on field, but i don't know if i'd stand for that sort of crap if i was head coach.
2. what were the officials thinking on that interception that got overturned? there have been some bad calls over the weekend, but that one stunk. clearly the ball was caught, under control, and was fumbled as the defensive player attempted to get up. really, the reply cbs showed over and over demonstrated this. and then the ref called it an incomplete. that sort of stuff really makes you feel like the game is rigged, or at least that the nfl is pulling for some of its "stars" to be in the big game. really, the nfl may not have any of the marquee players in the superbowl. it could be denver vs carolina. who are they using to advertise that game. or shoot, maybe seattle gets in but doesn't have shaun alexander (concussion). the nfl better hope that pittsburg gets in and they can ride the roethlesbergerrrrrr/bettis bandwagon. and that alexander is back next week.

then, i was watching fox's pregame. what happened to jimmy johnson's hair? it looks like someone thought, "jimmy needs to look hip. let's give him a young hair cut." unfortunately, it's all spikey and stupid looking. johnson is known for his hair like pat riley is. and now, he just looks silly.

now, a little bit for jay. dr. bronner's soap is an interesting little product i used for a while when i had dreads. it's also very popular with the raft guide set (there was some in jay's bathroom when we were there). if you ever find a bottle of the stuff, take time to read the labels. craziest bunch of gibberish ever. reads like a bad translation. click here to enjoy some of their bizarro stuff. really, this is how it reads.

finally, i'm glad the "people" accused of beating some homeless men down in fla. turned themselves in. i use the word people loosely here because i'm not sure of their humanity. i fully believe in the chance for redemption, but (expletive deleted), these kids seem a long way from deserving it. really, beating three people with a bat for no apparent reason is about as bad as it gets. one is dead and the other two are still injured. and why? no answer yet. and i'm sure if we ever get one it won't satisfy.

you wanna come in for coffee?

baghdad burning has a great post. you should read it. (4/12/06)

the patriots lost today. hopefully the colts follow suit tomorrow.

saturday night live sucks. at least most of the time.

the cards didn't go well for me tonight.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

lost, the musical

okay, another reason i watch nightline is because it's on between the news and jimmy kimmel. kimmel is a darn fine show that i love to watch.

tonight, kimmel was talking about the popularity of the tv show watch. i didn't care about the first season of lost. then, i got hooked during the summer reruns. now, i'm in for it every week. kimmel mentioned that his last time in nyc he saw ads for lost:the musical.

okay, it's a spoof skit they did. holy crap, funny. dang funny. almost undescribably funny. maybe it'll hit or one of those other websites that's got video clips soon. then you can see it too. if i see it out there, i'll link it here.

Friday, January 13, 2006

prayer, praise & rock n roll

let me say that i love the current incarnation of abc's nightline. as a youth, i would have never watched nightline. really, a late night news show? when i could be watching letterman (college years)? but, in the last year, i've really grown to enjoy the show. not to long ago, ted koppel stepped down. he'd been the host since the inception of nightline during the iran hostage crisis. the sorta had different people as the solidified the current hosting group. and they've done a great job. anyhow, i was catching it, and tonight they had a report using the title above.

it was a brief look at newer, untraditional church styles. now, this is nothing new to me. but, for a lot of people, eyes are being opened. society, including the church, is undergoing change. it's not uniform change, but we are shifting between modernism and post-modernism. shoot, i had an art prof in college tell me that the demarcation date for postmodernism is 1983! i don't know if the shift started then, but it is happening. and it's good. not to say that modernism is bad, dead, anything. frankly, modernism has been great for the development of society. and yet things keep changing. but all change takes time, can be difficult, and will have people that knowingly or unknowingly resist it. back to the report: included in the report was an interview with brian mclaren, author and guru for the emergent church.

unfortunately, as any outsider does, they pretty much only focused the externals. "they've got individual stations for prayer and communion. they pod-cast. etc." these aren't bad things to note, but really they miss out what the emergent church is doing. simply lighting candles and incense, having stations, and being tech savy don't make you postmodern/emergent. if it's any one thing, i'd say that being missional does.

the other thing that i sorted winced at was the report saying that the emergent church is rebelling against the mainline church. i disagree. most every author in emergent circles say that they're not trying to rebel, or that what the previous/current church has done is wrong. what they are saying is that the strategies to speak to our generation are different than the ones of the previous. church and society of today aren't exactly like 50 years ago, 200 years ago, or 1000 years ago. the message of the good news remains the same, but the vehicle does change. so, if i consider myself a part of this next wave of church, it's not because i'm shaking my fist at the "old people". or because they've got it all wrong, i'm doing something new and different, and i'm right. no, it's because i'm trying to share what i know in the way i know.

lies my teacher told me

that title is a from a great book by james loewen. anyway, as i perused the news, i saw a headline about the donner party. you know them, the group that was trying to make it to california and get stuck in the snow? then they ate one another. except, evidence is suggesting something different. read here.

of course, some people may just consider this revisionist history.

art update

today was going to be an update on my latest painting. but, i encountered a bout of laziness and didn't take the picture. so, imagine the big blue painting i've been working on. only now, there is a little more blue on it. it's coming along slowly. i just haven't put any time in.

i think i need to schedule a little more of my life. like, force myself to work on school for a certain amount of time and paint for a little bit each day. it's a very unromantic way to look at living, but if i don't i just do the same stupid stuff every day. that stuff being wasting time pushing the next blog button in the top corner or watching tv i don't even like.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

you just left the box?

so, i was reading toothpaste for dinner. yesterday's comic was called 'leave this box here' or something to that effect. it was making fun of fedex's policy of just leaving the package when no one answers the door.

recently, i've ordered several things, some of which were delivered by fed ex. never have i answered the door for them. and, they just left the box on the front porch. which always makes me think, "someone is going to steal that." really, we live on a busy street, with lots of foot traffic. any number of people could just walk up, grab the package off the door step, and keep walking.

i just can't figure out why fedex has a policy that is so different from ups and usps those other two won't leave a package unless you're there. like, say i have a book coming from amazon or some other provider. the post guy leaves a note that tells me to go pick the package up from the post office because it was too big to fit in our mail slot. i feel good about that. ups, they leave a note that tells me when they'll try to redeliver or i can go pick it up. but fedex, they just leave it. at least on one of my recent orders, the delivery person put the package in the bushes by the door step so it was sorta hidden. damp, but not just sitting out in the open. today, they just left it on the doorstep. i don't know how long it was there, but i was gone from the house for about 2.5 hours. so, could have been a very short amount of time or a very long one.

hey, i still got the stuff, so why am i complaining? well, i do think it's an odd policy they have going.

apology accepted?

well, pat decided to offer an apology. israel still seems pretty upset.


this weekend, it seems like everybody is going out of town. except me. we've got a track meet on saturday, and another on monday. so, i've got stuff to do, but don't know if i'll have anything to do in the evenings. heather is going to san diego to visit with family. her bro and sis inlaw will be here from texas.

adam is visiting a friend from the north.

becky is visiting her brother and sister and new niece down south.

and me, i'll be home. so, if you are around and want to hang out, give me a call.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

oooh, intelligent design in cali!

well, sorta.

let me tell you a little back story. one night, adam, tim (no link to tim's never updated blog) and i were discussing the whole issue of intelligent design in education. not whether or not it's a valid theory, but about what we teach, how we teach it, when we teach it, and who gets to decide. these are interesting issues, and there is a lot of gray area. anyway, in this discussion, adam said something about i.d. is better suited to a philosophy class instead of a science class. of course, the three of us did not make any binding decisions that night for the state of california.

tonight, i read this article on the l.a. the article is about a group of parents suing the school district in lebec, ca. lebec is a little town on interstate 5. there is a mc donalds, sizzler, 3 gas stations and not much else. well, okay, there's other stuff, but basically it's a little town on the way between things.

the lawsuit is over a class called, "philosphy of design". adam, your wish was granted and we didn't even know. now, we get to see if it really passes the legal muster. even better, the case is coming to...fresno! it'll be initially heard at the u.s. district court in fresno. maybe pat robertson will tell us to never cry out to God in a time of disaster if things don't go patty's way.

i like the final two paragraphs on the article,

"One of the parents, Kenneth Hurst, who has a Ph.D. in geology and works as a scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said in court papers that the class "conflicts with my beliefs a scientist. I believe this class undermines the sound scientific principles taught in Frazier Mountain High School's biology curriculum and is structured in a way that deprives my children of the opportunity to be presented with an objective education that would aid the development of their critical thinking skills."

Hurst, who has children in 10th and 12th grades, said the class also interfered with his personal religious views as a Quaker and "reflects a preference for fundamentalist Christianity over all other religious and scientific viewpoints."

sweet. and as a fellow member of the society of friends, i also dislike extremist views being forced upon everyone. okay, i haven't read the curriculum behind i.d. or this course, but i'm guessing it doesn't line up with my understanding of the biblical text. then again, the course seems to be an elective. so, if a few kids want to sign up, it doesn't bother me.

rant #2

rant one was about jeep. rant 2 is less of a rant, and more of a cautionary post. i'm worried about people in the northeast. out here, we're worried about the rising cost of natural gas. and, it'll effect us. but, out there, people may be in some serious straits. especially the least of these. fuel oil prices have doubled over the last year, and funds to purchase it haven't. some will be weighing the question, "heat or eat." this is true sad situation in a nation as rich as ours. i don't know what the answer is though. is it more gov't price help? how can charitable organizations get involved? what other options are out there.

backwards or circular design

i love jeep. i love jeep. dang, i love jeep. really, i want to own a jeep wrangler unlimited. but, i'm also semi-sensible. 16mpg (on a good day) just doesn't cut it for me. and, as i've discussed with some of you, it blows my mind that a company that does work to encourage environmental sensiblilty amongst its consumers doesn't have a solid product that fits their mindset. really, they encourage people to tread lightly in the wilderness. they want you to be able to get into the back country, have a good time, see nature. shoot, they've had a 4cyl jeep forever. but it only gets slightly better mileage. last year, at the auto shows, they showed off the concept jeep hurricane. and, they trotted it back out at this year's auto show.

really, this is an amazing vehicle. it has independant front and rear stearing. you could drive sideways (crab) or as it shows in the pic, spin in a circle. that's pretty forward thinking. i know, this is a concept. yet, that would be a great tool for the serious 4x4 enthusiast. the drawback is that the hurricane comes with not one, but two v12 engines. are you kidding me? 2, gas guzzling, inefficient v12's? that's not to say you couldn't have efficient v12's. these are high horsepower, heavy duty, butt kickin engines. again, i know this is just a concept car, but did jeep not notice that over the last few years gas prices have soared, suv sales dropped tremendously, and that the big sellers were fuel efficient? maybe you didn't see it last year, but you still don't have anything?

last year, after some thought, i sent jeep an email asking why they didn't have any fuel efficient stuff out, especially a hybrid. several of the companies have credible mileage, hybrid suv's on the market. i don't know about the 4x4 capability, but still. of course, they sent me back a form type email, telling me how they don't discuss upcoming projects, but thanks and keep an eye on jeep for innovative products on the horizon. after that, all they released was a diesel version of the jeep liberty.

andy rooney whined about american companies lagging behind because they keep changing the car names and there's too much name diversity. his argument was ridiculously stupid. american car companies lag behind because they're responding to the dog's tail wagging instead of making it wag.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

you, too, can be replaced

my good friend steve used to be counted amongst the links on the right. he's got a great perspective that i've enjoyed reading. unfortunately, steve stepped out of the blogosphere a while back. but, he got back in, and had some really great stuff. but, alas, no update for a month. so, i've decided to replace him with dana. at least for now. dana has vitriol. well, maybe he's not that, how shall we say, caustic, but he's definately got bite. he's new to blogging and i like reading what he's wrote.

so, take this as a warning, o ye who i've included on the right, you too can be replaced. i know becky was wanting on the list. i'm looking at you johnsons. get to work. and i don't mean in your life. blog for my love! just kidding.

pat robertson should sew his lips shut

i can't believe that i missed this in the news. really, i can't. i think it fell between the cracks of the miners deal and my end of the week plans. but when i heard that pat robertson was suggesting that God was punishing sharon for dividing israel i was stunned. really, i don't know why this shocks me. good old pat told a part of pennsylvania not to cry out to God because they got rid of intelligent design in a textbook. or how about when he called for hugo chavez's assassination? and really, for dividing up land? land that in no way represents biblical israel? you're telling me that God is punishing a man for working as a peacemaker? the Jesus Christ, whom robertson claims to be a follower of, said blessed are the peacemakers. not punished by God are the peacemakers. and even if i didn't think that robertson was wrong, has he never heard of tact? he alleges that sharon is his friend. really, that's how you speak of a friend in a coma? please never count me amongst your friends. if you truly believe that pat, why not wait until the crisis has passed to reflect?

i'm not surprised to hear that people are condemning these remarks. i'm glad to hear how widespread that call is.

pat robertson's God is very small. i am glad that mine is not.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

one tap for today: munich & poker

yesterday, we watched open water. pretty crazy movie. i kinda enjoyed the low budget aspect to it. it affirms things i already believe: the ocean is full of sharks that want to eat me; i hate large bodies of water, especially if they're dirty on top. after the movie, we went to kareoke. i had a blast. i usually do, but last night was a lot of fun. a bunch of people i knew were there, i sang with different people, by myself, and just had a great time. the only drawback was that my voice was shot about half way through the night. i kept singing though. today it's a wreck.

so, this afternoon i'm going to go see munich. i'm in for a nice, 2 hour and 44 minute depression. i've seen mixed reviews, so i'm going in expecting an intense drama, that may or may not be spielberg's best, that may or may not be too sterile. we'll see.

after the movie, i've got several friends coming over for a little poker game. should be a full table of 8, playing a little tournament style texas hold 'em. it'd be nice to win, but i doubt i win. my buddy woody is coming up from bakos, and he's a pretty serious card shark.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

alarms going off

the other night i was having trouble getting to sleep. i was lying in bed and heard an alarm going off. it's from a business down the street. the alarm is the old school, clanging bell sound. frankly, it goes off far too frequently, and it's usually set off by the janitors. so, over the five years living near this alarm i have become desensitized and don't even look when i hear it going off. within minutes it usually gets shut off or just fades into the background noise.

hearing the alarm going off got me thinking. i ignore this thing that is supposed to alert us to something. it's gone off so often that it has lost its ability to alarm me. i'm fine with this, really. like i said, it goes off too often. but, it made me wonder if there are other things, alarms so to speak, in my life that are going off? and have they been going off enough that i've tuned them into the background noise?

i don't have any real answer here, just the question.

untitled 1999

a post on a friend's blog about her mother and their relationship got me thinking about a poem i wrote in 99. i don't write many poems. but, one day at work i wrote this poem. i can't remember why exactly.

I cried when he was in the hospital.
I cried after every visit.
I haven't talked to him in a long time.

I cried all my life for the one who left me behind.
I always cry when I think about him.
When he's gone will I regret that I didn't try?
Or will I just cry?

And now I cry.

quick thought

i was listening to coltrane today. that guy was great. at one point in the song blue trane it seemed like the bass, piano and drums were all doing completely different songs. yet, it worked beautifully. anyway, it reminded me of something i heard once before: a lot of the criticism aimed @ hip hop were also said of jazz in it's early days.

i'm trying to remember the specifics, but i think it was stuff like: grandiose personalities, celebration of flamboyance, lack of musicality.

rough day in the world

well, it's been a rough day in the world so far. shoot, a rough week. we had the whole mine tragedy. today, i'm checking l.a. times and saw two important stories.

the first, is about ariel sharon. he's had a massive stroke and is barely alive. doctors will keep him in deep sedation for the next 48 hours to allow him to recover. sharon has been the major force behind the moves for peace between the palestinians and the israelis. sharon's illness could potentially lead to his new party faltering and the fragile peace crumbling.

the second article was about the huge death toll today in iraq. the article tells of 79 iraqis and 7 americans who were killed in suicide and roadside bombings. i know it's easy to poke fun, or talk about how that area is much more stable now or that the war is over, but man, i just don't even feel like it. how can you when you read about what's going on over there? i don't know what the gov't can do to make things work out in that situation, but something has got to happen. and quickly. maybe that's why prez bush brought in all the living former secretaries of state.

finally, on the opposite end of the spectrum, the sports guy has a great running diary about the usc/texas game. frankly, usc should have won. of course, that comes down to them actually stopping texas at some point. i admit, i have a west coast bias. that's probably the only reason why i was pulling for sc (i generally prefer ucla). but really, it was a good game between the top two teams. i still think usc has more talent, but if you don't get it done, your talent will still lose.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

ahh, cycles of sleep

i've got myself in a really screwy sleep pattern right now. i've been trying to break out of it without success. can't fall asleep @ night, can't wake up in the morning. something has to give, because i really love tossing and turning for like two hours.

who to believe?

so, i was watching tv (flipping between the orange bowl & scrubs - both great) and saw the crawl on the screen about finding the 12 miners alive, and one deceased. i was surprised, and very pleased. really, that's amazing. as i spent some time later in the evening reading blogs and checking emails, i hit up the news websites i frequent. read a little story on l.a. times about finding the miners. was watching nightline and they were interviewing families of the miners. saw similar story on happened to flip over to drudgereport and see counter story about breaking news, all dead. wha? wha? flip back to la times. no changes. flip back to bbc, front story still same, but top crawl is saying breaking news, possible all dead. meanwhile, i'm still watching nightline, a freaking news program. no updates. check front page says 12 alive. refresh. still same. wait a few seconds. refresh. breaking news, possibly 12 dead. nightline is ending. oh, now they've got a little break in with the westcoast feed. mixed reports, now we're hearing from the mining company that it's true, there are 12 dead, and possibly just one alive. nightline ends, martin bashear doesn't seem to quite know what to say. then they show another breaking news clip to say that 12 dead. so, i flipped to nbc, nada. flipped to cbs, nada, but bill o'reilly is on letterman. i get sucked in, start watching for a while. then the crawl breaks with the news of the twelve dead. flip to jimmy kimmel, which i shouldn't watch but should go to bed but always end up watching for a while. show seems normal, then the crawl with the news.

so, it looks like it's official, twelve didn't make it out. which is terribly sad. i hope that the 13th does make it. shoot, i really hope that tomorrow i'll wake up and find out that over the next 3 hours the news changed and they all made it. if not, my condolences go out to the families.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

will the jay purchase one?

jay's favorite is getting an update. will he finally make the leap and purchase one?

Monday, January 02, 2006

two articles on bush

the online l.a. times had two articles of note today on president bush. the first article compared his presidency to that of james polk. don't know much about that era? well, the article gives a good picture. and, it may even be a fair comparison. i don't know, i think it's easy to point out some events, say, "doesn't that remind you of someone" and not really be making an accurate point. but, the article does create an interesting comparison. lincoln followed polk. who will follow bush?

the second article was about the whole terrorism and spying issue. now the gov't is admitting that it involves u.s. citizens, but if a member of al queda is calling you they want to know why. okay, that's fair. the article also talks about how the acting attorney general @ the time wouldn't sign the change in tactic. of course, he hasn't said why yet.

also in this article was a quote from bush, "There's an enemy out there. They read newspapers, they listen to what you write, they listen to what you put on the air, and they react." that sounds a lot like we're being told to keep quite because our speach may help the enemy. gee, i thought we had a guaranteed freedom to speach. that if we didn't agree with a law, stamp tax, our representatives, that we had a right to voice that opinion. are we only allowed to say affirming things about the government?

review of the ringer

ah, johnny knoxville. what a funny guy. i've enjoyed his work, especially enjoyed many an episode of jackass. i know the idea wasn't his, and that he was sorta just the frontman of the crew, but really, he understood what he was doing. and, i think he's got a good sense of slapstick. i saw lords of dogtown and couldn't figure out who he was until the very end. anyway, he's not the greatest actor, but does i've enjoyed the things i've seen. heck, i've enjoyed articles i've read about him, interviews with him. so, when i heard that he was doing a movie about faking it in the special olympics, i knew i'd have to see it. but, a part of me was worried. really, making fun of mentally challenged people puts you on really shaky ground. it's way worse than watching his crew tip over a port-o-potty. so, i was hoping that they'd tread lightly, appropriately, and humorously.

for those that don't know, my wife works as a school psychologist. she assesses learning disabilities in young children so that they can receive appropriate education. at a district meeting, they were encouraged to see the movie because of the way that it treated people with special needs. it was also approved of by the special olympics.

recently, i was watching ebert & roeper, and they also said that it handled the issue very well, and you never felt that they were making fun of the mentally challenged. they gave it a mixed review (one gave a moderate thumbs up, the other a moderate thumbs down). now, i think that these guys usually do a good job, and i especially trust roeper's reviews.

now, to the movie. knoxville delivers a fine performance. bryan cox plays a generally unlikable character. the premise is this: knoxville gets a raise @ work, has to fire the janitor. the janitor has a big family and knoxville feels bad and hires him to mow his lawn at his own expense. the guy cuts his fingers off, knoxville doesn't have the insurance or money to get the fingers reattached. his uncle, cox, pitches the idea that knoxville could act mentally challenged and beat all these special athletes and he could place bets on it. of course, knoxville is torn over this "evil" idea, but reluctantly goes ahead to get the janitor's fingers fixed. while @ the special olympics, knoxville falls for katherine heigel. she's a helper with the olympics. but she thinks he's a contestant. oh, what will johnny knoxville do? and can he really beat the other competitors?

now that you know the premise, i'll tell you that i enjoyed the film. i think it was well done, and really does show the athletes in a very positive light. it never reduces the special olympians to just a joke. overall, the movie is enjoyable but average. a few problems, but if you're willing to supress the logic of a few things it's not a bad thing to watch if you're interested in a light comedy. (the one that kept sticking out to me is that heigel's character doesn't see through knoxville. she is supposed to have had a mentally challenged brother, and works with mentally challenged. really, you're telling me that she wouldn't see through a guy pretending?)

the review on says that the ringer plays it too safe. huh? how can you do it any differently without being an insensitive jerk? would anyone that has any sense of decency go see a movie that really does make the mentally challenged the butt of the joke? in fact, most of my friends were unwilling to go until i assured them that it wasn't the case. so, it's too safe? the review then goes on to say that it should have done more with true satire & gut-busting situations. easier said than done my friend. again, i'm not saying this was a great movie. it was funny. it could have been funnier. but that's true of a lot of comedies. so, if you're going to say that it was too safe, you've got to either give a better defense of your critique or examples of how it could have been less safe and still humane.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

happy new year

ah, the first post of a new year. feels good. i'm hoping that odd six brings a lot of good things. hopefully, as i graduate from seminary i'll find at least a position as an adjunct faculty.

i think it will be a good year for us.

(hopefully tomorrow won't have much rain. i'm feeling a little cooped up from all the rain we've had here. i'm itching to get outside of the house without getting soaked.)