Friday, June 26, 2009

Comenting on Michael Jackson

I do not want to speak ill of the dead. Michael Jackson is gone and will no longer grace us with his music, what there was of it. However, the media in its quest for the story of the hour to trump everything else, has chosen to elevate him above all the other significant issues of the day, devoting an unprecedented ammount of coverage to his passing. I don't think he seserves the kind of worship he is getting. I commented as such and I recently received this reply in another blog which I will quote here.

I just happen to disagree with everything you just said. He did try to do the Neverland thin, but greedy bastards ruined that. He drastically impacted the music industry, and practically started Music Videos. I think that the media spends too much time reporting war and bad shit. Turn the channel to CNN is you want war coverage. His earning power was only exceeded by a few like Gates. I think him a much more moral entertainer than most. Odd yes, but an overall good guy.
I'd love to turn to CNN, but all they have is MICHAEL JACKSON coverage!

He ruined Neverland all on his own. He died almost a half BILLION, thats with a "b" in debt. He was his own worst enemy.

I just want to say that we have a lot of problems in the world. We have situations in this country that are being ignored because this obsession we have with celebrity is hogging the airwaves. I can't watch the news lately except for public television because the corporate media in this country refuses in many cases to give a fair shake to many issues that are important. Health Care, the declining standard of living, International affairs, scientific research, the dominance of business and its interference in local politics, our crumbling infrastructure, the reduction of education standards, well, I could go on and on. There are umpteen television shows devoted to the literal worship of celebrity in this country on the mainstream media, the over the air shows. Yet there is not one show devoted to bringing science into the living room on over the air television. You must go to Public Television for that. Jackson's every move was photographed and document on an unprecedented scale. While I would agree that he had a significant impact on the music industry, his bizarre behavior on stage and in his personal life really turn me off. The crotch grabbing and the pedophilia he exhibited alone really turned me off to him. I am proud to say I do not have a single one of his CD's or other media in my collection. As far as record sales go, the Eagles Greatest hits album beats Thriller as the most sold album of all time.

If he was such a great artist, he would have a lot more albums in the list yet Thriller is his one hit wonder in that regard. There are many artists that have a much greater influence on the industry in terms of overall record sales and overall impact than Michael Jackson. He only has a celebrity worshiping public that elevates him above such people as The Eagles, Led Zepplin, Pink Floyd, AC-DC, Garth Brooks, Fleetwood Mac, Billy Joel, and the like.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Quick notes

I met a friend that blogs here at the Zoo today. Out of respect for her privacy and the fact I haven't asked permission to reveal her name I won't. (She is a very private person and I want to respect that). It was a lot of fun and I can say I enjoyed myself in the oppressive heat we have had the past several days. Its like a freaking soup here and you can barely breathe when you are outside.

I'll post some pics when I have the time later but I want to take a nap now to get myself caught up for work. I get the feeling I will have a lot of problems at work tonight. I haven' been able to sleep because the heat is getting to me and so I started playing on the computer. Big mistake cause I get distracted too much and I don't get sleepy. I really should stop this crap.

Anyway, I hope all is well with you and hope that life is treating you well.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Ten Thoughts Tuesday or Wen Woughts Wednesday

Ten Thoughts Tuesday or Wen woughts wednesday... :-)

1. I have to love it when the people who advocate English as our only language can't spell. Witness this banner as Pat Buchanan makes the keynote address. Notice that conference is misspelled. Apparently spell check doesn't work at their printers. Or maybe its a conspiracy. Well, maybe not. Dan Quayle couldn't spell potato.

2. I am taking a test drive tomorrow in a car. Maybe I will get it maybe I won't. The lot has a reputation. They sell great cars mind you, but they really rape you with the interest. They are the place of last resort for most people. I haven't gotten there yet, but I think I am close. Not even Lending Tree will touch me and that's not a good thing. I thought my credit was bad, but not that bad. I need a car though and I have to get one before the end of July when the tags expire. I can't afford to fix the Victor/Victoria and so I will have to retire her. I want a car with better gas mileage and a little smaller. I like big cars, but I can't afford to keep it up like it should be kept. I have a dilemma though in that if I wait till the clunker law comes into effect in August, she might be worth $4500 in a voucher for a new car. Its tempting, but I have no way to get to work if I park the thing. n expediency will win out here I suppose.

3. The park landlady decided my lawn was too high and told me I have 24 hours to mow my grass or they will do it for me and charge me $40 for the privilege. The park requires us to do it every week. I do it every week on payday which is tomorrow. My lawn guy will be here tomorrow morning and I pay him $25 so that will be fine, unless she decides to ignore my lawn guy and do it anyway. I hate living in a trailer park.

4. I have discovered an interesting website about Planetary Defense. Essentially, what do we do if an asteroid is going to hit the Earth?

The videos are very interesting and I hope the recommendations are taken up. I mean, I'd love to go to Mars, but not to look back and see an asteroid wiping out all life on Earth.

5. Work is the same mixture of dullness and boredom it always is. I am torn between wishing something would happen to relieve the boredom and hoping nothing happens to cause me problems. We lost Pottery Barn Kids. They just up and closed with no warning, at least to us. I have to wonder if any of those other 70% off sale signs means we are going to loose other stores in the near future. Watching my Mall deteriorate is getting monotonous, like watching someone you love die a slow death. I have to have a job to pay the bills and get a car. So this job means a lot to me. I have an excellent idea what to do with the old Mark Shale space there at the mall. Make a Barnes and Noble out of it. However, I don't think they would come in given the fact that books are dying as a medium and the bookstore along with them. The shopping mall is also dying a slow death as well. I wonder what the next year holds for us in that regard.

6. God I am depressing today aren't I?

7. I have been watching with interest the events in Iran. I read Astro's blog concerning this and have noted the interesting things that are happening. Someone certainly wants us involved in Iran and soon. The fact that we don't have the resources for such a foolish expedition is apparently not wanting on those who want to drag us into another bizarre expedition to bring Christianity to another part of the world. Tha other fact of the matter is that Iran is running out of oil and they know it, but apparently we don't realize it. It makes the Iranian quest for nuclear power necessary. However, there are those who wish nothing but ill towards Iran specifically and the Islamic world in general and will stop at nothing to make their schemes come true. Accessing the last drops of Iranian oil will apparently satisify these guys. I'm not sure its worth the cost in blood and treasure to access this dying carcass.

8. I am still taking my brother to work every day as well as his kid to school. I must really love my brother to do this, since its clear across town, but at 60 miles a day its getting old. Especially hauling my sorry ass over to his place when its my day off tomorrow. One of the special advantages of working nights is that you go the opposite way everyone else goes to work so you don't have to fight traffic. I have to fight the traffic again and I don't like it. The only good thing about it is that getting there will be halfway to my test drive of the car I want to get. I will had to another place too to check out another car in O'Fallon which is even farther west.

9. I hope once I get my new car to install my ham radio in the thing and then I will be really going to town. So far I have a $150 rig sitting in my trunk not doing anything and a license to do it. Hooking it up into the cigarette lighter is fun only to a certain extent. I want a permanent installation and since I am gettin rid of the Vic, I can't very well install it there. Its a little frustrating if you know what I mean.

10. I have to set myself up to go to see my friend Stephanie next week in Dallas. She says she can't go into the hospital till she gets her storage room cleaned out. I think she's crazy for being that stubborn, but I think mostly she is scared of going into the hospital because she's afraid she won't come out. Anyway, she keeps complaining that she is hurting and sick and does nothing about it. I am so scared for her and wish she would go in, but she wants this done. I hope when this is done that she will finally go in.

Well, I didn't think I had ten thoughts, but I cheated a little on 6, but hope all is well or just better for all my friends here. My problems are trivial compared to what a lot of you all are going through. I hope you are able to muddle through and live your life to its fullest.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Friends and family

Well, the new Multiply 4.0 was doing really great for me. I love the friends and family feature where I can check on just specific people and when I log in, the people I know and love will have numbers with updates of the stuff they have just posted or replied to. This morning though, that disappeared. The people are still there, they are writing, but I don't see the numbers indicating the new stuff. Its frustrating.

Just my luck

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Law of the Tongue

The Law of the Tongue

I just saw the most profound video I think I have ever seen. "Nature" is a program on PBS here which had a show about the unique relationship between man and Orca in an area in Australia known as Eden. Eden was a town which from the early 1800 to 1930 depended upon whaling as a cash industry. Seems it was easy because man there had a helper. The local pod of killer whales would drive the baleen whales into the shallow Twofold Bay and the men would then kill them. The Carcass would then be left overnight for the Orcas. The reward was the Orcas would get the tongue of the huge beast which apparently was a delicacy to them. This came to be known as the "Law of the Tongue."

This history of this relationship went back to aboriginal times and had existed for many years. When the White man came, he as in all things, exploited it for commercial purposes and in the end caused its demise. The aboriginal peoples would attract the Orca by lighting fires and pretending to be lame walking up and down the beach. The aborigines came to see the Orcas as brothers and sisters. Eventually however, the great slaughter of the wales out to sea brought the demise of the practice along with a few scattered incidents at Eden.

The incident that is said to have caused the end was an Orca who had accidentally stranded himself on the beach was slaughtered by a stranger, unfamiliar with the relationship of the Orcas and the whalers. The man was basically run out of town on a rail, threatened with death by the aboriginal population who also ceased their work with the white whalers after this point.

One poinent story points to "Old Tom" which was an Orca who bonded with George, one of the human whalers They hunted together for many years and when the industry started to die, Tom began to starve. Circumstantial evidence suggests that Tom suffered from an abcessed tooth and the infection is what finally killed him. With the death of Tom, the cooperation of the Orcas tailed off. but the industry was dying anyway.

The relationship was a unique one and is not likely to be repeated in the same sense ever. One hears stories of dolphins rescuing humans and Orcas protecting people and this is one of those unique tales of the animal kingdom.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Whose got an Apple


You have to be old enough to remember Abbott and Costello, and too old to REALLY understand computers, to fully appreciate this. For those of us who sometimes get flustered by our computers, please read on...

If Bud Abbott and Lou Costello were alive today, their infamous sketch, 'Who's on First?' might have turned out something like this:



ABBOTT: Super Duper computer store. Can I help you?

COSTELLO : Thanks. I'm setting up an office in my den and I'm thinking about buying a computer.


COSTELLO : No, the name's Lou.

ABBOTT : Your computer?

COSTELLO : I don't own a computer. I want to buy one.


COSTELLO: I told you, my name's Lou.

ABBOTT : What about Windows?

COSTELLO : Why? Will it get stuffy in here?

ABBOTT : Do you want a computer with Windows?

COSTELLO : I don't know. What will I see when I look at the windows?

ABBOTT : Wallpaper.

COSTELLO : Never mind the windows. I need a computer and software..

ABBOTT : Software for Windows?

COSTELLO : No. On the computer! I need something I can use to write proposals, track expenses and run my business. What do you have?

ABBOTT : Office.

COSTELLO: Yeah, for my office. Can you recommend anything?

ABBOTT : I just did.

COSTELLO : You just did what?

ABBOTT : Recommend something.

COSTELLO : You recommended something?


COSTELLO : For my office?


COSTELLO : OK, what did you recommend for my office?

ABBOTT : Office.

COSTELLO : Yes, for my office!

ABBOTT : I recommend Office with Windows.

COSTELLO : I already have an office with windows! OK, let's just say I'm sitting at my computer and I want to type a proposal. What do I need?

ABBOTT : Word.

COSTELLO : What word?

ABBOTT : Word in Office.

COSTELLO : The only word in office is office.

ABBOTT : The Word in Office for Windows.

COSTELLO : Which word in office for windows?

ABBOTT : The Word you get when you click the blue 'W'.

COSTELLO : I'm going to click your blue 'w' if you don't start with some straight answers. What about financial bookkeeping? You have anything I can track my money with?

ABBOTT: Money.

COSTELLO : That's right. What do you have?

ABBOTT : Money.

COSTELLO : I need money to track my money?

ABBOTT : It comes bundled with your computer.

COSTELLO : What's bundled with my computer?

ABBOTT : Money.

COSTELLO : Money comes with my computer?

ABBOTT : Yes. No extra charge.

COSTELLO : I get a bundle of money with my computer? How much?

ABBOTT : One copy.

COSTELLO : Isn't it illegal to copy money?

ABBOTT : Microsoft gave us a license to copy Money.

COSTELLO : They can give you a license to copy money?


(A few days later...)

ABBOTT : Super Duper computer store. Can I help you?

COSTELLO : How do I turn my computer off?

ABBOTT : Click on 'START'.............

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Ten Thoughts Tuesday

I haven't participated in this very much, but I think I probably should do this today.

1. I need a new car. The Victor/Victoria, while she still runs, has many issues and is beyond me financial resources to properly repair. That, coupled with its copious gas consumption, leaves me with very little choice as to a vehicle. I am going to go into the city tomorrow and see what I can see concerning getting a new car. I have settled on either a Chevy Cavalier Coupe, or a Ford Focus ZX3. I want to still get my CNG car eventually, but that will have to wait as I probably could not afford to get it from the out of state locations where they are available. Financing is going to be my most formidable obstacle. However, given the present climate of auto sales, I am hopeful about getting some arrangement provided I can use the Victor/Victoria as a trade in. I have my eye on a wonderful Copper colored Cavalier and failing that, a blue one or a silver one. I am more concerned with reliability first and am seeking a low mileage one, but a reasonable price so I don't have to make lengthy payments.

2. My best friend Stephanie called me today. Her daughter wanted to talk to me. Seems she wanted to know what her mom liked more, Hearts or Angels. I told her hearts, but when I asked why, she said she was getting a tattoo and wanted something her mother would like. I suggested that if she was going to get a tattoo, get something like the cancer survivor ribbon since that is what she is. I didn't try to stop her and I know Stephanie will be mad at me, but at least her daughter is thinking about her and talking to her again. I don't know what will happen once she finds out she is getting a tattoo. I would have thought I couldn't talk her out of getting one anyway. I just hope she appreciates the sentiment.

3. More bad storms moved through the area. Seems like we are gettin to be a magnet for that stuff lately. Its raining too much although, our rain guage shows us fairly normal for the year., even below, but you wouldn't know it from looking at the river and looking outside. Its raining now and its severe to the south, although that mess is moving out of the area.

4. Mall is looking interesting lately. We have gotten a new store (Francesca's) and a couple of Kiosks, plus some other smaller stores opening up. We recently got someone to move into the old Disney Store space. San Francisco Music Box Co. was there for a bit, but reset itself as Go Toys. Go Toys was in the mall before but it was more of a seasonal store, there for Christmas and then closing down after the shopping season died down. Go Toys promises to be permanent. Jimmy'z closed. Jimmy'z was an edgy experimental brand of clothing promoted by Aeropostale which apparently didn't work out as Aerpostale decided late last year to close the entire division. We not have another dead store in the North End of Death as I have come to call it since the closing of Mark Shale has left an enormous blank area in the mall now. We now have three empty spaces in the noth end not counting the old Mark Shale space, plus the Houlihans space which has been vacant for over a year and a half, maybe longer.

The financial problems for GGP are no better. However, the plan of the company seems to be shedding itself of properties to make it a lean, mean retail machine. I don't see that happening anytime soon since the real estate climate makes such a deal difficult. Melven Simon, which is one of the major mall owners in the country other than Westfield, is raising capital for a possible takeover of some of those properties. However, the debt load of GGP makes it hard to achieve liquidity again since the assets almost equal its debts. I have serious doubts, but then miracles do occur.

5. Which leads me to my next item which is getting a new job. Getting a job is probalby one of the hardest things for me to do and given this climate of unemployment now, however, if things don't work out at the mall, I will need to have a plan "B" to be sure I can afford the vehicle mentioned in item 1. While I don't propose to load myself with debt to get a car, I do want a nicer one than I have at present, at least past the year 2000, so new and gainful employment is a priority. I have looked at several convenece store locally and maybe those will offer something. We will see.

6. My little computer is a constant companion now, but I use it very rarely. I use it to keep myself from playing with our office computer on the weekends since I can get in trouble for surfing the net there. On the weekends I am stuck in the Camera room and one the theatre crowd leaves, there is really nothing to do except answer the phone. So I have loaded the little guy with stuff to keep me entertained. Unfortunately, I have almost maxed the HD and I don't want to overload it so I have been buying memory cards which are wonderful and convienent since carrying around the External DVD ROM is somewhat awkward.

7. I have spent the past couple of days on a Nuclear War kick. The who prospect of planning Armageddon that this country did during the Cold War fascinated me to no ends and still does. Several people share this obsession considering the videos posted on YouTube. There was one movie that approached the level of accuracy I believed the SIOP (Single Integrated Operational Plan - essentially the guidebook for the nuclear Holocaust) would have called for and that was "By Dawns Early Light" which was an HBO movie in 1989. Probably the last such move that could be conceived since the level of war probably would not be to that level today. (Although, if we are not careful, we can resume that level of war quite easily). The movie is posted on YouTube for all to see, but I have a feeling, not for long since its copyrighted. There were also some homemade dramas and one that was interesting that combined a propaganda film called First Strike (some footage from First Strike also appeared "The Day After"). There is also a wonderful (if one can call the end of the world wonderful) film made in Britain called "Threads" which was made around the same time as "The Day After". "Threads" like "The Day After" was a very dark and depressing film and after this I think I am all nuked out. I have a wonderful idea though for a sequence to depict the wonderful 30 minutes of the agonizing holocaust by combing the films, editing them together to make a seemless film. But that is a depressing project for another time.

8. My mother and I are having an air conditioning duel. Now I understand that when you get up in years, controlling your body temperature is problematic. However, sweating while you are sleeping does not make rest comfortable and I have not been getting sleep as Mom shuts the AC off to make the temperature more comfortable for her. The room I sleep in gets agonizingly hot and I wake up and its in the upper 80's and I have to go in to turn the AC back on. Thus we duel with the AC while I try to keep it off as much as possible to help her out and to keep the Electric bill low.

9. I have discovered Apocalyptica and I can't get enough of their adaptation of Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters." I simply love that song and its simple beauty as played by these 4 cellists with a taste for Heavy Metal music.

10. Solving my space problem here is going to be a priority for the next two weeks I have contemplated getting some shelving at Target tomorrow to get my DVD's put away which will solve most of my space problem in the back here. The next is moving all Mom's tubs which she never gets into in our rental storage unit and getting some space created in the living room the where you can actually walk around. I hope that I can get this done and my natural laziness doesn't kick in.

I am amazed that I actually got 10 thoughts. I didn't think I had it in me. Hope all is well for you all. God Bless.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Interesting political comic

Just for yucks.....

By the by, Ben Sergent, the political cartoonist who drew that particular picture is in retirement. Forced out by a shrinking and dying newspaper system, the art of political cartooning may die, along with the papers that publish them. They may live on, thanks to the internet, but in the end, the death of newspapers means a cornerstone of democracy may die as well.

About Me

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I am interested in CNG vehicles because they are good for the environment and aren't powered by dead Marines. I still have a little hope for the world. Read the musings and enjoy.