Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy All Hallows Eve

Well, an official happy all hallows eve today. One of my favorite holidays though I'm sad to admit I don't "celebrate" it. Somewhere along the way I crossed over to being "too old" for Halloween. Sure I suppose I could still dress up but for who really? I don't know any kids in my neighborhood to give out candy, etc. So I have to live vicariously through the photos and stories on the internet and via friends and family. STILL it's one of my favorite holidays, I think mainly because it involves being creative and Making costumes! :) As a kid I used to be jealous of those kids who had store bought costumes. (I was almost always some sort of "bum") but then a few years I got to wear a bought costume... how boring. Going through the "dress up" box was always fun. One year I made a headless costume that I thought was awesome.
Well, enough going down memory lane... Hope YOU enjoy your hallows eve. One thing that always creeps me out... the people who really do celebrate Halloween around midnight. I always wonder how far away from my current location at midnight is someone performing some sort of sacrificial ritual. That gives me the shudders.

In other news... I just read a rumor on reddit that says that reddit was bought out by CondeNast (the people who own Wired magazine and other magazines). Yet another cool website bought up by a huge mega corporation.

Monday, October 30, 2006


just something I found today.
Happy Halloween!!! (a day early).

Ah, mischief night... I remember planning for weeks elaborate ways of catching other mischievous vandals who would try to T.P. our house. One year I hid in the bushes with a hose, and one year I remember spending what seemed like hours waiting in our magnolia tree for a passer-byer. But I never remember actually catching someone. In hindsight (It's taken me this long to figure it out) it was probably just a way for my parents to allow me to go out and have fun on mischief night, without actually letting me go out and DO mischief. (Although I remember one year where I soaped some windows - such the rebel).

Saturday, October 28, 2006


It's the weekend! Yes! Why are they so short though!
Well, I don't recall if I've posted this link before or not, and if I have it bears repeating...
I check this website everyday now and am continually impressed with this person's photography:
Go back a few days and there is an amazing shot of being in a courtyard looking up, with an incredible perspective. I would like to post a photo of it here, but to drive traffic to his site I won't... you've got to see the other photos.
Here's the direct link.

Have a good weekend.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

"Stay the course"


First a little geekspeak: I'm writing this new post using a BRAND NEW version of firefox! 2.0. Upon first glance it's very similar to 1.5 but two things that I really like so far... All text appears a bit larger than before. And (you, my readers may appreciate this more than I) it has a built in spell checker! I've always been too lazy to run bloggers spellchecker so now I can see as I type any mistakes that I make (exactly like apple's applications). I've heard nothing but good about the browser so far check it out over at mozilla.

I've been enjoying the new TV show called Heroes. It's on Monday nights at 9pm (nbc). One side comment: I am a bit surprised at the gore factor on this show, and how it's getting past the censors. I would not recommend this for young kids. It's a show about these group of young adults/teens who are discovering they have "super powers" such as regeneration, flight, mind reading, etc... And we the viewer are being strung along on this ride as each one is discovering their ability and trying to figure out what is going on. It's well written, and since it is based on a comic book style, it of course has a geek factor. (which I like). Check it out if you can.

Then today I read this post! (link below) This comes very shortly after reading one of his other posts... This guy is amazing!!! Who am I talking about? Scott Adams. Ring a bell? He's the cartoonist who draws/writes the popular comic called Dilbert. This guy can pretty much accomplish anything if/when he sets his mind to it! Although I can appreciate the art and humor of Dilbert, I never really got into it. But I have a new found respect for Mr. Adams now. Read this link first, then come back and read this link.

Finally, a cool self promotion... I took part in an event called an art buggy race. I took a bunch of photos (well a friend took some of them too as I was racing) and I've just uploaded them to my flickr account. One of my favorite websites/magazine Make Magazine just picked up the story and used a link to my photos! Cool huh!? Well to me it is ;)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Misc. religious thoughts

I've been away from my blog for a few days so I'm not sure where to jump back in. So, when in doubt... just do.
I went back to church this past weekend. I have remained in touch with one person from the church and I appreciate her keeping in touch. Usually it's her contacting me asking me how I'm doing, but everytime I see her email in my inbox it makes me glad. So, I bit the bullet, and dragged myself out of bed on a nice sunny fall sunday morning. After I do this, I'm always glad I did. But it makes me wonder how many spots in hell will be taken by people who just like to sleep in on Sunday mornings. :)
The sermon that morning was called "Ransomness" (I think that's how she spelled it). It was about a verse in the Bible that talked about Jesus being "our" ransom money. How he was given over to save "us". I was doing well with paying attention to the sermon, but then the preacher mentioned about how you have to be careful with this "ransom" analogy... For example, Who was Jesus ransomed to? Satan? Well... that's all she had to say to set my mind off on a loop of questions. The biggest... question... why? Why did Jesus have to die for us/me? I don't mean like "because it was prophesied" or "because God loves you" - I mean, why or who set up the rule that in order for me to have life everlasting, must someone else die? I mean, couldn't it be something like colecting the pull tabs off of soda cans? Once you hit 3,572 you're in? It's a huge guilt trip really, and I wonder why it's so closely tied to guilt. After the sermon, a group of us gathered to talk about the sermon and whatever else... We had a good discussion (well, they did, I pretty much just listen at things like this. I don't do well in groups). One of the things I learned is that one of the guys is a retired minister, and he calls himself now an agnostic. Then we all joked about what does "agnostic" mean? I just looked it up on wikipedia and no wonder there is confusion around this word. Oh, well, I think in it's basic meaning it means someone who believes there is a god, but that we basically don't know much about Him. I tend to confuse the meaning also with "gnostic" which I've found myself reading about and interested in what they have to say. Anyway, I found it kind of cool that I was in this discussion group from an agnostic retired preacher. (I did hear him preach once and liked his overall style and message).
So, the other day I was surfing the web and I read about a new group of "athiests" that are trying to form a coherent group of non-believers. I saw this on wired and did not read the whole thing (it's long), but it was a bit scary and it made me think... what if all atheiests gathered together to form a group. What sort of influence would they have?
Then to continue on this God thread, last night I saw the very end of Stephen Colbert's interview with Richard Dawkins. It was a pretty good discussion really. The term "intelligent design" came up. I don't know how I feel about this. There does seem to be a thread of logic that I agree with, but I also understand the danger in stretching this too far (such as the "flying spaghetti monster").
All of this really just to say, there has been a lot happening to make me think about God. Which is a good thing.
By the way, I just found the link above for the Colbert interview so I got to see the whole thing. It's great!
Of course I found the link via my daily surf today on boingboing.
Oh, and I just remembered that this past weekend I finished season 2 of HBO's "Carnivale"... I REALLY liked this tv show! I am afraid to look though, because I think there will not be a season 3. ugh.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Another sad day

I just realized my previous post was called "a sad day" and I was going to use that title for todays post. But this is a different kind of sad. This morning I checked Digg and found this INCREDIBLE story (with a youtube video at the bottom). If you check the site now it may be down due to the "digg effect", so give it a day and you should have no problems. Read the story first before watching the video.
Can World's Strongest Dad
But for some reason I also see this as a heartbreaking story as much as a heartwarming story. So it put me in a depressed mood. Then this morning while driving to work, I spotted a small white dog trotting down the side of the highway who was obviously lost. There's something about the look on a lost dog. I was running late for work (as usual) and I've stopped and helped a lost dog before so I know the hassle it can be. Not to mention that the thought crossed my mind that I might scare the dog into the highway traffic. There was one other person who had pulled over to the side of the road, and was standing with the door open, but he was about a block away and really not doing anything. I suppose he was just as confused as I was. So, I thought it's his responsibility now and not mine. I kept driving.
I can only hope that the dog ends up on a smaller road or someone's yard where a neighbor can catch the dog and call the police. But still, I'll be racked with this guilt for some time... This actually happened to me one time before too, and the only way I was able to alleve the guilt was to stop and help the next lost dog I saw. (It was raining, and I had the dog jump into my front seat of my truck). But it was a happy ending, the dog had a tag, and I called the police who came and took the dog from me and delivered to the home.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

A Sad day

Well, it's currently being talked about now on NPR as I write this, and I HOPE this continues to gather news coverage. I also HOPE that someone somewhere will step up and figure out a way to put a stop to this. Yes, I'm talking about the new Bill that the President has just signed regarding the Military commisions.

Here's a good article I found on reddit today on the Washington Post called "A 'Clear Message'". As he points out it's the Democrats too!!! What!? Why have they not stood up to this bill?

I also got an email from the ACLU today urging everyone to join an online petition. (I'm not a fan of these online petitions.) Here's the first paragraph of that email.
(By the way, I saw a good show on Cspan with the president of the ACLU (Nadine something), having a sort of debate with Justice Scalia. He mainted his cool and I thought came off better sounding that Nadine did. She annoyed me because she was interrupting the judge too often, where as he let her speak her piece before responding. Common courtesy. I think the judge "nailed" her (to use a 'colbertism') regarding polygamy. But I digress...
Today, President Bush signed the Military Commissions Act, an Act that stains our nation's legacy as the standard-bearer for the protection of human rights, undermines American values of due process and removes important checks on the President's power.
It just plain stinks.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Art Buggy

Well yesterday was a good day. It was a beautiful fall day. Cool enough for long pants and a jacket, but the sun had a nice warmth to it, making it so you had to roll the windows down in the vehicle so as not to get too hot. I wasn't sure if I was going to post this or not because I don't like revealing too much personal info about myself on the internet. But, the heck with that for now...
I belong to a new group called Make:Philly. It is a group of "makers" (artists, engineers, crafters, hobbyists, etc...) who enjoy a magazine (I've talked about before) called MAKE magazine. Well, Make:philly is the first real group to start up and I'm proud to be a part of it. Well, yesterday (Sunday) was the worlds first ever Art Buggy Race! Why? I have no idea... that doesn't really matter does it. If you ask "why" about most art, there isn't much of a reason for it. So this was something that I decided to sign up for and give it a go. I created my art buggy out of scrap wood and mostly found parts. I had originally worked out an "ink delivery system" using an old mustard squeeze bottle, but later decided to scrap it for a store bought magic marker. It was simple and more efficient than my own home built marker. (BUT it did work). I created a cart approx 4'x6' (including the handles) that had a cross bar upon which I hung several mini-sharpies and one giant poster marker. The markers hung from a string, and when you pushed the buggy it would swing the markers thus creating art. We (A group of about 5 other buggies) gathered at a park in center city Philadelphia and raced around a fountain. We were then judged on several criteria (buggy itself, the final art produced, and the speed of winning the race, and a "crowd favorite"). I made it past round one, and onto round two, to finally lose. It was a fun time and I really enjoyed hanging out with other creative people and doing something plain old "Crazy". I enjoyed the building process too of actually making something original in design to a working model. I have a new found appreciation for zip ties too. Ranks right up there with Duct Tape. I have a ton of photos and will probably be posting them to my filckr account. The Worst part about the whole thing was the fact that I had recruited a friend of mine to actually run for me. I am VERY out of shape and have not ran since about the 7th grade! Well, just my luck, he hurt his back the day before the race so he had to back out. So it was up to me. I felt embarrassed to get out there and "run" which quickly turned into a fast walk. But, What else could I do, so I sucked it up, and proceeded with my fat head held high :) I hope the one person who was video taping the event is kind to me in the editing process.

And on another note...
I found this cool post today on youtube... pretty amazing what this guy has accomplished.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

quiet around here

It's been a little quiet around here (on this blog I mean). Just not feeling much like bloggin lately. It's normal. You tend to go through phases when being a blogger, asking questions like "why am I doing this?" "when your repeat readership is less than 5, what's the point" etc... But then you take a little break, and you start to miss it. You then realize (or remember) that the reason you do this is not for repeat readership, of having fans, of hoping one day to be a famous blogger worth as much as google (HA!) - you realize you do this just for yourself. To vent. To point the finger at subjects you feel the finger needs to pointed at (both good and bad). Then one day you check your stats and you see that 13 people read your blog the other day (those of you who get hundreds a day don't laugh!) and you think it's still kinda cool that someone found your voice in the wind. So, lets see what I can point the finger at today...
I've gotten some recent hits via technorati (great site) regarding some of my diebold voting comments. Someone just posted an anon comment with a clever link (look below).
Then when I checked Technorati to find out where I was listed, I found this link:
It's talking about an upcoming documentary on HBO only a few days before the voting (Nov. 2nd). I'll have to try and find someone with HBO to tape it for me. Although this is great news in getting the word out, I think it a little sad that only paid subscribers will get this message. (And only a few days before the election where nothing really can be done about it). BUT... I hope this will be powerful (HBO documentaries usually are) and will find a more public audience soon (maybe end up on netflix quickly).
From the press release:

The timely, cautionary documentary HACKING DEMOCRACY exposes gaping holes in the security of America’s electronic voting system when it debuts THURSDAY, NOV. 2 (9:00-10:30 p.m. ET/PT) – less than a week before the midterm elections – exclusively on HBO. Other HBO playdates: Nov. 5 (9:00 a.m.), 7 (9:00 a.m., 6:30 p.m.), 13 (12:30 p.m., 10:00 p.m.), 18 (6:00 p.m.) and 26 (1:15 a.m.).HBO2 playdates: Nov. 4 (noon), 7 (11:45 p.m.), 10 (6:30 p.m.) and 15 (3:00 a.m.).

a few more links that caught my attention on reddit today:
Pentagon kept tabs on antiwar group - miami herald
A Parody is considered Terrorism (The site appears down due to heavy traffic at the moment and I can't get the link. I posted the reddit forward link, I hope it works)
No wonder our perception of beauty is distorted
(you'll need flash to see this one).

ok, have a good weekend!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Peace Clock Reset

I checked in on one of the blogs I read on occasion (pinktentacle.com) and found two interesting posts:

Hiroshima resets "peace clock" after NK nuclear test


Jellyfish Invasion in full swing

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Kite Power

Found this link today and thought I'd post it and save it...
I'm all for looking for alternative energy sources. I think one day soon someone will stumble upon the right formula and really make a difference.
So this one was featured on the Wired News site here.
Here's a clip:
Researchers in Italy have high hopes for a new wind-power generator that resembles a backyard drying rack on steroids. Despite its appearance, the Kite Wind Generator, or KiteGen for short, could produce as much energy as a nuclear power plant.

Here's a direct link to the KiteGen Website.

On a side note... I can't believe I let the entire summer go by without getting my kite out once! Maybe I can get a good day in before the winter gets here and it gets too cold.

Voter Fraud

First I read this link this morning about more security holes with Diebold voting machines. (I especially liked the one comment that suggested an open source voting machine be created!)
"Diebold Machine Didn't count votes, but diebold says not to worry: They can tell you the actual vote totals" [via techdirt]
Here's the comment that I liked also:
Why, exactly, has no competitor to Diebold tried to make voting machines that address this plethora of concerns? When I used one of Diebold's machines back in 2004, it seemed to me that the devices weren't any more complicated than, say, a piece of home automation equipment. With enough forethought and testing, shouldn't a startup competitor be able to grab a huge chunk of market share just by capitalizing on Diebold's failings? - Saragon

THEN while checking my daily boingboing I found this link:
"Video testimony of vote machine whistleblower"
You've got to watch the video! I'll try to embed the video in my blog here:

Happy Thanksgiving

As I write this I am officially 10 minutes late in saying Happy Thanksgiving. I just learned that today in Canada is Thanksgiving. It just struck me... I like the idea of thanksgiving more than once a year. Not so much to go the full blown holiday each time, but I like the idea of giving "thanks" on a more frequent basis. I think I'll incoroporate that into my life. The 10th of each month (except for Nov).

Monday, October 09, 2006

Monday ramblings

A few links I've been saving to read at a later date:
What the Amish are teaching America

Eighty Year Old Saved us $800 Billion

Attention US Military personnel

On a lighter note:
Just got a new shipment of tea from Adagio today! Good day!
I got a replacement of a few flavors that I like: Citron Green, Hojicha, And I got some new flavors; Irish Breakfast, and a sampler pack of 4 black teas; Keemun encore, yunnan gold, darjeeling #22, and golden needle.

Saw a pretty good movie this weekend: The Departed. The new Martin Scorsese picture with some big name actors (Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, and more). It was about 25 minutes too long for me, and I was confused throughout most of it trying to figure out who was the good guy and who was the bad guy, but I just went with the flow and didn't worry too much about it. There were a lot of tense moments and some really good acting. The theatre was sold out so I expect this one to clean up at the boxoffice. It was a bit graphic and gory in the violence end but that didn't surprise me being a Scorsese film. Quite a bit of racist comments too, but it was done in character so for some reason it didn't seem as offensive. (did that make any sense?)

And lastly, I went out yesterday on a nice sunny warm fall day and took some new photos. I went out towards sunset and got some nice shots. I tried shooting in a different format, so I need to tweak them before posting on my flickr account, but keep your eyes open in my flickr button bar to the right of this post in the sidebar. I stopped at a roadside farmers market and got some good pumpkin shots. I feel so funny now too walking or stopping in a public area with a camera. I keep wondering who is going to call the police to report a suspicious person taking photos. So far this has not happened but I fear one day it will. How does one prove he's just an amatuer photographer? Maybe I'll make up some business cards just in case.

ok, that's enough for this monday's post. I'll try to get back in the grove of posting a daily post.
Have a good week!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

more politics

First... Battlestar Galactica season premier was awesome!

ok, check out these links:

President Bush Urges Supermarkets To Turn Over Members' Club Card Records To NSA

Return of the King

Friday, October 06, 2006

Battlestar Galactica

Don't forget TONIGHT is the season premier! I'm torn to go out and hang in the city with some fellow MAKERS or stay in and watch the episode.

Much Love

A few days ago I posted about one of my favorite authors: Robert Anton Wilson. He (or is family) put a call out to fans that he was in bad shape both financially and physically. There was talk of him being evicted from his home during his declining health. But the fans have pulled through... Today on BoingBoing Mark Frauenfelder posted a follow up letter from RAW's daughter and a message from RAW himself.

Dear Friends, my God, what can I say. I am dumbfounded, flabbergasted, and totally stunned by the charity and compassion that has poured in here the last three days.

To steal from Jack Benny, "I do not deserve this, but I also have severe leg problems and I don't deserve them either."

Because he was a kind man as well as a funny one, Benny was beloved. I find it hard to believe that I am equally beloved and especially that I deserve such love.

Whoever you are, wherever you are, know that my love is with you.

You have all reminded me that despite George W. Bush and all his cohorts, there is still a lot of beautiful kindness in the world.


Robert Anton Wilson

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Faux news screw up

Yep, I was surprised to see this on the web today. Faux news made a mistake. Gasp. It was just one letter and I'm sure it was some graphic designer stuck in the basement of faux news, who maybe got a phone call right when he was supposed to type an "R" but instead shifted down and to the left, down and to the left, and hit the "D" key instead. It's funny how everyone is making a big deal about it. What gets me is that having the "conspiracy" mindset I don't doubt it for a second that this was planned. I first learned about this here.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

How much sugar in a can of soda?

WOW! I never knew and I should have! It makes me wonder now how many chemicals I've drank from all the diet soft drinks. yuck. I appreciate my tea even more now.

Robert Anton Wilson

I signed on today, and two of the sites that I read on a daily basis had this information. I will copy and paste the info, but I encourage you to check out the link to Douglas Rushkoff's website. It's cool to see all the people rally to help RAW and read some of the well wishes in the comment section. If you've never read an RAW book, I encourage you to. It's neat to see a community rally around a person who has touched so many lives via his art of writing. Get well Robert. 23.
Read his wikipedia entry here:

I hope people I've inspired with my work would band together to help me out in my later years if I needed it. Which is at least part of the reason why I'm sending what I can to support cosmic thinking patriarch Robert Anton Wilson, whose infirmity and depleted finances have put him in the precarious position of not being able to meet next month's rent.

In case the name doesn't immediately ring a bell, Bob is the guy who wrote Cosmic Trigger - still the best narrative on how to enter and navigate the psycho-spiritual realm, and co-wrote the Illuminatus Trilogy, an epic work that pushes beyond conspiracy theory into conspiracy practice. Robert Anton Wilson will one day be remembered alongside such literary philosophers as Aldous Huxley and James Joyce.

But right now, Bob is a human being in a rather painful fleshsuit, who needs our help. I refuse for the history books to say he died alone and destitute, for I want future generations to know we appreciated Robert Anton Wilson while he was alive.

Let me add, on a personal note, that Bob is the only one of my heroes who I was not disappointed to actually meet in person. He was of tremendous support to me along my road, and I'm honored to have the opportunity to be of some support on his.

Any donations can be made to Bob directly to the Paypal account olgaceline@gmail.com.
You can also send a check payable to Robert Anton Wilson to
Dennis Berry c/o Futique Trust
P.O. Box 3561
Santa Cruz, CA 95063.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Don't Vote?

Here is today's political rant. It reflects my own frustration with the "system".
Here's the headline that caught my attention:
Democrats OK 80 Billion More To Kill Innocent Iraqi's

I also finished a great dvd tonight called:
D.I.Y. Or DIE: Burn this DVD.
It wasn't quite what I thought it was going to be about, but interesting none-the-less. I've been enjoying the MAKE magazine and makezine.com website, and I thought this small indy dvd would be similar. Infact it was mostly interviews with artists and musicians. Yes, I know, they are makers too, but not quite the same thing that comes to mind when one says "diy". That aside, I enjoyed this dvd and if you have ever created any sort of art, I would encourage you to get this dvd. If you don't want to buy it (It's cheap on Amazon), I can actually make 10 copies of it to give away. That's right, the creators of this dvd encourage the viewer to share this dvd with others, with minor strings attached, such as you can't show this in a theatre/bar and charge money (without getting their permission first). Pretty cool stuff, and inspiring.

I also spent this weekend making a new project. It's late now, so I won't get into a big explanation, but lets just say it involves me making something, that will make art. I'll blog more about it at a later point. (I still don't know for sure if it will work yet, but I suspect it will.)

Well, the end of the weekend. Depressing. Hope you had a good one. I did.
OH... one more thing... the movie "School for scoundrels" stunk! The funniest parts were in the trailer. Very dissapointing.