Sunday, December 31, 2006

Talladega Nights

I just watched a funny video last night... "Talledega Nights: The ballad of Ricky Bobby". Was it stupid? yes. Was it crude? yes. Did I laugh? yes. I know, this wasn't oscar worthy "best picture of the year" material, but I was pleasantly surprised when I watched this video last night. Some of the movie skated right up to the edge of being offensive, but some of the bits really cracked me up. What made this movie I think was the comedy team of Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly. John really had some good lines. I think what also let me enjoy this movie the most was that I saw it on the unrated DVD. I think the version that I watched had some extra scenes, that felt very ad-libbed. Then I spent another half hour or more watching all the bloopers, gag reels, and extras. The scene with the knife in the leg really had me laughin...
If you're looking for some mindless fun, have a fast forward button on the remote to get you through the slow spots, then I would recommend renting this dvd. NOT for kids!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Good ridence to 2006

Not that this past year has been particularly bad to me, I feel like it's something I just want to wrap in a plastic baggy, put a twisty-tie on it, and deposit it in the dumpster. I was hoping to have a more coherent thought to post here about the end of the year, but instead I'm just going to post a few random thoughts.
"Highlights" that come to mind about 2006:
War. politics. voting fraud. corrupt politicians. The kicker as the year wraps up now is that the execution of Sadam is all over the 24 hour news networks. I was watching TV at the time when he was supposedly put to death, and Faux News was treating this like a parade. Their "CRACK" team of investigators reported live the news that they heard that the moment had come by reporting that they heard it on another TV show.
As I awoke this morning, I had forgotten last nights horror. So when I turned on the TV this morning and was flipping around, I ended up on CNN, which was showing photos of Sadam with a noose being put around his neck. THEN they showed low resolution photos of the man laying in a sheet with his neck clearly broken. WHY? Such poor taste! Yes, I know he was a bad man. If this man had killed or injured my friends or family I suppose I might be more "happy" about this news. But as a caring human being with something called compassion, I feel bad for all humanity. What a great way to leave 2006 behind huh? [sarcasm].
I'll move on now to some positive thoughts that I can remember about 2006 that relate to me personally:
I got a new camera and am enjoying photography as a new hobby.
I got to go to the MAKER FAIRE out in California and had a blast!
I joined a local Maker group and enjoy the creativity of it.
The Democrats took the House and Senate away from the Reps.
I have taken classes and have expanded my knowledge of Watercolor painting.
I have a roof over my head, food in my refrigerator, and a job that provides me with money to do the things I like (movies, books, art).
My friends and family are relatively healthy.
I am thankful for these things.

Here's hoping that your 2007 is full of the above items (the positive ones I mean).

Here is an interesting post that I found the other day too:
50 things we know now (that we didn't know this time last year) 2006 edition.

Finally, here's a post I found a few days after seeing it on TV... (nothing to do with 2006 stuff)
It's a mysterious object that was found in New Hampshire (back in 1872).

(Grr... I am still unable to post photos to my blog under the new blogger beta version)

Thursday, December 28, 2006

New Book

Woohoo! I finished a book last night! I would like to tell you about it but I have a reason not to at this moment. I will post about it later. (Ooo, sounds so secretive doesn't it?).
So rather than pick up one of the many other books I have on my night table to finish, I pick up a new book!
It is a rather intimidating book. It's a monster at about 600+ pages (though there are quite a bit of photos). And the paper (which is very nice) is rather thick, so I hope I'll be able to push my way through this relatively easy.
The title you ask? It's called "WorldChanging: A Users Guide to the 21st Century" (amazon link). See, even the title is intimidating isn't it? I've only just scratched the surface (I finished the into and the "pre-something or other" by Al Gore) and started the first chapter. The pre-amble (that's what I'll call it) by Al, was good but a bit on the dry side. (much like Al, and his movie). But it was still good. The introduction was much better. It started to fill me with a bit of dread and depression talking about how much trouble the world is in due to our human impact, but it started to offer hope. I'm now encouraged to continue reading this in the hopes of learning more and doing more. I hope I can stick with this book and finish it.
One thing it did that I found encouraging is that it encouraged starting small. Just do one thing to lessen your "footprint" on this earth. I started by turning off the hallway light. It then encourages you to consume less, and be thoughtful about what you do consume. Send a message by what you consume (or don't).
I hope to be posting more as I read on. In the meantime, check out their website (At first glance it looks well designed). OH, the book is gorgeous. It has a dust sleeve with a fantastic image of a bird with laser cut holes (I found this a bit unnecessary though, and with a book about being "green" I thought it a bit hypocritical). The inside pages are also well designed.

Grr... I tried uploading an image of this book but blogger is not letting me upload.
Yeah! It looks like I can upload photos again - 12/31/06

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Disclosure Project

Well, I saw a link over on Reddit that caught my attention... It was labeled: SETI had made contact with extraterrestrials. I used to participate in the SETI at home project (you simply download a screensaver that kicks in and processes data packets of info for Seti). I had done this for probably several years (with a slow computer) and never felt like I was ever contributing. So this headline caught my attention. Well, turns out it was a bit misleading. The video clip is from a guy named Steven M Greer who is in charge or head of another project called "The Disclosure Project". Mr. Greer is simply saying this information second hand and not revealing the name of the contact inside of SETI who made the claim. A bit fishy if you ask me... BUT... On this same video link page, is a link about The Disclosure Project and a news conference it had back in 2001 at the National Press Club. What? Why didn't I know about this? Well, I finally had about 2 hours to put aside today and watch this. I will admit, parts of it is kinda boring in that it's just a bunch of guys standing up and talking. BUT, some of the information they revealed is pretty incredible.
I doubt any of you reading this will want to spend the 2 hours going through this, so I'll try to give you the nutshell version. The Disclosure Project is a group of men and women who have first hand knowledge, and even documents, of UFO's. These people are people that are high up in the military, pilots, DIA officers, Crypto officers with top secret clearance, etc. In other words, these are not some joe schmoe farmer in the middle of a cow pasture who claims to have seen a light in the sky. (not to discount their account, it's just that the witness may not be that credible.). These guys (and gals) during this press conference are giving small testimonies about what they have seen and heard, or have direct evidence of UFO's and that they are willing to give testimony under oath to the US Congress. WOW!
Yes, the typical skeptic (including my skeptic side) will simply brush this aside and say they are all part of an elaborate hoax. But really... I don't think it is. I'm going to go to their website now and see what I can find out about them, and see what (if anything) they have accomplished since this press conference om 2001.
In the meantime, check this short video out here: this is the one about Seti.
Then go and try to plod through the entire video here: This is the 2 hour press conference.

If you have found this post via a search engine, I would invite comments here as to if you think the Disclosure Project seems credible to you (or not) and why.

Monday, December 25, 2006

An Inconvenient Truth

First off... Merry Christmas!
Hope you had a safe fun day.

Well, I decided to relax this evening and watch a dvd. I watched "An Inconvenient Truth". You know the one... the one with Al Gore talking about global warming.
Well, I have mixed opinions on this movie.
First... I hope something can be done for this problem. But I see this as a problem that is too far gone. That's not to say that I will give up, and just start turning my gas stove on for 24 hours a day, or letting my truck run while I'm sleeping. I will still try to do my part. But I will be amazed if somehow we can turn this trend around.
If you have not seen this movie, I encourage you to go rent it. Yes, there are some political stabs and cheap shots. But it is certainly not the focus of the movie.
I was also aware that this was like a large commercial for APPLE computers. (Which Al Gore is on the board of!) But since I am an devout fan of apple, I won't complain too much.
But really, put all that aside, and just open your mind for about an hour or so and listen to some of the facts and figures.
I hope that one day soon, I may switch to a Hybrid vehicle. I WISH I could get a toyota pickup in hybrid, but I may have to put that aside.
Go see this movie.

Friday, December 22, 2006

I would normally break these up into separate posts, but I don't have time...

I just found this website of this guy who does some amazing "sculpture". I suppose some would call this art (I do) and some would just call him crazy, but there is something really neat about this. All he does is balance one rock on top of another. Sounds simple right? Look at some of the videos and photos on his website, and not only do they look IMPOSSIBLE, but in the videos he achieves the balance point very quickly! I'm wondering if there may be a trick to it, such as putting a pinch of sand down first. Check him out. Oh, by the way, his name is Bill Dan.

Rock the vote>
(hey that was a pretty good segway)
I just found this link today about what we DON'T know about the voting process. I have not verified any of these points, and I have to admit... it sounds like it's a scam. Could these really be true?! Here's just one... The Diebold Senior Vice president was convicted of 23 counts of felony theft in the 1st degree. - WHAT!? The more I read/learn about diebold the more I am amazed. We really are in trouble.

23 the movie>
(woah cool another good segway)
I just learned of a new movie about my favorite number 23.
I learned about this number via my favorite author and book... Robert Anton Wilson in The Illuminati Trilogy. As a matter of fact, I thought the one character in the trailer kinda looked like RAW. I searched imdb and there was no mention of him. Oh, the movie looks good and creepy. I am really looking forward to this one. The lead actor... Jim Carrey. I think he's a great actor when he's not being all goofy. Check out the trailer online now.

While looking at the movie trailer page, I also saw this movie called "Evan Almighty". It looks like it's gonna be pretty funny.

I did a bit of Christmas shopping and bought my first Christmas Tree in ten+ years. I've never done any holiday decorating. I just can't be bothered. But last night I saw the perfect "tree"... It's a small (emphasis on small) cone shapped green tree but it's a Rosemary bush. Not only is it cheap ($9.99), it smells nice, I might use it for some cooking, and it reminds me of a visit out to California where I got to walk down a trail to the ocean through some wild rosemary bushes. Now all I need are some small Christmas ornaments, small lights, and I'm all set :)

IF I don't post again...
Merry Christmas to all.
Wishing peace on earth.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Oldest blogger

I saw this post over on boingboing. This guy (Don Crowdis) up in Canada is apparently the oldest blogger (self proclaimed?)... at a young 93 years (well, his birthday is coming up on the 24th - Happy Birthday Don). I read the boingboing article which directed me to this news article, neither of which posted a link to Don's actual blog! So I googled it and sure enough found it here. I read a few of the posts and it's good. A little sad maybe in that I learned his wife is in the hospital, and there are posts about death and such, but I guess when you reach 93, that thought is on your mind.
He has some good sayings, words of wisdom, is not shy about stealing other good sayings :)
I had to check it out... his photo looks like an uncle I once had, and I bet if he were alive today he'd probably be blogging too.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

cartoon genius

I know that the odds of someone finding this post are slim, but I would like to post my condolences for Joe Barbera today. He has entertained me in my life for countless hours and I want to thank him for that. But this morning I heard the sad news that he passed away at 95. Wow, 95 that is a full life there. In case you don't know who Joe Barbera is, he is famous for being the partner in "Hanna-Barbera" - who are the animation people that created such classic characters like: Yogi Bear, The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Sooby-Doo (my fav). and Tom and Jerry. I've "wasted" much of my youth in hours of watching these cartoons. I still enjoy cartoons. I know it sounds lame, but I actually appreciate and admire the art. Today I'm really enjoying and admiring the line work of Avatar.
Peace Joe and thanks.

You can read more on CNN

Monday, December 18, 2006


Who knew cornstarch could be this much fun! I've been hearing rumbles of cornstarch recently on the internet as being able to create this semi-fluid-like substance that changes properties. Then a few days ago, I happened to catch "Late night with Dave Letterman" where he had some school kids showing their science projects. One of the kids had a swimming pool full of water and cornstarch. Basically it is a liquidy-soupy like substance when mixed to the right consistency BUT because the cornstarch particles are so tiny, when the surface of the "liquid" is interacted with in a sharp way (example running across the pool) it changes to reflect a hard non-liquid surface. Kooky huh? Well, just the other day I found this video online and it's really cool! It shows what this cornstarch and water does when it intereacts with a set vibration. (not sure what he has it hooked up to that vibrates it). I would image a speaker might be able to produce similar effects. Check it out! The "fingers" at the end are amazing and creepy at the same time.

starting to feel like Christmas

In spite of the record breaking temperatures we're having here on the east coast (near 60's) I'm starting to feel the Christmas spirit. It's just barely nudging itself into my conciousness. I'm starting to wonder where on my computer I have my xmas songs.
On that note, I'll post a quick calvin comic (don't sure me Mr. Waterson!)

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Demetri Martin

Ha! I just found a link [via laughing squid] that is apparently a promotional website for Windows Vista. (ugh micro$oft). But it is by one of my favorite comedians... Demetri Martin (I hope I am spelling his name right). It's an odd mix of observational humor, film, and web. I especially like episode #4. Check it out...

PS> Never tattoo a fish.

Friday, December 15, 2006

How stupid can you be?

Border Fence Firm Snared for Hiring Illegal Workers
A fence-building company in Southern California agrees to pay nearly $5 million in fines for hiring illegal immigrants. Two executives from the company may also serve jail time. The Golden State Fence Company's work includes some of the border fence between San Diego and Mexico.

PS> This post is the first using blogger's new "beta update". I hope it works, and I hope my template is still intact.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Good Story

Just came across this news story (via digg) and it was pretty amazing. Not only is it a good story, but as one of the commenters pointed out... it's nice to see a newspaper print something other than doom and gloom. I like the line that read: "But Don Karkos lived in a time when you farmed the acre you were handed and plowed forward".
Read it here on

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Little Green Men

I meant to blog this earlier but tonight there was another good tie in...
My google news alert showed me this news article about a recent UFO sighting...
In a nutshell, a large fireball was seen above the town of Natrona County in Wyoming. The short of it is that no one knows what it was, nor where it landed/crashed. Ok... it was probably just a meteor, but as always, there is that little part of me that says "But... what if...". Well, tonight I found a link to this image from NASA. I had seen this a few days ago but in a smaller resolution. I know... it's probably just a bit of dirt, or a glitch in the camera, Or Maybe it's actually a water like substance. IF it is... there could be a probability that there may be bacteria, virus, one celled organisms etc... Life! There's that little part of me that says, what if there really is other life out there. What a mind blowing discovery that would be.
I'll copy and paste the text from the news here (in the off chance there is a cover up ;)

(totally unrelated: I just finished watching the episode of "The Unit" - what a powerful show that was!)
Mysterious object brightens night sky
Deputies with the Natrona County Sheriff's Department responded to numerous calls of a large fireball streaming through the night sky early Friday morning, but were unable to find any trace of the object.

According to the sheriff's office, several county residents in the Muddy Mountain and Bates Creek areas on Casper Mountain called to report a large, flaming object traveling eastward at a high rate of speed at approximately 6:50 a.m.

"It probably passed right over us on its way to somewhere else," Sgt. Mark Sellers said.

Sellers said a caller described it as an aircraft on fire, but the airport had no reports of aircraft in the area and no emergency beacons sounded. Others thought it was a meteorite or a UFO.
Sheriff's deputies searched the mountain but couldn't find any evidence of the object's impact.

Tech Tags:

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Nativity Character?

What a strange photo above huh? Did you actually look at it and see what is going on? Did your mind do a somersault as did mine trying to put together thoughts of a nativity scene with this character? If not look again ;) Turns out this is not some sick internet prank. The photographer who took this photo (who is an amazing photographer) put a link on his page that leads to this wikipedia article about Caganer. Not only did I not know about this "tradition" but I also never heard of Catalonia before (It's just below France and next to Spain). When you read the wikipedia article it is less shocking and kinda funny. I don't know if this practice would take off here in the States, but it sounds like something Trey Parker, or Matt Groening would do :)
The only "gross" thing about this post is that the orignal photographer used a word in his post that I never heard of before - Coprophilic . So I googled the definition... Eww. You don't want to know.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Small Bill O'Reilly Rant

So the other night I had the BO show on in the background, when they started talking about 9/11 and how the country was "unified" at that time. Then in a sort of passing comment Bill said something to the effect of "I think it's time for another 9/11"!!!? What? I did a double take? I've been watching some of the internet posts and no one seems to have caught this. Maybe I misunderstood him? Am I wrong?

In a related video... This is what triggered my rant...
Here's a video of an 8 year old kid that goes on a rant against BO. At first I thought it was funny as I was watching, then it quickly turned into something disturbing. I don't know why yet, but there is something not quite right about having your kid read off a rant like this then posting to the web. What bothers me even more is that the kid may really be watching South Park... I like the show, but it certainly is not appropriate for a kid (thus the MA tv rating!).
Well, that's my rant for today.
Here's the link over on

Thursday, December 07, 2006

James Kim

Well, what a real shame. I heard on the news last night that James Kim was found dead after his long ordeal to find help for his stranded family. Apparently he basically just succumbed to the elements in only Jeans, sneakers and a coat. According to this article he made the mistake of getting wet, by trying to swim, which probably led to hypothermia and exhaustion. What a sad and bizzare accident. He will be missed, and remembered as a hero. The article is well written.
Rest in peace James.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Times are a changin?

This is a sort of follow up post to my previous post about how things are changing in our Gov... With the recent removals (or voluntary resignations) of Rummy and Bolton, I'm hearing all sorts of good things about the new Secretary of Defense - Robert Gates. I just finished reading this article over on that has the title "Enter the Grown-Up". It talks of how Mr. Gates had answered his confirmation hearing questions rather pointedly - which is rare. Very encouraging. I did see a sort of critical article over on the Mother Jones website but I have not read it yet. I sort of don't want to know what bad things they have to say about Gates.
I also heard several radio interviews this morning about this new "Iraq Study Group Report" - (Study Group? You mean like a bunch of college kids sitting in their dorm eating pizza?). It sounds like it's going to be a good report because it will be critical, yet on the radio they made it clear that this group/report has not one ounce of authority. It's basically a list of suggestions.
I'm starting to get nervous... This Gates fellow is still supposed to be a Bush Admin, the Study Group was appointed by the Bush Admin... What's going on? Can we trust these people? Are they just frontmen? I hope not.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

James Kim

I wasn't sure if I was going to post this or not, but I think James needs as much help, prayers, and good thoughts as possible. I don't know James personally, but I feel like I know him because I've seen him on TV so many times. He was one of the TV personalities on TechTV. He was known for his advice on digital cameras and printers. I remember he would always use a "test photo" of his baby daughter being the proud father that he was. He has one of those personalities that you know he's a good guy. If you don't know yet, the Kim family took off for a thanksgiving vacation to visit with family in Oregon (from San Francisco). Well, I'm not sure on the details, but apparently they got lost and tried to take a "short cut" using roads that are less traveled and not maintained in the snow. Apparently their car got stuck. The family was just found yesterday! 9 DAYS! Unfortunately James must have gotten desparate around Day 5 and decided to leave his family in search of help. The news reports that I heard last night were encouraging because they were able to follow his footprints in the snow (Thank goodness it has not snowed again)! I was really hoping that when I checked this morning there would have been good news, but apparently he has not been found yet.
Please pray and send good vibes to James and his family to be found soon.
Read more on abc news here.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Another one bites the dust...

I woke up this morning and was listening to NPR when they interrupted to say that news just came in that John Bolton has (or will be) resigning from his position as US Ambassador to the UN. I have to be honest and say that I know nothing about Bolton. Other than his position was disputed by many Democrats and some Republicans, yet Bush sort of "snuck" him in while Congress was in recess. Read more over at the Washington Post.
So first we have Donny Rumsfeld, and now Johnny Bolton. We're on a role here and cleaning house. I have not heard any more information on the news I heard that Germany was going to pursue filling war crime charges against Rumsfeld. And there has been talk recently that a man is trying to sue Rumsfeld for his part in torture. (Hmm, possibly the same event?) I googled it and found this link.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Praying Mantis Macro

Just showing off one of my macro photographs that I think turned out pretty good. There are a few more over on my flickr account (and I may be adding some more new photos shortly).

Poor Richard

Saturday, December 02, 2006

UFO followup

Well, thanks to google news again, the ufo mystery I recently blogged about has been solved. A simple explanation that apparently fooled 100's-1000's of people. I'll give away the secret here but it's a good article over at "the Argus" (a local UK newspaper)... The answer... candle lit hot air balloons also called "Chinese Lanterns". Basically you take a small lightweight material (plastic bags work) and then putting a small candle or "tea light" below it to heat the air inside the bag.
So put your tinfoil hats away for another day ;)

Totally unrelated:
I just found a new show on TV (on the old G4 network that I hate because they destoyred "Tech TV")... It's called "Ninja Warrior" and it has a series of guys competing in an obstacle course (only the first stage). It's an amazing course and these guys are incredibly fit and agile. One of the guys who just won was 53 years old!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Political Friday

First a bit about the weather...
Today is December 1st!! Can you believe it?! I can't. And to top it off... I'm walking around with short sleeves and all the windows are open. Global Warming at it's best. (speaking of which, Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" is out on DVD and I have a copy of it here from Netflix that I hope to watch this weekend. So prepare for a rant on that later ;)

ok, onto todays rant(s)...
I woke up this morning early. It was one of those weird "lucent dreams" that stirred me awake around 7am. Try as I might to force myself back to sleep, I could not. So I got up made a cup of Tea (used the last of my "Dragonwell" Green Tea (expensive Green Tea, that to me was not worth the extra expense - but it still tasted good)). I sat down and turned on C-Span to see what the topic of the day was for "The Washington Journal". Friday's are usually hosted by Brian Lamb himself and are usually a good show. (Really... Someone should give Mr. Lamb a medal for all he does.) So the first guest (where I missed the first part of her interview) was Mona Charen. Ms. Charen is a columnist and occasional blogger over on (I never heard of her before). She was a real cheerleader for the Bush policies! She raised the ire of several democrat/liberal listeners who really laid into her with some tirades. She handled them pretty well, but with an air of condescension. One of the things she said that really kinda shocked me was her emphasis that there were "Weapons of Mass Destruction" in Iraq, but that Sadam had somehow gotten them out of the country before we could find them. What? You mean people still believe that? I thought the WMD theory has been put to rest due to a three year lack of evidence. Yet Miss Charen's argument was that since Sadam had used WMD's in the past, then clearly he still had them. Ok, her segment came to an end, and they brought on the next guest... Thomas Ricks. Mr. Ricks wrote (and was promoting) his book called "Fiasco". A complete opposite point of view than Ms. Charen's. Mr. Ricks interview was much calmer. He really seemed to know his facts, figures, and was able to drop names of military people that he spoke with. He (of course) said that there is no evidence of WMD's and seriously doubts the claim. It struck me... Here we have two well educated people, both writers, who believe completely different things! How is that possible? Why does this happen?? How is the "average joe schmoe" like me supposed to make up his mind which story is true? (I believe Mr. Ricks only because he seemed much more credible). But what is it that Ms. Charen is able to dismiss what most of the rest of the people in the intelligence community are saying as being false? Is she stupid? (I don't think so). Is she niave? Is it wishful thinking? Is it because she has such support for the Republican party that she is able to put blinders on and not even look at the other side? I just don't get it. It's as if a newspaper reporter wrote a column that the world is flat. Wouldn't that reporter eventually loose his/her job?
I don't know if I will get Mr. Rick's book or not. I'm sure it is interesting, well written, but I don't know if I have the stomach to learn even more facts and figures about the mess we are in. I do have an gift certificate that's burning a hole in my pocket, so maybe I'll put it towards Fiasco.
Moving on...
One other side note that was brought up by a caller while Mr. Ricks was on...
AH SHOOT! I just forgot the guy's name! One of the military leaders (a general) who is credited with really getting the Iraq war off the ground (then retired) was giving a medal by our President. The caller pointed out (and Mr. Ricks agreed it was odd) that the Pres. gave him a civilian award/medal. Why was a military general given a civilian award? Odd.

I would encourage you to watch/listen to the webcast over on Cspan's website for Dec. 1st. (You can skip Charen's interview ;)