Thursday, September 27, 2007

Now that the New York Times has dropped the charges for some of the columns, I have added a link to Dick Cavett's blog/column over to The Left.

I've always enjoyed Cavett, since he had his first late night talk show in the late '60-early '70s. He was intelligent, funny and had guests that you'd never see over on Carson (although Johnny was THE best at what he did). Over the years Cavett has remained a light in an industry continually going down a slop to lowest common denominator crap.

It is great to hear what he has to say about current events, past guests and other things in general. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

This just in from over on Talking Points Memo:

The Kyl-Lieberman Iran amendment -- which ratchets up the confrontation with Iran by calling for the designation of its armed forces a terrorist organization responsible for killing U.S. troops -- just passed overwhelmingly, 76-22.
Of the Dem Presidential candidates, Hillary voted for the measure, Joe Biden and Chris Dodd opposed it, and Barack Obama missed the vote. On the GOP side, John McCain missed the vote.

Here we go again! Seems like Senator Clinton really wants to prove how strong she is, at least until it looks bad for her in the polls. Call me a Fox talking head, but doesn't she really seem to be flip-flopping all over the place? I mean voting WITH Lieberman on anything should give a real Democrat pause, don't you think? Witness both Biden and My Man Senator Chris Dodd, both of whom decided to take a stand against Slick Joe the Warrior Prince.

Hmm, guess Senators Obama and McCain have better things to do. "I would have voted for/against the amendment, but I was shaking hands in Cleveland that day."

Monday, September 24, 2007

I spent part of last Friday morning getting my car repaired at the Saturn dealer in Santa Ana. It was past due for a check-up and oil change, but they also took care of some other problems they found. I had a brake fluid leak and the engine mount was slipping. What would normally be around a hundred bucks and less then an hour cost me over two hours and close to eight hundred. I have a feeling that next year we may be in the market to replace one of our cars, probably mine since it is the older of the two.

We also had the first heavy rain that we’ve had here in Orange County in almost three months. I was certainly needed, but it sure made a mess of some places. A few mudslides in areas previously hit by fires; also, the beaches were in some places closed due to runoff from the drains. Sadly, some individuals and businesses use the storm drains to dump all sorts of nasty items. I also learned that Californians DO NOT know how to drive in the rain!

Saturday evening, Kristina dropped by for dinner and helped Donna set up her new laptop computer. It will be nice to have both of us online at once, instead of waiting for the other to finish with one thing or the other. Although, to be honest, half the time it’s Donna or me playing online Bingo, mahjong or video slots & poker.

Finally, we are down to 60 days and counting for our next cruise. Hard to believe that we are going to be taking our seventh cruise together to celebrate our eighth wedding anniversary. Man, where has the time gone?

Saturday, September 22, 2007

The Last True Story I’ll Ever Tell by John Crawford
Read by Patrick Lawlor

All vets tell ‘sea stories’; at least that’s what we called them when I was in the Navy. I’m sure all the other services have a similar custom, but probably call it something different. They are not lies so much as retellings of events, which did happen, but as we remember them and not exactly as they may have actually occurred. After you’ve told them over and over again they become ‘the truth’ fixed in our memories as if they happened exactly that way. I’m not saying that the stories Crawford writes are not truthful, but we often makes changes to events after the fact. They either make us look better or we use the changes to make us able to accept things we did but may not like.

Crawford was a National Guardsman, who joined to help pay for college. Who would know that after 9/11 his nation would send him off to another country to fight? Weren’t Guardsman simply supposed to help out after natural disasters, and meet a couple weeks each year for training? Unfortunately, Crawford and his unit find themselves marching to Baghdad in the opening weeks of Operation: Iraqi Freedom.

These are not fun stories, although there is some humor to be found. It doesn’t even matter, in the end, how you feel about the war. Whether you favor the current policies, or think we should be removing all our troops tomorrow you’ll be touched by what Crawford has to say. He was there on the ground and saw first-hand how the faces of the Iraqi people turned from smiling to hateful. He took part in events that caused some of this change, but through no fault of his own. I know from personal experience that you never fully understand why you are ordered to do things, nor do you want to all the time. Still self-preservation and self-interest will move you to do as you’re told and think about it later.

As part of the assignment I’ve spoken of before, I picked up this audio book to sample something different. I like ‘war movies’ as much as the next guy, but generally don’t read stories of real war. Although I was a History major and read textbooks on various wars, I don’t make it a habit to read books written by folks who fought in them. Still I’m glad (if such a term fits here) to have listened to this 5-CD unabridged reading of Crawford’s book. I want to recommend it for those interested in such books. You can’t help but be moved by what happened to Crawford, his fellow Guardsmen and the Iraqi people whose lives crossed his. It will also reveal things the mainstream media might not tell and this current adminstration sure as hell doesn’t want you to think about.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

You can tell things are slow here at work, can't you?

Is it just me or should many folks be disgusted that twenty more Senators were upset about the ad than voted for Senator Webb's bill to allow military personnel to stay longer at home?

Also, is the MoveOn ad such a vital issue compared to health insurance, immigration, the war and privacy issues?

Again, there should be little wonder that this Congress has such a low rating in any polls taken. This is another of those moments when I think that anachists might have the right idea.
"President Bush today condemned the recent advertisement that described Army Gen. David H. Petraeus as General "Betray-Us," voicing disappointment that leading Democrats had not denounced it as well." from the AP

"Just shut up!" from me.

I'm going to say something which will offend many folks reading this, as well as civil libertarians everywhere.

I really don't care about the guy who got tasered. I'm sure it wasn't pleasant, but having been shot at and subjected to tear gas, I can truthfully say there are a lot of unpleasant things much worse.

Enjoy your fifteen days of YouTube fame and shut up, Meyer!
You can't believe how many of these things are left behind in the Public computers.

This is today's Sheldon strip and I wanted to share.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The video I posted just below was created for the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. It's an non-political work that just pushes for everybody to 'support the troops'.

This is also from their website:

Founded in June 2004, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America is the nation's first and largest group dedicated to the Troops and Veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the civilian supporters of those Troops and Veterans.

I had tried to explain this in my first two attempts, but for some reason only when I tried with little text did it come through.

You can also find this posted over on the Huffington Post and other sites around the ‘net. You can often see the IAVA Founder and Executive Director, Paul Reickhoff talking about the current situation over there on Countdown with Keith Olbermann. He is one of the ‘good guys.

"I Like a Boy"

THis is my third try with this.

Not trying to be PC at all here.

Arrgh! It's Talk Like a Pirate Day today, so let the parrot out of its cage and put on that eye patch.
Example: "Arrggh! But it be a bad day for the OJ!"

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Boy, trouble with Blackwater contractors in Iraq. Who saw that coming, huh?

There have been stories about the heavy-handed tactics the company uses for several years, but the mainstream media seems not to have cared much. Now that civilians have been killed (apparently not for the first time) and the Army had to rescue the company's hired gunmen, it appears that even the Iraqi government has had enough. I find it interesting that Blackwater was acting as bodyguards for U.S. officials and nobody seems to be having a problem with that.

I'm not even going to say anything about the O.J. situation, although it would be great seeing him in a slow-speed chase on the I-15 coming back from Vegas. (An injoke for SoCal folks.)

Friday, September 14, 2007

Hilarious House of Frightenstein Librarian.

Who says Librarians don't have a sense of humor?

A bit early for Halloweeen, but enjoy!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The following is from a speech that G.W. gave back in January of this year promoting the 'surge'.

Was this group ever formed? If so, why haven't we heard from them?


"Acting on the good advice of Senator Joe Lieberman and other key members of Congress, we will form a new, bipartisan working group that will help us come together across party lines to win the war on terror. This group will meet regularly with me and my administration; it will help strengthen our relationship with Congress. We can begin by working together to increase the size of the active Army and Marine Corps, so that America has the Armed Forces we need for the 21st century. "
Maybe we'll hear from them tonight or tomorrow, so that Senator Leiberman can explain how things are going so well but taking out Iran would make things even better.

Tribulation Force by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins

This is the second book in the “Left Behind” series, which has become almost as popular as Harry Potter. I don’t know that all the folks reading the books buy into all of it, but I’m willing to bet the majority of them feel comfortable identifying with the main characters beliefs. This isn’t so much a book review as a few thoughts about the series and why it may be so successful. I’m putting it here rather than over on SHOT’S SHACK, because I try to keep that place free of controversy.

Those who know me are probably surprised that I picked this particular book, but I did have a good reason. The head librarian here feels that we have all fallen into a rut, at least in the books we read. As part of our ‘reader advisory’ training we all have to choose books (fiction or non-fiction), which we generally would not read.

I started with Bill Bryson’s “A Walk in the Woods”, in which Bryson talks about his attempt to walk the Appalachian Trail with an old friend. My inspiration there was my former co-worker, Michelle who is succeeding where Bryson failed. As I said in my brief talk about that book I don’t camp and I don’t walk all that much, so I’m fascinated by those who do. Actually, I was pretty active as a kid, often camping or sleeping outside several nights each summer. It wasn’t unusual for a three or four of us to hike or ride our bikes to the nearby forest and spend the day. I’ve also camped out in the California at least three or four times, that I recall, back when I was stationed here in the mid-1970s.

Back when I worked in New York I was frequently asked for books in the “Left Behind” series and its spin-offs. We generally tried to keep multiple copies available. My familiarity with the material came from reviews in the professional literature, as I wasn’t interested in reading the books, nor were any of my friends that I was aware of picking up the series.

According to Biblical prophecy, at some point those who have been ‘born-again’ shall be brought up to Heaven in an event known as The Rapture. There they will join with all the saints who have preceded them and reside in Heaven. After this those who have not been saved shall witness the coming of the Anti-Christ and suffer seven years of war and turmoil, The Tribulation, until Christ returns to reign on Earth for a thousand years. You can find a number of sites on the web that will explain this in sometimes differing detail, but this is as basic an explanation as I can give. Having been raised Roman Catholic I don’t recall this being talked about a lot back in Catechism, but we’re going back forty plus years after all.

The series features four people (an airline pilot, his daughter, a journalist and a minister) who are ‘left behind’ when the Rapture takes members of the families and friends. They come together to try and understand what has happened, only to realize that Biblical prophecy is happening. The books detail how this affects the main characters and the rest of the world, as things progress towards the final confrontation between Christ and anti-Christ.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that while a tad preachy, the books are enjoyable as fiction. If you can accept Harry on his broom, you can certainly go along with some of the mystical/spiritual happenings that take place during the story. The ‘good guys’ are flawed and make mistakes while the character of Nicolae Carpathia is nicely evil and manipulative as the Anti-Christ. The tale is a bit simplistic for my tastes and I felt that there was a bit of Catholic bashing going on. I can certainly see why the book won’t have many Jewish or Muslim readers as neither of those faiths are shown in a favorable light except for those members who realize their error and ‘come to Christ.’

I’m not so much going to recommend the book as I am going to suggest you might want to skim a few chapters just to see what so many folks are reading.

By the way, the books in the series have also been adapted to audio and for a graphic novel series. In fact, we have the first two books in the series (each book is adapted into four graphic novels)) among our Graphic Novel collection here at the library. The audio adaptations are with full-casts, sound effects and music.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Everyone will be using today to make some political point or push their agenda. I think I'm just going to take a moment to remember where I was that day. Also, to be thankful that Kristina and others I knew in the city that day were not injured.

Likewise, I will take a moment to reflect on those that were not so lucky. Their families and friends will always remember this day as well.

Spend time with your loved ones and be grateful for the moments you share with them today.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

TFD Responding

this is the only clip I could find on YouTube which shows my hometown of Taftville. They feature the Taftville Fire Department, which is a volunteer organization.

Norwich, in the previous video, was where I went to high school and where my parents settled after selling the house in Taftville.

Here you actually pass by a factory I used to work in, the store owned by my Uncle George, an apartment I lived in with Betsey and other places that only a few people who read this blog will recognize.

I grew up driving these roads and before that riding my bike down those 'mean streets.'

Memories, dude!

The Mean Kitty Song

A day late for Cat Blogging Day but I found this by accident over on YouTube and absolutely loved it. I had to share!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

First it was Da Arnold and now Fred Thompson. Guess that Leno is where Republican actors announce their intentions.
Personally, I think Thompson peaked a few months ago and he lost support dragging things out. Snubbing the other candidates and the GOP debate certainly won't win him friends in New Hampshire. It's hard to predict what will happen a year from now but I think the GOP convention will be a bit rowdy and not in a good way.

Eight years ago you probably would have gotten even money that G.W. would get the nomination, over John McCain. This year it seems that most Republicans wish they could sit out '08 and come back in 2010 to bash the Democrats to retake Congress.

I'm not going to pick a candidate until just before the Democratic primary here in CA, but I probably could bring myself to vote for just about any of the folks running on the Democratic side. Issue-wise I am probably closer to Dennis Kucinich, but having met and chatted with Chris Dodd a few times (back when I lived in Connecticut and he was my Senator) I would have no problem giving him my support. It remains to be seen how I feel after the New Year.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

A trip around Norwich, Connecticut

I'm not endorsing the candidate who posted this, but since it shows my hometown I wanted to share it.

The scary thing is that many of these places haven't changed much since I last lived there in 1980.

Along with the usual stuff for Viagra, "You have won", and "you have a e-card from ..." crap filling my Bulk folder on Yahoo I have found that I have been getting other things recently. The most disturbing part is that they appear to have been sent by friends or in mailing lists to which I belong.
These new things are supposedly for 'social networking' sites which the sender thinks I may be interested in joining.
I'm not going to mention the sites, since they may be legit and the spam is being sent out by somebody without permission. I'm certainly NOT going to click on the link given in the e-mail or go to the site given, just in case. Still it is annoying to have to go through these, since some are not being stopped, especially those sent by addresses I have cleared.

This is why I have an account that only my family and a few friends know about.

Let us be careful out there!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

What's with this earthquake stuff today? About a half hour ride from here, up towards Lake Elsenore there was a quake measuring 4.7. We all sure felt it here in Ladera Ranch!

Since the first one at about 10:30am PDT, there have been about a dozen after-shocks of decreasing magnitude.
On a more pleasant note, Donna and I drove up to San Manual Casino with Kristina & Marisa for nice day of Bingo. Unfortunately, none of us won anything but we had fun and ended the day with a nice Italian dinner at one of our favorite restaurants.
Today, the girls are off to visit Kristina's dad in San Diego, while Donna and I are heading out to the pool later. Naturally, we will end the evening watching Jerry Lewis doing his annual thing for "his kids".
Hope everybody has a safe & relaxing Labor Day Weekend! I'll try to check in when I can.