Sunday, July 31, 2005

I Am On Such a Pink Floyd Kick Right Now...

It's almost embarrassing.

Once again, Thank You Jenn! If it weren't for you leaving that link up, I would have never found the site with all the videos, and found out that there actually was a site with Pink Floyd videos... Which lead me to think, maybe there are more sites with Pink Floyd videos... And there are! In the strangest place, at that... The Pink Floyd website, lol.

Funny how our brains work, isn't it? :o)

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Thanks A Lot, Martin.

Well, since I'm getting no where fast with the video editing, I figured I would try my hand in the kitchen today to see if I'm any better at that. You see, I've been reading An80sNut's blog and with all of his post about cooking... I guess I just figured what the heck? If he can do it, I can do it. Right?


I attempted my first loaf of bread this morning, and quickly found out that hope don't make no loaf of bread. You actually have to have skills to do it! What kind of skills do you need? I don't know. I just know that I don't have them. I followed the directions on the bread maker to a "T", and followed the recipe just as closely, but I still ended up with a flat lump of hot dough.

What can I say? Martin, I tip my bra to you, buddy! You are the master! :o)

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

I Need Some Help, Please!

Do ya know where I can find some good programs for editing video with sound? Or do I need some better of equipment?

My goal is to edit some home videos and photos with movie videos and DVDs, and then add some music and commentary (don’t ask, it’s an art "thingie".) I have ShowBiz, Sonic, Nero, DVD Decrypter, DVD Shrink, blah blah blah, (half a dozen others that haven’t helped at all) and a nifty little gadget that lets me add voice to a VCR tape, but I can’t figure out how to get it all on my computer, much less how to fit on a DVD...

I’ve been to Best Buy and Staples (as well as the guy who built my computer supposedly to do this type of work,) but they haven’t been much help. Do you guys know anything about this, or can you point me in the direction of someone that does?

Friday, July 22, 2005

'Oly Shit!

I think I’ve just found out what political party I am!

I’ve often tried to describe where I stand party wise: I’m Republican because I agree with them on most of their financial views. I’m also a Democrat because I agree with them on most of their social views. But I’ve never felt that either party represents ALL my views, and I've never felt welcomed by either party because of the conflicts. (Not to mention that as soon as you agree with anything from an opposing party, people tend to dismiss you as an idiot.)

But that may be about to change!

I’ve been called a Libertarian before by people of both groups, but I’ve always just assumed that they were referring to being Liberal. (Talk about making an ass out of u and me!) Well, I finally decided to look into what a Libertarian actually is, and this is what I’ve come up with so far:

From: The National Libertarian Party

What is a Libertarian?

Libertarians believe that you have the right to live your life as you wish, without the government interfering -- as long as you don’t violate the rights of others. Politically, this means Libertarians favor rolling back the size and cost of government, and eliminating laws that stifle the economy and control people’s personal choices.

Are Libertarians liberal or conservative?

Libertarians are neither. Unlike liberals or conservatives, Libertarians advocate a high degree of both personal and economic liberty. For example, Libertarians agree with conservatives about freedom in economic matters, so we're in favor of lowering taxes, slashing bureaucratic regulation of business, and charitable -- rather than government -- welfare. But Libertarians also agree with liberals on personal tolerance, so we're in favor of people’s right to choose their own personal habits and lifestyles.

In a sense, Libertarians "borrow" from both sides to come up with a logical and consistent whole.

Lowering taxes... slashing bureaucratic regulation of business... personal tolerance... right to choose your own personal habits and lifestyles... ??? That’s me all over the place!

Granted, I’m still studying on it and it may turn out that I’m not a Libertarian after all, but damn! This is exciting! It may actually get me interested in politics!

Thursday, July 21, 2005

On Censorship

If a nation expects to be ignorant and free... it expects what never was and never will be. -Thomas Jefferson

by Mary Winget

Are you ready to participate in forming the policies of our government? Many issues are very confusing, and it can be difficult to know what to think about them or how to make a decision about them. Sometimes you must gather information about a subject before you can be informed enough to make a decision. Bernard Baruch, a prosperous American financier and an adviser to every president from Woodrow Wilson to Dwight D. Eisenhower, said, "If you can get all the facts, your judgment can be right; if you don't get all the facts, it can't be right".

But gathering information is only one part of the decision making process. The way you interpret information is influenced by the values you have been taught since infancy- ideas about right and wrong, good and bad. Many of your values are shaped, or at least influenced by how and where you grow up, by your race, sex, and religion, by how much money your family has. What your parents believe, what they read, and what you read and believe influence your decisions. The values of friends and teachers also affect what you think.

It's always good to listen to the opinions of people around you, but you will often confront contradictory points of view and points of view that are based not on fact, but on myth. John F. Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States, said, "The great enemy of truth is very often not the lie- deliberate, contrived, and dishonest- but the myth- persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic." Eventually you will have to separate fact from myth and make up your own mind, make your own decisions. Because you are responsible for your decisions, it's important to get as much information as you can. Then your decisions will be the right ones for you.

Making a fair and informed decision can be an exciting process, a chance to examine new ideas and different points of view. You live in a world that changes quickly and sometimes dramatically- a world that offers the opportunity to explore the ever-changing ground between yourself and others. Instead of forming a single, easy, or popular point of view, you might develop a rich and complex vision that offers new alternatives. Explore the many dimensions of an idea. Find kinship among an extensive range of opinions. Only after you've done this should you try to form your own opinions.

After you have formed an opinion about a particular subject, you may believe it is the only right decision. But some people will disagree with you and challenge your beliefs. They are not trying to antagonize you or put you down. They probably believe that they're right as sincerely as you believe you are. Thomas Macaulay, an English historian and author, wrote, "Men are never so likely to settle a question rightly as when they discuss it freely." In a democracy, the free exchange of ideas is not only encouraged, it's vital. Examining and discussing public issues and understanding opposing ideas are desirable and necessary elements of a free nation's ability to govern itself.

foreword taken from "Censorship; or freedom of expression?"by Nancy Day. Mary Winget is the Pro/Con series editor

Monday, July 18, 2005

Taking it a step further...

I think Fred hit the nail on the head on that last post. But, I want to take it a step further.

How did we get to this "victim" mindset?

-Now, it's been my experience that people usually tend to spout what they think they know and that's what I'm about to do, so please take it with a grain of salt and don't be too harsh :o) But also let me know if you think I'm a nut... I could really use some feedback on this one.-

It is my opinion that we have taken the victim mindset simply because we have been conditioned to believe that there is no reason for us to ever die. I'm tempted to say that we have been conditioned to believe that we should never die a senseless death, but even that is debatable in the present climate.

Why would I say such a thing? Consider this: Gun control; Obesity; Teenage drivers; Secondhand smoke (which I'm still working on that article THC!) Asbestos; Pollution of the water, air and land; Terrorism. I could go on and on, but these seem to be the main focus in today’s heated arguments.

What do all of these issues have in common? They all say that with more control, you won't have to die. That, when coupled with new medical breakthroughs would lead one to believe that we, very plausibly, can live forever.

It's just not so. We all die. Whether we want to believe it or not, we all die.

While it’s true that most people realize this for themselves, it’s hard for them to realize that it will happen to someone close to them. Losing a loved one or hearing about a seemingly senseless death and knowing that it could have been a loved one, can be very painful. It's suppose to be. Our compassion is a big part of what makes us human. But because it is so painful, it's probably the number one thing we try to avoid.

People seem to think (and rightly so in the advocate's opinion) that by pointing the finger, these painful emotions will be relieved a bit. And that by taking action against the person they're pointing fingers at, they are doing their civic duty of protecting the next person. While noble in it's intent, this is a flawed way of thinking because no matter what you do, death will come for us.

My advice? If you see a problem, be an example of what you think the solution should be, but don't try to control someone else's actions. No one likes to be controlled, and it's not your job to do so. So relax. Enjoy today. Enjoy your time with those around you. Don’t be afraid to reminisce about yesterday, and by all means, plan for your future. Just realize while doing so that your (and everybody else’s) future is not a guarantee.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

It's as if they were reading my mind...

But I wasn’t asking for this.

I didn’t see the news broadcast firsthand, but I read on Evil Sandmich’s blog about an accident that happened in Cleveland involving a teenager hitting and killing a 9 year old girl with his car while fleeing from the cops.

While I understand their grief, I found it appalling that bystanders at the accident would immediately start blaming the cops for the death (why didn’t they shoot the fleeing subjects car?) What I found even more appalling was that the media would put these reactions on the news. These people were obviously distraught, and quite possibly didn’t realize what they were saying... And if they did, I can’t help but to think that the people saying it aren’t exactly the sharpest tools in the shed.

I mean, what is this, a movie set? Need I say it? Bullets are fast, and they don’t stop until they hit something (and sometimes not even then.) True, this was a tragedy, but could you just imagine what might have happened if the cops started spraying bullets at the moving car, from a moving car? I don’t even want to think about that happening in my neighborhood!

And, as if in response, I read this in the newspaper this morning:

"Toddler Slain by Police Buried.

Los Angeles - family, friends and sympathetic strangers shared handshakes, hugs and tears Saturday during the funeral service for a 19 month old toddler killed by police during a shoot-out with her gun wielding father.

The Spanish-language funeral service for Suzie Pena drew about 150 people, including new Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

Protesters have staged nightly demonstrations since the July 10 shooting, heckling police and waving signs calling officers involved in the shooting "baby killers.""

Just imagine what could be learned by getting these two groups of people together. Maybe they would begin to understand the extreme pressure that the police are under... But I doubt it.

Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Sometimes... I Really Miss Living Alone

Granted, there are some great benefits to living with others, (we have a cook, a great lawn care technician, a computer whiz/mechanic -don’t ask, we all have our domestics roles and we’re happy with them. Not to mention that between the three of us, we have a very nice home instead of three crappy apartments) but still, there are those times that I miss the privacy of having my own crappy little apartment.

Yes privacy. And this coming from a blogger...

But let’s put that aside for now.

One of my most cherished rituals is having a cocktail and listening to music, on my headphones, loud. The other is sitting back and talking silly shit with a close friend over a nice convenience store cappuccino.

While living alone, I could enjoy the first with no telephone interruptions, no fear of criticism, and no surprize attacks by well meaning "guests". But now, no matter how loud I play my music, I can still hear them banging on the door (if not coming straight in and scaring the crap out of me because I forgot to lock it) wanting me to answer the phone or come down for some sort of "family meeting". It seems that no matter how many measures I take to insure privacy, they will defy it.

As for the second, it’s to the point now that I can’t even spend time with my one dear friend, because I'm being drained by people who just seem to want to... Well... Drain.

I know it sounds selfish, but I don’t recall signing up for all of this. I didn’t have kids, and I'm not married for a reason. I don’t mind taking care of my Mother (why I’m even here) but I didn’t intend to be dealing with so many others. And I don’t know how to g e t t h e m away from me, if only for just a couple of hours a day so I can enjoy my own life.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Very Old Testament Found!

Yes, you heard right! A new old testament has been found at the Vatican.

Sources say that, while cleaning house, the new Pope ran across what most believe to be a third testament (commonly referred to as Episode III, even though it takes place before Genesis.)

This new addition focuses mostly on Hell, which -if I’m understanding this correctly- used to be a day spa for angels. Apparently, the angels were to busy lolligagging about to stay fit, so when they got a little flabby, God would send them to Hell to get back into shape.

"First, there was the supernatural sauna. The angels had to stay in the heat for at least 40 days. The boiling oil that’s poured on sinners to torment them was originally massage oil. And much of the manual labor suffered by the damned actually provided a light workout for an angel."

And the news goes on and on...

Satan himself was the best fitness instructor around, so of course he got stuck with the job once God decided to make Hell a punishment for mankind...

But hey! You don’t have to take my word for it, you can read all about it in the July 18th edition of the Weekly World News, which we all know is "The World’s Only Reliable Newspaper."
Seriously, I don’t know why we would even doubt it. :o)

Sunday, July 10, 2005

So Martin, can you help? :o)

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Sin of all Sins

OK, seeing how that last post was a flop (whether it was because most people just don’t care, don’t want to think about it, or I’ve just exposed myself as a total idiot for stating the obvious, I don’t know...?) I figured I better go to a lighter/serious-er subject...


I know this guy is popular, but he sooo does not appeal to me at all. I find his lyrics offensive and totally disrespectful. And while I’ll try my best to defend his right to free speech, Johnny, if you’re reading this, I’m going to kick your ass for making me listen to Mr Nem!

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Independence Day.

Well the Fourth is over and I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday! I know I did. I got to spend some quality time with friends and family, and even made some new friends, which is pretty cool.

But that aside, while celebrating The Fourth I started thinking about our freedom and how we came to be where we are. Over two hundred years ago, our people came to this land hoping for something better and whenever someone tried to stand in the way of our newfound freedom, we fought to the death to protect it. So why are we so willing to give it up now?

Some would argue -in the light of 9/11 and other tragedies- that losing a few freedoms is worth the extra feeling of security, but is it? And did it really start with 9/11?

I think the mindset started with our knowledge of the Civil War. While it was necessary at the time, people look back on that and think of how hard it would be to fight against fellow Americans again. Then you have Vietnam, a totally bogus war that changed the way we look at war altogether. It makes us skeptical as to whether any type of uprising would be the best course of action.

And then there’s the bits and pieces that we’ve seen recently: Oklahoma, which sufficiently drove the malitia back underground; Columbine, which made us feel the need for stricter gun control; 9/11, which made us feel that it’s OK to give up our privacy (that along with companies like Nexus Lexus that have been keeping tabs on everything we do for "advertising" reasons, not to mention the IRS keeping tabs.) And those are just a few, all combined to make us doubt whether our previous freedoms are worth it, and discourage us from fighting for them.

But when do we say enough is enough? We want our freedoms back!

And how do we say it? And how do we decide on what freedoms we want, when so many think that their own issues are more important than others? I made a statement before about how the govt has us fighting so much amongst ourselves, that we don’t even know what’s right and what’s important anymore. How do we decide on what’s worth dying for when we have so many issues and so many different viewpoints on those issues?

Our Constitution pointed out some pretty important features of freedom, but what happens when it becomes nothing more than an historic document that can be changed at will? Have we become so self absorbed with the little things that we’ve totally missed the big picture? Our freedoms have been systematically taken away from us, and we just sit back and finds ways to justify it.

Is that to be our future?

Questions, questions, questions! For which I have no answers. But I do feel the need to find some before the situation gets totally out of hand (if it hasn’t already.) I know I'm not the only one who’s afraid of what has been happening in our country, but how do we change it when another civil war is seemingly out of the question and protesting no longer guarantees results?