Hear I Go Google!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Genesis: A few old ones, and some that are being covered

Dance on a Volcano - 70's classic, sounds sooo 1970's with the synthesizers

Los Endos - The closing number from Seconds Out, first live album released without Peter Gabriel as the lead singer

ABACAB - Named for the key signatures in the song. I'm not a musical expert, so don't rag on me if that is wrong.

Land of Confusion: Currently, Disturbed regenerated this song from the heap of the 1980's. It was very timely; spoke to what the World was going through - Nukes, Libya, Actor-turn-Prez R. Reagan in satirical, comical way.

Disturbed's version: pretty loyal to the structure of the first. Only more terrifying in the video - taking itself much more seriously, and Capitalism & Greed is the real bad guy.

That's All: About living with a person that's a pain in the ass. Which is something many, many people can understand nightly. Those that can remember life without that hardship, should count their lucky stars. It isn't pleasant for a moment. Even when you are suppose to love them - as in this song - they turn out to disappoint more than anything

Home by the Sea - I didn't know that a video game was using this song as its music. But then again, most have to do something to get those residuals on their craft. Song about people from the 'outer world', aliens, which fits the game, I suppose. (I haven't played video games in a decade.)

Home by the Sea - this last part is pretty cool, from the guitar part to the little drum fills. The group is much, much younger. Performance from the 1980's. From 9:00 on is the best part....

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Bits and Pieces: Ongoing, Reversal and a Reunion

I'll try to keep this short. But I always start off with that goal.

The Myanmar (Burmese) dilemma is escalating into a violent confrontation. From New York Times reports, several deaths are being reported. As one quote suggests:

A government announcement said security forces in Yangon, the country’s main city, fired at demonstrators who failed to disperse, killing one man. Foreign news agencies and exile groups reported death tolls ranging from two to eight people.

It doesn't seem the ruling military junta, the Chinese/Thailand diplomatic efforts or the meager words of George W. Bush has much of a chance to change the course of this military-ruled society. Which isn't a shock considering that much of the "inside information" is coming to us via the Democratic Voice of Burma, located in Oslo, Norway. As people use cell phones, illegal internet uplinks to broadcast the brutality of the ruling party, this voice has to be responded to by those who actually support the idea of democratic Burma.

Second story from NYT: Seems according to NY Times reports, that a "9/11 survivor" wasn't quite that or the embellishments to that tragedy leave one wondering exactly where she was, who did she work for and know, and what was she actually about before and after this event. Tania Head has "lawyered up," meaning that she knows the inconsistencies to her tale will eventually all come about as this quote suggests from the Times:

She has retained a lawyer, Stephanie Furgang Adwar, to represent her. Also
on Tuesday, in response to a question about the accuracy of Ms. Head’s account,
Ms. Adwar said in an e-mail message, “With regard to the veracity of my client’s
story, neither my client, nor I, have any comment.”

No one has suggested that Ms. Head did anything to profit financially
from her position as an officer with the Survivors’ Network, the nonprofit group
for which she helped to raise money. But the organizations with which she has
been affiliated have also questioned her account after learning of the inquiries
from The Times.

Third One from the NYT: Genesis, a band I grew up with and learned the history of quite a bit, is on tour. "Turn it on Again" does sound like a phrase a 50-something musician(s) would say in response to their musicial chops and vision of world rock domination, but I suppose for Genesis, whose lineup and stylistic direction has move with money, fame and longevity, the answer lies in just playing again.

Seeing them in concert isn't as, many reviewers suggest, about them bringing some new vision to the stage. They rehearsh their old bits, play the favorites of pop and hodgepodges of 1970's art rock with state of the art equipment. They are like a '57 Thunderbird with dents - a classic that needs work - but loveable with the character-building dents.

As this quote reflects:
the progressive-rock band of the 1970s, playing suitelike songs filled with
odd meters, elaborate scenarios and speedy filigree, and the pop hit-makers of
the 1980s, with shorter, hook-laden songs about personal matters like

For a real tribute to them, I hope an Invisible Touch will Follow You, Follow Me as I Can't Dance because No Son of Mine will be Home By The Sea searching for his Mama or The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway. A Firth of Fifth comes before Seconds Out, yet an Illegal Alien will be caught beyond the Silver Rainbow. Inside the Congo, it is impossible to be Driving the Last Spike.

And That's All.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Short Story: On the Fly, Run the Table (Part 2 of 3)

The rest of the weekend came and went quickly. Terrance did not see Samantha on Saturday or Sunday night, figuring that was the end of that. As he went in to work early Monday, at 3AM, he could only think she must be just happy not to be in some controlling relationship, and thus, the flowers and note.

5 hours into the shift, after doing a walk through, organizing the work queue, loading a few trailers with a lift, he checked his voice messages. He normally heard back from a vendor or an end customer, either looking for some item number on the next shipment, or why wasn't the PO number properly filled by the order detailer. Mindless, but necessary. Instead, he received a voice message from a Ronald T. Carron, Esq. asking to talk to him about a legal matter.

Usually, that meant a creditor long since not paid or forgotten entirely. But Terrance didn't have any unusual bills, as far as he knew. Wendy. That could be the problem, he surmised.

He dialed up Mr. Carron, figuring he would be quite the gem of a lawyer. They all were. "Mr. Carron's office?" A perky office assistant answered.

"Yes, I'm Terrance Morrell. I receive a call from your office?"

"Oh yes, Mr. Carron's been trying to get a hold of you for the last few days. I'll transfer you."

Terrance waited a moment.

"Mr. Morrell. So glad I could get a hold of you. You were a little hard to find. But no matter."
Ron spoke quickly - like his training implied - but pleasantly Southern.

"What's wrong? Is there something I've...done?" Terrance responded.

"Only by birth. I am the executor to your late uncle Sal's will. And he's requested several of his family members to come back to Alabama for the reading and execution of the will's particulars."

"But Sal wasn't exactly well off. I didn't even know he'd died."

"Actually, Sal's estate is quite a bit different from what you may think. But his largess may or may not surprise you." Ron said.

"So what do I have to do?"

"Come to Montgomery and my office by Friday. And stay the weekend."

"I work late nights and I just started a few months ago." Terrance replied.

"Oh, I think you might like the outcome of this trip. And it would help me complete the wrap up of this estate."

"I'll get back to you by Wednesday. If I got to work out travel arrangements --"

"Oh, we got that covered. I'll send you the flight information by fax, if you don't mind."

"Is there anything else that I should be aware of?"

"Just be ready to stay the weekend, that's it."

"Why? Isn't it just a reading and distribution?"

"Well, I'm not at liberty to say, but it will require you to be present for the duration of weekend. Then you can go back to Cincinnati."

"It figures with Sal." Terrance said with a slight chagrin in his response.

"Oh, it most definitely does. It most definitely does."

"Thanks, I suppose."

"No problem, just doing my job. I need that fax number whenever you can have it."

"Sure. It's 888-555-4378."

And the conversation was ended shortly thereafter.
Terrance spent the remainder of the shift, and on into his sleep and drink time, wondering what Sal had in store for him.

It was not like Sal was a caring sort. He cared only for himself. And when did he acquire an estate? No one in the family ever acquired anything except jail time, debt, illegitimate children and divorces. Sal had hit a home run in that pursuit.

As the afternoon came nearly to a close, and the sunset was blasting through the window of the 2nd floor, a gentle knock at the door interrupted Terrance's mulling out the mystery of Sal's last days.

"It's me Terrance." Samantha was dressed in a polka dot sun dress with flats and a hoop hair holder.

Terrance opened up the door. "Hi Sammy." As they both smiled hesistantly, but friendly toward each other. "Come on in."

Terrance left the door slightly ajar, letting the rays of the sun to warm the room. He sat down at the typical table in all hotels.

"How was your day?" Samantha asked, sitting down across from Terrance.

"Interesting. Got a call to go to will reading from an uncle that barely had a dime and cared little about anyone. How 'bout you?"

"Really?? That's odd, but it sounds interesting. So you going back to Alabama?"

"Yes, for the weekend. That's the damnest thing: I have to stay for the weekend. Which is crap, since I need the money here." Terrance reflects with annoyance.

"Who knows, maybe Sal left you something." Samantha touches Terrance's hand. The warmth is immediate for both.

"I doubt it, he was a gloater. He didn't like Jerry, my father, much. But I get a free airline trip."

"Would you like some company?"

"What, you not working this weekend? There's a big convention, you know..."

Samantha hesistates, then responds, "Well, that's the thing -- I'm tired of it. It's just --"

"I understand. You don't have to go into it." Terrance squeezes her hand and she smiles.

"I need some time -- to get things straight -- and maybe a trip would help." Samantha suggests.

"Sure thing. I'll ask this lawyer to add a extra passenger, he seemed able to get things done."

"You sure it won't be a problem?" Samantha asks, knowing the answer.

"Sure. What could possibly go wrong at a will reading." Terrance unworried about the trip, the will or Wendy, his ex.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Apologizes to Burma: You too could be a victim of America

This situation has been going on for at least two decades (the last time Burmese people held an uprising) and yet, very little is mentioned in the United States about the plight of the people looking to throw off the shackles of military rule.

I plead some ignorance on this topic. Only recently (in the past month) has it made it way on my radar via the broadcasting of the BBC. They report nightly (4AM) on the struggles of the monks & general population to present the case for a democratic rule.

Today, the considerable intellect that is George 'Dubba You' Bush remarked on the Burma-brewing conflict at the United Nations. Interesting tact by him to suddenly became 'aware' of that long-standing conflict, since we know so well how his "interest" in other problems and situations are usually carried out. Its not enough that he is only interested where the money (oil) is, but he has not been a outspoken leader on anything remotely related to civil rights and democracy. (Since his administration has done plenty of damage to that U.S. Constitution.)

Burmese people are led in spirit (and opposition to the military junta) by Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi who has been under house arrest most of the last 18 years. Even now, she is headed back to prison, which can not be a pleasant place to be. She defeated the military regime in an election which suddenly wasn't an election, as the military took over and arrested her.

In a country of 43 million people, located just to the south of China, another wonderful establishment of peace, equal rights and prosperity for all, it is little wonder this "secret regime" has continue on with little ado. And the United States interest in 'spreading democracy' has fallen by the wayside - since winning the 'hearts and minds' of 89% of the population that is Buddhist is considered a weighty task.
Plus, the country is not in the arms race. So no real threat is posed by this backward country or its backward leadership.
With our bitter failures and defeats in the SE Asia war of Vietnam, with Laos and Cambodia representing equally distressing areas of failure, Burma is just another country we would rather avoid, instead of taking up the mantle of freedom and placing it firmly on the country. Since the U.S. has a ongoing, capitalistic relationship with superpower China, which holds billions of dollars in debt and obviously produces tons of consumer goods for us, the actions we take are only punitive to a point.
Economic Sanctions. Rhetoric. And backdoor politics headed by China and India. These tend to hurt the people they are trying to help more than any real pain to the junta. Even today the Chinese quietly urge the people of Burma (Myanmar) to quell protests and avoid violence. All in support of their Capitalistic desires for energy supplies and stability in the region. Not to actually change policy to a freer or democratic nation.
Sadly, this situation will escalate if the people of Burma realize it has to finally put the military to the test. And many thousands will likely die for their cause.
The struggle to gain acceptable governance is never easy. Burmese people I wish you well in your struggle - because it has only just begun.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Short Story: On the Fly, Run the Table (Part 1 of 3)

Waking up with the smell of stale warm beer hanging over him, Terrance rolled to one side of the motel bed and vomited into the ash-filled plastic garbage can. He could hear the roar of the semis trucking by at 75 MPH, like the old railroad line that ran by his Greenboro, Alabama home.

His family was "air poor" which was a might worse of that "dirt poor." As his Uncle Sal said to him at age six: "Dirt poor means you got something to hold on to. Air poor means you swap it out, like one of those time shares in Florida. We's do plenty of swappin' out 'round here."
That little dusty town was a model of the Reformation South: small, black majority, white controlled. It just figured Terrance wanted to escape it.

He was twenty-three. All ready divorced from the high school sweetheart made under the bleachers of the football game. She seemed to care greatly until Terrance decided to move north to Cincinnati.

"I am not leavin' my family. They have my best interests at heart. You don't." Wendy Nixon was a southern belle without any inner beauty. After giving the owner his 2-week notice at the distribution plant, with a job awaiting in Cincy, he found Wendy fucking his best man, Ronny Mason, on the kitchen counter. She could have avoided the surprise.

Terrance barely reacted - just went to the bedroom and packed his clothes - knowing it was all over except for the divorce papers. He left for Cincy after a week in the hotel, taking his last paycheck and belongings with him in the dusty '93 Toyota Camry.

Wendy never called, or worried. But then again her family owned the hardware store and was the law in those parts. Wendy had married him because he played football well and worked hard. Talent and work ethic were hard pressed to find in Greenboro. "You's the best catch a girl could have," Wendy had said only 3 years prior. Funny how time changes that.

Terrance third month in Cincy had seen him fall down a bit. He worked hard at the top-end distribution center, going through the supervisor training and making it to the overnight lead supervisor. But on weekends he got drunk and spent hours at the local strip club, half-mile from work and one mile from the seedy hotel.

Samantha (Vanity) liked him. She'd only take enough money not to cause her wannabe pimp owner not to get suspicious. Terrance seem unfazed by her seductive gyrations seeming to stare right through her, upon their first encounter. That bothered her, since she was never ignored by any customer she ever met. After watching him drink a half-dozen beers and lethargically hand over a dozen $1 bills to the various strippers, she came over.

"So what's you doing?" Samantha asked.

"Thinking about things." Terrance said.

"Bad things?" Samantha asked.

"Is there any other type?" he replied.

"I think so. So can I help?" she drew closer, figuring him for any easy $100 for 4 songs.

"I'm sure you could oblige. I shouldn't be here. It's just convenient." Terrance took a sip, paused for a moment, looked at his watch and stood up to leave.

"You in a hurry? Got a wife?" she cocked her head sideways as she stared up at him. He towered over her 5 foot frame, even in 4 inch heels.

"No and no. Just had my fill. But thanks for the conversation." He handed her $40 --and left out the door.
In the ensuing month, and weekly visit to the joint that nabbed plenty of hourly workers and supervisors, Terrance warmed to Samantha a bit. After the fifth visit, she had made it her priority to get Terrance alone in the "back stage" area. She initiated more than ever.
It resulted in more confusion for both. More mysteries to fight against. Whys and Hows and What Next came breezily through their minds.

Terrance wasn't surprised she had left him in the motel alone -- he been pretty terrible after sex, crying -- but he just didn't belief she had time to pick flowers up from somewhere nearby. On the night stand stood a mixture of roses, tiger lilies and lilacs and a note: "Wondrous indeed is the night we had. See you later Terry. Love Sammy."

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Gary Tragedy: Video from a survivor, Excuses & Excusers

Gary Teenager, Darius Moore, Victim of Accident speaks about situation

Gary Mayor: "Looks Like Somebody Messed Up"

Police Chief: But Gary Police Chief Thomas Houston defended his officers and emergency personnel Monday, saying they had received conflicting information regarding whether anyone had been left behind at the accident scene. Police also said the two survivors had been drinking and that one was legally drunk, though the chief would not specify who had been legally drunk at the time of the incident.

Furthermore, Chief Houston stood by the coroner's findings, saying officials told him, "No matter how much medical assistance was at the scene, there were no lives to be saved."

How nice. The Police Chief is shifting the blame (if the driver isn't drunk (wasn't said), how is it relevant to the accident that another teenager did get drunk?) and downplaying the results (no lives to be saved.) And since when could a coroner do such an autopsy that quick? (Not to say the results are wrong, but there is a possible lawsuit here at stake, so yes, it is "interesting.")

I hope the Police Chief is fired for his attitude and poor control of his subordinates. No matter how you slice and dice this situation, two people were dead and left behind by those that should be the pillar of concern for all citizens. Since they refused to do their jobs, or listen, they should be brought up on some serious charges, and at least face removal from the police force.

Funny too that the 1st arriving officer's name hasn't been released. It seems the media hasn't tracked down that guy. I'll be curious to see the reaction then.

Some of the Message Board reactions REFLECT the Region's problems:

Commenter #1: Those of you STILL blaming the GPD need to become true adults, yes, I said it, you must be 12 years old to blame the cops. FYI, if it was my son or daughter (12 and 19) in that vehicle, if they were driving, hospital or not, I would have walloped them so hard that they would beg for drinking and driving #1, #2, I would scream at them as well as the ignorant parents of those kids NOT wearing seatbelts, I taught my kids better, obviously, they did not care about theirs to teach them to wear their seatbelts. It is NOT the GPD that murdered those 2 boys, it was Darius, FACE THE FACTS PEOPLE!

Commenter #2: As a mom i want to say my heart and prayers go to the victims.Do i think the boys should be held accountable for their actions if to be found guilty,YES. As for those saying that it wasn't the emergancy care workers fault two boys were left behind,where are you coming from? Being a emergancy care worker,there was no excuse not to find bodies 10 feet from the accident.As for you saying it's not their faults because the boys were drunk driving,that upserd.That's like saying we should not give cpr to a person thats had a heart attack because they are over weight and did it to themselves or not give care to a person with lung cancer because they smoked.Bottom line is when you become a emergancy care worker it doesn't matter if they did it to themselves or not,you help as much as you can. our job is not to judge it's to try and save lives.Also to that mother that says she watches every move her kids make and her youngest is 20,you've must of not done a good job not to trust them as adults.....

Commenter #3: Isn't Rudy Clay the same guy that gave us "Gary is not a violent city"? Now we get "looks like somebody messed up". Perhaps the kid that was driving drunk messed up, eh?

Commenter #4: It was an unfortunate accident and the cause was someone drinking and driving. However after reading the reports and listening to the news accounts (as a police officer) I believe that if the young man said there were other victims or even possible victims they should have looked for them and called fire aparatus if needed. The fault of the accident is one thing but the improper police response and fastest autopsy finding in Lake County history are another thing!!

Commenter #5: I'm not sure where you are a Police Officer at, but they need to send you back to training. As an accident reconstructionist, I can usually tell within the first 5-10 minutes on scene whether speed was a factor involved or not. Although the vehicle rolled down a hill, speed is required to generate the momentum required to make the vehicle roll, not just gravity. Speed has everything to do with the vehicle rolling in this case. Excessive speed would almost definitely be a factor. I agree, the investigation is not complete yet, and there are still alot of unanswered questions, but it comes down to the basic fact that these underage kids were drinking and driving, traveling too fast, and not to mention not wearing their seatbelts. The Coroners verdit states that they died on impact, and no amount of medical care was going to save them. So, now lets hold those responsible for the deaths responsible, namely the driver of the vehicle and those who supplied them the alcohol.

1) How quick others defend the cops and want to the teenagers to pay
2) You see that the mention of alcohol means that the police don't have to do their jobs, the kids are just stupid
3) The Blame Game has started. The Gary Police has shifted it to the teenagers. Trying to cover their tracks, getting autopsies done in record time, suddenly stirring the pot with alcohol, refusing to acknowledge their shoddy police work and not saying anything that can be considered a apology.
4) Officials have little to say that supports the belief they care. Gary Mayor is a real joke. The Police Chief is indifferent to the whole thing. "No lives to be save," must be nice for him to take such a cavalier attitude toward two dead teenagers that aren't his.
5) Those of you who claim to be professionals in emergency care, police work and crime investigation SHOULD all take note:
Do you allow haphazard, shoddy and indifferent natures to permeate your work?

Would you just blame the kids, forget that 6 hours passed before you got two other bodies out of the ditch? Saying, "Oh, well, they're dead. Let's get some lunch, eh?"

Is race the reason?
That the kids were out late?
Why does that matter in how you perform your duties, sworn and by grace of God?

Anyone calling for charges against the boy driving, while ignoring the cops' indifferent nature, is being racist, biased in favor of a "pro" and ignoring a human tenant: that all lives are equal, sacred and worthy of care.

And I duly hope you learn that lesson the hard way. What comes around goes around.

Just sad, sad, sad.

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Police: To Protect and Serve? Or Capture and Kill?

Today, in Gary, IN, long known as the murder capital of the USA, a car accident with four teenagers inside resulted in two deaths. This would not be unusual except for the fact the two deaths were likely a direct result of shoddy, indifferent and criminal police work.

Darius Moore, the driver, Deandre Anderson, Brandon Smith and Dominique Green were coming home from a rap concert/party. According to Moore, the car blew a tire, and he lost control of the vehicle careening down the embankment, resulting in all 4 guys being ejected from the car. (No seat belts I suspect.)

Moore then found Anderson immediately, both suffering only minor injuries, but able to flag down an officer. According to the teenagers, who had no reason to lie, they said both Brandon Smith and Dominique Green were still down in the embankment near a wooded/short grass area. The police have maintained that they got conflicting stories from these boys.

As a result, six (6) hours passed while the boys were at the hospital being treated, and likely telling the medical personal about the accident. Meanwhile, the cops flip the car over, searched minimally, then left the scene and two teenagers without a comprehensive search.

From ABC7 News in Chicago:

More than six hours after the crash, at 9:27 a.m., the coroner was called because Brandon Smith's father took it upon himself to go to the crash scene. Family members found Smith's and Green's bodies in the wooded area. According to the coroner, both had been ejected from the vehicle and died of multiple blunt force trauma.

It took Arthur Smith only 5 minutes to find his dead son, Brandon.

As a result, the Gary Police have clammed up, "trying to get their story straight", while two families and countless others, suffer. This is only one tragic event that has recently befallen my local area of residence, as a result of police indifference and policies that seem to be a pattern of behavior for all local law enforcement.

Since a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling upheld the rights of officers to engage in dangerous Police Chases of suspects, it seems that is the mode of operation in NW Indiana.

1. August 8th: VALPARAISO, Ind. A crash in Valparaiso, Ind., took the life of a woman and injured three others Wednesday afternoon.The crash occurred on Highway 49, just south of Vale Park Road during a police chase. As CBS 2 Northwest Indiana Bureau Chief Pamela Jones reports, the driver apparently ran a red light.The crunched plastic and shattered glass pinned under a semi-truck is what's left after a police pursuit turned tragic in Valparaiso.A Porter County Sheriff's Deputy was sometime around 2:30 Wednesday afternoon chasing a teenage driver who had a warrant out for his arrest.

2. Apr 15, 2007, a motorist was killed Sunday after leading police in northwest Indiana on a high-speed chase and crashed on I-94 near Chesterton.The driver of the 2003 Trail Blazer was Rose Marie Hurley, 44 of Mokena, Ill.The chase started around 6:30 a.m. in Burns Harbor when a police officer responded to a disturbance at a local truck stop and the person involved in the disturbance got into a Chevrolet Trail Blazer and fled the scene, according to Indiana State Police.

She flipped the vehicle, was ejected from the Blazer, and pronounced dead on the scene.

3. January 29, 2007. Hit-and-run turns deadly. Penny Paul was supposed to marry 44-year-old Cornell Yancey next year.“I can't believe that he's gone,” Paul said.

But police say around 3:30 Monday afternoon, a speeding car running from police ripped Yancey's car apart, killing him. "I couldn't believe it. I mean it's like…It's not real. It's like it's not real. It's like a dream to me,” Paul said.

Police say a Hobart officer spotted a PT Cruiser in Hobart that had been reported stolen.The officer tried to stop the driver for speeding at Ridge Road and Martin Luther King Drive on the border with Gary. "Apparently, he tried to stop the vehicle in Hobart. And in the course of the vehicle fleeing from him, he stayed in hot pursuit of the vehicle as it was traveling through the city of Gary,” sad Anthony Ramirez of the Lake County Indiana Sheriff’s Department.

A few other stories are out there. What I find problematic is that procedures seem to be shifting from a regard for life to a total disregard for any life. These men with their badges, nightsticks, guns and hop-up vehicles, are now in it for the sport of running down their bad guys/girls. The put the public at risk and refuse to concede that they are adding to the misery of this world. And Refuse any sanctions, because no one of importance has died in their willy nilly chases.

Then, when an accident happens, they haphazardly disregard the victim's assertions of two other people being thrown from the car. What does that say about them? That it is more important to go catch more bad guys, or those black teenagers are not all that important.

When Steve Fossett (spelling) went missing, the whole world was interested, no resource was spared. The six coal miners trapped in Utah, again, no stone was left unturned, as days went by. Meanwhile, these two teenagers were found by their own flesh and blood. Couldn't spare them that heartache; they had to be the ones to find their boys.

Meanwhile, the "blue boys" are out trying to run down people that in all these recent cases were not killers, rapists or child molesters, just disorderly, possibly drunk and juvenile offenders. What does that say? It says that public safety is being ignored.

I'll write more later.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Idiot Box: Things I've watched and liked

Since we often find ourselves plopping down in front of it, while awaiting a new adventure to take form somewhere inside us, or around us, here is a list of the shows I've took an interest in over the years....

- while I was growing up, this was usually high on the watched list. Between Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce and Hotlips Houlihan, I guess it was a small microcosm of the Vietnam War, although it's approach was not quite what I think should have been. Still retains title as highest rated TV show ever in its finale...And no show nowadays will ever amass that sort of audience with Cable/Direct TV.
The Wonder Years - Fred Savage as Kevin Arnold was a top-flight casting decision. He brought plenty to the role of a teenager growing up in the late 1960's, early 1970's. Daniel Stern doing that classic voice over, like The Christmas Story Red Rider Bee Bee Gun guy, also was top flight. Since the story moved in the same period, Vietnam, it was interesting how it could take on that topic, then come back down to antics of growing up, figuring out girls and getting into trouble. Olivia D'abo (left) was also a then schoolboy crush. (She's 38, plays on a show I really want to watch, but can't, since it is on SciFi and my cable company sucks - Eureka - and probably still pretty good looking.)

Remington Steele - Pierce Brosnan (pre-Bond) and Stephanie Zimbalist formed a partnership that was chaotic and funny. As a detective combo, they both worked pretty well. With Pierce's English verve and Stephanie's understated hotness (left), the show did enough for my 12-13 year old attention span. Sorta of a Moonlighting without the funny, sharp and quippy language. Which lead us to...

Moonlighting - Bruce Willis (pre-Die Hard) and Cybil Shephard (post-The Last Picture Show) did what Remington Steele couldn't usually: laugh at itself on screen. Breaking through the "4th wall" of TVLAND and adding plenty of spice in the sack that Remington didn't. A typical quote from the series:

Petruchio/Addison: You see through me, Kate. No tuner I. But I wish it were within my talents to play piano for you.
Kate/Maddie: 'Tis a sad thing indeed. You're the only man I know who suffereth from pianist envy.

House - what better way to understand a pseudo-Sherlock Holmes than to watch a drug-addicted doctor ply his craft on the cases and medical team members of his choice. It sometimes makes a good statement; other times it stretches any medical ethics to the point of absurdity. Hugh Laurie (pre-House) though does an excellent job. His pop was a doctor from a few sources.

Psych - this is a pretty decent show, though it will have to step it up a bit to garner any acclaim like Monk did. The references to old TV shows, characters and plotlines though sometimes really funny, are getting a bit too much. The characters are all likeable, which is why the show works. Gus (Dule Hill) and Sean (James Roday) are a tight duo that works well on the weird cases they solve through the photographic memory of Sean and awkward smarts of Gus.

The Black Sheep Squadron: Based very loosely on the WWII heroics of Major Greg "Pappy" Boyington, Robert Conrad and John Laroquette led this show in a short-lived airing of 36 episodes. The dogfights staged as they were with 1970's technology was pretty good. Laroquette would go on to Night Court and his own show.

The Dead Zone - Even being based on a Stephen King novel, I was surprised to see the big 3 (ABC, NBC or CBS) did not take this on their airways. (Though USA Network must be owned by NBC.) Anthony Michael Hall (of Chevy Chase's Vacation & The Breakfast Club) has really done a unique job -- though the character has ran its course. The showdown with Vice President/President is coming...Hope it doesn't suck.

Hustle - Nothing like thieves in Londontown to make an interesting adventure. Led by Mickey Stone (Adrian Lester of Primary Colors) and Albert Stroller (top character actor Robert Vaughn, who was nominated for Oscar in The Young Philadelphians) in the con game played for the moral good of others (they get the really bad men) in a Robin Hood without-the-giving-to-the-poor always scenario, I like the backdrop and the action.

I don't always get to this one. I've like the 8-12 episodes I've seen, but alas, I forget AMC plays something other that movies like For A Few Dollars More or From Here to Eternity, which are both fine, but I've seen.
Burn Notice, Heroes, Family Guy, Law & Order original, Star Trek and plenty of others are things I've watched.

A very poor segway to more educational stuff:

Connections & Connections 2 & Connections 3: Englishman James Burke takes you on a ride to see the connections in history between divergent technologies and vastly different people. How one thing or item became instrumental to the fabric of another item, sometimes 500 years removed from each other. This series started in 1979...
The Universe - New show on how this thing called a Universe is created and shifting from place to place, and time to time. It is always interesting to learn about Physics and the crazy things that are capable in just one star 1 billion light-years away.
Cities of the Underworld - Nice to see 1,000,000 skeletons (Paris), drawings from 2000 years ago (Rome) and dungeons (London) in these places just 100 feet below your feet. Entire lives and streets exist just under the parking garages of your current existence.
Just about anything on the History Channel or Discovery, is pretty cool at times.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

It's Boredom --End Life: A feeling to lose in a shark attack

Didn't know what to say or feel today. I was bored. Not your standard boredom. The likelihood of feeling that standard boredom the same way, every day is pretty remote. It's random. Like a blog.

We (or I) spend(t) it dreaming. Dreaming that the sun would never set. And our eyes love it. We spend seconds on the happiest moments of our lives, and figure, it could get better. Doing something comes to mind. But not for long. We daydream about great places to be, great ideas come to finality, great persons yet to be met in our lives. It's fun -- for a spell.

I get emotional over it. The thoughts disappear. When I look at the fading sunset of a day, knowing I didn't do what I was meant to do, meet who I was meant to know, or go the places I was harbingered to go, a bit of us must fade away...the time is lost. And immortality is the only escape.

The passage of a day is dependent on our interaction within it. How the seconds pass is usually a matter of oneness with the moment. A quick day has us doing all kinds of things -- moving items, ourselves, talking to people of worth, determining things on the fly -- whereas, a slow one, has us sitting, sleeping, watching, observing much of nothing or nothing that's real.

One of my readers mentioned swimming with sharks, and I think that describes an activity that time would spin by rather quickly. Placed on the razor's edge of a eating machine, as you faced mortality would make time nearly irrelevant, moving so quickly, while trying to escape to fight for more days, months and years. Your senses, sight, sound and feeling, would be on high alert - and no one would figure you were uninspired at that instant.

I find solace in knowing I have one more day ahead. Designing it to not be too bored. Designing it to take advantage of whatever small abilities and realities I can. Discovering if I had done enough to warrant remembrance -- knowing I hadn't --yet when it is all over, that is the human condition to desire some remembrance as being here.

How many have passed away without that? How long did it take to forget them? Who was the last person to remember them personally? Who remembered them via a book, a reading about them, even in a dusty old log book of death? What is the average amount of time before we are forgotten by our offspring?

I suppose it is best to get out there and take the shark by the fins and ride the wave. Or we'll not like the answers resulting from our passing.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Your Last Day & Dirty Jobs: What you would do & what have you done

I was posed a question about what would I do if I had only 24 hours to live. Off the top of my head, these ten items came to mind:

Do all the things I never have done due to fear or some hang up externally or internally.

1) anything enjoyable or risky. If you got little experience in taking risks, why not use that last day to accomplish it. It is amazing what you'll do in a time-compressed situation.
2) tell people off that deserve it. There are a select few people I would love to bang on before I pass. I wouldn't go out of my way, but if I had a personal assistant who could track them down, then yes, tell them to get ready for a haunting they'll never forget.
3) go skydiving. Nothing like terminal velocity to wake up the senses inside you as you cheat death at least one last time.
4) make love. It's a given with me, the amount and quality of that particular activity has been crappy. Paying for it or hoping at least one lady actually finds that to be an activity she likes, would make for good going-to-death present.
5) eat great seafood. Something about the oceans' catch is more pleasant that a cheeseburger, and healthy for you too. Maybe some blowfish or exotic fish would be a plus.
6) say goodbye to a few friends. If they could understand it was done in a short fashion, I would be also happy to go play a baseball with them, to do something else enjoyable.
7) Watch a sunset by the ocean. Never been to the Pacific...would like that.
8) Fly a plane. After making love mile high style, flying a plane would be pretty tight.
9) Give all my money remaining to a down-on-his-luck person. I assume that my immediate family will be long gone. I also assume my remaining cash is substantial...
10) Kiss the woman I love before I die. I assume there is a one woman to love. She might be the mile-high darling that sends my dreams to the moon on a frail light beam of everlasting hope. Let it be.

Dirty Jobs on Discovery Channel is a pretty fun show. Mike Rowe is the host. (See right.) And it reminded me of the dirty, fortunate, and crappy ways to make a living...

  1. Newspaper carrier. Did that first at age 12. It was a good after school job, except when it rained, snowed or got cold, which was a lot. The tips at Christmas made it worthwhile and the fact I had more of my own money that 95% of my middle school companions. That was then..

  2. Mowing the Public Library. My grandmother cleaned the library for 20 years. She was usually there on Weekends to straighten out the place. So, I got to mow the 1-acre lot with a push mower, and go inside, chill and talk to her. Once I got to College, that ended.

  3. Cleaning horse stalls, painted fences and feeding the horses, etc. I spent a summer working for a local bigshot. My grandmother cleaned their house. Nick Rudge was an interesting sort...He allowed me to drive without a license/permit his big, new Suburban. (He had an expired license.) He never was uptight about anything. "Don't you worry about the police?" I asked in regards to my driving. "Not if the police chief wants to keep his house...he'll listen to me." (Nick was the former Bank President.) He paid well - $50 per day in 1987 dollars was big time cash for a 15-year old. And we took those 1 1/2 lunch breaks. Too bad he passed away in 1988.

  4. Dishwasher. "High-end" Italian Restaurant. 150 person Banquets galore. Cheap boss. 9 months of bad operations, late nights (past 1 AM at age 16),OSHA violations and (in his case) drug-laden leadership. I quit on a Friday night with 2 banquets expected...I enjoyed that Friday.

  5. Grocery packer. Not a bad gig usually. Plenty of attractive cashiers, a few dates, plenty of chaos on Saturday. Got stuck doing the cleanup of the joint at night: facing aisles, mopping the aisles, cleaning the carpets, taking reusable bottles in the back, etc. College intervened - so I went to the next level of dead end jobs.

  6. Grill Cook. Hardees, Burger King and Taco Bell (Hell). I did them all. Not that there is much to them, except for the greasy feeling you always have and the uniform that smells like a bad batch of fries.

  7. Clerical Assistant. Work Study for 3 Ag Econ Professors. Did mailers, fliers and sorted out countless files. One Professor enjoyed my library research skills so much I spent most of my time doing his tracking down of books for articles. Purdue has about 15 seperate libraries --at least then -- so items were never exactly in the right places. Another professor liked to violate copyright on a regular basis, as I copied nearly an entire book, 200 pages, for his 12 graduate students to have for free.

  8. Inventory Analyst. My boss was 1 year older and knew EVERYTHING. The company was bleeding money, didn't have a Bill of Materials and put me on some really worthless tasks. (Like taking 34x76, 36x80, 36x82 storm doors, right and left, crossbuck, white and brown and moving them to a back area on a dolly. 520 doors later, they decided to move them again. I quit after 6 weeks.)

  9. Industrial Engineer. First real job. Enjoyed the pay -- sometimes -- the hours were not all that. (60 hours+) Between the politics of management & labor, you get the fight the good fight of highest efficency at the lowest cost. Design facility makeovers, time study some boring operations, create labor standards, cost analysis of assembly area/logistic operation and plenty of dragging of feet by whomever thinks your job is to ruin their lives.

  10. Line assembler. Part-time job I had at a computer center to make more cash. Wasn't bad, but they had goofy policies.

  11. Janitor in Prison. That was my job. To clean the head, mop floors and wax the main lobby in the holding area. Not at all sane and normal. Cleaning supplies? A joke. No one cared but the guards that got uptight and chew out if things were out of sync. Nothing like mops in the hands of offenders that have a penchant to break them for other uses..

    All total, I would say I've had 20+ different positions. Some only lasting 3 months. Longest: 27 months. I worked in a -20 degree warehouse, and picked cases to test labor standards. I walked around a Foundry for a few months...that's a dirty air place.


Saturday, September 8, 2007

The Perfect Storm: Iraq and its affects on us all

I don't know if The Perfect Storm title is appropriate, but it got your attention...I hope.

It seems since 9/11 that people are more afraid to express the idea of regret, wrongheadedness and blunders about the way America is going. If you attack (or critique, a better word) the way the United States has decided to take on issues, such as Iraq, then you somehow have betray the flag, apple pie and the spirit of our country.

On the contrary, I think you are expressing a sharper focus on the things we should be doing better. Because a nation of similar attitudes, biases and blindspots is doomed to miss opportunities, to advance, to improve and to foster better equality.

We lose perspective daily in this country. Between the media drowning us with frivolity, the message from leaders staid and the isolation we have driven to have amongst ourselves, no one has brought forth a coherent thought that people do not dismiss automatically due to some inherent value judgment made inside thirty-second time frame: the typical time we give all major decisions in our lives, just because it has become in vogue to do so. And with that, the objective amount of time, to fair review and to process of information has been shuffled away. No one thinks very long about it.

As an example, Iraq, an issue I can barely stand to talk about, seems to be a quagmire much like the Vietnam War. We are not welcome; our ideas are easily dismissed by Iraqi people; we are fighting a guerrilla war; even the alleged allies in the government are suspicious of future intents and have made alternative plans for our departure. And billions upon billions are being spent to what unfortunate end?

To further this problem, the enemy has our troops' unethical actions to prisoners as fuel. It has the Media's morose reporting to foster recruitment efforts of future enemies. It even has America's broadcasting of all our country's ills, decaying morality and dispicable behavior to reflect what "goes on" in our country. We provide the perfect propaganda to feed a willing young terrorist.

But we also forget this is a region that has long foster negative feelings due to our spread of Capitalism, Democracy and Christianity. The Middle East (aside from Israel) has had little positive actions since World War II ending. No matter how we approach the region, pitting one group, or country, or sect against those that refuse us - and our way of life - we soon find this particular side turns on us. We lose control of, or influence of, the side chosen.

It happened in the late 1970's in Iran. And we did support Osama in the 1980's against the Russians. Add to those missteps, the sole ally, Israel, has zero support from other Middle East nations, making us a very unwelcome visitor.

Lately, I find our stances, foreign or domestic, are in such chaos to what this country was built on, even through tumultuous times and circumstances, that most people are repressing their outrage, anger and dispair, only to soon release it in ways that are not healthy. (I have - and it isn't completely about direction of the country - but it is apart of it. Mine started even before 2001.)

We are becoming a virtual product of a fast-food, fast-talk, micro-computerized society, with video clips and TTYL attitudes. It seems fun until it become the standard to which we aspire, never (or barely) to reach anything higher. Within it, we function solely for ourselves. Outside of it, we barely conceptualize anything beyond a brief smile and appointment made to meet someone, or something else, probably a computer.

As an average blogger, I am as guilty of it as anyone that makes his living from the editoral pages ran for profit. But what has happen to solid discourse? Is it lost because we've gone too generic - too easy to make an opinion, post it or video tape it, and therefore, the totality has become a sea of sinking ideals, constructs and values?

Has our ability to empathize disappear? Are we just interested in our entertainment? Is our ability to care tied to how much profit can be found?

I am tired of using the word "hope" to describe what I surmise could be. I'd rather use, "it shall happen." But I am not confident in that hope.

To add to the morass, a pop song that sounds about like today's culture: Timbaland's "The Way I Are" (I actually like the backbeat keyboards...) The first words resonate: "State of Emergency..."

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The Big 80's: Music, Money & Women from that time

Tne Band of the 80's: U2 performing live 'With or Without You' from Rattle and Hum with an additional verse...

The Dance/Pop Star of the 80's: Michael Jackson's "Bad" another Thriller in a parking garage. I guess Michael is pretty bad -- even compared to others.

Another aptly themed song and very long version of 'Smooth Criminal' by Jackson. Hey, the man can cut a rug without a doubt... If you blink, you'll miss Lauren Holly's appearance (4:08), a favorite female actress of mine.

The Material Girl of the 80's: Madonna's "Material Girl" for the Decade of Greed on Wall Street. Or as Michael Milken put it, then, "Greed is Good."

The two-hit wonder of the decade (biased): The Romantics "Talking in Your Sleep". A Video shoot inside a garbage sack. Plenty of lingerie clad women and bad video!!! But the music is interesting. Very good Bass line, typical drum fills, ok lyrics and a repetitive keyboard.

The Bad Boy of the 80's: Billy Idol's "Cradle of Love". Ok, what guy didn't want a lass like this one barging into his house, drinking his wine and rocking his stuffy little world.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Contests & Entreprenuers: Logo Designer Contest by David Airey

I was initially going to write about Bipolar disease, since it had made its way to airwaves on channel 5 news and into the paper I deliver, The Northwest Indiana Times. Instead, I have decided to enter another blogger contest that I'll not win.

David Airey is running a blogger contest for continued support of his graphic design blog.

Logo Design is now essential for top flight companies and entreprenuers in order to increase their brand awareness. For the blogosphere, by Nate Whitehill will make a blog standout from the rest and keep customers intrigued with a top notch Front Page. Without by Maki, even a good idea/concept will not reach in fullest potential in terms of revenues generated for the blogger and its sponsors. A dedicated website by John Boardley of , will give your website a solid footing to take hold while you develop products, services and other content-related ideas. Finally, everyone needs a development book called by Lorelle VanFossen, to enhance the flava of their site and determine exactly what their blog will be focused on.

Many of best entreprenuers in the world would likely have dominated their realms much faster with the ideas of the blog available to them now. People such as Mary Kay Ash - Most Outstanding Woman in Business in the 20th Century , Richard Branson - The Rebel Billionaire and the Ultimate Multipreneur , Walt Disney - The Man Behind the Mouse or Henry Ford - Founder of Ford Motor Company and Manufacturing Assembly Line Innovator would undoubtedly have the world buzzing with their ideas, dreams, innovations and brand development to such a large degree with the advent of the BLOG and Multi-purpose Websites.

But even these Vice Admirals of Capitalism would appreciate good foot soldiers with site critiques by Designer 1st Class Randa Clay for . Since we always need to look for improvement, a good looksy by this professional in the webspace area is helpful. A by Ensign Lyndon Antcliff can be another avenue of for fine tuning a site to generate more Search Engine hits while hopefully generating more profits for your site. Another writer, Daniel Scocco of would also be a excellent lieutenant for design, SEO, monetization and blogging strategy. And finally, Field Commander Phil Gerbyshak would assess the quality of these Admirals' battle plans via a .

Need more exposure? Try as the answer with top outfit BEHRINGER PODCASTUDIO USB providing the appropriate tools and resources to gain that that leg up on the competition.

Can't pay? Secretary of Commerce Gayla McCord of will pony up $25 for your costs.

Lack Storage Space? Logistics Sergaent Jamie Clague at is giving away 2 GB of storage via the USB sticks.

Need more power, captain? The Crackerjack company of will provide that support.

More eyes on the prize? A published on Blog-Op with Field Reporter Chris Lodge as your eyes (and ears on the blogosphere heartbeat.) Maybe another from Aaron Russell of miLienzo will get the peepers of blogs on your six.

Not technically proficient at blogging? Logistics Officer Lakshmi Mareddy has outstanding that could bring those great ideas to life on the page. Hock Ng of has mad review skills of that can bring your blog up from the deeps of Davey Jones locker.

Your Battle Plan not good? Combat Commander Charles Jordan of The Queer Chef has a new menu of options at your disposal that can cook the enemy where they stand with ideas.

Need someone behind enemy lines? Then Superspy Ben Yoskovitz can get into the enemy's psychology with a quick .

Battle Tactics need revision? As a top drill sergeant, Mark McGuinness of will retrain your soldiers via "" in two sessions that will get them to become lean, mean fighting machines.

Need a sit down with the top brass? Major General Rebecca Caroe is the Top Star in the Corps. It is her position as a to inform you of the options availed to you on your path to Brand Development and Growth. A face-to-face in London / Cambridge is pricey, but she'll also come to your beach head for her travel expenses...

Time to sue for peace? As Ambassador Tammy Lenski will relate in a one-hour, private telephone convo, a can settle any issues that the war could not.

Lauching a counterstrike? Sometimes a with Design Translator (DT) of Design Sojourn can be the deciding blow in a conflict.

Need more military funds? Financial Liason Easton Ellsworth works that can keep the campaign going in the face of dwindling resources.

Need a better equipment? Inventor Sara of has new weapons in the war to win the hearts and minds of bloggers/surfers everywhere. Or Jonathan of will open up those civilians that peruse your sphere of influence.


As a result of this enterprise, I have taken the idea of a contest, infused entreprenuers and military jargon into the mix, and low and behold, made at least 23 references to the Logo Designer by David Airey contest.