It's not my fault, you bastards!

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In case you did not know this from before, I am making sure now that you are aware that this blog is completely mine and mine alone. In other words, I say what I want, to whoever I want, however I want, whenever I want. I am entitled to my own opinions as you are to yours. If you don't like what you read, then please go away and never bother to come back. You were not forced or coerced into coming here and most definitely, you are not obligated to stay. So leave, if you think you should. No if's, no and's, no but's, no exceptions.

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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Credit cards, debit cards

I am sick and tired of getting ads in the mail trying to get me to apply for a new credit card or debit card. I don't get the attraction of debit cards. Debit cards subtract from your account immediately. Credit accounts are simply increased on the balance. If I pay my credit card when due, I get the use of thier money interest free for several weeks. They loan me money and I get a statement and then I pay the statement balance in full and all of the time from the purchase date until the check clears, the money is still in my account earning some amount of interest, and I paid them nothing for this interest free loan. The key is to pay off the balance in full, otherwise they get thier pound of flesh in interest. Oh, and by the way, NEVER EVER take a cash advance. A cash advance is ALWAYS hit with a fee for the transaction AND interest starts immediately without a grace period, a sure loser for you and a sure gain for the bank. Better to never get a cash advance on a credit card. And why is it the credit card companies are starting to send me credit card applications for my ex-wife divorced since 1996, under her new remarried name!?!

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Thursday, April 06, 2006

I just feel lost...

Today, is the anniversary of my first marriage, in 1968. It lasted for not quite 10 years, by about 3 weeks in fact. She left me for another man, a good friend. I had everything and I screwed it up. I woke up from a deep sleep because of a dream, a dream about my first wife (To date, I've had 2 marriages in my past). It was a happy kind of dream, the kind where we were doing things and being happy, and I relived many happy moments and then it happened, the bad scene. The bad scene was fiction, but it was so disturbing, it woke me. In my dreams, I sometimes dream about real eents from my past and then intermixed are scenes which are simply impossible and obviously a fiction. My problem is these dream images are mixed so well and blend so perfectly it is almost impossible to separate fact from fiction. What is my subconscious trying to tell me? I believe dreams are the subconscious mind communicating with the conscious mind in something like a simile or metaphor, trying to make sense of something which in the conscious mind made NO sense. The thing is, oh so many years later, I still hold some measure of love in my heart for this woman. Maybe it is because she was my first true love.

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Thursday, March 30, 2006

"Feelin' Allright" - Joe Cocker

I love this song. I think people should have a theme song, background music dor the days of their life. This is my choice, this song, to accompany me as I go from here to there and back again. There are other songs I would use from time to time, but THIS one is the MAIN song I want for the background music in the film I am making of my life every day in my mind. There is a TV show, "The Closer" with Kyra Sedgwick on TNT. Now, THAT is a program with music exactly like I hear for myself in my mind, but it is Joe Cocker singing which is the opening theme song of my day when I awake each day of my life (for the moment anyway).

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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Three sheets to the wind

Where DID that phrase come from? Anyway, I got totally blitzed a few nights ago. I wasn't driving, I was staying over at a friend's house, and another houseguest brought vodka, flavored vodka, from the former Soviet Union where he visited late last year. He brought back (and sent back as gifts) gallons of the stuff, high class stuff, not rot-gut by any means, and far better than the "good stuff" we have here brewed in the US. This stuff was SMOOTH, absolutely NO bite. No bite at all, like I said, SMOOTH, and I got totally blitzed and stumbled into the bedroom later and fell into bed and the next day, I did NOT have a hangover! Like I said, this was the GOOD stuff! And the good stuff does not have the properties of a hangover the next day. No wonder the Russians can drink SO much. They don't have the after effects those of us not privy to the really good stuff...

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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Aliens and UFO's

I wonder about people sometimes. I've spoken with people who believe unidentified flying objects are manned by aliens and refuse to believe anything else. Thay all seem to share another belief, that these aliens are benign, altruistic even. Hmmmm... I wonder. If I make the leap to believe aliens have visited this planet, what is there that makes them the "good" guys and not be the "bad" guys on the block? For me, it seems that aliens would more than likely be the bad guys. Think about the difference in technology which must exist for an alien spacecraft to get here from another star system where intelligent life exists, life capable of traveling between star systems to get into our backyard so to speak. None of us Earthlings have figured out how to fold space yet, as Einstein theorized. Einstein theorized that space would bend under the influence of gravity, specifically, that a star behind the sun during an eclipse would be visible because the light would bend around the sun. Sure enough, it was observed to be true fact during an eclipse. Light from a star behind the sun was bent around our sun so a star physically on a straight line and behind our sun was visible to us on the Earth because of the light bending around the sun. It works, gravity bends space or bends the path light takes away from a straight line. So there it is, these guys can bend space like it was a piece of paper folded over and then punched through from one side of the fold to the other making a wormhole that bypasses the usual route in a straight line like light does. That explains how they can apparently travel faster than the physical speed limit of light in our universe and go so far so fast. In other words, they took a shortcut, and to make use of this shortcut, all it takes is a LOT of power to fold space in half and somehow walk across from one side to the other. A good possibility would be a machine which makes or manipulates local gravity. Now for another problem, inertia. From reports of UFO sightings, some of these things travel at really high speed and make right angle turns or reverse course, something impossible to accomplish without something to manipulate inertia. It isn't the sudden stop that kills you, it is being sliced up as you fly through the windshield you just broke because inertia and Newton says once in motion, a body tends to stay in motion. So, the car stops abruptly, and you don't, dying as you get sliced by going through the glass of the windshield. So, you need something to inhibit inertia, somthing which would prevent you from "flying through the windshield" so to speak, where there is that sudden stop, or for that matter a sudden change in course.

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Monday, February 13, 2006

I will take some things to my grave

I am sure there are things in your past which you don't want other people to know, ever, so you will take these things, events and/or whatever, to your grave. I won't have a grave if I have anything to say about it. I want all of my organs to be donated and the reaminder to go to science so someone can learn from them, and then when science is done, cremate the remainder and scatter my ashes onto water somewhere. I don't even care if the water is a flush in a bathroom, just so it is water somewhere. The Pacific Ocean is my choice, but hey, you can dump my ashes down the nearest storm drain if you want. After all, I'll be beyond caring at that point. Here is something which I was going to take with me, but I will reveal to you now. I used to steal things. I started when I was a small child, shoplifting that is. It was years before I was caught at it. I got caught when I was 12 or 13 when I got greedy and talked another kid into putting something under his shirt while I put some things into my pockets, something which was too big for him and guess what, we got caught. It seems a guy was watching us the whole time we were in the store. Bummer. I ended up going into informal therapy with a police officer in the town. I lied to the guy. I told him what he wanted to hear, played the game I saw it all as, and strung him along, making a little "progress" each time we met and playing up the remorse part. After a while, I finally was deemed rehabilitated. However, I did not stop shoplifting, I just was careful enough to never got caught again. I learned to be careful. I continued up into my early 20's when suddenly it happened, I saw someone in front of me get caught, an adult, 40's maybe. This person was taken into the back and I asked a cashier what was going to happen to this person and I was told there were going to be charges filed and probably a fine of at last $250 and the person would be barred from the store forever with a picture for all of the employees to see posted on the wall of shame. This seemed like a mighty high price to pay for an item worth less than a dollar and that was when it hit me that the consequences were just too high for me. As I had this encounter, I had several items I had shoplifted in my pockets. I casually returned each to where I had gotten these items and hoped no one would see me as I put everything back. After I had replaced the last item, I breathed a HUGE sigh of relief and I have never shoplifted since. I can reveal this now since it has been over 30 years since I had this revelation. I am a better person as a result and my conscience is clear. There are a number of other things however, which I will never reveal, to you the readers, or to anyone. I am sure you have things as well...

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Friday, February 03, 2006

A blind date

I go out on blind dates from time to time, but I do not really like to do so. I go to be polite. I feel like I'm going out to a job interview. I am going to meet someone a friend thought I might get along with. Actually my friend who set it up is hoping this one will be THE one for me, and it has rarely worked out to be anything at all. Sure, a couple were promising and worked out for a while and several other dates ensued after the initial blind date, but mostly were one night of awkwardness on both sides. My most recent blind date was set up by a very good friend of mine, actually by his new girlfriend with one of her friends. It started off quite well, as the lady was quite attractive to the eye. I prefer a woman with some curves, not the stick figure model types. 8-7-10 is the ratio I look for, bust, waist, hips. Bust is 80% of hip size. Waist is 70% of hip size. This is what most men find an ideal ratio for the shape of a woman and I admit freely, I really like this shape relationship. I want that curve from waist to hip. It is a comfortable place to put my hand when we walk. I love the curve from waist to hip on a woman. Anyway, this lady had the right proportions for my eye. My eyes feel warm when I see an attractive woman and I felt the warmth when I saw this lady as she walked in the door. Somehow, I knew she was the blind date as she entered the restaurant we were meeting at, and sure enough, she was. We had a nice dinner and small-talked through most of it. I avoided my two marriages like the plague. I avoided talking about my past relationships with other women. I tried to stay positive however, some things I could not avoid an answer to since she asked me a direct question. Anyway, it all seemed to be going well for quite some time and finally, politics came up and here is one place I can't avoid speaking my piece. We fell apart because she is staunch pro-Republican, pro-Dubya and I am against Dubya even though I am mostly Republican. Rats. The date was over at that point even though for a while we continued through to dessert and the doggie bags for the left-overs. I knew and she knew we would never connect since we were diametrically opposed on the President. Sigh. And she looked SO GOOD with curves in all the right places...

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Sunday, January 15, 2006

I can't believe the man actually SAID this!

This is a direct quote; read it carefully and think about what he said for a moment before reading further to see who it is attributed to...

"President Washington, President Lincoln, President Wilson, President Roosevelt have all authorized electronic surveillance on a far broader scale."

This quote is from Attorney General Alberto Gonzales testifying before the Senate regarding the domestic spying authorized by the President.

Washington? Lincoln? Conducted electronic surveillance "on a broader scale?" Say, what? Are you kidding?

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Thursday, January 05, 2006

Gift cards? No, thanks!

It was my birthday a couple of days ago and someone gave me a gift card for a local business. Frankly, I'd rather have the cash. Or maybe, donate to the Red Cross or other charity in my name. Think about what happened here, my friend has made me into a captive customer of a particular business, one that I would not normally patronize, but now I have to or let the store keep the money as pure profit. My friend gave this store his money to keep and earn interest on the longer I take to use the card to buy things. They hope I NEVER buy anything so they can keep the money. At least, here in Washington State, purchased gift cards can not legally expire, so in theory the card I have will be good forever and my son may inherit it with my estate and even he could choose use it or not. Gift cards given out by a business for being a good customer CAN expire, but one purchased as a gift with cash can NOT expire in the state of Washington. As I understand it, Washington State is one of 2 states which prevent purchased gift cards from expiring by law. I learned this tidbit recently from a local talk show where one of the topics of discussion was "regifting." I admit it, I regift. I do it logically of course. I label what I get (and really do not want exactly) with the date and who it was from with a yellow sticky so I can avoid the embarrassment of giving something to the person who gave it to me or someone who might mention the gift to the person who gave it to me. I've managed to regift several gift cards in this manner with ones on which my name was not embossed or printed directly on the card. I have to admit, I like the plastic gift cards the best as they look and feel like a credit card. Gift certificates are a whole other matter as they CAN expire even though purchased with cash money. The bottom line is this; I'll regift a gift card if I can but I'll use a gift certificate since I can't regift a gift certificate since it has my name on it. I'll still have bad feelings about you if you give me something with my name on it since you have made me a captive customer though. Be warned.

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Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The mayor of Spokane, WA was recalled in a special election

The mayor of Spokane, WA is Jim West. Or rather now, he is soon to be the ex-mayor. Officially, he has until the election results are certified on the 16th. He was accused and indicted of using government equipment for personal gain. I'm not sure of the exact charge. Anyway, as a result of the accusation, a citizen's initiative was proposed to recall the mayor and eventually resulted in this special recall election put before the voters. He lost and has to vacate the office of mayor. Apparently, he wrote a letter to an underage male offering an internship. The evidence seems to indicate that the mayor, being gay, was attempting a liason with this underage individual and the letter was an incentive. This is all alleged mind you, not proven. OK, so I don't like this guy, but my dislike is based on what I've heard, not what I know. I hate myself for thinking what I do about this man with no proof of guilt. I think justice has been perverted here, at least for the time being until this all goes to court. This man has been convicted in the court of public opinion, not a court of law. This was a perverted use of the voter initiave process we have in this state of Washington. I am wholly behind the citizen initiave process to right a wrong done by the legislature of the state. I fully believe innocent until proven guilty. In this case, this man may be innocent as nothing has been proved in court, so maybe everything was as he says. He deserves the benefit of the doubt until positive proof is presented. 65% voted for the recall. The man has admitted to being gay and personal use of the computer to access gay chat rooms but not to do anything illegal and steadfastly denies anything else. I understand violating a company policy of non-personal use of a company computer. I did it myself when I was a contractor for the government doing computer programming a few years ago. I admit, I used time on the clock for personal reasons. I think a lot of employees do this, but the vast majority do not abuse this opportunity. I do not think I abused my employer by reading the New York Times Op-Ed page on company time, well, not much anyway. It was wrong for me to read the Times while I was at work, against company poloicy, but most assuredly not illegal activity.

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Saturday, October 15, 2005

I feel exceptionally good today

I woke up this morning and I felt really good. Not just the regular good, but exceptionally good. I was warm, the covers were up to my chin, I was aware of my entire body. where the covers touched my skin, my clothes, the sounds in the house, the wind in the trees outside, everything, and how absolutely comfortable I was at that moment. This feeling stayed with me throughout the entire day. Here it is, late at night and I STILL feel exceptionally good. I'm happy. Something MADE me feel happy, happier than I usually feel. Something I dreamed, something I expereinced in my past which I just remembered again, SOMETHING. I just wish I could put my finger on what exactly it was so I can repeat this happiness at will instead of the once in a while that I feel this good, which seemingly comes at random.

This entry created last night, well after midnight as I ended my really good day...

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Sunday, October 02, 2005

Have you ever been desperate?

I mean, really, truly desperate. In the past, I thought I had been, but thinking back, I was never REALLY desperate. Worried, yes. Anxious, yes. Desperate, no, not really.

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Sunday, September 25, 2005

Trying to avoid the pity party

This one deserves a comment right up front, I hate going to a party where I am the lone singleton with another lone singleton, female of course. My friends want to "set me up" with one of their single friends. A commendable effort, but unnecessary. They are trying to do something good and for that I give them credit. I do good things for my friends from time to time, though I have never yet tried to set up one of my single friends with another single friend of the appropriate sex. I just wonder why setting me up with a woman they know IS a good thing. None of these set ups have worked out so far, though not for lack of trying. Too bad. However, it MIGHT just work out one day, so I continue to let myself be set up for a date by my non-singleton friends.

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Saturday, September 03, 2005

I've found a whole new way to appreciate women

It seems, women have half again as many pain receptors in their skin than us men. End result is this; women feel more pain than us men do. Some would say that us men would have an advantage since we feel less pain. I am not so sure. I think since the study was specifically for pain nerve endings, but it might just apply to other nerve endings as well. I recently found out my (male) genitals have maybe 10 percent of the nerves that women have in the corresponding area. That explains why some women I've been with told me that sometimes they were incredibly sensitive and a simple touch could cause them intense pain instead of pleasure. I know that happens to me too, intense pain instead of pleasure. After sex, some of my parts are so sensitive, the slightest touch causes me pain. One woman I spent time with way back in the early 80's was almost flat chested, but her breast area, and especially the nipples, were incredibly sensitive. Her nipples popped up at the slightest touch, even her shirt moving across them. She was the first who told me that after sex, it got to be painful for her to have her breasts touched. Even a sheet covering her nipples, caused her pain. The effect lasted for several minutes afterwards. It was incredible that she could feel so much sensation. So, this tells me this study which concluded women have half again as many nerve receptors for pain as men, might just carry over to other nerve receptors as well. Cool.

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Tuesday, August 09, 2005

An armed robbery in the big city

It was a great day, at least that was the way it started out and continued until a single defining moment very late in the day. This particular day happened well over a year ago, but came back to me while I was watching a movie, which proved to be a trigger to make me remember. Ever had this kind of trigger happen to you? The thing you see in a TV program, a person you see, something which happens, and suddenly a vivid memory of something else comes flooding back and almost overwhelms you in the power of the memory. Well, it happened to me, the flood of a memory triggered by what, I do not know exactly, but it almost overwhelmed me anyway. I was walking home. The street was well it by streetlights in the business district of Bremerton, even though it was quite late at night. A man popped out in front of me, with a very large knife and demanded my wallet. I put up my hands and said "No, I'm not giving you my wallet. The money yes, but not the wallet." In a flash, this is what I was thinking, that I had no fear of being killed by this man. I found out while I was in the Navy that death has no fear for me. I've been near death several times and except for the very first time, I was not afraid to die. My mind set was such that being killed by this robber was no real threat to me. I would die or I would not die in the next few moments and I was again amazed that I was feeling absolutely no fear of death. Was I fearful that I would be hurt or be killed? Yes, you bet, I was fearful of being hurt, but I wasn't afraid; there is a BIG difference. My only weapon for defense would be my words, trying to reason with this guy. So, I said, "Look. There are video cameras on this street. You and I are going on tape at this very moment. There are several possibilities of what can come of this. You and I can simply walk away and no one has to know. You can fight with me and take my wallet and the next thing is I go to the cops, they pull the tapes and you will go to jail for a couple of years for armed robbery. You can hurt me and the same thing happens except you go away for 10 to 15 years for aggrevated assualt, or even attempted murder which gets 25 to life, or you can kill me and get the death penalty. No matter what you do, it all will be on tape and if you and I do not walk away now this minute, someone will be looking at these tapes and identify YOU, and eventually they will find you and you will suffer. It is hard to refute a video tape of a crime. So, are you willing to take a chance on the video tapes made on this street? Here's what I will do. I will take out my wallet which contains a grand total of $30 dollars and MY ID. I have no credit cards and no checks. I'll give you 10 dollars and we both walk away, otherwise you take your chances in court with the video of what is happening here, right now, as if I am alive, I will certainly go to the cops. Are you willing to chance a death penalty for killing me over $30? Are you willing to kill me to get 30 dollars and change? Think seriously about what you are going to do. I hand over a 10 dollar bill and we walk away or, you take your chances with a video of what is happening right now in a court of law. Decide... now. The video cameras are recording everything. I am walking on in 10 seconds. Decide." I waited. After a moment he said, "Give me the 10." Which I did, and we parted ways. This event happened a while back, over a year ago. I was lucky. This guy might very well have been willing to kill me over $30. I do not know there were video cameras on that street. The point was I made him believe there WERE cameras. So I made a deal, for a 10 dollar bill, and it worked, so I was lucky. I wonder about all of this, what could drive a man to rob another on a street at knifepoint, and then settle for a 10 dollar bill. I guess he wasn't such a bad guy after all. After all, he could have called my bluff and I probably would have ended up dead, for $30 which I was not going to willingly give up. I guess I was convincing in my argument. I'm still here. There are smart people and there are stupid people. This guy was being stupid whether he was or not, risking great suffering for a mere $30. I guess I've redefined what it is which makes people act in a stupid manner. Just for information purposes, I carry two wallets. One has $30 and no valid ID, but with a couple of cancelled credit cards I did not cut up when I cancelled the accounts. Let the guy try use an expired, cancelled credit card! The other has my military ID card, my real ID, the rest of the cash and the good credit cards. The one with the $30 is the one I am willing to sacrifice for a robber. He will get $30 and my expired California driver's license and my expired proof of insurance, all of which will do him NO good whatsoever since MY iD cards have my picture and what good is my expired insurance card with no picture ID and vehicle to match? No need to reveal I have another with things which could be used to rip me off big time. After all, my expired ID from an address I haven't lived at in 20 years is of NO immediate use and there is a $20 and a $10 bill to be had at best. Did I end up going to the police to report this incident? No, I didn't. I just let it all go. After all, I did not know for cetain we were on tape and if not, then it would have been my word against his and then again, how would they even FIND this guy? So, no report to the cops. It was easy to keep my word, for whatever that is worth. I told the guy we could just walk away and I would say nothing, so I said nothing, until now, to tell you, my readers.

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Monday, August 01, 2005

Women and shoes

This is a topic close to my sensibilities as a straight man in the society of today. I ran into a lady friend, a friend who is a lady, not a girlfriend, though if she would let me, I would like it to be more than just friends. She was shopping for shoes, something I've known her to do quite often. Not like Carrie on Sex and the City with Manolo Blahnik's, but for cheaper versions of the same type, high heels. She has great legs and high heels show off her excellent legs with great effect. She wears heels most all the time, even around the house. I know, I've seen her do it. So she asked if I would like to go with her and, I decided to tag along. I was curious. Besides, it was an opportunity to spend time in her company, something I value highly. I've been shopping with women before and I've learned how women do it, and go along more to watch her as she shops than anything else. Women seem to have a thing for shoes, and I think it is a very GOOD thing. I like women in a dress, with high heels. I like it! My eyes feel this, seeing a vision of lovliness. A woman dressed up makes my eyes feel, ... warm, for lack of a better term. High heels change the way a woman presents herself. Her posture changes, for the better I think. It does not matter what clothes she is wearing, baggy pants, sweatsuit, whatever, high heels changes the way a woman walks. Ladies I know, in general, the majority anyway, say they feel more confident, more self-assured, more in control of their life with a couple inches of high heeled shoes. I know, there are some complaints, a somewhat unnatural stance, sometimes some back pain, possible foot problems, and more which might be directly related to walking in high heels, but more often then not, women say high heels are worth it. From a male point of view, I agree, you bet, I like the change in how a woman walks, talks and presents herself when she is up high on a couple inches of high heels. Not TOO high though, 3 inches is good or maybe 4 inches (if she has a larger shoe size and is able to handle the height) is just right for the look I like to see. Higher than 4 inches, and the lady is likely to topple and that is just NOT a good thing, so 3 inches it is. The larger the shoe size the higher the heel, in proportion to shoe size to maintain the appropriate angle. Oh, and yes, nylon stockings deserve mention. High heels without stockings is something I consider to be wrong but acceptable. Bare legs are fine, but only if smooth. OK, so it IS my personal preference. If you are a woman and bless us men wth the vision of seeing you in high heels, then I leave the stockings issue up to you. I'm just letting you (women) know my preference, and I think I speak for a lot of men (maybe a majority) in voicing my opinion that women wearing stockings and heels is really, really attractive. My eyes feel warm all over when I see this vision of femininity. Politically incorrect? Too bad, live with it. All I know, is this: that when I travel across Puget Sound on the morning ferry with the majority of the morning working commuters, I see a LOT of women who make my eyes feel warm. And I nly have one thing to say: Thanks, Ladies!

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Sunday, July 17, 2005

What a love story!

The American President, a movie with Annette Bening and Michael Douglas. Annette Bening plays the part of Sydney Ellen Wade, and I know a lady who is this character more or less in real life. Not in the political sense, but in the female sense in that the character Sydney does and says things and this lady I know does and acts in a very similar manner, smiles at times, speaks at times, says things on her mind, all that kind of thing, in exactly the way the character of Sydney does. The best scene? Two come to mind, the first when the President asks her to dance and the second when she decides to spend the night in the White House. Classic romance here! Annette Bening has a smile I would do almost anything to have her make that same smile toward me. Her smile completely fills her face and totally, totally lights up her eyes. Oh, to have a smile like that, smile upon me...

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Saturday, July 16, 2005

The death penalty

I am against it, the death penalty. I can think of an exception, in time of war for certain war crimes, but otherwise, for purely civil matters of law, I am against the death penalty. Bleeding heart liberal? No, conservative for the most part. I just can NOT accept a solution to a legal problem which is irrevocable. Errors have been made. Over 100 people convicted of a capital crime and sentenced to death have had the conviction reversed because it came out and was proved they did NOT do the crime for which they were convicted. The system is not without error, human mistakes, circumstances. With ANY possibility of a doubt, I just can not see taking an action to kill someone. This act can not be taken back. There is no "do over" with the death penalty. How many have been put to death which were wrongly convicted, as over 180 people wrongly convicted on death row have since exonerated were? Life is a one way street through time. We are born, we live, and then we die. Some believe in a God and an afterlife. And to this I say, if there IS an afterlife, just exactly where were we before we were born into this life? A "beforelife" perhaps? If there is a beforelife, then how did we get THERE? No matter. My problem with the death penalty is that it is a final solution which can never be taken back and the present system of justice has errors, documented errors, and that means ALL death penalty cases contain some measure of doubt, and because there is reason to doubt, I find putting a person to death, no matter how "humanely" done, to be WRONG. Period. But you know what? I'd do one thing for serial murderers and other who do crimes which presently warrant the death penalty under the current law, I'd give these people a way to kill themselves. A sword to fall on. A gun with a single bullet (in a glass box visable from outside the cell, so if the bullet is gone, no one enters again for any reason and the prisoner knows starvation will result.), a rope and a chair and a hook in the ceiling, a vial of hemlock (It was good enough for Socrates, wasn't it?). Live the rest of your life in a cell and have the ability to still use the justice system for an appeal or whatever or take your own life, your choice. How could this be considered cruel and unusual punishment? I've never agreed with a death penalty. I guess that belief might warrant being named as a bleeding heart liberal. So be it.

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Friday, July 15, 2005

Creationism and intelligent design

OK, first off, I believe in God. I have no basis in science for this belief. Science would go so far as to contradict a Supreme Being known as God. Frankly, I am skeptical of my belief in God. I am skeptical of a Supreme Being in general. If there is a God, then God knows of my belief because he (or she) built me that way, which is why I guess it is I believe in God. That being said, it is science which is what I believe makes me the skeptic that I am. Creationism was touted a while back as a "science" equal to Darwin's theory of evolution and the true believers wanted this theory taught and given equal time to Darwin's theory of evolution. It was beaten down in the courts and NOT taught equal to the science because there are some facts which make evolution likely whereas there are NO facts (outside of the Bible, which admittedly contains internal contradictions and probably was not even written at the time the events related happened, but many years after the fact from what in court today would be called hearsay evidence.) which point to creationism as to how life got to be on this planet. Now, this same idea of a supreme being is being put forth as "intelligent design" in that there must have been a grand design for DNA since DNA is so complex that it can not have come about without a designer! The intelligent designer folks point to a car and say that seeing a car and not knowing what a car is, would point to a designer or they ask, otherwise, without a designer, how can a car exist? One problem with this analogy is this; a car is a machine. A machine is not alive. A machine is not a chemical being as we are. A car is not aware of its' own existence or mortality. I agree, a machine must have had a designer. However, life is not a machine but a biological organism which is alive and thinking. No designer that we know of has made life as we know it. However, science has shown that the primordial soup which existed way back when the Earth was forming, with a lightning strike can make the necessary amino acids which could combine to make DNA and eventually, life as we know it. Science has shown a possibility that DNA and life as we know it COULD have evolved to where we are today whereas there is no evidence of intelligent design. Here is a link to to what the ACLU thinks of this: Recently, the local school district had a parents meeting on this exact same subject. I attended even though I do not have children in school. I attended because I am a tax payer and part of my property tax goes to schools. In my book, if I'm paying taxes for schools, I have a say what happens in those schools. I say this because I was challenged by some of the people present at the meeting because I am unmaried and do not have children going to school. Anyway, at this meeting, people could comment on the proposal to teach intelligent design in science classes equal to the theory of evolution, and I spoke my piece against teaching intelligent design in a science class. The proponents tried to use the analogy of the car and it obviously having a designer, and I countered with animate versus inanimate objects, living as opposed to nonliving. Manmade as opposed to non-manmade items. In all cases they cited having to do with an obvious designer, they used inanimate objects, the designer of which was a human being, just like you and me. Then I asked, since someone like me created the design of a car, it follows someone like me could also have designed DNA. It seems that would make us, human beings, equivalent to the intelligent designer. If this were a faith based belief as creationism was a few years back, then I would be the equivalent of God. They sputtered on that question, when I proposed that us human beings were in fact equivalent to their intelligent designer. The school board has taken it all under advisement for the time being since there is this exact same issue working its' way through the courts back east somewhere and they think it best to do nothing until a verdict is reached. Creationism was rejected by the courts since it was faith based, religious, and not science. Intelligent design seems to be the same issue, faith based, just not using the God/creator words used by religion.

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Thursday, July 14, 2005

Happy Birthday to ME!

It was my birthday yesterday, and I went out with some friends. It was a good time. The best part was seeing the movie, "North by Northwest" at an art theater in Tacoma called the Grand Cinema, a non-profit house that shows new as well as old movies at prices I can afford. I had never seen this movie in a theater before this time, only on the small screen. It was SO much better on the big screen! Likewise, a while back they showed Casablanca and The Maltese Falcon and as with North by Northwest, these movies were SO much better in the theater than on the tube. All I want to say is this, that sometimes, seeing a movie in a theater is better than seeing it any other way.

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Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Poker Party

In the newspaper from last Sunday, there was an article on the popularity of poker parties. I'm not much of a gambler. I play a lottery ticket once in a while when the pot gets big, but otherwise I do not go to a casino or anything like that. I just don't see the point when the odds are against me. I've got better things to do with my limited resources than to gamble, like buy groceries, pay my utility bill so I have power, pay my phone bill so I have a telephone to use and a connection to the internet. What struck me about the newspaper story was the reference to teenagers running up huge debts. A companion article talked about gambling parties and teenagers running up debts and enforcers beating up on the losers. Several people have been arrested on assaualt charges recently. I keep on seeing these ads on TV advertising web sites devoted to poker. And, I've seen parts of programs with celebrity poker and other programs with tournaments. Can someone explain this explosion in the popularity of poker? Please?

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Monday, July 04, 2005

Voting options

OK, so a few weeks ago, the city council held open hearings on how voting will be done in the future in the place where I live. The options are, keep it as it is, voting in person at polling places with a provision for absentee ballots by mail, or as an alternative, vote by mail only, with polling places available to collect the mail ballots which would be late if mailed. I attended the city council meeting. I got up and was one of the few who were able to speak directly to the city council (Side note: since I live in an unincorporared area of the county, why was it the city council had jurisdiction over those of us in the unincorporated area?) Anyway, I spoke in favor of keeping the in-person vote option with at the same time providing a mail-in option as it was before. Later, I found out by mail, of course, that the county was shifting to a mail-in vote. In other counties int he state of Washington, they changed the rules to require picture ID at the polling place. Say what? I provided that when I reistered, why do I have to provide it AGAIN when you already have my registration record in front of you? Why do I have to PROVE I am a registered voter? In the book with my registration nformation, I sign when I have voted, so it is not possible for another person to fake being me to cast an illegal ballot. Where's the beef? Worst case, I neglect to vote (I have never missed voting to date) and someone fakes being me and casts a vote in my name, one vote, and I wonder, where is the harm in that? I may have voted that way myself! It isn't like there are multiple votes in my name, as because of the way sign in's have to be dome, at most only one vote in my name could be fraudulent. I vote by mail with an absentee ballot. I have ever since I was first able to do so since I was in the Navy and was stationed away from home, hence an absentee ballot. I was deprived of my right to vote several times as I was deployed overseas and a fast attack submarine is usually deployed for 90 days at a time, which means it is possible my ballot was sitting there while I was out to sea with no way to mail it before the deadline date, so there were times when I missed getting in my ballot. That is the price I paid for YOUR freedom to elect officials of government. I'm all for a popular vote regardless of any party affiliation. Vote for the person you feel is best suited for the job, President included, get rid of the electoral college. If we did not have an electoral college, we would not have the popular vote in opposition to the person elected to office. Electoral college votes were supposed to prevent the majority from oppressing the minority, but when the popular vote and the electoral vote disagree, the majority is loses. How can it be fair that the majority loses when selecting a person for a political office? Yet, it happened! Your boy Dubya is a case on point. Dubya lacked the majority of the popular vote, and because of a conservative Chief Justice of the Supreme court, was elected by a minority when the Supreme Court halted the recount in Florida! Dubya was "selected" by the Supreme Court and not "elected" by the majority of the popular vote! Think about it. It's time for me to go down to the waterfront and watch the 4th of July fireworks and be thankful I live in this country.

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Tuesday, May 31, 2005

I finally recovered an important file

Last year, shortly after New Year's, we had a big storm roll through where I live in the Pacific Northwest. Thunder, lightning, heavy rain, the works. I was away from my house cruising through some state parks. I came home to find my power was off. Not unavailable as other house up and down the street had lights on, but my house was totally dark. It was night when I pulled into the driveway and I noticed my nightlights which usually can be seen from outside were not on. I entered and smelled the smell of darkness, the darkness in integrated circuits after it gets out when the IC's fry. The smell of electronics death filled the air. If you ever had elecronics die when the darkness got out, you know this particular smell of electronic death. Long story short, a lightning strike had happened less than a block away and the surge got into my house. (The surge in the house closest to the strike had fire shooting out of their wiring which fortunately did not start a fire.) I found some electrical equipment was fried internally, including my computers. I eventually built up another computer from parts I was able to salvage along with parts from boxes in the garage which I had kept after replacements when upgrading the hardware. I found the hard disks were still good but were damaged. The drives responded in the rebuilt machine, but the data was not recognized. I acquired a data recovery program and commenced retrieving the data. It has taken me MONTHS of run-time to recover the partitions on each disk and then to go through the thousands of files recovered to salvage the good ones of interest. For example, I didn't care about programs, but I was concerned with the data files I had. Sorting out the data, a very small portion of the total files recovered, has been a very tedious and boring operation and then, paydirt. I had a journal I kept, password protected of course, which I was loathe to lose, hence the effort to recover data. How could I know I would experience multpile failures and not only would all the drives be corrupted by also my tape drives which I used for backup tapes. Without a similar tape drive with the same kind of hardware compression, I could NOT read my backup tapes! So, there it is, my tale of woe about losing my computers to a lightning strike I was not here to see. A lesson on backups should be learned here, do NOT use hardwre compression built into a tape drive unless you have another one sitting on a shelf uninstalled. My backup tape drive was installed and was taken out along witht the primary drive with the lightning strike..Here it is, more than a year after the fact, and I still have not found a tape drive with the same hardware compression, so the tapes are unreadable. So, the file I recovered was my electronic journal but a problem exists, the file is encrypted by the program which made it and I can't find the original program which is on a CD somewhere in the boxes of stuff I have. Another lesson to learn here is to NOT encrypt an important file with a proprietary encryption feature. A few days ago, I found the program, installed it and wonder of wonders, it worked! I now have my daata back and I've turned off the internal encryption and stored the files as a backup offsite and also on floppy disks. Take a lesson here, people, if something is important to you, do NOT save it in only one place, have a totally independent means of backing up important data. I was fortunate I was able to recover from this multi-way disaster. You might not be so fortunate.

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Dubya does it AGAIN! And this time, I actually heard it!

Dubya did it again, said one thing and used the wrong word, another Bushism, and this time I actually heard it. I almost missed it. Dubya was doing a press conference this morning and I was sort of half listening and then I heard him say that someone ( I missed the name) was going to disassemble in response to questions. Disassemble? Did I hear that correctly? Was the guy going to take something apart or what? I think he saw blank looks. I know I had a blank look on my face wondering if I heard correctly. Evidently the press corps had blank looks too, as Dubya paused (probably noticed the look of wonder on the faces) and then said something like, you know, when a person tries to cover up the truth. He meant "disemble" of course, and as he has done before, totally screwed it up using a similar sounding word with a totally different meaning. I can't believe I actually heard him make history with another Bushism, but I DID! Go, Dubya! Go!

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Sunday, April 10, 2005

Homeland Insecurity

No one knows what is happening around here. I was listening to the morning talking heads on the hour long news programs like Meet The Press (I don't get Face The Nation here anymore, sigh.) and CNN and they talked about homeland security, yet again. I've got a problem with Dubya on this whole "intelligence" thing on which he based his opinions and actions. It has been verified that he made decisions based on faulty information and blatantly wrong information yet Dubya persists in denying making any mistakes in his decisions. Matter of fact, I don't remember Dubya even acknowledging he received any incorrect information even though it has been shown he must have. People have died because of his poor planning and decision making. I did not vote for Dubya. It is not my fault he is still in office. Is the homeland more or less or the same as far as security is concerned? What I want to know is this, since Dubya declared his war on terrorism, why have we done nothing apparently regarding the place the nine-eleven group really came from? Over half of the 19 were listed as Saudi citizens, but I don't recall hearing much about anything involving Saudi Arabia and these terrorists and any connections there are or might have been! Why not? Where's the beef? The news program stated that most people feel more secure. More secure than what? I don't hear anyone saying what they are more secure than, anywhere. The talking heads simply gloss over what they are making a comparison to. Do I feel "more secure?" Hell no, I don't! If anything, I am now even more aware of how vulnerable we all are! If anything, I feel even MORE threatened! I guess I fall into the less secure, the more insecure category. This is what I do instead of going to church on a Sunday morning, watch the talking heads news programs on TV and wonder about how stupid these heads take us all to be,

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