Thursday, May 31, 2007

I've been memed (is that a word?)

It looks like SpeakerTweaker has gotten me with a meme.
1. Go to the Billboard #1 Hits listings ;
2. Pick the year you turned 18;
3. Get nostalgic over the songs of the year;
4. Pick 5 songs and write something about how these songs affected you;
5. Pass it on to 5 more friends.

I'm not good for passing memes to people, but I'll try to do justice to the other parts of it. I turned 18 in 1970.

1. Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head - B. J. Thomas

This one I remember because it was the main song in the movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid . The history wasn't very accurate, but the movie is a classic, and a hoot to watch.

2. Bridge Over Troubled Water - Simon & Garfunkel
Had no affect on my life, but I have always liked their stuff, and this was probably one of their best.

3. Mama Told Me (Not To Come) - Three Dog Night
This was a very humerous song for someone in college who grew up during the Sixties. If you have to ask why, you either know nothing about the Sixties, or have never listened to the song. ;)

4. War - Edwin Starr
One of the signature songs of the time; most of us were not big fans of unnecessary war in the first place, and with Vietnam it was sort of personal.

5. My Sweet Lord - George Harrison
This one was very appealing to the Eastern philosophy crowd; my own reaction was more of WTF? Though I am familiar with a huge number of religions and philosophies, I subscribe to none of them in their conventional form, though I do respect anyone's belief as long as they don't try to push it in my face.

I was never a big fan of the "Top Ten" type of music; at that time period I was listening to other stuff. The Moody Blues was (and still is)one of my all-time favorites; I also listened quite a bit to The Doors, Cream, John Mayall, Jethro Tull, ZZ Top, and a lot of classical, jazz, and blues, with a bit of country at times. I tend to be a bit unconventional in my musical tastes.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Vacation was good, but too short

It was interesting spending several days without a TV, radio, or computer. We all need a break now and then.
The trip started on 5/24, we made fair time down to Moab, since the traffic wasn't too busy. The Memorial Day weekend can be quite hectic; it is the traditional first weekend that a lot of people use to travel down to Lake Powell. We spent a couple of days around the Moab area, both out in the deserts, and up in the alpine regions of the Manti-Lasalle mountains outside of Moab. After leaving Moab, we meandered over towards Escalante, stopping at various places such as Goblin Valley. If you saw the movie Galaxy Quest, they filmed the scenes that featured the giant rock creature in Goblin Valley. We stayed in a small town called Torrey, just a few miles north of Escalante, and west of Capitol Reef National Monument. Capitol Reef is always enjoyable to travel back in the gorges and washes, and there are some old pioneer buildings and such there to look at. South toward Escalante, you first come to the Aquarius Plateau, so named because it is the watershed for the whole area. There was still a fair amount of snow on top, but we were only at about 9600 feet elevation when we crossed over, so we weren't in the snow. Did see a bull and a cow elk near the top, but they were heading uphill. We stopped at the small town of Boulder partway down the side of the Aquarius, to see how the progress is going on an Anasazi village they have been excavating there. The place has grown a bit since we were last there, but is still fairly small. Boulder is right at the junction of the Burr Trail and Highway 12, so we took a trip down it for a ways. It brought back memories of backbacking in the back canyons of that are back in the late Sixties. We were going to hike down Calf Creek, but it was so crowded this weekend that we decided to do it another time when there were fewer people. The town of Escalante has grown quite a bit, but there wasn't much there we were interested in, so we stayed out in the back roads away from people as much as we could. We could have used a few more days in both Moab and the Escalante area, but all good things must end, so we got back 5/28.
Below are a few samples of what we saw; there are a few others in my Flickr account that can be reached by the widget in the sidebar. Click to see full size.
1. Balancing Rock
2. Manti-Lasalle Mountains
3. An arch (I forget which one)
4. Part of Goblin Valley
5. Part of the Hogback Road between Boulder and Escalante; the sides drop off a thousand feet or so to the bottom, and it is barely two lanes wide.
6. One of the gorges in Capitol Reef.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Will be absent from the blogosphere for a few days

I have been getting ready to leave town for a few days; I will be spending some time in Moab and Escalante in southern Utah until late Monday; hopefully I will be on the road early tomorrow, so it is packing time. If I get any good pictures, I'll post them either here or at my Flickr account. I have posted some pictures from my last trip, to show you the sort of country we'll be traveling through. Click for full sized picture.
Have a good weekend!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

An occasion you don't want to miss

Warning: Vegans and PETA cult members are warned not to attend.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Communication and the Web

This is an interesting little clip, see what you think of it.

H/T to Suzanne

Thursday, May 17, 2007

News site outsources local journalism

My brother sent me a link to this interesting article.

PASADENA, California (AP) -- The job posting was a head-scratcher: "We seek a newspaper journalist based in India to report on the city government and political scene of Pasadena, California, USA."

A reporter half a world away covering local street-light contracts and sewer repairs? A reporter who has never gotten closer to Pasadena than the telecast of the Rose Bowl parade?

Outsourcing first claimed manufacturing jobs, then hit services such as technical support, airline reservations and tax preparation. Now comes the next frontier: local journalism.

James Macpherson, editor and publisher of the two-year-old Web site, acknowledged it sounds strange to have journalists in India cover news in this wealthy city just outside Los Angeles.

I'm a little curious; how is it that someone in India can get the news in a town from overseas, and then publish it in that same town because the local people can't get the news themselves? That isn't journalism, most of us blogging can do that much without having to put forth hardly any effort. So how does that equate to a job as a journalist? I don't see how someone from another culture can report news when they are not even there to see it firsthand, and may misinterpret what they read, which is already coming to them second- or third-hand. It's a poor way to run a paper, if you ask me.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The spin machine keeps cranking...

Once again the Brady Bunch is sending out the frantic drivel that has become their trademark; they can't seem to let go of the Virginia Tech massacre. This at the top of their latest e-mail:

One Month after the Virginia Tech Tragedy and We're Still Asking Our Officials:
"What Are YOU Going to Do about Gun Violence?"

Down at the bottom of the page we find this:

Here's What You Can Do about It:

Make a $32 donation today
E-mail the President and Congressional leaders
Ask the presidential candidates to take a stand
Get involved locally: contact your local Million Mom March Chapter
Get your local religious community involved
Sign our petition
View, and forward to Congress, Paul Helmke's Call to Action

Notice the first item on the list; they want you to give them money. I think this letter speaks for itself.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Something in a lighter vein

Thought I'd upload a couple of photographs I took while working out in the yard today. Click on the picture for full size. The yellow rose is a miniature; the fully opened bloom is only about an inch across.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Movie Ratings Panel Will Start to Assess the Smoking

More PC madness.

In a significant change to its movie ratings system, the Motion Picture Association of America on Thursday said portrayals of smoking would be considered alongside sex and violence in assessing the suitability of movies for young viewers. Films that appear to glamorize smoking will risk a more restrictive rating, and descriptions of tobacco use will be added to the increasingly detailed advisories that accompany each rated film

You have got to be kidding me.

In tandem with the shift in its ratings policy, the Motion Picture Association and an allied producers group, the Alliance of Motion Pictures and Television Producers, on Thursday said they would join “Hollywood Unfiltered,” an initiative by the Entertainment Industry Foundation to reduce smoking among film industry workers and to spread information about the health effects of tobacco.

But the industry groups did not meet the various demands to eliminate recognizable tobacco brands in films, or to cut smoking altogether from films in the G, PG, and PG-13 ratings categories, to which children and teenagers are freely admitted.

So smoking is going to affect the ratings of a movie? Hell, they'd have to go back and change everything Humphrey Bogart was in to an R or an X rating.
Maybe it's just me, but I think this PC bullshit is getting way out of hand. If you are producing a movie, it is a little ridiculous if everyone in it is politically correct. What's next, make everyone vegetarian in the movies? It's getting any more where the only good movies left will be some of the old black and white classics.
Sorry for the rant, but politically correct crap like this gets under my skin and bothers the hell out of me.
Just my opinion.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

For those who like rockets

My brother sent me a link to this. It is an onboard camera to a rocket that is launching a satellite. Some people will find this cool, others will not.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Man says wife had surprise for him -- a hammer to the head

This probably isn't funny, but I can't help laughing...

A Salt Lake County man alleges his wife promised him a surprise -- but multiple hammer blows to the head is not what he expected.
That is the story Joel Ricks told sheriff's investigators. Ricks says he was blindfolded, led into a Holladay condo's basement, spun around -- and wham.

I wonder what he did to piss her off?

6 charged with plot to kill Fort Dix soldiers -

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Six men were arrested overnight after being accused of plotting an attack against Fort Dix in New Jersey, and federal charges were to be filed Tuesday, sources told CNN.

The six men were planning to use automatic weapons to shoot soldiers at the Army post, according to a federal law enforcement source and a senior government source.

The men, some of whom were related to each other, had been doing surveillance and planning "for a while," and they trained in the Poconos, according to the federal law enforcement source.

I'll be curious to see more information on this when it is available. Of course, the Brady Bunch is probably already writing up stuff on the need for more gun control.


More on the attempt here.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Goblins in training

Sounds like some kids are getting an early start on a life of crime.

MILWAUKEE (AP) — What would be the best prize ever if you were a child burglar? How about milk, Popsicles, paper, crayons and Play-Doh?

That is what police say a pair of boys took during two break-ins at a Milwaukee day care center.

An 8-year-old and 10-year-old broke into Day Care Services for Children, Inc. on Sunday.

A witness photographed the 8- and 10-year-old boys breaking a window and leaving with two large bags around 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Schwartz said. The boys also set off the day care's alarm, she said.

They allegedly grabbed paper, crayons and Play-Doh.

I know a lot of people will roll their eyes and say "Big deal" when hearing of this, but it is more serious than it looks.
These kids are breaking into a locked building to steal items. If they are not disciplined properly, what is to keep them from repeating this later in life, for more expensive items? This sounds like a parenting problem to me.
Just my opinion.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

More Bradyspam

These people never let up, and they never fail to distort the truth and lie. Just got this one in the Inbox.
Here's one section of it, to give you an idea of the bullshit they're spreading now.

What can we do about gun violence?

There are many things we can do to prevent gun violence. Here are three policy proposals:

1. We must comprehensively and effectively apply the Brady background check system, so no one who we want to prohibit from buying guns can legally buy one.
Effective background checks would have stopped the Virginia Tech killer from buying these guns.

2. We must reduce access to weaponry that is not for sport and not for self-defense.
Had Congress and the President not allowed the assault weapon ban to expire, the killer may not have been able to obtain the high capacity magazines he used in his assault.

3. We must give our police and federal law enforcement the tools and resources they need to fight gun crimes, including illegal gun trafficking and corrupt gun dealers.
New technologies, such as microstamping and other ballistic identification systems, might have allowed authorities to identify the Virginia Tech shooter earlier, before his second, most deadly, rampage.
Gun violence prevention should not be controversial. The overwhelming majority of Americans believe that gun violence is a huge problem. And most Americans believe that we should have tougher gun laws. Most Americans, including most gun owners, support the policy proposals I've suggested
I don't know where to begin with this section.

1. Brady checks don't work; if someone wants a gun, they will steal it or buy it illegally.
2. What gun that is on their list is not made for sport or self-defense? And what the hell does magazine size have to do with anything?
3. Microstamping and such are not practical, and they don't mean a thing. Anyone with the slightest knowledge of firearms could disable that, or change the "ballistic fingerprint" of a firearm with little problems. And the statement that most gun owners support the above proposals? Not hardly.
These people are incapable of telling the truth, and anyone who believes them without checking the facts is sadly lacking in the ability to form rational thoughts. Of course, like the old saying, "There's a sucker born every minute."
Just my opinion.