Friday, December 15, 2006

Screwy Spam Time

OK, so many of you out there may have noticed a time or two when a spam email is dated about a week ago, or maybe even dated as far as a month from know for some reason. Well this week, actually today (15 Dec 2006) and yesterday (14 Dec 2006) I've seen some spam emails in my Yahoo email dated for Nov 09, 1905 and also on the other end of the spectrum Jan 01, 2038. HUH? How the heck are the spammers doing stuff like that? Sending something pre-dated for thirty years from now or something super post-dated from One Hundred And One Years ago BEFORE COMPUTERS WERE EVEN INVENTED!!!! I never would have noticed except for the fact that every once in a while I check my spam email/trash box instead of my usual automatic deleting without seeing what the heck they are. Also one of the "1905" emails was send to my regular email so in order to even see where the silly spam email was I had to mark my "unread messages only" button to find the stupid thing. UGH!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Short And Sweet. Maybe!

OK so now it is almost the end of November and I'm just now getting around to making an entry for the month. Yippie yahooie! Part of that is due to poor health and a hospital stay, but I won't go into details about that. Family and friends (and the folks at work) know what it was all about more or less.

Blah, blah blah.

When the heck is Max Headroom going to be released on to DVD? Probably not until after Disney releases Song of the South. Oh well the DVD industry can release the new waste of time and lack of talent junk that passes for TV programing now-a-days lickety-split but a classic Disney film stays in limbo.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Get The Shooty Dog Thing!

Ah good old Doctor Who. The sci-fi channel has been showing the 2nd season of the new series of Doctor Who Starring David Tennant as The Doctor (Number 10). Back in the spring they had shown season one which starred Christopher Eccleston as The Doctor (Number 9). In some ways I like this newer version of the BBC Sci-Fi Series better than the original, but as with most things I still have slightly more affection for the original.

In the episode "School Reunion" The Doctor and his latest companion Rose Tyler, meet up with past companion Sarah Jane Smith, and a run-down K-9. There are a few references that newer fans who have never seen the original series would not understand completely. There were also a few real good laughs. For instance when Rose and Sarah Jane are bonding while talking about the eccentricities of the doctor, the get to laughing and when the doctor appears they completely lose it. Another real good laugh is when the baddie tells his underlings to attack K-9 he says "
Get the shooty Dog thing!" Fun Stuff.

The refereneces to when the Doctor dropped off Sarah Jane seems to ignore "The Five Doctors" episode from the original series. Oh well.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Race of The Presidents at RFK

OK all you conspiracy theorists, I've got something you can research. If you are into baseball or even watch the ocassional game on the tele, you may have noticed that in some cities they have some middle of the 4th inning entertainment. In Milwaukee they have the Sausage race, four runners in mascot costumes shaped like different types of sausages race around the warning track of the field, and in Pittsburgh they have running pierogies.

Well in Washington DC they have the Race of the Presidents. Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt, the four presidents whose faces are on Mt. Rushmore, run around the warning track at RFK. The concept of the Presidents race started last season on the scoreboard, I remember the game I attended the cartoon characters raced a couple of times, once I think they were in little cars, but after the 2006 All-Star Break and the renovations of RFK (OK the addition of several dozen curley double-u's) the race became a live mascot type race. Here is where the conspiracy comes in. Since they began the races after the mid-season All-Star Break and refurnishing of RFK, All but one president has won the race at least once.

The only one not to win is Teddy. Why? Well some races, Jefferson and Lincoln conspire to delay Teddy while Washington goes about his business and wins it. The season total wins are Lincoln 14, Jefferson 13, Washington 9 and Roosevelt 0. Something is fishy at RFK and it ain't the Anacostia river. Not even on 01 October, 2006 did Teddy win (I think Washington won), the last game of the Nationals 2nd Season, and the last one at home, and Frank Robinson's last game as the Nats Skipper. Not even with fans chearing him on, in the cheap seats, wearing Run Teddy Run t-shirts. Teddy came in third, and I think that was only because Jefferson took a header into the dirt. Those races are fixed I tells ya.

NOTE: This will ruin the illusion for some so if you don't like seeing the man behind the curtain or in this case some of the folks under the mascot suit then don't look. Here is a blog from some folks who participated in the race during one game, that blog has some behind the scenes photos of the blogger's experience under the big head. Earlier in the season a reporter for the Washington Times ran in the race as George Washington with other reporters and described his experience (

BTW the Nationals finished the season looking like the Expos, they were of a few years ago 71 wins and 91 loses, they were swept by the New York Mets in their last three home games. For the final game Skipper Frank Robinson gave an emotional speach before the game, which the Nationals blew some chances to win. Some interesting ninth inning switches were made. Starting catcher Brian Schneider was moved to first base, the first time in his career playing first, in the catcher position I think they put in Brandon Harper the backup catcher for that game. Usually it would be Robert Fick, but since Nick Johnson's broken leg injury the previous week Fick usually played first, which he did for most of this last game. Then at the bottom of the ninth the last National to bat, in a rare batting appearance was closing pitcher Chad Cordero, who had pitched at the top of the inning. He ended up striking out.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

A Recent Read Number 6

"Christianity from its very beginning was a literary religion, with books of all kinds playing a central role in the life and faith of the burgeoning Christian communities around the Mediterranean. How, then, was this Christian literature placed in circulation and distributed? The answer, of course, is that for a book to be distributed broadly, it had to be copied"

My latest read "Misquoting Jesus" by Bart D. Ehrman is a very interesting read. The main focus of this book is the New Testament of the Christian Holy Bible and its variations. Ehrman explains, often at length the process of copying the text of the Bible's New Testament from the first century Christians copying the scriptures by hand, to the Monks and scribes of the Middle Ages (still copying painstakingly by hand) to the early printing presses to modern mass publishing. He talks a lot about the scholarship field of textual critisim which is "the science of restoring the original words of a text from manuscripts that have altered them." The problem we have with The New Testament that we read today, is not only translation errors, but changes of the text in the "original" language by the scribes who copied the text. Changes to the text sometimes were just innocent mistakes, mispelling, letter or word switching. There were also intentional changes made. Some of these intentional changes were to correct previous errors made, but some of the changes were to clarify or support church views or theological ideas or views. Several examples of changes are described some of the examples were to support the divine nature of Jesus. This book explores only a sampling of the changes, if it were to list all of the changes it would be a series of books, since there are literally thousands of variations. Simple variations, complex variations both intentional and unintentional have been found since the original texts were first written.

One must question if the Bible is inspired by God then why all the changes? In his conclusion chapter the author writes "..even if God inspired the original words, we don't have the Original words" This opens up holes that atheists have jumped into for centuries. The author asks if God had inspired the words, then why didn't he preserve them? Who knows. My theory on this is along the lines of movies based on books. The movies make changes to the details of the text but they keep the story intact (usually). A second movie made many years later will often make more changes to the details but still keeps the basic story. The same thing has been done with the Bible, an original spelling error, or word switch in the text of an early copy has been copied many many times, but somewhere down the line some scholar or textual critic noticed the change, while comparing two versions. Once the change has been found, how significant is it? Does it matter how many women went to the tomb to prepare the body of Jesus for burial? What about the last words that Jesus said upon the cross?

Shortly after I started reading this book I noticed that another book was out there that points out some mistakes that are in this book.I guess I'll have to track that book down sometime and read it. The fact that this book may have some inaccurate information doesn't change the fact that what we read today is not the same exact wording as what the original author wrote. Does this mean the Bible is not inspired by God? Not necessarily, inspired doesn't mean dictated word for word as many people think it is. If the words of the New Testament are not the true words of God does that make them any less important?

Even though this book is subtitled "The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why" it doesn't really explain the Why completely. I don't think that can ever be known. We can discover how the text was changed, and narrow it down to when and generally speaking who, but for those changes that were intentional I don't think we will ever know why.

Misquoting Jesus - The Story Behind Who Changed The Bible and Why by Bart D. Ehrman 2005 Harper Collins Publishers 242 pages.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

A Recent Read Number 5

"Had Jesus never come and the New Testament never written, the vast majority of humankind would know nothing of The Old Testament. It would just be the sacred writings of a wandering and obscure nation. Instead, because of Christianity, both the Old and New Testaments, with their higher codes of morality, have now gone out into all the world!"

I should have done this review several weeks ago but I kept procrastinating. Soon I will be finished with one of my current books and will have to review that one. OK so a while back I read the book What If The Bible Had Never Been Written? - by D. James Kennedy & Jerry Newcombe.

This book was somewhat enjoyable, and very informative, however, it reads like a boring school text book. It has a large notes section at the end with all the bibliographical information on the sources of the facts. Unfortunately many of the references are other works by the authors especially this books companion book What if Jesus had Never Been Born?. The back of the dustjacket has some reviewer quotes and praises for the book. One of them indicated that when confronted with skeptics comments about The Bible not being true and it doesn't matter you can hit back with this book. Unfortunately skeptics who read this book will not be convinced, and probably will ask even more questions or become more skeptical.

Author James Kennedy is a Presbyterian Minister in Southern Florida and his co-author Jerry Newcombe is a senior producer for Kennedy's televised sermons so it is obviously going to have a Christian point of view slant. I think this will help Christians and those seeking more information on Christianity more than it will answer questions from skeptics. The main focus of the book is how the Bible and Christians have influenced society and in many cases contributed to major historical events and scientific break-throughs. Many of the people discussed I didn't know had been Christian or had been influenced by Christian beliefs and the Bible. It also gives a pretty decent history of Christianity so its not a total waste of time. The writing style is very stale, as I said, it reads like a boring school text book.

One section of note is at the beginning of chapter five which deals with how the Bible has influenced politics. When Jesus tells his disciples "You are the salt of the Earth" Kennedy goes on to explain that salt is a preservative to keep good things from going bad. He says "The followers of Christ have in face proved to be, more than anyone else, the preservatives of decency and morality in the world." Many non-Christians may disagree with that, and try to twist it to say the complete opposite.

Well if I had to rate this book I'd give it only a 2.5. I think it works better as a reference book than as a source of entertainment.

What If The Bible Had Never Been Written? - by D. James Kennedy & Jerry Newcombe 1998 Thomas Nelson Publishers Hardback (288 pages).

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Those Damn Yankees, I mean Mets

Well on a beautiful Saturday (23 September) afternoon for baseball the New York Mets - Current National League East Division Champs beat the stuffing out of my loveable losing Washington Nationals 12 - 6. Not only that but it was a come-back from behind game, until the bottom of the 5th inning the Nationals were ahead 4 - 0. That is when the Mets pulled ahead 6 - 4. To make matters worse during the bottom of the 8th with only one out disaster struck. While going for a pop-up fly First Baseman Nick Johnson and Right Fielder Austin Kearns collided. Kearns was able to get up after a few moments, but unfortunately Johnson was in major pain and had to be taken off the field on a stretcher suffering from a broken right leg. UGH! This after him being healthy all season and looking like he'd have his first season off the injured list. Double Ugh! A few plays latter Super Rookie Third Baseman Ryan Zimmerman made a spectacular catch of a foul ball landing in the stands. The Mets managed to get a few more runs bringing their total to 12, while the Nationals only managed to get 1 more run in the top of the 9th making the final score 12 - 6.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Rockin' The Vote

Today (12 September 2006) was Primary Election day for the DC area. You know vote for DC Mayor, MD Governor etc... I woke up this morning and got myself a beer, dragged a comb across my hair... Wait I'm mixing up my songs now. UGH. OK so this morning when I woke up this morning I wasn't even thinking about the silly elections, then they mentioned the times the polls would be open on the radio. I thought "Oh yeah, I gotta go vote after work this evening". Work was work and I never once thought about the voting, with the exception of seeing a news report about some polling areas that hadn't received their supplies and had to turn people away. I then promptly forgot about the whole thing... until I was on my way home as I continued to see those stupid campaign signs in peoples lawns, so on the way home I went to vote. I had to Break-through a pack of those last minute campaign workers just outside the polling station. One was handing out flyers for her candidate another had a fancier flyer/pamphlet. Then I checked in and voted. Some of the volunteers there had a sense of humor especially the guy who guided you to the voting terminal.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

End of August ACK!

ACK! It's the end of August and I didn't update this bloody thing.

Dag Nab it!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Fireworks Bah Humbug!

As I get older, I get less and less interested in fireworks on the Fourth of July or at anytime. I know it's weird but it's the truth. I think it is mostly because my favorite type of fireworks display is rarely, if ever, done any more. I'm talking about the fireworks display that I call "Sizzlers" I don't mean the ones that fizzle out when they shoot up, I mean the ones that you can tell what they are as soon as they shoot out of the mortor (you can also tell the fizzling duds this way too). Anyway I mean the ones that as the explosives leave the mortor they make a sizzling type sound that sounds like the rocket is spinning and wabbling, you can see it doing it too as it arcs up into the sky. Then instead of a blossoming flower you get a bizzare sizzling/whistling sound as the lit explosives in at least four different parts spin and separate in swirling motions and peel off in all directions. The sound is a whooshing, swirlling, sizzling sound that is best heard not described. You would know it if you heard it.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Feeling Old

The other day, well OK last night (Saturday 24 June 2006) I drove by my old High School, on my way to somewhere. I didn't plan on passing by it. It had been renovated about 10 years ago, this I knew, I had seen it (from the outside) since the renovations. A few years before that they had renovated/updated the theatre/auditorium which I still have to see. Oh but I digress, anyway I drove by the old alma mater, which now looks more like a prison than a school and saw the events sign in the front. You know the signs where you can change the letters, usually behind a clear case locked in a bricked mini-wall. Anyway the sign read:

OF 2010

So that means that the 2000 oughts are almost gone and giving way to the 2000 teens. Man I am so feeling old again.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

A Recent Read Number 4

It's that time again for a review of the book I have just finished reading, or something. This time I've been reading an old Pulp Fiction Sci-Fi Two-In-One news-stand book published in 1963. This book has two full stories, fortunately by the same author (sometimes the stories are two separate authors with no connection what-so-ever). The Author is John Brunner the titles "The Space-Time Juggler" and "The Astronauts Must Not Land". The book is designed so that instead of reading it cover-to-cover you read it cover-to-middle, then flip the book over and read it cover-to-middle. The more I think about it the more I vaguely remember a news-stand near me when I was a kid having this type of paperback book, in addition to having magazines, and the comics, trading cards and candy I used to go there for. Back in the days of real penny bubble gum and five and ten cent candy bars. In more recent years I've seen this type of book in used book stores.

"...'tis reported, they say, that there is a man whom no bars will hold, who comes and goes where he will, and who has strange powers that surpass the human."
from The Space-Time Juggler

The first story of this two-in-one "The Space-Time Juggler" feels more like a fantasy piece than proper sci-fi. The main story line is medieval in nature, except that the empire is made up of six planets, and they mention spacecraft and helicopters. I'm really disappointed with this story. It doesn't get to feeling like a sci-fi story until near the end when it reads more like an acid-trip of some kind. Then the true nature of the character named Kaleb The Conjurer is revealed, sort of. Through out the story he acts like an eccentric magician, con man. He of course is the title character The Space-Time Juggler. I had started reading this a couple of years back when I had gotten the book from off of Ebay, but never got into enough to finish it. I almost should have left it unread. I didn't gain anything from reading it, yet this was the story I had bought the thing for in the first place. It did not live up to what I was expecting.

"I got the recorder out of my pocket, turned the master switch from voice to vision recording, and began to scan. My hand was shaking so badly I wasn't sure it was worth the trouble..."
From The Astronauts Must Not Land.

Now the second story "The Astronauts Must Not Land" was much better. If I didn't know any better I could swear it was a story used for The Twilight Zone or The Outer Limits, but I don't think it ever was. For a story written in the early 1960s and set in the 21st Century, (I'm not sure how far into it) it has a lot of modern references. Until I had done a little internet research I thought Fax machines were something that was developed in the 1970s (I recall a Star Trek Comic book from 1976 making a reference to fax machines), but the technology for it goes back to the late 1800s, the first fax copies (text) were sent in the early 1900s via telegraph wire, the first telephone line faxes were sent sometime during the 60s. But I digress. The story is written in the first person by the character of David Drummond a science writer, reporter and big brother to one of the sixty astronauts aboard a spaceship called the Starventure, a ship designed to travel to Alpha Centauri via hyperspace. Well things don't go as planned for the crew as their bodies are changed by some aliens in hyperspace during their trip. What diabolical plan did these aliens have for doing this? And why are these aliens appearing as gigantic monsters in the sky? I don't want to spoil these questions for anybody wanting to read this story. I will say this though this story is a highly scientific sci-fi story much of the science talk went over my head. I normally don't like the super scientific terminology stories but this one was pretty fun, but slightly difficult (as far as the science lingo) to read. In my internet adventures in tracking down info on this story, thinking it might have been used as the basis for an Outer Limits type television show or movie, I found out that an updated re-write of it had been done some ten to twenty years later. It would make a good movie.

The Space-Time Juggler/The Astronauts Must Not Land by John Brunner 1963 Ace Books, Inc. (84/138 pages)

Friday, June 09, 2006

Website? What Website?

Oh Man.
I've been sort of ignoring my website ( lately. Since starting my blog over here at blogger, I have all but abandoned my "Semi-Blog" over there. Its a lot easier to blog at a site where you don't have to worry about the coding, than a site where you have to format your entries. I need to update the semi-blog to refer it here. OH well. Nothing to see here move it along.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

A DVD or Two

On Wednesday 07 June 2006 I picked up a couple of DVD Season Boxed sets from Target. I got:

NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service - The complete first season (6 disc boxed set).

I couldn't wait, I have already watched the first disc, the first four episodes including going back to episode one to watch with the commentary from series creator Donald P. Bellisario. Pauley Perrette Rocks.


Charmed: The Complete Fifth Season (6 disc set).

Yeah this is the season with the episode called Lucky Charmed with Guest stars Pat Benatar & Neil Geraldo as themselves. This episode is one of the main reasons I got season five out of order. I will eventually get the other seasons, I don't know when though.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

I'm Soooooooooooooooooooooo Tired.

Argh. I want to work on populating my book collection at, but I'm too tired. I did manage to watch a DVD, a rental from Netflix.

Harry Chapin: Rockpalast Live (1977). It is a studio recorded concert taped in Germany. It was taped during Harry's Dance Band on the Titanic Tour. It is generally good quality video and sound, not great but generally good. It even has a version of Six-String Orchestra, which Harry hardly did in the later years. All in all it rates a 3 out of 5. As a Chapin Fan I personally give the viewing experience a 5 but as a DVD critic I have to take a few points off for some of the video quality, and the sound. Now the sound is OK for the time but there were a few songs where the balance between voices and instruments wasn't quite right. OK so now I'm being picky. I really should have skipped renting this one, and just gone ahead and purchased a copy. I still need to get a copy of Remember when: The Anthology DVD as well as this one. ACK! I don't know if it is just the song or the song and the fact I miss Harry that I got choked up during Corey's Coming. That is one of my fave songs next to Six String Orchestra, Bananas, and Circle.

OK so me thinks that is it for this one.... Oh I'm still in the process of reading the two-in-one Pulp Sci-Fi book by John Brunner The Space-Time Juggler/The Astronauts Must Not Land. I am now reading the Astronauts side. You see this particular edition is a two-in-one pulp fiction/sci-fi news-stand edition that is designed so that after you read one story you flip the book over to read the other story. So the second story is upside down when your reading the first story. The book has two front covers if you think about it, the back cover which is upside when when you are reading the first story, is the front cover for the second story. You actually don't read the book cover to cover you read it cover to middle then cover to middle. It was published in 1963. When I finish this second story, which I think is the better of the two, I will give my "A recent read" book review. This Astronaut story so far has may standard early 1960s elements, I think it may have been made into a Twilight Zone or Outer Limits Episode. If it wasn't it probably should have been.

Taking Much longer than I thought

OK so I wasn't expecting it to happen overnight, but then again I didn't think I would stumble at it either. What am I talking about? Well a little while back, about a week or so ago, I started logging in my book collection onto a database site called, so far I've entered in most of my sci-fi books (except for the Star Trek ones which are in a different book case) and a ton of my paperback books. I've logged in about 450 books and that is only about 1/4 to 1/3 of what I have (basically one 6ft tall bookshelf unit out of 4, well 3 really the 4th is actually a 4ft one plus a 2ft one with a couple of the shelves double rowed.) It is similar to another site I use quite often for my DVD collection Ah the life of a collector.

Monday, June 05, 2006

You are Obsolete

Some records
I saw an ad for a new DVD release on the boob-tube and it mentioned the Blu-Ray version would be coming soon. That gave me a thought and a shiver. I thought back to the days of vinyl records and how for many years the only thing that changed about the format was the sound quality improved and the prices kept going up. Collectors and consumers of the product could purchase new records with the satisfaction of knowing that they could remove the outer wrapping, place the disc on the turntable, give it a spin and put the needle down on the record. Oh and switch the speed back to 33rpm after realizing you had left it set at 45 making Dolly Parton sound like a chipmonk. Now-a-days the formats are going through changes almost daily. There is also a current trend to have everything downloaded to your computer. My big problem with that is there is nothing physical to hold onto or to read while listening to it. It's like reading a book on the computer screen or as a stack of printed out pages, it just isn't the same as holding a real book in your hands and turning the pages. It has lost all it's intimacy. You don't even know if you will be able to play you collection anymore.

Now many people are downloading music onto their Ipods without batting an eye. OK since it's all digital the quality is as good as the original source but where is the cover art? Where are the liner notes? I guess people don't care about those things anymore. Back in the days before Ipods and downloading music, if you wanted to make a copy of a song, you either had to tape it off the radio, or purchase (or borrow) the record or tape and record it manually. The quality wasn't always great and your cover art work was some generic TDK logo or whatever brand of tape you were using, no liner notes. You either had to hand write the tracks or take the time to type them up.

Oh well.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

A Recent Read Number 3

"Mullen scratched his head. 'But There isn't a police box by -'
The Doctor shushed him. 'Trust me, Inspector.'
He looked at them both, steely-eyed. 'Now, when I say run, run.'"

Just this afternoon (Wednesday 31 May, 2006) I finished my re-read of this Doctor Who Series book "Illegal Alien" . Even though I don't normally like stories set in WWII England this has the bonus feature of being Sci-Fi with The Doctor and Ace, a couple of strange characters and an old enemy The Cybermen. A wonderful read. I enjoyed it much better this time reading it than I did when I first read it six? Years ago? I wasn't sure if I had read it before, so I started to read it and sure enough by the second page I realized I had read it before. In typical 7th Doctor fashion, the Doctor is mysterious and seems to not only be playing games (Particularly Chess) but also one step ahead of everyone else. Except he isn't one step ahead of his enemies. In typical Ace fashion she runs off in excitement over something and gets caught up in some tangled web that requires help from the Doctor. Oh did I mention The Cybermen are in this one? I don't normally like the Cybermen stories but this one is pretty darn good.

"Illegal Alien" by Mike Tucker and Robert Perry 1997 BBC Books (279 pages)

Saturday, May 27, 2006

A Recent Read Number 2

"The Grail story is everywhere, but it is hidden."

On Wednesday night (24 May, 2006) I finished reading the controversial The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. Wow! What a story. OK so many of the historical and religious "facts" this book claims as being accurate, aren't totally accurate. First off this is a work of fiction, it is not intended to be a replacement for the Bible or to be a reliable text book for historical and cultural arts studies. It is a fast paced murder mystery, treasure hunt, police chase novel. I won't give any details of the plot away, but I will say that there are a few surprises toward the end of the book and at the end of the book.

If you read this book, or see the movie that is based on it, you need to remember that it is a work of fiction. Even though the book claims some things as fact, historians and religious experts are tearing those claims apart. I am looking forward to seeing the movie sometime, but probably after it hits the DVD market. I also plan on getting and reading the author's other book Angels & Demons which has the same main character.

The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown 2003 Anchor Books Mass Market Edition (Paperback version 489 pages.)

Friday, May 26, 2006

Need to Blog More Often

First off, I know its the wee hours of the morning. I had one of those take a nap for all night, nights.

I need to improve on my blogging here and do it more often. Some months I've just barely had one entry and that is only because I've made a personal vow to myself that I would have at least one entry per month. That way there won't be any missing months in the archives. There are a few blogs of people I don't even know that I read daily or almost daily. Some of them are updated every day others are not. The ones that are not updated I sometimes will explore their archives to a point before I started reading their blog, or to search for something I recall having read there.

OK so I will try to set a goal for myself, of blogging at least once a week. Hopefully I'll blog more often, but I will make myself no guarantees. Adding my "A Recent Read" entries will help that and also help me read more often, hopefully. Speaking of "A Recent Read" I finished reading The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. Oh and I signed up on a book collection database and started filling in my book collection, just as I did with my DVD collection over at I need to work on my CD/Record collections over at and only problem with these type of databases is it takes a long time to enter in the collection if you have a large one.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The Da Vinci Cold!

Imagine if Gilda Radner were still alive (she'd be closer to the age of her character in this little sketch).

The scene is The Weekend Update set (from Saturday Night Live) with anchor Chevy Chase.

Chevy has just given the lastest news in iraq.

CHEVY: And now with this weeks editorial is Miss Emily Litella. Emily.

EMILY: Thank you Mr. Chase. What is all this I hear about the Da Vinci Cold? Why is it causing such a ruckus. The poor guy was a regular human being, of course he would get the occasional cold. He probably drank tea to get better and had wine with every meal. A nice warm toddy to keep his tootsies warm at night and...

CHEVY: (Interupting) Miss Litella. Thats The Da Vinci Code! Not Cold. Code, Its The Da Vinci Code.

EMILY: What? The Da Vinci Code?

CHEVY: Yes The Da Vinci Code.

EMILY: Oh. Well that is very different then. Never Mind.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Angels In The Clouds!

I'm sure at some point in your life you have looked up in the sky at the clouds and seen one shaped like a bunny or a dog, a horse or maybe like a human face, or some other physical shape. I often have seen familiar shapes in the clouds. Many times I see clouds shaped like horses or like a bearded man's face, or perhaps one entirely shaped like a human. Many times when I see one that looks like a face or a human, I think that it must be an angel looking down on us. An angel looking for someone in distress to save, or perhaps looking a sad child to chear-up. Or they maybe are just trying to say "Hello, God Loves you, you know." On the other end of the spectrum when the clouds are gloomy, gray and so dark they are almost black, it puts a little bit of fear in me. Perhaps those clouds are deamons looking to cause trouble. Often when I see fronts of clean white clouds near the dark clouds of an approaching storm, I imagine a great battle between the Angels and Demons in those clouds.

Either my imagination is getting stronger or the clouds are taking on symbolic shapes more often. More and more I find myself looking to the skies and appreciating whatever forms the clouds happen to be taking at that particular moment.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

A Recent Read Number 1

"As Congressman Washburne once told me, a lie can walk from Maine to Georgia before the truth has a chance to put on its boots."

I have recently finished reading a very interesting book. Grant Speaks by Ev Ehrlich.

Based very loosely on the life and times of Ulysses S. Grant and Grant's autobiography "Personal Memoirs of Ulysses Grant" this book takes it one step farther. During his last dying days Grant decides to set the record straight and admits to being an impostor and living a lie. It seems that when he was a young lad growing up in a small Ohio town there was another young man named Ulysses Grant who came from a more prominent family that was richer and more respected in the town than the youth who would become a great Military leader and U.S. President. To tell the two boys named Ulysses Grant apart friends and family nicknamed them 'Useful' and 'Useless'. Fate takes a wicked turn when 'Useful' Grant is leaving town to head toward West Point, a tragic accident kills his parents and causes 'Useful' to lose his memory. In his confusion he thinks he killed this couple he doesn't realize are his parents and he flees. Seeing this as an opportunity for his 'Useless' son Mr. Grant (a tanner by trade) convinces his less respected good for nothing son to take the place of this other Ulysses Grant. The rest is as they say history.

In his end notes the author mentions that the basic facts of the book historical, personal and military are true, but he of course took some liberties. He also added a few characters, like 'Useful' Grant into the mix of real-life historical people who lived during Grant's time.

Readers of this book should remember it is mostly fiction, even though many of the events Ulysses Grant actually lived through. I would suggest that you brush up on your US History, American Civil War History and the life and times of Ulysses S. Grant before attempting to read this book. It isn't necessary, but it would keep one from getting terribly confused.

Now I'm not sure if he was such a foul mouth in real life, but in this book General Sherman cusses up a storm. I'm not sure if some of those words were used in the 19th century or not.

Grant Speaks 2000 by Ev Ehrlich published by Warner Books (Hardcover 395 pages)

NEXT: I am now in the process of reading Dan Brown's controversial book The Da Vinci Code (paperback edition). Its a fictional novel folks. The 'clues' that Da Vinci put in his artwork and all these secret societies are speculation based on unfounded myths as well as the whole Jesus being married to Mary Magdalene business. Of course atheists say Jesus and Christianity is all speculation and unfounded myth. So whose truth do you believe?

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


You know you are growing old when, you really don't care about the current pop-culture trends that everybody in New York and Hollywood are talking about. When you hear that a rap star has been shot and killed and upon hearing their stage name you say "Who?" Or you hear some teen-agers talking about a hot new music group, and it sounds like noise to you.

I often feel unattached to the current pop-culture. Especially when it comes to TV commercials. What the heck are they trying to advertise? What is the point of a commercial that you don't know what its is supposed to be for? Once you do figure out what they are selling you think "What does a dog peeing on the carpet have to do with Sony Televisions?" or something similarly silly. I saw a commercial that at first I didn't know what it was but then when the end graphic showed I realized the idea they were trying to get across, sort of. The commercial shows a beach with the tide going out, nothing is there, the tide comes in the tide goes back out and then you see what appears to be some footprints in the sand, the tide comes back in and then goes out again and the footprints are gone. Then a graphic comes up for the U.S. Navy Seals, so it was a recruiting ad. Huh?

No wonder people have no idea what is going on. Commercials don't make sense or they don't show what they are trying to advertise. Even during election years political campaign PSAs (Public Service Announcements) spend all their efforts in bashing the opposing candidate without mentioning why you should vote for the candidate the ad is supporting.

Another thing that really bugs me, and this is especially the practices of my local cable system not necessarily the individual television stations, is while watching one Network, you see the upcoming programing schedule ad for another Network. It doesn't make sense to the viewer, but it's all about selling ad time for the networks, and I suspect it is mostly the cable provider doing whatever they feel like doing.

If it weren't for the news and the fact that I am still interested in a few new TV shows, I'd abandon new television viewing for good and stick with my VHS tapes and DVDs.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Sometimes, when the world is going all kind of nutzy and the real news sounds like the "News of The Weird and Stupid", I wish that I knew how to pilot the Space Shuttle so I could jump in it and take off of this third rock from the sun, and just go out there! Perhaps to the second star on the right straight on until morning. Actually I have always been fasinated with the constellation of ORION, particularly the middle star of the "belt". I fantasize or more exactly pretend or imagine that there is a "fourth" star of the belt, directly behind the middle star, that is in such a precise orbit and orientation that it is hidden behind the middle star from our position here on Earth. If we were able to move over enough to another position, or fly out far enough away from the Earth's relative position to those stars we would see the "hidden" star. Crazy I know, but it's something I think would be really neat, and I would love to be able to travel to that distant star and see what it is all about.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Spreading Rumors Via The Internet.

OH boy. As if spreading a rumor wasn't enough. Some people need to use the internet to do it. About a week ago or so I saw a post on a chat board from someone suggesting a way to have fun on the internet, by going to a board on a specific subject and posting an untrue but believable rumor on that topic. Ugh. I'm not sure but I think the person who posted that was a teenager or a younger child, double ugh. OK telling rumors to your friends may be fun, but posting one on the internet where the potiential audience is in the Millions? No wonder people believe some of the strangest things, they are believing everything they read on the internet.

That is why there are sites like: to let people know when a widely spread tale is true or not. Of course there are a few were part of the tale is true, but not the part that people remember. People have a tendancy to remember the first few facts of a topic that they hear. For example some people still believe some of the specualtions and first few attempts at explainations of the events of September 11, 2001. They just remember the first few things they heard, they don't remember the later reports that explained why the first reports were not true. In all the chaos of the events, people were believing whatever they heard. In and around DC there were frantic reports at first that the Capitol had been hit, because people had heard the Pentagon crash or saw the plane flying low and had heard about the events in New York just before. Some people still believe that a quatraine of Nostrodomas predicted the terror attacks of September 11.

What are we to believe? As they said on The X-Files "The Truth is out there."

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Midnight Crisis?

Sometimes I think I'm going through a Midnight Crisis, er Midwife Crisis (Yeah right), that is Mid-Life Crisis. Problem is I don't see the crisis part, guess it ain't really there. Or is it? Let's not think about that part.

Oh man, this afternoon at work I came up with some rhymes that would probably make a great Rap/Hip-Hop song, and make Millions of $$$$, but I can't remember what they were, 'skuze me what Dey Wuz. It might have been something related to makin' copies, because that was what I was doing at the time. Hmm like that character that Rob Schneider played on Saturday Night Live "The Bradster is makin' copies, Bradarolla, The Bradinator, BradenjenthenBradenangelina, Mr. Pitt Makin' Copies" The first time or two I saw that character I hated it, I thought it sucked, but after seeing it a few more times and getting used to it, I grew to like those sketches. That is one of the problems of being a fan of the Original SNL many of the more recent returning characters are stupid. Then they get so stupid you start liking them not because they are funny but because they are stupid. Then there are the characters that just suck. Not to mention the sketches that start off as a sort of funny situation for the first 10 seconds and they don't know how to end the scene and it goes on for 20 plus minutes. I guess that is why it is called Sophomore humor, you have to be a sophomore to enjoy it, then you outgrow it at somepoint, or not.

Speaking of bad. I once saw a production of one of my favorite shows that was difficult to watch. Make that two productions of two of my favorite shows. For this second one in particular the direction sucked. Sometimes it was difficult to figure out what was going on, and I have seen the show a few times before and know the story (which is a well known story and show) The cast was a mix of talented and not-even-close-to talented people. The set was minimal, the show doesn't have to have a big set, but some productions of it have gone all-out for the set and costumes. Oh the costumes, well they didn't really help too much and also since it was modern attire, the costumes didn't help set the mood, or the scene. In some cases the costumes didn't even tell what the characters were, but for most of the important characters there was a little of something. What it was I don't know. It was a disappiontment, I still kind of enjoyed the show a little I guess. OH and one of the lead characters they cross-gender cast, meaning they cast a woman in a role written for a man. It confused things but wasn't as annoying as the Where are they going? blocking. If this had been the first time I had seen the show, I wouldn't have known what was going on in some scenes, and it wouldn't be anywhere near my favorite shows.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Let's Play Ball!

My BBall Team, Yeah!
I am so psyched. OK well I'm not that nuts right now, maybe after I get back into the swing of the baseball fan role. As Major League Baseball (MLB) fans know the Montreal Expos were sold and moved to Washington DC to debut as the Washington Nationals for the 2005 season. Part of my preparation for the team's sophomore season has been watching the DVD Baseball Returns: Washington Nationals Inaugural Season 2005

Da DVD of da Inaugural Season I still need to watch the Great Plays of the season highlights and some of the Behind the scenes stuff but what I have watched brought back memories of the season. They also have the complete season stats for the team and the individual players, watching that would take ages, so I just touched on some of them.

One of the things that I found slightly annoying is for the still image Photo Gallery section, the music track they have playing is only something like 20 seconds long, so you keep hearing the music loop crescendo then loop back. The gallery is something like 10 minutes long or so, but it has some pretty neat images.

Another thing that drove me batty with this is in the players section, where they have a photo of the player show his number and basic personal stats (Position, Hometown, bithdate, Batting/Throwing hand, years in majors etc...) the way they flash the photos at first I thought I had a faulty disc becuase of the flashy jittering. OH well you can't have everything.

Watching this type of DVD is akin to reading an encyclopedia, you don't really read, in this case watch, the whole thing you just sort of hit the best bits and then if there is time go back over the bibliography and the background charts. At any rate it is a very good reference source for Washington Nationals fans. Plus with some of the disturbing news of the legal issue over the team's name, the problem with a new stadium, and the ownership status of the team, the thing might become a bigger collector's item for yet another defunct baseball team from DC. I hope it doesn't come to that, but who knows.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Doctor Whooooo, Hey The TARDIS! Doctor Whooooo whoo whoo.

Oh Yeah, I saw a series teaser that verifies some rumors that might have been floating around. Now I'm Psyched! The new revitialized BBC series Doctor Who with Christopher Eccleston as the doctor and Billie Piper as Rose Tyler is definately coming to the Sci Fi Channel (Doctor Who on Sci-Fi). I've heard mixed reports about this incarnation number 8? 9? of the self titled "Doctor" who travels through time and space in a mid twentieth-century English Police Telephone Call Box (Big Blue wooden Police Phone Booth to us Americans) which he calls TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimentions In Space). Some old time Whovians think it's the worst dreck that the Old Beeb has dug up since bringing Adric into the TARDIS. Others have praised it as the best thing since Tom Baker's signed contract. OK yeah, I know the first two seasons are availble on DVD in it's home region II, and the Doctor is now played by David Tennant, but here in region I it isn't available yet, and hasn't been seen, except to a few folks up north who live near that wacky US/Canadian Border, thanks to Canadian TV CBC Network. Can't wait to see the Dalek Episode(s). I've heard a few things about the story lines and Time Lord history that re-invents the entire series that sounds disheartening but I'll wait till I see it for myself and I'll probably still soak it up like the Sci-Fi Nut I am. Hey it took me about two-and-a-half episodes of the revamped Battlestar Galactica to really enjoy it and get into it.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

You've Got to be Kidding, Right?

In Silver Spring, MD (Tuesday 21 February, 2006) a 5-year-old girl was suspended from her elementary school for allegedly being involved in sexual activity on the school's playground. WHAT? A 5-year-old? Sexual Activity? What about the boy or boys that were involved? So far I've only seen one source for this news story, the local DC area ABC News Station WJLA Channel 7. I was shocked when I heard the coming-at-11-O'Clock News headline teasers. Of course the exact details are not being divulged, and the identities of the child and her parent(s) are not being given for her protection. So they didn't say if more than one boy was involved or what the activities were. But come on 5-years-old? Her father is fighting the suspension and obviously is asking a lot of questions, including where the playground supervisors where, or what they were doing when these acts took place. I would be interested in knowing who initiated these acts, her or the boy or boys she was involved with.

Who is responsible for something like that? Obviously the parents of any of the children involved need to inform their children of what types of behaviors are acceptible. When do parents need to inform their children about sex? For years experts have been saying that the best thing to do is to talk to your kids about sex, when they first start asking all those where do babies come from? questions. Parents are told to tell the kids the truth, don't involve the stork (he just delivers them he don't make them), and to use the medical terms, not the street slang. But when do kids start asking those questions? Is that at 5-years-old? Is it sooner? Was this girl doing something she saw in a music video or a movie on TV? Was it something she heard about from peers or an older sibling? Has she been suffering abuse? Was she simply imitating dancing she saw? Was she following instructions from one of the boys? Were they also 5 or 6? Or a little older?

Now unless things have changed in the last 35 years or so since I was 5, a child who is 5-years-old is just beginning school, usually in pre-school or what is known as day-care now. 5 or 6 used to be the age that you "started" school with pre-school, then it was Kindergarden at 6 and then at 7 you entered Elementary School with First Grade. This has your child graduating high school at age 18. Now depending on your area's school district and school organization the starting age range differs by about a year so some kids start their formal education at anywhere from about ages 3.5 to 5 maybe 6. It also depends on what time of the year your child was born. So graduating high school seniors are usually 17 & 18, sometimes 16 and very occasionally 19.

I was trying to think back to when I was 5, and what I knew about sex at that age. I think I might have heard the word at that age, but I don't think I "Knew" about sex until 7 maybe 8. Then it wasn't until around age 11 or 12 that we had formal Sex Ed in school. I remember to participate we (the children) were given a participation form that described the course and had to have it signed by our parents in order to participate. I think most parents gave the OK, I can't recall any kid in our school not being allowed to take the course. I don't recall how long the course was, but I do recall that they segregated the boys and girls. This I assume was to inform the girls of all the proper feminine hygiene details without any rude or gross boy jokes. Thus keeping the boys in the dark about the specific details of that special time. Yes the boys were taught about the menstration cycle, but we weren't given all the specific details, just the Reader's Digest version. No wonder men don't understand women. We don't learn about these things early enough. It isn't until our girlfriends get moody that we even catch a hint of what is going on.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Teasers - AKA: Misleading Headlines

One of the things about modern reporting that drives me nuts and is one of my pet peeves is the Teaser headline that is misleading. Yeah I know the whole purpose of a teaser is to give you just enough information for an upcoming news item that you just have to read it, or in the case of television news you sit glued to your chair for that upcoming news item. Usually they are some corny or cheesy catch phrase that uses some modern pop-culture reference to make you say "Gee I've got to know what this story is about". The real bummer comes when the bulk of the story gets told and you realize that it wasn't worth the bother. These are the stories that make you wish you had changed the channel to the Gilligan's Island reruns or the M*A*S*H* Marathon, or hadn't left the comics section on the seat next to you on the bus on monday morning.

Another News peave of mine, which I've noticed a lot recently in the entertainment news, is when a headline will only mention part of the entertainer,or sports figures name. Was the Simpson that went nuts in the art museum Jessica or O.J.? Was that Neil or Lance Armstrong that tripped on the stairs while meeting with the Queen?

Then there is the whole Beniffer thing, or making every woman's name sound like JLo, really LindLo for Lindsay Lohan seriously.

Monday, February 20, 2006

The Beginning Or The End?

OK So this is my attempt to have my blog in two places at once. My semi-blog is at my regular website at blog page. I usually mention what CDs I've been listening to,or DVDs purchased watched or rented and plans I have for my website or things that I've done to the website to mess it up.

As soon as I can figure out what the best way to do things for me is, I will do it that way and attempt to make my blog look like a part of my regular website. Until then my blog will look like a million other blogs. :(