Thursday, December 31, 2009

Last words of 2009 (barely)!.

OK so here we are at the very tail end of the year 2009. This past year has been OK for the most part, except I did lose two good friends in the latter half. I'll have some of the boring details of my year (maybe in a day or two) on my website Nesredna's Knook on my Year In Review page(s) there.

So Happy New Year all 4 or 5 (if that many) of you who read this silly Blog. I've been in shows with some of you, I've laughed with some of you, I may have cried with one or two of you, and one of you I might have... well never mind that I'll just edit this bit later. LOL!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Back To Classic Pinstripes.

I should have posted this a week or two ago, but didn't get around to writing it until now.

Anyway... Nick Johnson who at one time was the first baseman for my beloved Washington Nationals was traded to the Florida Marlins during the 2009 season. I first blogged about that on 31 July in my NO Nats NOT NICK! post.

Nick began his Major League Career with the New York Yankees in 2001. Around the time I wasn't really paying much attention to baseball let alone the "Damn Yankees".

Well then in 2003 at the end of the season he was traded to the Montreal Expos, it was around this time that I was beginning to get back into paying attention to baseball, a little before the talks about getting an MLB team back into DC started. Nick was with The Expos when they made the transition to become the Washington Nationals. Once the Expos/Nationals were established in DC I immediately followed them, since I had been a Senators fan from way back. Nick when he was healthy with the Nats was one of the best at finding a way to get on base. His On Base percentage is exceptional. I got used to seeing number 24 on first base for DC. That was until around the middle of this past 2009 season when the Nationals traded him to the Florida Marlins just before the deadline for mid-season trades. The Marlins switched his number to 20.

Well now Nick has traded in his "fishstripes" for the classic pinstripes of the Yankees. He signed a one-year contract 23 December, 2009 with the Yankees for a cool $5.5 Mil. Well he's back to his roots, I'm not too thrilled with the team he is on now, but I will still sort of keep track of his career (at least through baseball cards LOL). Well it looks like both numbers 20 and 24 are already taken on the Yankees Roster so I don't know what number he'll end up with.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

A Funny Thing Happened on the way to the Gas Pump.

Friday 04 December, 2009 While on my way home from work, I stopped to get gas at a Shell station that is about 4 or 5 miles from my apartment. It is somewhere between 6:30 and 6:45 PM. Well first I have to wait a little bit to get to a pump that will put my gas tank on the correct side. There was a spot that was in front of a minivan's rear-side (the van was facing me) the pumps right in front of me had cars. I had to squeeze between the van on my right and the car in front of me. To get to a right hand side pump that was free. As I'm going for that pump a car appears in front of me and is backing up, and unbeknown to me the van was now pulling away. So after an irate guy requests that I move back to the pump the van just now left. I start to go about my business.

Then a newsguy with his cameraman approaches the guy in front of me who apparently doesn't want to talk the news guy (Richard Reeve with WJLA-ABC 7) with his cameraman approaches me and asks me if I have a few minutes to answer some questions about the upcoming snow storm. I agree and I answer a few questions for about 3 minutes. The news guys leave. I Then go back to pumping my gas.

While I'm driving away I think "Cool, I'll probably end up on the 11 O'Clock News" which I did for about 3 seconds.

The main point of the news story was to tell about the upcoming winter storm we are supposed to get tomorrow evening and a new road treatment mixture they are going to try called "Ice Bite" which is a natrual organic blend of enzimes and beat molasass. Well if it works why not?

Here is a link to the video.
Region Readies for Winter's First Bite|ABC 7 News

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Schneider-Man moves from NY to Phillie

Well once again my favorite current MLB catcher Brian Schneider is moving on to another team. This time he's going to Phillie. When I first got back into baseball around the time the Montreal Expos were set to become the Washington Nationals Brian "Schneider-Man" Schneider was their catcher. He began his Major League Career with the Expos in 2000, and was their starting catcher during the transition to Washington DC to become the Nationals in 2005 and my favorite current catcher in the game. He was with them until the off-season in Dec 2007 when he was traded along with outfielder Ryan Church (who is now on the Atlanta Braves) to the New York Mets for youngster Lastings Milledge (Now on the Pittsburgh Pirates). That trade really got me upset, but I started getting used to seeing Brian and Ryan in The Mets Blue and Orange (or are they Blue and Purple with black?).

Well now Brian is going to once again be wearing red.

Um remember this from 2007? The media seems to have all but forgotten. The media circus of the "Race to the Record" is a thing of the past, but it still turns my stomach every now and then.

OK I said wearing RED!

There that's better, except now he will be looking more like this:

Wait that's the guy he will be backing up Carlos Ruiz. Oh well you get the idea. Anyway Brian signed a 2-year deal with Phillie for $2.75 Million. Well now that sort of rounds out the NL East division with Ex-Nats, Schneider now with the Phillies, Church with the Braves, 1st Baseman Nick Johnson with the Marlins, and Pitcher Tim Redding with the Mets.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Recent Read Number 16

"Since hanging around with the Crime Scene Cleaners, I have been giving serious thought to the choice of method by which people put an end to their own lives, and what these methods say about them."

NOTE: This review may contain SPOILERS.

Mop Men: Inside The World Of Crime Scene Cleaners by Alan Emmins.
This is a fascinating book. If you have ever wondered who has to clean up after a messy murder or a suicide involving blood splatter then you might want to crack open this book. The author spent a month traveling around and working with a man an his company that for a fee cleans up the blood and what-not from crime scenes and messy suicides.

The author often poses philosophical questions about death, life and his views on it before and after hanging around with the Crime Scene Cleaners company. The owner of the company got the idea for his company after seeing the movie Pulp Fiction (the author mentions the movie a few times in the book). He said he was originally going to go into the mortuary business, but he wanted to do something with his life. He is quite a character, but seems to have his head and heart in the right place. If it weren't for the crime scene cleaners it would be up to the family of suicide victims, and motel cleaning staff to clean up the gory mess. The author mentions a few times that most people wouldn't be able to cope with that responsibility.

At first the book seems to be a sort of behind the scenes look at the business of cleaning up after messy suicides and murders. It soon becomes a cross between that and a mini-autobiography of the author with a little bit of drama tossed in. There are a few areas where the book drags, but maybe it was just that I took a bit of time reading this book.

Mop Men: Inside the World of Crime Scene Cleaners by Alan Emmins 2004 (2008) Thomas Dunne Books (St. Martins Press) 306 pages. - ***.5

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Recent Read Number 15

"I desperately wanted to talk to a human being, but knew I would never get the chance. You are kept from any form of fellowship, conversation or human interaction. "

NOTE: This review is written about 5 months after I finished reading the book. This is the last of my back-logged book reviews for now. This review CONTAINS SPOILERS.

23 Minutes In Hell - By Bill Wiese. Before I begin this review, this is another near-death experience book written by a Christian author that skeptics will pass off as an oxygen deprived fantasy. There have been a few reviews and website postings that point out some inconsistencies in the telling and then go on to crack jokes about the book and it's author.

In a nutshell the author a Christian preacher came home one night, went to bed and then had an awful experience. He was in his bed and then at "3:00 AM" he was suddenly falling and finds himself landing in a dark prison cell. The cell walls are solid stone, he then becomes aware of nasty evil creatures that then proceed to torture him physically. At some point he manages to escape from them and "explore" other areas of the dark world he has found himself in.

He describes pits of fire, with people burning in them screaming and trying to escape only to fall down or be pushed back be other nasty looking creatures. His descriptions are in line with everything about "Hell" that is in the Bible in fact later chapters go on Ad nauseum about where the Bible mentions hell, the exact wording and how many times it appears.

The first couple of chapters tell of the author's Hellish adventure, which is similar to other books I've read one being My Decent Into Death: A Second Chance At Life by Howard Storm. The descriptions of Hell are pretty much the same, how they got there is where they differ.

I'm not sure what to think about this book, as I had originally heard nothing but the nay-saying skeptical "reviews" of the book. I tend to question the authors knowledge of the timing. How did he know was "3:00 AM" when he first "fell" into Hell? Was he looking at the clock at that exact minute? He was supposedly sleeping before he found himself in Hell. I can understand his knowing it was 3:23 AM when he came back as people usually check the time when they get back home after being someplace else. Seeing the time when you come back gives some sense of comfort.

I will leave it up to people who read the book what to think about it, and wither or not they believe the author really experienced what he has written about. As I said at the beginning skeptics will take this story with a grain of salt and call it a fantasy. Christians may get scared of some of the things in it and try to increase their faith in God and in Jesus.

23 Minutes In Hell by Bill Wiese 2006 Charisma House (A Strang Company) 170 pages - **

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Recent Read Number 14

"He's Alive! The dead man started singing with me."

NOTE: The review for this book is being written about 6 months after I had finished reading this book. It does CONTAIN SPOILERS.

90 Minutes In Heaven by Don Piper. This is an interesting "autobiography" about a man who had an out-of-body experience. Skeptics will say that what he experienced was a typical chemical induced mind created fantasy. The author and many Christians believe that he actually experienced the after-life in Heaven.

On the cold rainy evening of January 18, 1989 Don Piper an ordained minsiter was returning home from a Baptist Church conference. He didn't make it home. He was in an accident on a small bridge with a very large truck. When the paramedics arrived on the scene, they found no pulse on his mangled body, he was pronounced dead at the scene.

A fellow Baptist preacher came upon the scene. He was told by God to pray for this man, even though he was told, and knew that he was dead. It turns out that he knew the man he was praying for, although he didn't know it at the time as the body was covered with a tarp and he didn't lift up the tarp. He was there to pray for this man, even though the emergency workers at the scene told him the man was dead and nothing could be done.

State law said that he had to be officially pronounced dead before the body could be removed from the scene. While they were waiting for someone who could make that official pronouncement a preacher was praying over the body. He only knew that he had to pray for the dead man and to pray that there were no internal injuries. He then began to sing. He sang a hymn called "What A Friend We Have In Jesus", the man who "was dead" then sang along. The preacher alerted the emergency workers on the scene. The authors very long road to recovery then began. He would never be completely back to normal but he has gone a long way.

The first three or four chapters describe the accident and the authors experience of Heaven in great detail. The other chapters then describe his pain, and the progress of getting back to his life. As he tells of his recovery he also tells of the tests of his faith in God and his desire to return to the Heaven that he caught a glimpse of.

Skeptics of these types of experiences will say that he didn't see or experience Heaven. It was all just chemical reactions. Christians may believe this fascinating story of one man's trip to Heaven and the Hell of pain he has endured to tell others his tale.

Unlike typical near-death experiences the author didn't travel down a dark tunnel to a light. From the moment of the accident, he was enveloped by an intense light and then was in Heaven. His vision of heaven was being surrounded by immense love and people he had loved in his life who had gone on before him. Family, friends they were all there and they were all happy. Music was all around being sung and also being experienced. The only thing missing is an image of Jesus and angels floating on clouds playing golden harps.

I am not going to try to determine if what the author experienced was real or not. I'm not going to say it was all just a well meaning fantasy. I think that each person that reads the book needs to decide that for themselves. I feel that for books like this one Christians will probably have their faith in God reinforced, and skeptics if they choose to read it will pass it off as a fantasy produced by an oxygen deprived hallucination.

90 Minutes In Heaven by Don Piper 2004 Revell (Baker Publishing Group) 207 pages - ***

NCIS Episode 7.8 "Power Down"

"Power Down"

This Review may contain SPOILERS.

This episode was another very good one. It is an episode that reminds me w
hy I watch the show. It didn't have a lot of action, in fact there was only a little bit at the beginning of the episode. Without giving too much of the plot away the basic gist of the story was that the power in the majority of the DC area was knocked out (there was a pretty cool scene of DC lights shutting down) due to the events of their case of course. The NCIS team had to solve their case without electric power. OK so they cheated a little bit and gave them a little backup power for necessities like the body freezers in autopsy and minimal power in the MTAC room, but for the most part they had to do things old school, actually a little more than old school since the phones were also out. They didn't like it and each character asked "How did people do [blank according to their specific job function] before [blank specific technology for their job]".

They even found an old mimeograph machine in storage that Gibbs had to give them a non-verbal demonstration on to show how to use it. That was truly just a site gag and a jab at Gibbs' age compared to the young ages of his team.
They even found the time to make a reference to Doctor Who. McGee mentioned that the storage shed they were searching was like the TARDIS, Dinozzo asks him what he means. McGee says it's the time ship that Doctor Who travels in. Puzzled Dinozzo then asks "Dr. Who? Who watches Doctor Who?"

In recent years I have often wondered what people would do if modern technology was out of commission for an extended period of time. This episode shows that excellently. Most of us modern technologically dependents would be lost. I do fear that there will come a time when technology fails us and many things will be lost.

All in all a very good episode. 4.5/5

The NCIS: Los Angeles episode that followed it was also pretty good, not quite as good in my book as this NCIS episode, but for NCIS: LA it was one of the better ones.

This review was updated to reflect the Doctor Who references that I had forgotten about. I also added the Spoilers warning in case people consider the Doctor Who references, or other parts of this review as spoilers. I may have even corrected some grammar and spelling errors, or not.

Friday, November 13, 2009

A Recent Read Number 13

"First of all, I told myself, I must get rid of the persistent sensation that none of this is really happening"

Note: This is a book that I read a few months ago, and some of the details are a little fuzzy at the time I write this review. Big sigh.


Charisma by Micheal G. Coney. "Reality what a concept" is the title of a Robin Williams comedy album, but it is also something that is vital to alternate reality science fiction. This story is a combination alternate reality, multiple Earths story and a plain old fashioned murder mystery with a small seaport town setting. The main character of the story John Maine, I forget what his primary job was, except that he was a hired hand at a Hotel of a boating club, and had a side job of being in charge of the Hotel Owner's boat fleet (If I remember correctly). He falls in love with a girl named Susanna.

Plot number 2, or is it plot 5? Boy, well man in this, meets girl falls in love with girl loses girl finds girl again, maybe loses girl again, but finds her by the end standard plot. There is a science fiction twist though. The girl in this case is involved with a scientific organization that is conducting experiments that lead to the discovery of parallel worlds.

Our hero, or rather the primary character meets a beautful girl who he eventually learns is named Susanna and she works at a research station that has a few secrets. The main secret is that they have discovered a means to travel to parallel Earths, what they eventually learn is that the timelines of these Earths are converging and will possibly destroy them all. John Maine falls in love with Susanne, the catch is that she is really from one of these parallel Earths, and the Susanne from John's primary Earth is dead. He soon learns that many people he has been in contact with are dead, and even he is dead on one and possibly more of these Earths.

John's love for Susanne drives him deeper into exploring these parallel Earths, and also the fact that on his primary Earth he is a suspect in the murder of a respected man in the seaport town the story takes place in. Long story short he is not actually the murderer, however due to his mucking about in all these alternate worlds, and the fact that these worlds are converging, he is constantly incriminating himself.

By stories end the loose ends are tied up, and some of the events that John experienced didn't happen, a few of them canceled themselves out. The story doesn't have a typical feel of science fiction other than the traveling between the parallel worlds. If feels more like a romance story set in a seaport town, that makes me think of Maine, or maybe it is the character's name that makes me think of that area.

I stumbled across this book quite by accident really. I had actually ordered another book by the same author from an Ebay seller, and the seller accidentally sent this one. I was intrigued by the synopsis of this book and rather than send it back, I decided to keep it. The seller only charged me the cost of the book not the extra postage, and sent the book I originally ordered. The book I had ordered was actually a book I had read before, but wanted a better, cleaner copy of. That book was Cat Karina a book writen by the same author a few year latter than Charisma. Some day I should reread Cat Karina, or at least try to drum up a review of it.

Cat Karina

Charisma by Michael G. Coney 1975 Dell Publishing Co., Inc. 250 pages - ***.5

CSI: Crossover Episode 3

CSI Episode 10.7 "The Lost Girl"
(CSI: Crossover Episode 3)

This review may contain SPOILERS.

Well the famous CSI Trilogy Crossover story has finally been finished. Until this across the board story arc, the only combinations of crossovers apparently were CSI/CSI:Miami to kick off the Miami Series, a couple of CSI:Miami/CSI: NY episode to gorify Horatio Caine (played by David Caruso) and get him into New York. There didn't seem to be any crossovers from CSI to CSI:NY before this story. This final episode is set in Vegas, where the whole story began only in CSI: Miami.

The whole basic plot of the entire thing centered around a missing girl Madeline Briggs played by a cute actress named Amanda MacDonald, who I could have sworn was a regular in some other series I've seen, but it looks like I've just seen her here and there in single episodes of other shows. AH I know I was confusing her with Amber Tamblyn (Joan of Arcadia). They managed to get her into each of the three CSI series as part of this story. There were virtually no other supporting or guest characters that managed to be in all three shows. The plot followed Ray Langston as he vowed to find Madeline.

As usual in this trilogy story it could have been a shorter self-contained episode. This final episode felt like the second part of a two part story arc where they leave some of it open for later on. In their own episodes Miami and NY seemed to have some minor elements that may pop up later on during the season,, but I'm not sure.

As with the episodes from the other two shows, the regular cast managed to make their appearances while doing their part to solve the case. One of my personal faves from CSI: Vegas is Wendy Simms played by Liz Vassey. I wish they had brought her in to the series much earlier, but they hadn't created the character at that point.

So now that the Trilogy Crossover is finished the various CSIs will have to return to the same old dull routine of digging up months old corpes and figuring out what happened to them and who they were.

Even though this episode was along the same sort of lines as the other two I will give this one a little better rating of 3.5 CSI thumbprints.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

CSI: Crossover Episode 2

CSI: NY Episode 6.7 "Hammer Down"
(CSI: Crossover Episode 2)


OK well this episode of the special CSI: Trilogy Crossover story, was a little better than episode one from CSI: Miami. I do see a common trend in these episodes though. Dr. Ray Langston (Laurence Fishburne) hopping out of a helicopter to meet the Officer in charge of whatever city he is traveling to.

Welcome to NY Ray!

OK so this episode starts with a car wreck on a bridge between a car and a big rig. The driver of the car is drunk and talking on a cell phone, he drops the phone on the floor and stupidly fumbles for it while still driving at a high rate of speed. The trucker is also distracted but by a passenger he has locked up in the compartment behind him. The driver of the car dies and is insignificant to the main plot. Darn. The truck driver turns out to be yet another piece in this massive trilogy puzzle that from previews and from further details revealed in this New York based episode deals with human trafficing in addition to the forced prostitution from the Miami Connection.

A character that was originally a suspect in the Miami part, becomes a victim in Miami and is now transported to New York along with another piece of the main puzzle black market organ transplants.

Again this was an episode that could have been contained within just one city but they needed to do some November Sweeps and make a spectacular crossover storyline that only uses Langston as the only character that crosses over. That saves some cast scheduling I guess. You just have one actor to transport between all the shooting locations.

While watching this particular episode I started thinking about the various crimes that are dramatized in the show. Sadly things like human trafficing and black market organs are big crime business, that is kept under the big media rug and has a certain air of mystery to them, but I digress.

I really enjoy CSI: NY over the other two series, but this episode was lacking in some areas and didn't seem like a true CSI: NY episode. Even though it was still an alright episode. I guess again I'll give it 3/5 CSI thumbprints.

Monday, November 09, 2009

CSI: Crossover Episode 1

CSI: MIAMI Episode 8.7 "Bone Voyage"
(CSI: Crossover Episode 1)


Well this episode was OK as far as CSI stories go. It seems to me that they have parceled off sub-plots to build up the main trilogy plot. I don't want to give off too much here but basically the plot involves the Miami CSIs getting a missing person's report and then finding only severed limbs. The problem is the second body part they find belongs to a second victim, that was reported missing by the Las Vegas Crime Lab. So to solve the mystery they bring in Dr. Ray Langston (Laurence Fishburne) to help them. He of course can't leave until they have solved this thing. They figure out part of the mystery the who did the cutting, but not necessarily the killing. They need to find out who originally dumped the victim's body.

A sort of subplot to the main theme is the victims wanted to be models (big universal cliche plot) and were forced to prostitute themselves. The Miami victim's story seems to be self contained and almost complete, but the Vegas victims story apparently is the plot that crosses over all three series.

All in all I enjoyed the episode, but it really could have been toned down to just one of the series, so far. I'll give it a 3/5 CSI thumbprints/stars.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

A Recent Read Number 12

"Herein you will find truth and fantasy. Each is necessary for the other to exist, but each must be recognized for what it is."

Note: This is the second of five of my recent book reviews of books I read earlier this year, and never got around to writing up my reviews. So I may have missed some details that at the time of reading these books I may have had.

The Satanic Bible - By Anton Szandor LaVey. It took me a long time before I had the nerve to read this book. When I first heard about it I was scared to read it. I'm not sure why, maybe because I had that paranoid Christian viewpoint that it was somehow cursed and would warp your mind, or some other such nonsense. I think there are some Christians who do believe that the book is evil and should be destroyed. It may also have been from all those stories you hear about teenagers committing suicide because they read this book, or got into Satan worship.

Well this book is basically just one mans philosophy that has been shaped by childhood clashes with organized religion. He grew up a "circus kid" and at 18 left the circus to join a carnival. His early introductions to Religion were from watching so called Christians who would spend Saturday night watching half-naked girls dancing at the carnival and then the Next Sunday morning those same men would be in the church pew with their wives and children. Needless to say this, and the pomp and circumstance of Religious ceremonies turned LaVey off of religion particularly Christianity.

In a nutshell LaVey's Satanism is part anti-Christianity and part self preservation. Throughout the book the theme is do whatever you want, try not to harm others, but if they harm you or prevent you from doing what you want then harm them.

The first half of the book is this basic philosophy and the description of what LaVey's Satanism is. I think most of his Hail Satan! stuff is just to annoy Christians. I think that the attitude that many atheists have of Christians being intellectually inferior to free-thinking atheists comes partly from them reading this book.

Often he mentions that Christianity doesn't let you have any fun, particularly when it comes to sex, but his Satanism says Go FOR IT! So long as you don't abuse or harm the other person (unless they want you to). He claims that Christianity keeps people from being themselves and enjoying the material world.

The second part of this book I think is total nonsense, and is extremely difficult to comprehend. Maybe it is because it has some of the "Satanic Rituals" which LaVey calls "Enochain Keys" (whatever they are, that part went right over my head and I forget how they were explained). This final part is difficult to read partly because the "Keys" are first written in Latin and then the following page written with the English translation. Many of them are lyrical but are very cryptic. They are supposed to be read by a Satanic priest during their Black Mass. Some of them are to be done to curse people, but it seems that most of them are just to satisfy the Satanists need to Sieg Heil er HAIL SATAN!

I don't think Christians, or people of non-Satanist religions should fear reading this book. Mr. LaVey's Satanism is not the Evil Human sacrifice Satanism that is depicted in Hollywood movies, and condemned by Christianity and particularly the Catholic Church. His Satanism to me is a slightly twisted "everyone fend for themselves and forget everyone else" philosophy. Don't hurt people unless they hurt you first. I don't even think his concept of Satan is the same as that of Christianity, although he does seem to exploit that way of thinking. Except for the final sections about the Ceremonies this book as I said is basically about a "look out for number one" way of life.

The Satanic Bible by Anton Szandor LaVey 1969 Avon Books (Harper Collins Publishers) 272 pages - **.5

Saturday, November 07, 2009

CSI Trilogy Crossover Special Episodes

OH BOY. Starting Monday 09 November 2009 CBS will air a trilogy of crossover episodes in each of the CSI shows, starting with CSI:MIAMI which airs on Monday, then they will go onto CSI:NY on Wednesday 11 Nov and finish the storyline arc with the Original CSI (sometimes called CSI:LAS VEGAS or CSI:VEGAS)on Thursday 12 Nov. I am not a real big fan of crossover episodes that spill over into each and every one of the individual entities. I don't like it with comic books and I certainly don't like it with TV shows. I don't mind when a spin-off show starts off on a crossover episode of the original show to set up the spin-off, but once they are individuals I don't like the crossover story arcs to jump between the series.

UGH. My biggest peeve about all this is I am not a huge fan of CSI:MIAMI, although I do like the actresses in that show, but I haven't watched an episode of it in a very long time. Not since probably season 2 or so.

I am a fan of the other two shows, but not Miami. I hope when it comes time to release the DVD of this story that they do the right thing and have it as it's own little package, not only as the respective epsiodes in each series. Since I have no idea what season CSI:MIAMI is currently in I wouldn't know which DVD season to buy. OK I can look it up on, and it looks like they are WOW in season 8 (CSI is in season 10, and CSI:NY is in season 6).

I will watch the episodes. I probably should record them all on the same tape to keep the story together. I normally don't record the shows much anymore unless I am out at the time they are being aired. Mostly since most shows are released pretty quickly now on DVD.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Post Office Whoa! 2

OK it happened again within about a week or so of the first time. Part of it is the change of the post office times. I think another part is postal workers getting a little lazy and slowing down.

ON Wednesday, once again I got one of those little cards that lets you know "You have a package" So on Thursday I go to the post office around 9:00 AM I got there a little after so they were already open. First I went directly to the door/window where you normally pick up packages, well no one was there so I knock on the door a couple of times. One of the clerks at one of the main windows says the pick up area is closed you have to wait in the main line. OK so I do that wait my turn for about 10 minutes. Go to the next employee at the counter when it is my turn. Turns out it is the same lady from last week. Should have been a clue.

Anyway the same song and dance. Last time I had remembered wrong what the excuse is. It isn't that it takes them too long to unload the truck from the day before, it is that mail left over from my mail carrier is actually dropped off at another postal station (one without public access I think). So mail that they attempt to deliver and can't is taken to that center first then to my post office. So I have to wait until at least 9:30 before I can claim any packages it looks like, unless I wait till the second day.

So I picked up the package they attempted to drop off Wednesday, today (Friday) at around noon when I leisurely went to pick the package up.

I also dropped off in the regular mail a post card from a company that had badly misspelled my name. I marked the thing "return to sender" along with "No such person, remove from mailing list". I know it will do no good, it probably won't even be returned to the damn company, the post office will probably just toss it. Oh the Misspelling you say? I think it originated with some stupid credit card company, they dropped the last letter of my first name and added my middle initial so now I occasionally get mail for a "Kirl Andersen" How the Frack do you think "Kirl" is a name? It's an exorcise with weights or a Canadian sport not a name.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

A Recent Read Number 11

"For the record, I should state what is hopefully obvious by now. If you asked me the question 'Are you trying to use science to prove the existence of God?' my response would be, 'Absolutely not. What I am attempting to do is to use the scientific method in an open-minded manner to enable God - if he/she/it/they exist - to prove his existence himself.'"

The G.O.D. Experiments: How Science Is Discovering God In Everything, Including Us by Gary E. Schwartz with William L. Simon. Wow what an interesting angle to an age old debate. First off this is not a pro-Christian book attempting to Bible thump at skeptics and atheists the Gospel of Jesus. This is an open-minded exorcise that leaves the question of "Is there a God, or Not" still pretty wide open. The author at the time of publishing was a professor of psychology, surgery, medicine, neurology, and psychiatry the University of Arizona. He approaches the age old question of "Does God exist?" from a skeptical scientists view. Rather than quote the Bible at every opportunity and say "It's in the Bible, so there!", he conducts psychological experiments to try to show that there is some sort of force or energy that influences the universe. He uses a rather clever term "Guiding, Organizing, Designing" Process (G.O.D.) rather than God.

Even though this book tends to read like a college text book, it does have some pretty interesting events and results. One thing that I think readers will come away with from reading this book is that the universe is not just made up of random cause and effect events. There is some sort of force that at least started some organization in the universe. The author doesn't attempt to claim that the G.O.D. process he describes is the Abrahamic God of the Bible, or that God even still influences people and events in the universe. He leaves all that up to the reader to make his/her own conclusions.

It has been several months since I last read this book to when I am writing this, so my initial thoughts I had while reading the book have been lost to time. Just as the author lets his readers draw their own conclusions about the existence of God or of Intelligent Design of the Universe I will let readers of this review draw their own conclusions about whether or not they wish to read this book.

I do recall that when I heard about this book and saw a description of this book, I had some questions that I thought this book would answer. Well those questions were not answered. The book does follow a similar train of thought that I have had for several years concerning the nature of God. Most peoples views about God don't fit that thought. People who are looking for some kind of physical or human trait God will be disappointed. This book tends to follow the belief that what we tend to call God is actually some sort of force or energy that has some influence on the universe in ways that we don't really look at.

The G.O.D. Experiments: How Science Is Discovering God In Everything, Including Us. by Gary E. Schwartz 2006 Atria Books (Simon & Schuster, Inc.) 305 pages - ***

Monday, November 02, 2009

YES! A Win!

OK so the NFL season is about 1/2 over and a first win at this time of the season isn't great, but at least it is a start to something good. It boosts confidence for a team. I am talking about the St. Louis Rams 17-10 win over the Detroit Lions.

The rams end a 17 game losing streak, and last season they were only 2-14.

So guys you can take off the bags.

Most of last season and this season things have looked pretty much like this. The rest of the NFL chasing down the Rams and knocking them down.

Yeah the look on Lions Coach Jim Schwartz's face is the face Rams fans have had all season long, and most of last season.

Now for the last couple of weeks Redskins fans have been annoyed at their team during their losing streak, and are so ashamed of them attendance for home games are down, and people are making jokes like "How do you keep the Redskins out of your yard? Put up a goal post" One fan a few weeks back was so upset they created this new logo for the Skins:

I was tempted to try and make a similar one for the rams, and while writing this post up decided I'd give it a try. So here is my quick attempt at a Rams-Shame Logo, it's not terribly good, but it ain't too bad:

Photos of Rams vs. Lions game from Getty Images from Yahoo Sports.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Post Office Whoa!

OK so yesterday (Wednesday 28 October, 2009). I get one of those little post cards in my mailbox that tells you there is a parcel waiting for you at your local post office. I live in an apartment so any package larger than a small loaf of bread has to be picked up at the post office. Unless I am home when they first try to deliver the package. This is normally not a problem, I go to the post office wait in line and find out what package it was that was too large to fit in my tiny mailbox, and who sent the thing.

Well today at about 8:45 AM I go to pick up the package and two things happen:

  1. I see a sign on the door to the post office that says they have changed their hours to Retail Hours 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM (previously their hours were 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM). I liked the 8:30 time because I can go to the post office on the way to work without being too damn late. Great so now when I have to pick up a package I either have to wait till Saturday, or get into work even later than late.

  2. The guy that was cleaning the floors at the post office noticed I just had a pick up so he said that he could help me, by getting one of the postal clerks to get my package. Well I go to the pick up door/window and wait for one of the postal persons to help me. She checks my ID (which also is the only way to get my address as this particular card didn't have my full address on it) and looks for the package. She doesn't find it telling me it probably hasn't been taken off the truck yet, and mentions that the card should have had a delivery time on it or something to that effect. She says that it should be available at about 9:30 or so. Well I couldn't wait a full half hour as I was already going to be late to work as is. Oh well I'll have to try picking it up tomorrow after 9:00 AM.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Next Up World Series 2009

UGH. The world series will be between last years champs the Philadelphia Phillies (their fans can be worse than those fair-weather Patriots fans from a few seasons ago) and the Bronx Bums New York Yankees (or are the Mets those bums?).

I'm not a fan of either team. I'm not sure which team I dislike more. I don't really hate the Yankees, except the musical "Damn Yankees" was one of my favorite musicals growing up, maybe it was just because it was based around the Washington Senators. The Phillies have been really really nasty to my Washington Nationals these past 5 seasons.

From my rough World Series research it looks like the last time these two teams met in the big show was back in 1950 and the Yankees swept Phillie. Phillie won last year and are trying for a repeat. The question is can they do it? We shall see very very soon.

So who will I root for? Not sure. If I root for the Phillies in a way I'm kind of dissing the Nationals. If I route for the Yankees then I'm dissing the National League of which the Nationals belong. Dilemma dilemma dilemma. Oh it would have been soooooooooo easy if one of those other play-off teams had won. Is it possible to watch (or keep track of the series) without really rooting for either team?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Self appointed posting quota.

Lets see it the middle of October and I only have 14 posts for 2009, well 15 now with this post. That is just a little over one post per month, my barely bare minimum. I like to at least keep with previous years so my goal is usually 32 posts per year minimum. That is the number of posts I had my first blogging year in 2006. I'm happy if I get just one post per month, meaning I am relatively happy with the bare minimum of 12 posts a year...almost. My goal of 32 is about an average of 2.6 posts per month. I guess part of my problem is I don't want to post just any old thing, and I don't want to post things that are too personal in a security conscious way.

I wonder if I will make my self appointed quota for this year?

Monday, October 19, 2009

A quick humorous thought - Flumo Wrestling.

I think it was on this past Saturday, while 'net surfin' I made a comment on a blog I was reading. The Google verification service that you have to log-into to post a comment usually gives some random letters that don't make up any real word. This time was not really different but what it did give was at least to me pretty funny.

It gave me: "Flumo" my first thought was what what a cool new Sport Flumo Wrestling. What exactly that is I don't know. The second meaning could simply be when the Muppet Elmo gets the flu. I hope it isn't anything nasty that would offend anybody in a different language, if so then my deepest sincerest apologies.

Finally while trying to find an appropriate picture of Elmo, I couldn't find what I was looking for but saw this:

Elmo in Lego

AH That might be it.