Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving - Not Just An American Holiday

It's a holiday tradition in the United States to give thanks on this day.

Although the origin of Thanksgiving is an American one, the statement is one that can, and should, be shared the world over.

American's do not own the act of giving thanks. It's meaning can transcend the boundaries of other countries and land on every shore.

I encourage all families to use Thanksgiving day as a time to bring one another together, and enjoy each others company while reflecting on what you are thankful for.

This year my thanks go out to the people of the world who are striving to make it a better place now, and for generations to come. Everyone from loving families who teach their children to love their neighbors and to do no harm, to the leaders of various countries that are truly trying to keep the peace, and find better solutions then killing and war.

My family is my rock, and my reason for living. They are what gets me up in the morning and keeps me going at work when I get tired.

This year there has been a ripple in my family, but nothing we cannot overcome. If it's true that something that doesn't kill us, makes us stronger, then my strength is growing daily as I continue to live my life.

Sometimes I wish that I could speak to the world and share with them the secret to love, honor, and the joy of life. Even though I struggle with the mystery of my own existence on a daily basis, I believe I am on the right path.

All around me there is hate, sadness, and negativity. I have plotted my course through those troubled waters and I am keeping my ship as steady and true as best I can.

If any of you are experiencing difficulty in your life, I encourage you to focus your site on your goal. The past has built your current foundation, but it does not control your future.

The shining light up ahead is where you want to end up. Keep that vision firmly planted in your mind, and let anything life tries to throw in your path just bounce off of you like waves against the hull of a ship. The waves might make your vessel rock and shutter, but as long as you hold the steering wheel firmly in your grasp, and follow the heading you have set for yourself, nothing can stop you in succeeding in life.

Some people speak of peace and freedom, then embrace hate for other people or even the narrow-minded dislike for an entire country. Can't you see that the two positions are in direct opposites from one another? You can't believe in peace and freedom then create some reality where you are still able to hate others in this world.

Sure there are misguided leaders who need to be dealt with, and there are people who have distorted views on how the world should be that can't be ignored. We should all have the freedom to live our own lives, as long as we do not impose our life choices on others. Once that begins, you suddenly cease to be about freedom, and begin the path to hypocrisy.

Thanksgiving can also be thought of as a sad time. A time when a people stepped forward to assist invaders to their land, only to have their land taken from them by those same invaders in the name of progress. Unfortunately this is a theme that has transpired all over the Earth, as our history shows that our civilizations grew from fighting, killing, and conquering one another. I'd like to think that the time has passed where this is an acceptable practice.

Some people can't seem to leave the past alone. They still believe that they can take anything they want, and kill innocent people as they carry out their evil plans. I truly think these people are misguided and lost. They are so wrapped up in trying to achieve power that they have lost the capacity to love, forgive, and accept people that are different.

This year I ask you all to join me, in whatever spiritual path you follow, to find it in your hearts to give thanks for all of the good in this world. We must all strive to become better people who are more about helping the people of this planet move forward in our evolutionary progress, then to destroy it and bring about its ruin.

Cook a turkey, ham, duck, or whatever you'd like, invite your friends and family over, and just enjoy each others company for the day. Give thanks for the family you have, and the people you love. Next, discuss the possibility of putting past aggressions behind you, and agree to make the next year about peace for the sake of all of those you love and care about. Hatred toward others only serves to tear down life, it will never serve to make it better.

Happy Thanksgiving, and may your future be filled with prosperity, kindness and love.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

I Know He Can Get The Job, But Can He Do The Job?



President elect, Barack Obama, is great at making speeches, and moving a crowd, but from now on it's not about catering to voters, it's all about being President of the United States of America.

In the interest of full disclosure, I voted for John McCain. My reasons for not voting for Barack Obama are the typical ones you have all heard, and apparently many of you ignored.

The number one reason I did not vote for him is that Barack Obama does not give me a warm fuzzy that he has the experience needed to be the president of our country.

Truthfully, I didn't like either candidate, which seems to be an ongoing pattern with me over the past few elections. Many candidates seem to be political business as usual, and I am rather tired of that mentality.

Barack Obama uses change as his main message, and perhaps he'll have something different to bring to the country.

The point is, he has won the election, and for the next four years, he is our elected leader.

Luckily, the president of our country is not the same as a dictator. He now must surround himself with an intelligent staff, and I believe he will realize that this is not a political contest anymore, but the stakes are much higher.

Obama has stepped up to the plate when the country is in sad shape. We have an ongoing terrorist threat to deal with, an economic crisis going on, and an energy crisis (or at least a potential one looming).

My philosophy is to give everyone a fair chance. Barack is now in the driver seat, and for all of us I hope he will make a great president. He has a great speaking ability, which will be a refreshing change, and I truly believe he has good intentions for the direction he wants to take our country.

Our job will now be to prevent him from turning this country into some socialist regime.

I have heard comments that he wants to modify the Constitution, but with any luck that will fail just like Bush's attempt to define marriage in the Constitution. That is a sacred document, and not to be changed flippantly at the whim of any one person.

The Constitution protects the people of this country, and the country itself. Anything that attempts to modify that thought process had better be doing the same and not taking away from that document.

Don't even get me started with government run health care, taxing the middle class and giving the money to the poor, or pulling our troops out of Iraq prematurely.

Like I said, I'll give him a chance to get into the office, listen to the security briefings, think long and hard about what his priorities should be, and then what direction he takes.

Now that he's got the job, can he do the job?

Friday, August 08, 2008

Eight, Eight, Oh Eight!

I was in class when I realized it was 08/08/08.

Not only was this an interesting date because of the numbers, but tonight I watched the most breathtaking ceremony I have ever seen.

China has done themselves proud for their successful opening ceremonies for this years summer olympics. Regardless of political differences, or anything else, you cannot say that China did not do a fantastic job creating, and executing, probably the most amazing show in the history of the world.

Congratulations China, your country has shined, and you should all be proud.

It's safe to say that China is one of the oldest countries, with some of the richest history.

Many people will hate China regardless of what they do, and I understand this animosity because they have done many things that we do not consider civilized.

My hope is that one day China will overcome their problems with how they treat people who do not bend to their will, and work harder to join the countries who treat people more humanely so we can put the past behind us.

This ceremony is a great step in that direction.

If you saw the ceremony, I'd love to hear your comments.

By the way, did you notice the rings in the Olympic flag make multiple figure eights?

Divorce, It's Only Natural

Am I wrong?

Isn't a marriage between two people a commitment for life?

At least, this is what I have always been led to believe. In sickness and in health, 'til death do us part, and all that.

Now I'm not so certain.

Several friends have recently been having second thoughts on their marriage, and I find this strange because of what is happening in my own situation. My other friends are women, and from this limited pool of data I have deduced that women seem to loose interest in their mates later in life.

It seems as though from their stories, and from what I have been reading online recently, women tend to loose interest in their husbands as the kids grow older and they realize that keeping the family together is no longer such a big deal.

As men grow older they seem to, slow down a bit. They find enjoyment in coming home and relaxing. Women, on the other hand, seem to go the opposite direction. I read that women who are divorced are looking for men who want to go camping, hang-gliding, hiking, spelunking, etc... It's like women are trying out for, "Survivor", and men are just trying to stay awake.

I'm not certain where I'm going with this, just that I am observing some strange behaviors in this whole marriage thing, and I find it disturbing.

Why do people continue to get married in the guise that it will last forever, when it seems that the reality is that it is more then likely not going to.

I know many people will argue that they have been happily married forever, and I have no clue what I'm talking about. As I think back on many relationships, more often then not I see people tolerating each other as time goes on. Some are better at it then others, and these marriages are called, successful.

Many couples live on, trying to make it work because they are husband and wife and that's what they are supposed to do. Others ride it out, "for the kids".

I think people get married with the good intentions of making it work forever, but after 10-20 years of dealing with all that life has to toss your direction, people grow apart or just flat out can't stand each other any more.

Is this good or bad? I'm not in the position to say.

No matter what happens, I think the stigma that getting divorced is a horrible thing needs to be reworked.

I'm not condoning flippant relationships, but just maybe mating for life is not a practical life model anymore, or really ever was. It's just that in these times it seems that folks are not as scared to get divorced as they once were.

Religion has played a part in this trend.

People aren't getting divorced more frequently because of our society, they are getting divorced more frequently because religion is loosing its hold on dictating how people should live.

Some will have you believe that this is a horrible thing, and the trend must be reversed at all costs.

I believe it is only natural, and the reason we have had a lot of problems in the past is that people force themselves to remain together because of societal pressures.

What do you think?

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Psychic Reflections

Certainly I'm not unique.

In spite of my self-proclaimed open-mindedness, I have come to the realization that I have been plodding along through life with blinders on. It's not that after 19 years of marriage I am depressed about being separated from my wife. In fact, the opposite feeling. There is a sense of freedom and release.

One of my traits I have always thought of as being strong, is the ability t get along with anyone. At work, or in my personal life, not much really bothers me. I believe this is actually a negative thing now.

It feels like instead of getting along with people, I am just a doormat. Now that I have control of my own castle once again, I'm enjoying the freedom and finding myself wanting to get things done such as cleaning out the garage, and going through all of the crap that has been in boxes for the six years we have lived here.

During my marriage I have claimed a tiny spot in the house where I could be me, and let my wife have the run of the rest of the house. My thinking was that I really don't care about that sort of thing, so why not let her do what she wants. This may have unknowingly been our undoing.

Because I relinquished all of my power and control to my wife, I didn't realize that this also diminished my desire to even want to do anything around the house. Now that the house is mine, and mine alone, the drive is slowly returning because the end result will be my responsibility now.

When you have been a part of a team for so long, and that team suddenly breaks apart, the invisible dynamics begin to show themselves. I know my wife is having to adjust to life on her own as well, and is probably realizing the same things, although on the flip-side.

This time apart will help us each to grow in our personal lives, but I'm not sure that it will lead to repairing our current situation. At this time, unless something drastic happens, I believe that ship has sailed.

If you're in a marriage, and having problems, take a step outside your comfort zone, outside the box you have created for yourself, and try to view things like you have never viewed them before. Have you lost your identity because of your marriage? Are you letting yourself be walked on, or taken advantage of? If so, you need to find yourself again. Become a more active part of your relationship.

When I hear women talk about men, one phrase seems to come up frequently. "Well, he should just know what I want."

Ladies, let me tell you straight up. Men are clueless as to what you want. Despite what you see when you watch romantic comedies, soap operas or read in any of the women's magazines, men are not psychic. No, really, we're not. We have no idea what you want, and will NEVER know unless you tell us.

When you want to tell your man what you want, don't be clever, and subtle either. Take out a 2x4 and beat us over the head with it! If you want jewelry, tell your man that nothing on the planet makes you happy like jewelry does, and the more expensive the better! If you're more of a flower girl, then let your man know how much you love to receive flowers from him, and what kinds make you the most happy.

Once this point has been driven home, you're not through. Men have short attention spans, so you're going to have to remind him over, and over, and over again what makes you happy. I have a news flash for you, men will never do these things on their own no matter how much they love you. Oh sure every once in a while he'll do something special, but the less you remind him, the more he'll forget, and the longer it will be between the things you desire.

Constantly you hear that communication is the key to a good relationship, and it's true. It's not psychic communication, it's not memory, and it's certainly not patience. You have to speak to your man in slow, small, simple words. Then tell him again, and again. Yes, communication IS the key, but you have to actually communicate.

Time to quit bitching to your friends how you man doesn't do this or that for you, and start telling him what you need him to o for you.

After all, once you have made it blatantly clear what you need, and he still ignores you, then you'll feel better about dumping his worthless butt for a better model. ;)

If he listens to your needs, and gives you what you ask for, show him how much you care about what he has done for you, don't follow it up wit more demands. It's the little battles that will win the war, and never an uncompromising surrender of the enemy.

Good luck!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Is Spelling Really That Important?

Cna yuo raed tihs?
Olny 55% of plepoe can.

I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty
uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal
pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a
rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't
mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are,
the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and
lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can
be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit
a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos
not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as
a wlohe.

Azanmig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Sacred Ass-Paddle




A show I have recently enjoyed is called, "Moonlight".

It's the typical vampire show where the lead vampire is trying to be a good guy even though he is a vampire.

The storyline has been done to death (pun intended), but it's always a fun ride to see the conflicts that a character has to endure trying to live in a world where, technically, he is unwanted and would literally be killed if discovered.

There is usually a love interest, who is not a card-carrying member of the undead society, which always creates even more inner-turmoil for the blood-drinking leading man.

This show has a lot of nice twists and turns in it, and the characters are very believable. Believable is a loosely used term for a show about vampires running amok in our cities underworld.

I did not write this article to be a review of the show, or to dig deep into the Gothic mainstream, or even as a commentary on our society because we enjoy watching this type of programming.

The real reason I'm writing this is because last night I watched an episode in Moonlight that still has me giggling today.

Let me set the scene for you the best I can remember...

The lead character, Mick St. John (yes, he's the hunky vamp) and his girlfriend, Beth, were going to try and find some suspect for a case they were working on. They went into a fraternity house and as Mick was looking around he was about to examine a board with Greek lettering on it that was hanging on the wall.

One of the guys yells, "Don't touch that! It's sacred."

As Mick begins talking to this guy, his attention is distracted slightly and the guy grabs the board from the wall and beats Mick in the face with it then starts yelling for his friend to run.

Since you can't keep a good vamp down, Mick immediately runs out and catches the bad guy.

Earlier in the show Mick did something that upset Beth, just what this scene was is not really relevant to this story. Just know that Beth is really angry with Mick from an earlier scene.

Beth comes out of the frat house and said something like, "Well that wasn't so bad."

Mick then looks up and said, "Other then getting hit in the face with a sacred ass-paddle."

If you're not falling down laughing at reading that line, just know that during the course of the show this was hilarious! It's a fairly dramatic, and serious, show, and to suddenly hear Mick come out with that line at that moment was extremely funny.

At the end of this comment, Beth looks him square in the eye and says, "Karma". Remember, she's still pissed at him from a previous scene.

If you have not caught the show before, I recommend it as a good one to watch, just be careful of the sacred ass-paddle. ;)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Moody Blues

Do you change moods as frequently as babies need their diapers changed?

Are you happy one moment, then at the drop of a hat your world spirals into a funk that you just can't shake?

What causes this, and why are people unable to stabilize their emotions?

Anyone who knows me well will agree, I have my moods. Most folks will also concur that I am mostly a happy and outgoing person. On the rare occasions when I get in a funk, I tend to let it roll off me like water on a duck and I get right back to the task at hand. Living life in the best way I can.

Throughout my life I have had things that have tested my funk-o-meter. When I lost my grandparents, and a few of my dogs, my emotions hit the same place that most folks do I think. I still have fond memories of celebrating Christmas at my grandparents house, or snuggling with my Husky in Alaska, but I don't let it bring me down.

I certainly try not to let day-to-day things affect me. People can be jerks, idiots, morons, and many more colorful names I can think of, but when I take a step back outside my own little box, I know that at one time or another I have probably been that way towards others too.

This is why I am very forgiving when it comes to others. Many people react to the situation they are in. A lot of times people actually don't like the way they are acting, but it seems to take control of them and lead them into an emotional circus where they are the ringmaster.

Too many times I have been in an airport when someone has missed a flight, or the flight has been delayed, or their bags have been lost.

The fact is, the airport is a great place to test your patience and emotions.

I do a fair amount of flying, and this is an example of my level of tolerance.

First of all, I look at most things as it not being the fault of the person I am dealing with. This person in front of me did not break the aircraft, they did not lose my luggage, and they certainly did not make me miss my flight because I arrived at the airport too late. Why should I take out my frustration on them?

Most of the problems people get angry over are of their own making, and its exactly this reason they they get so mad. In reality, they're pissed at themselves, and they just decide to redirect their anger, and their frustration with their own stupidity, onto someone else.

Many people are weak in their ability to control themselves, and this is especially glaring when they fail to control themselves in public places.

How proud your family must be when you rant and rave and scream at an innocent clerk that is probably the one trying to help you.

I'm really curious at what these people go home and think at night as they lay awake on their beds. The scary part is, they are probably still angry at that sales clerk, or whatever the problem was, and can't get to sleep because it is still bothering them. These people are frightening, and really need to seek help.

If it sounds like I am talking about you, take a long internal look at yourself and recognize that the whole planet is not out to make every one of your days miserable. You may have a serious problem and have not even realized it.

Of course, I believe people who exhibit these traits probably will first of all not be reading something like my blog. They are too wrapped up in their violent thoughts to sit calmly and read a good book much less a blog on the Internet. Perhaps another trip to the fridge for a beer will help. Sure it will, because alcohol won't affect your mind at all will it?

What can the rest of us do? Should we start a support group for sane people? Should we band together and snicker at the raving lunatics when we see them yelling and screaming their displeasure with life in the most public places they can find?

If these are the ones who have escaped captivity, imagine what the ones still barricaded in their homes must be like?

Yikes!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Last Night In Vegas

The conference over, my friend had gone home, and I was all alone.

For the past few days I have been craving steak. As I sat in my hotel room, I was contemplating going to a restaurant and eating steak by myself, or just be lazy and head to Pizza Hut here in the hotel.

Then I remembered the "Toby Keith Bar and Grill" at the Harrah's hotel/casino.

Last night, when my friend and I were heading through Harrah's, Toby Keith's looked like a place where everyone was having a good time.

When I arrived, I bellied up to the bar and sat down to have a burger and fries (my usual traveling fare). Soon into the night I struck up a conversation with a woman from Oklahoma named "Liz", who was in Las Vegas for a special education conference. Next, came a guy visiting from Scotland named Gordon, and finally, a couple from the Los Angeles area (their names escape me at the moment).

We all hit it off great and we talked for a few hours. It turned out that both ladies were working with special education children and from that moment on they were inseparable.

The others of our little group drank most of the night. I did too, but I was just drinking soda since I don't really care for the taste of alcohol. The couple had the bartender take our picture, so hopefully I'll be able to add those pictures to this article in the near future.

The bartender's were a fun bunch, and they spent the evening juggling bottles, and doing some amazing things. One such trick was setting up a row of cups and then pouring drinks into al of them at the same time from a stack of mixing tumblers. At least, I think that's what you call those metal cups they mix drinks in.

Let me digress just a bit from Toby Keith's place to tell you about another bar my friend and I were in.

One night we were walking the strip and wandered into "Treasure Island". At a bar just inside the casino we had a great time talking to the bar tender. He showed us the pour spout on the bottles and told us that each spout had its own IP address, and that as they poured drinks it tracked the quantities. Being the geeks that we are we thought this was pretty cool.

I am constantly impressed by the places I find computers and technology. It seems nothing is left non-computerized these days in some form or fashion.

Now back to Toby Keith's...

At one point some nice-looking women entered the place and approached the bar. One of the guys I was with decided we should all have our picture taken with them so we all went over to ask.

One lady was celebrating her 50th birthday, and another was celebrating her 46th birthday. They were from the Seattle area. With any luck these pictures will make an appearance in this article as well.

Shortly after this wild night it was time for me to turn in (or apparently to just come back and blog about it). So I left my new friends to continue drinking the night away, and headed back to the Excalibur so I could get everything ready for the journey home in the morning.

As I lay me down to sleep, I can say that this was one of the better nights I have spent in Las Vegas. I doubt any of those folks that I met will ever read my blog, or indeed even remember me, but they all contributed to this being a successful evening.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

She Followed Me Home

What did I expect for Las Vegas?

A friend of mine and I went to the see the show, "Bite", at the "Stratosphere".

I saw this show last year and I apparently talked-it-up a bit because my friend decided it would be a good show for us to go see. So off we went to the erotic vampire rock show.

Like last year, the show was great. The interesting thing about the show is I think it's nothing like you would expect it to be. It's an amazingly entertaining show with a classic rock soundtrack and a group of talented people.

This show always leaves people realizing that it's nothing like what they expected. If you're heading to Las Vegas anytime soon I would recommend giving this show a try as long as topless women do not offend you.

After the show we headed back to the Excalibur hotel. My friend went to Tower II and I headed to Tower I.

As I got closer to the elevator an attractive woman asked me if I wanted a date. Of course I told her no since I'm not completely dim. I pretty much assumed that she was only talking to me because she was... a lady of the night.

We're not talking a vampire here, because after watching Bite I may have just said yes.

She decided to follow me into the elevator and on up to my floor. The whole way in the elevator she kept asking me questions and going through a list of what she could do for me. In addition to the list of her "services", she also flashed me to apparently tease me into something I was obviously not interested in.

Trying to get rid of her I told her that I didn't have any money, and that I was just here for a conference and did not have extra money for other things.

She claimed she lost $50 of her girlfriends money gambling and was willing to do anything to get it back.

Yeah, right...

After following me all the way to my door, and a few more flashes, she asked if she could just have $5 or something. I checked my wallet and only had a $20 in there, so I gave her that and told her to leave and that I was not interested in her company. This seemed to make her happy, after all, she got $20 for doing nothing but annoying the crap out of me.

I'm not sure what is more sad, a person who has to offer their body up for sale, or those who make the purchase...

Monday, April 28, 2008

Writing On Air

Another year passes and it's time to return to Las Vegas for InterOp.

This year it also feels like I'm going through a mid-life crisis. Unfortunately I can't afford a sports car, so I decided to purchase a new laptop.

A MacBook Air.

OK, I admit it, I probably could have got a sports car, but why? It's not practical to haul my scuba diving equipment around, or taking the kids and their friends anywhere. Besides, I was tired of lugging my two hundred pound Dell, work provided, laptop around. I stuff enough crap in my backpack when I travel, such as magazines and books, the last thing I need is a heavy laptop to add to the mix.

So far, I'm very impressed with this little gem. The obviously huge benefit is its compact size.

Who says size doesn't matter?

When I first starting dragging a laptop around it seemed like the cool thing to do was to have a huge one, with a large screen for watching DVD's on the road. After several years of doing this, the thrill is gone.

Now, with the MAcBook Air, it has everything I need in a laptop, at a great size.

At first it feels a bit strange to not have all the other stuff that goes along with a laptop, but I think I will be able to adapt nicely. What's the fun in being human if we can't continually evolve and adapt to new things?

For those of you who have not looked into what a MacBook Air has, or doesn't have, let me explain.

The MacBook Air does not come with an optical drive of any sort (i.e. no DVD/CD ROM drive). There is also no floppy drive, but this is not a big deal these days anyway. When was the last time you used a floppy disk?

As the name implies, everything you need will be sent to you through the air.

It's rapidly becoming an all wireless world, and this laptop is on the leading edge of this paradigm-shift. Of course you can always purchase an external optical drive if you really need to "burn a disc" or do some other menial task, but for the most part you live disc-free.

One interesting option for accessing drives is to "leech" off of any computer near you that has one. Just load a little helper program onto the machine and then you can mount its drive just like it was on the MacBook Air. A neat approach for those who are not completely comfortable about being driveless.

One thing I was worried about with a laptop this thin, was that it was going to have a cheesy keyboard. I should have known though, coming from Apple, that nothing is ever done "cheesy". I find the keyboard really nice, with large keys and great response.

Another cool feature is that the keypad has the same technology in it as the iPhone so you can use all of the finger features that make the iPhone interface so nice. No need for a mouse when you can turn pages, zoom, and click, right-click, and more just by the way you massage the keypad. I'm still getting used to this myself, but I feel that soon enough I'll be cussing out my Windoze machines when I won't be able to use these little shortcuts on them.

Back in the old days, I was a big fan of the Amiga computer. It was way ahead of its time, and I loved the innovations it had over other computers, even the Macintosh. Now, times have changed, and the Mac has morphed into what I had envisioned the Amiga was going to be. For that reason, having this laptop being the first Mac I have personally owned, I feel as though I have come home.

Years of working with Windows-based computers has felt more like a daily struggle then a pleasurable experience. I got my MacBook Air because I needed something fun and positive in my life once again. A computer that I can enjoy using without worrying about viruses and the Blue Screen of Death.

Sure there is a learning-curve with using a new operating system, but I think I am ready for the change.

As always, thanks for reading my dribble, and wish me luck on my trip!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Still Alive



This song has been making the rounds recently. When I first heard it I thought it was neat but could not figure out what the heck the lyrics had to do with anything. They seemed sort of random yet like there was some inside joke that I did not understand.

I set out to do a bit of Googling and discovered that this song was from the ending credits of a computer game called, "Portal". So far everything I have read about it makes it a great game to play so I'll probably be getting it soon just so I can play this game and understand the song even more.

After reading several comments about the song and the game I have a basic understanding of the song now and it really makes it even better. I'm going to let you do your own research if you want to understand the song because having not yet played the game, I'd probably just get it all wrong anyway.

Enjoy the song, and let me know what you think!

In case you don't want to scribble all of the lyrics down from the video here they are in print...

Still Alive - Lyrics
==========
This was a triumph.

I’m making a note here: "Huge success".

It’s hard to overstate my satisfaction.

Aperture Science

We do what we must

because we can.

For the good of all of us.

Except the ones who are dead.

But there’s no sense crying over every mistake.

You just keep on trying till you run out of cake.

And the Science gets done.

And you make a neat gun.

For the people who are still alive.

I’m not even angry.

I’m being so sincere right now.

Even though you broke my heart.

And killed me.

And tore me to pieces.

And threw every piece into a fire.

As they burned it hurt because I was so happy for you!

Now these points of data make a beautiful line.

And we’re out of beta.

We’re releasing on time.

So I’m glad. I got burned.

Think of all the things we learned

for the people who are still alive.

Go ahead and leave me.

I think I prefer to stay inside.

Maybe you’ll find someone else to help you.

Maybe Black Mesa

That was a joke.

Ha ha, Fat chance.

Anyway, this cake is great.

It’s so delicious and moist.

Look at me still talking

when there’s Science to do.

When I look out there, it makes me glad I’m not you.

I’ve experiments to run.

There is research to be done.

On the people who are still alive.

And believe me I am still alive.

I’m doing Science and I’m still alive.

I feel fantastic and I’m still alive.

While you’re dying I’ll be still alive.

And when you’re dead I will be still alive.

Still alive

Still alive

Friday, April 11, 2008

Change

It's inevitable, at least that's the consences.

Since we can't prevent change from occuring, it's more important how we deal with changes as they come along.

I'm retired from the Air Force, so I'm used to changes as I moved from base to base. Luckily, I was fortunate enough to not have to move as much as many other folks in the military.

My father is like a Gypsy, because he seems to relish moving all of the time. Every few years he's selling one house and buying another. He currently works for a company where he can drive all across the country delivering RV's to dealers. Once he told me that he believed that the world was meant to be explored, and that's what he likes doing.

A chip off the old block I'm not. Occasional travel is enjoyable, but uprooting my home every few years would make me crazy. I like planning how I am going to improve my home.

For example, I want to knock down a wall between two rooms in my basement this summer and turn the single large room this would create into a library.

In our family room, I plan on getting a flat-panel TV and embedding it into a wall so the wall remains flat and the TV is flush inside the wall. The components will be below this in a knocked out portion of the wall with the back extending into the adjoining room. In the adjoining room there will be a built-in bench seat to cover the fact that underneath is all of the stereo equipment from the family room. This will have the added benefit of being able to reach the back of my components easily to change wiring when needed. I will also run a network cable into the spot so I can connect network devices such as my Apple TV.

These are all nice changes, but what happens when life tosses you a change you don't really want?

My personal constitution allows me to remain stable during difficult times. I'm not sure how I got this way. If I knew, I could probably go on a speaking tour, write a book, and make millions showing other people how to toughen up.

Even though I might be considered an expert when it comes to not showing how much change affects me, I know the real story.

I am affected by changes just like everyone else. The way I deal with things is to look at my situation logically and try to handle things as intelligently as I can. Sometimes this requires the illusion that I am tough, and can appear to handle anything, but it's not always the case.

Life ends. I have lost several people, and animals, that have meant a great deal to me, and will lose a lot more as time goes by. This change cannot be prevernted. At least not yet.

To deal with this, I prepare my emotions by accepting the fact that the day will come when those older then I will pass. I think it helps to acknowledge this early on, and deal with these emotions over time rather then deny it will happen and then suddenly get hit. It's the whole cricle-of-life thing. It's gong to happen, so don't fight it.

The latest change in my life is getting divorced after 19 years of marriage.

Although this too is painful, I have seen it coming for a long while now. For years I have expected this inevitable outcome and have mentally prepared for the day. The result is that we are working out the details together and trying to remain friends throughout the process.

Divorcing intelligently is not the norm. In fact, many people we have had to deal with from our insurance company to our lawyers are amazed at how calmly we are proceeding.

Unfortunately, most divorces happen when one person is completely caught off-guard not realizing there was a problem with their marriage to begin with. Of course, this may be one of the problems...

Denial, not just a river in Egypt.

I was going to give advice to people who might be facing this, but I am not qualified to do so because every situation is different and everyone reacts to this sort of thing differently.

I will say that during this process emotions are high. Internally I have been on an emotional rollercoaster since the process began. If you are even remotely thinking of this in your own situation, make damn sure you have tried everything you possibly could before proceeding. It just makes good sense, before you destroy your family, to exhaust every avenue that is available to you.

In the end, after trying everything at your disposal, then talk it over and proceed intelligently and calmly. I'm certain it will be insanely difficult if just one of you feels this way, and considerably easier if you are both coming to the same realization that things are just not working.

Sometimes, it's tough to take the high road whe things aren't working for one and not the other. Instead of selfishly fighting them, it's best to release them.

I remember part of a saying that goes something like, “If you love someone, set them free...” Doing this is much better then, “I'll see you in court, bitch!”

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Fair Game


I'm hearing a lot of talk and news coverage recently about how we should boycott the Olympic games, or boycott the opening ceremonies, or attack the torch runners.

Although many people do not agree with how China handles their affairs, the simple fact is that the Olympic games are an international gathering of atheletes regardless of the status between countries.

Even though they have in the past, the Olypmic games should not be used as a political tool. For some reason the term, “Is nothing sacred?” comes to mind right now.

China has poor people skills, especially when it comes to rights and freedoms. We all know this, and we get it. There is no need to use the Olympics to attempt to make your point just because they are being hosted in China this time around.

Go ahead and use the news coverage of the Olympics to bring to light the attrocities in China, but don't attempt to do physical, or political, things to prevent the games from occuring.

Atheletes from around the world have literally worked hard all of their lives to get to the Olympics, and who are you with your political agenda to try and prevent them from participating.

I get really annoyed with people who use other people and events to further their goals. If your cause is great then continue to educate people through whatever means necessary, such as the web, seminars, news reports and the like. Eventually, people will see your point of view and be pursuaded to help out.

If you have a cause that nobody is really interested in, guess what? Nobody is interested in it! This does not mean you can then burn down facilties, kill people, or highjack other events to try and bring attention to your cause. They have a word for these actions. Terrorism.

There is great passion in people for various causes, and that's a good thing. Without passionate people we would probably still have many horrible situations throughout this planet. All I am saying is, don't let your passion turn into a dangerous thing.

If you want to call for all of those to feel as you do to not watch the Olympics, then great. All of your supporters can happily do other things while the Olympics are on, and you can feel good about doing something in your own way to protest China hosting the games.

Once you start affecting peoples lives who do not follow your zeal for your cause, now you've crossed the line and are on the border of being out of control.

How do I deal with topics I want others to know I care about? Well, your reading this site aren't you?

It's not much, but it's my personal platform to rant about what annoys me. And right now it's you. Those of you who seek to savatage the Olympic games for your cause.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Highway High Jinks

I received this in email today and thought it was a hoot.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR A FUN TIME ON THE INTERSTATE


Step 1 - Tie balloons to car.

Step 2 - Drive like a bat out of hell...

Step 3 - Watch people freak out!!!!!