Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Go Huntsville

I am proud that Huntsville is getting Farenheight 9/11 in their theaters this weekend. I think I will go check it out. I was pretty sure that the south would not get this movie ever since it is anti-republican but I am glad that Huntsville realized that this city is not a typical southern city. It is such a mix of transplants from other states that you could get a lot of people to go see it. They had on the news the other day that many non-republicans in the south were angry because so few theaters were playing it and they were saying it was censorship. It is the only movie that interests me before King Arthur comes out.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Adding to the list of favorite movies

Sue and I rented Mystic River last night. This has to be one of the best movies I have seen in quite a while. Certainly the best I have seen in the last year.

The acting was flawless. Sean Penn was awe inspiring; Kevin Bacon was really good (as always); This movie proves that Laurence Fishburne should only take powerful and dramatic roles. The list goes on and on.

The story was also very gripping. It has that same feeling as Greek tragedy or Shakespearean drama. Character flaws and fate ultimately destroy otherwise good people. And while the ending leaves you hanging and wanting more, I'm not entirely sure that is a bad thing.

One thing I have to point out that I thought was funny: Laurence Fishburne's character's name in the movie is "Whitey Powers" :)

Friday, June 25, 2004

Porn Name

Another fun link:

http://www.mypornname.com

Try it out: Mine was "Storm Jammer". Jammer? That sounds more painful than sexy:)

The Princess Bride if made by Terrorists

Saw this today on Slashdot. Way too funny not to post to my blog:)

Terrorist: Now, a clever man would not use a plane, because he would know that only a great fool would repeat the same method. I am not a great fool, so I can clearly not choose to attack with a plane. But you must have known I was not a great fool, you would have counted on it, so I can clearly have to attack with a plane.

American: You've made your choice then?

Terrorist: Not remotely! Because counter-terrorists come from America, as everyone knows. And the America's is entirely peopled with infidels. And infidels are used to having people not trust them, as you are not trusted by me. So I can clearly not attack with a plane. And you must have suspected I would have known you where an infidel, so I can clearly have to attack with a plane.

American: Now your just stalling.

Terrorist: You'd like to think that! You've beaten my Sadam, which means you're exceptionally strong. So, you could have placed your men on the plane, trusting on your strength to save you. So I can clearly not choose to attack with a plane. But, you've also bested my sleeper cells. Which means you must haved studied. And in studying, you must have learned that terrorists are dangerious so you would stay as far away from us as possible, so I can clearly attack with a plane.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Outlook on folks

I saw a poll on internet today that asked the following question:

"People are basically _____ "

How do you answer this question?

This should be on every personality test. Paul, if you still read my blog, I challenge you to use this in your next session:)

Course, I'm sure you are interested in how I answered this question. That is why you read my blog after all:) I'm so intere....er..... sorry, this blog stuff can really make you have delusions of grandeur.

My first answer? "Stupid". But after I thought about it, I think a better answer is ignorant.

One way to increase voter registration

We've had all these political post lately, so I thought this story was a fitting topic of conversation:

Ohio strip club promotes voter registration

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Tossed salad and scrambled eggs.............

I have been blogging less lately, but I have a good reason, school has kept me busy. Many of our friends have been doing many blogs on their sites about real world and American issues and I commend them for writing about these important topics. Eric recently blogged his thoughts on politics. I tend not to speak about my political feelings since my very liberal views get me in trouble. I recently had a conversation with a friend from school and we got into an argument so we decided not to talk about politics and that is my general feeling about it with friends. Still, I wonder how a nursing student could be a Republican and not consider becoming a Democrat. Republicans do have the tendency to cut money when it comes to healthcare. Several examples come to mind. The biggest that comes to mind is what Mr. Reagan did back in the 80's. He chose to ignore the impending AIDS crisis and instead of giving the CDC the money they needed to continue research to start prevention, he decided to cut money for healthcare and increase defense money. I first realized this horrific mistake when I was in high school and I saw the great HBO movie "And the Band played on" which is based on the book by Randy Shilts. I recommend either if you are interested in the history of AIDS in America. Sure Bush nowadays pretends to want to help healthcare with his big plan of using "Drug discount" cards that he and congress came up with. If none of you have looked into any of the details of this plan, it is a horrible idea. This plan is so confusing to seniors that many are lost as to what to do with the 70 different options. It is a confusing process that involves a lot of paperwork and research in order to get the best deal. This plan has been drummed up by the drug companies so many do not think that it is a great plan. I have worked for Pfizer Pharmaceuticals so I have experienced both sides of this issue while attending nursing school. I see the issues both sides have and we desperately need to find an answer to our national healthcare crisis. I am not sure what that is but we need some kind of reform. It is very sad when you see older adults that have to choose between eating or taking their medicines or they decide on their own to take their meds every other day in order to save money. These things can kill them. That is a bit of my take on this topic.

In America, it is not just our healthcare system that is messed up we have many issues. U.S. News and World Report recently has had an issue called Defining America and within it had these crazy figures:

-People who say that religion plays a big role in lives: US-59%, Britain-32%, Canada-30%, Italy-27%, Russia-12%
-Divorce rate per thousand: US-6.2, Denmark-4, Canada-3.4, Japan-3.1, Spain-1.4, Italy-1.0
-US credit card debt in billions: 1990-$210, 2000-$650, 2005-projected to be $985
-Average paid vacation(days per year): Germany 30, Spain 30, Britain 25, Australia 25, Netherlands 25, Japan 18, China 15, US 10.

These are some alarming numbers. It just shows what our society is going towards. I have to say the alarming one in my eyes is the religion one. Of course it does not say what religions we are talking about it can be assumed that the Christians make up a big chunk of that. Of course then you look at the divorce rate and think hmm what is missing here. One of my pet peeves are people that say they are religious but really aren't. Their lives reflect what they really believe in. I also don't really respect the super religious people that claim that their religion is the best even though they have never tried or even researched other religions. They are simply that religion because their parents went to that church when they were born. There are very few people that can say, "Yes I tried all of the religions, and I choose this one". Although in my sarcasm, I think that all of organized religion is evil. I am not necessarily against believing in something, but the religions have some major problems within them and you can especially say that about the Christians. The history of Christianity in itself is proof. I will not dwell, I just think that a lot of "Christians" are hypocrites and I am not sure what to think anymore. I have no religion right now. I am borderline atheist at this point with the state of the nation and the world. There is so much killing in the name of religion that it is ridiculous! After 9/11 a lot of people delved into religion for solace and I did the opposite. It made me doubt even more in a higher power. How could one religion say "God" told them to kill thousands of Americans and another go to war to kill thousands of innocents that happen to get in the way. It is not just 9/11 that got me to this point. I have also witnesses many good people die too early mostly from cancer. I have had to watch about 7-8 people I know wither away and suffer from this disease and it makes you think. I have also watched a little premature infant die before she had the chance to live. Going to the funeral for a 2 month old baby really effects your look on life and I never want to have to go to a funeral with a casket that small again if I can help it. I guess none of us will ever know what happens when we die, but I live by the thought that we are here, who cares why or how, just LIVE life. Experience what is out there. Don't say something is bad when you have not even tried yourself. Life is about choices and mistakes will happen, but we need to learn from them and grow. Don't spend your life hating someone just because they are different, that is just a waste of a perfectly good life. I guess my answer to living life the best way I can is my new career adventure. Nursing seems to be my thing after searching for what to do next. With this career, I do not think I will look back and think, why did I spend those years like that. I will be contributing to life and helping others. It is such a rewarding career and I can't wait to practice it!

As for my other political views, I agree with everything Eric said in his blog. I am definitely pro-choice and I volunteered for Planned Parenthood for two years and even did some lobbying in Lansing, Michigan. Many people misunderstand this wonderful organization. They see that they do abortions and immediately deem them the enemy when they do many wonderful things. One of the big things that they stand for is birth control which it something our country does little with. We still have so many problems with teens getting pregnant and I just do not understand with the plethora of birth control that is out there. The US leads the developed world in teen pregnancies. Here in good old Alabama, recent stats showed that girls as young as 10 are getting pregnant way too often. To me that is very disgusting. And this is the trend not only here but all across the US. Many teens age 10 to 15 are getting pregnant more often. They are having sex sooner and don't consider it a big issue. I have learned some disturbing things in nursing school such as middle school kids (ages 10-14) are having more sex and don't think that oral sex is sex or that it is not dangerous. These "kids" are doing this on the school bus. I am not sure why our country is so afraid to talk to our children about sex and birth control. We need to have school programs and parents talking to children before age of 10. If you wait until 14 or 15 you are too late in many situations. In one nursing class, I found out that teens in Sweden have the highest rate of sexual activity (US is second), but they have the lowest rate of pregnancies, abortions and births. This is contributed to the availability of birth control and the fact that they learn a lot about sex and earlier on.

To end, I want to encourage any able bodied person to go out and donate blood or platelets. Go to the Redcross or in the south Lifesouth and find out how to. I am still confused as to why there is an organization that gives it's "donated blood" to just Alabama, Georgia and Florida. I would think the Redcross is all that is needed, but Lifesouth does do some good work. I can say that I have donated blood ever since I was able to at the age of 18 even though I have had the rare experience of having a vein collapse a couple of times. Yesterday, I tried something new. I did what is call apheresis which means to separate. It means that they separate the whole blood and extract platelets, plasma or red blood cells for donors. They extracted platelets from my blood for leukemia, cancer, and anemia patients. The apheresis process is easy and only takes 2 hours from your life. They give you a nice comfy recliner to sit in and your own tv to watch a movie. I watched Big Fish as the machine went through cycles of withdrawing blood and infusing the parts that are left over from the extraction. Blood donation is usually only an hour out of your life and you get free cookies and juice. I was very proud of Eric for signing up for the bone marrow donor list which he was called for and had more blood tests done for a patient that needed bone marrow. In the end they found a better match. All of these procedures are things that we can do to help others. It is one thing to blog about the crisis of our world and not do anything or to go out and do this little thing that can help lives. Please consider donating and show an act of kindness. I only wish I could donate more than every 8 weeks. I must give Eric a holla award for donating blood. I got him to do it in college along with some other pals and he and I go together now and the people always think how cute. They usually say that we are unusual, but more couples should share something like that.

Monday, June 21, 2004

Teen Auctioning Virginity on eBay

Sue sent me this link today: ABCNEWS.com : Teen Auctioning Virginity on eBay.

I could not resist posting a few comments on this one:

1) What sort of woman in her right mind would PAY money to sleep with a 19 year old virgin man? I mean seriously. Lets all sit and ponder that for a moment. First off, she would have to be the sort of woman who cannot get free sex from a 19 year old virgin man. Given how picky 19 year old virgin men are about the sort of woman they sleep with, me thinks that such woman are not exactly the cream of the crop. Second, does anyone remember how good you were the first time you had sex? Quite frankly, I would not have paid me for that performance, and I would never pay for someone else's first time either (although nowadays I would pay quite a lot to have sex with me :) )

2) "He insists that his unique method of trying to lose his virginity is not a form of prostitution...". Hmmm... you be the judge.

Def: noun, prostitution: offering sexual intercourse for pay.

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Religion, Politics, and the Great Pumpkin

If there is one thing I have learned from Charlie Brown cartoons, it is that there are three things you should never discuss with people: Religion, Politics, and the Great Pumpkin. Since this is cyber-space though, I say to hell with Charlie Brown! I'll talk about whatever I want!

About a month ago I was listening to the Rush Limbaugh show. I'm sure you are asking "why?". Well, I listen to it a lunch sometimes in order to get some insight into the right-wing insanity of the republican party. Anyways, I was listening and Rush was discussing the idea that moderates/independents are somehow less passionate about politics. He was spouting some crap along the lines of, "I may be an ideologist, but at least I am involved. Moderates are not involved in the process at all." I thought this was one of the dumber things I have ever heard on that show. First off, moderates (or independents) decide who gets elected in this country. I saw a statistic recently that said only 10% of the people who will vote in this election have not already made up their mind on who to vote for. Guess where those 10% stand in terms of the political spectrum?

As for me, I am definitely a moderate. Moderate is really too simple a term though. I'm really a social liberal but a conservative when it comes to monetary policy. Of course, that stance basically screws me when it is time to vote. I either need to vote for the socially and monetary conservatives (republicans) or the socially and monetary liberals (democrats). Although with Bush 2, it seems like the republicans have become the socially conservative and liberal spending party (discretionary, non-defense spending is up 8% a year since the republicans took over both houses and the white house).

I think I need to break it down issue by issue:

Abortion: DEFINITELY think it should be legal. Morally not in favor of it. But then again I am not the one who has to have a baby either. Consenting adults should be able to make there own rational decisions. But I also think the government has the right to regulate it, without making it difficult to complete(like preventing minors from performing this action without parental notification).

Gun control: Think gun control is a good idea generally, but that some of the liberals take it too far. People should be able to buy guns with a background check and some wait period. Also think the current laws need to be enforced a lot better.

Gay marriage: In favor. I don't understand the problem with it quite frankly.

Affirmative Action: Not in favor of it. At least, I am not in favor of race based affirmative action. I AM in favor of affirmative action based on a person's social status (poor white folks should get help just like poor African Americans).

Drug Control: I think most of it is a waste of time, especially in terms of economic theory. Decreasing the supply of something with high demand just drives the price up. This in turn makes selling and trafficking the substance very profitable. Basic economics 101. Hard drugs (like crack, cocaine, and may be a few others like heroin ) should probably be illegal though. The rest should be regulated. Heck, from what I have seen, tobacco and alcohol have way more known long-term and short-term costs to society than most of the known "illegal" drugs.

Taxes: OK, this one really bugs me. Republicans claim that tax cuts create GDP growth. Democrats claim that they increase debt. They are both right and both wrong of course. Again, econ 101. Tax cuts do put money into people's pockets. Since the saving rate in this country is only something like 3%, the tax money gets put back into the economy. Sounds good right, except that what republican's fail to point out is that the tax money they are returning to people is money the government is already spending! It does not really matter if you spend the money or if uncle sam spends the money. Ultimately that money ends up being spent in the economy. That is why republicans never cut taxes and spending at the same time. If they did, it would basically have no effect on economic output. But cutting taxes and leaving spending as is, is basically the equivalent of having the government just spend a lot more money.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

More Random Thoughts

Sue and I got a DVR from our cable company this week. Good things: Records Futurama, Family Guy, and Scrubs, for me anytime they are on. Bad things: Cable guy was supposed to show between 3 and 5pm. Called the day before to be sure we would be home. So of course he does not show up until 6:30pm. More proof that the cable company is owned by Satan.

Favorite Movies (currently): Groove (so good...rent it now!), U-571, and Desperado.

Favorite Music (currently): Hard Trance and Hard House channels and di.fm

Favorite Wife: Sue

My buddy Mike from college has his own blog now!

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Spam sucks

I'm sure you are all aware that spam sucks. But lately I have been getting it more and more. Now I even get it at work! F#$k the spammers. Who actually buys stuff from these guys anyways? How do they make any money?

Worse, lately I have been getting spam messages at work with the following text (I edited the text to make it more readable, but I swear this is the actual text of the email): "If you received this email then whatever spam filter your using is not working properly. Your time is valuable, so having your inbox flooded with junk messages is not only annoying, but also costly. The answer to all your problems is here....". This is followed by some useless spam link.

Ok this one REALLY bugs me for a few reasons:

1) Its basically extortion. Its like the mob coming to my house and demanding protection money.

2) Favorite line: "...having your inbox flooded with junk messages is not only annoying, but also costly...". No shit. Maybe if you would stop sending these f#$%ing messages I could get some work done.

3) You have to have balls to send out a SPAM email that offers a spam filter. I mean, if it really works, won't that put your spamming business out of business?

4) How many morons are there in the world who would buy a spam filter from a company that send spam? It would be like buying encryption software from the NSA. "Yes sir, I swear that their are no backdoors in this software that we are telling you about".

Friday, June 11, 2004

One down and one to go.

Well, I finished one of my summer classes on Thursday. What a crazy three weeks. Yesterday I was the most tired that I have ever been. At least I got another class out of the way so that I can have an easier class load next year. Now I get to tackle all of those chores that have been piling up. So many weeds are taking over our yard and the house needs a good scrub down. Luckily, Eric is patient with me when I am taking classes :) Now I can actually read books for fun!

Sunday, June 06, 2004

Eric's thoughts on Harry Potter

I need to preface this with the following note: I have never read the third <english accent>Harry Potter</english accent> book. Therefore, I am judging the movie only on the basis of it's theatrical merit, not how true it was to the book. Now that I have the disclaimer out of the way...

This was a really good movie. Perhaps the best of three so far. It certainly has a different look and tone to it then the first two. Comparing this movie to the previous two would be an excellent film school exercise to show what a difference the director of a movie can make. I've often been curious if the director really makes that much of a difference in the final outcome of a movie, or if the story and the 100s of people involved make the movie what it is. This was one of the rare opportunities to see what a difference a different director makes.

I think it helped the story for book 3 is more interesting, grown up, and complex then the first two books. Now that the characters are adolescents, the story is becoming more complex and more charged. The actors are given a larger range of emotions to work with, including vengeance, real anger, and just a hint of love.

I only have two real complaints about the movie. First, the new Dumbledore is just not the same. And I don't mean just the actor is different. I mean the whole character seems to have changed. Dumbledore used to be this old and wise wizard with a stern but not off putting personality. This new Dumbledore is a little too light-hearted and cheery eyed. He also has a new outfit that seems a little too hippie and not authoritative. It's just a different take on the character I guess, but in my opinion it is a take for the worse.

The only other thing I have to complain about the movie was that I thought it was a little too long. But then again I went to see it with Sue and Dana when I was supposed to be at work, so I was probably just thinking about being late getting back:)

Friday, June 04, 2004

Harry Potter

Today we finally saw Harry Potter! It rocked. It was very true to the book. There were just a few little things missing and the CGI was believable unlike past movies and some of the things in LOTR and the Matrix. Eric and I have talked about this but there are some places where the CGI is not done well. In the other two Harry Potter movies when they had the Quidditch matches you could see the kids on the brooms were drawn in and their movement was too fast for the moment. The last LOTR movie when Legolas jumps on the big elephant creature he is very fake looking. He just doesn't look right and his movement is too fast. I love the movies but I am glad that the technology is better. All of the creatures and the Quidditch matches looked great this time. It is also amazing to watch those movies and see how those kids have grown up so much. In this movie the kids have really grown! The kid that plays Neville especially looked so different. I just wish that the fourth movie was out. That one is going to be the best by far. That book is the best book in my opinion since it is so full of action and all of the kids at Hogworts are involved.

Eric and I went to see it this morning with our friend Dana and it was great but we thought we were cursed. First, after about 30 minutes the movie just stopped. I am not sure if they forgot to change the reel or what, but we had to wait 5 minutes to get it going again. Then during the movie there were two fifteen year olds and their mother behind us talking the whole time. We said Shh several times and so did a few others but they would not quit giving their damn commentary. I eventually turned around and told them to shut up but they still would not quit. Dana was so frustrated that she moved to get away from them. What a crappy way to see Harry Potter. The movie was still great despite these events and Dana and I enjoyed a nice lunch together. Now I need to see this movie again without interruption! Yeah for Harry Potter!!

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Harry Potter tomorrow!

Sue and I are going to see Harry Potter tomorrow! From the previews, it looks like the movie will be pretty kick ass.

In true American style, Sue and I own the book, but I refuse to read it. My thought: "Why read it over the course of several days (and several hours of my free time) when I can just see the movie? :)". I'm sure when Kien reads that he will slap the monitor and/or his head in disgust.

I did finish The Gunslinger by Stephen King yesterday. After reading that book I am begining to understand why Stephen King is a millionare and one of the most famous authors ever. The imagary in the book is so good that you can almost see the contents of the book in front of you as not words, but an actual moving picture. It is a lot like reading Grapes of Wraith. Previously, I had read Eye of the Dragon, which most fans have told me is one of the weakest books he has ever written (still very good Fantasy novel though), and of course I had seen all of those made for TV movies, with each seemingly worse than the last one. Based on those I did not understand what all the hype was about. Now I get it. And I need more. I have to read all of the The Dark Tower Series...

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Nude Pictures and some random thoughts

Just some random thoughts for today about TV and candy (I don't have a large enough set of coherent thoughts for one single topic for this entry):

1) Has anyone seen that new Pepto Bismo commercial? What marketing genius thought that the way to get people to buy this product is to have people doing a pseudo-macarena dance to the following catchy chorus: "Nausea, heart burn, indigestion, upset stomach, diarrhea... YEAH! Pepto Bismo..."

2) I love these new Orge sized M&Ms. They are just like regular M&Ms, but they are about twice as big as regular M&Ms. mmm.....giant M&Ms.....

3) The Oh! Network is apparently under the impression that the only thing women want to watch is girls having wild sex. Sue is watching Ellen right now, and the list of new shows for summer was "Good Girls Don't", "Naked Josh", "Show me yours", and "Girls behaving badly".

And now, as promised, we have a picture of a naked girl:



And now my masterpiece. I call it, "Dog studying calculus":