Happy Halloween


Basically derived from a Celtic holiday used to commemorate the end of summer and welcome the “dark” half of the year.

The witches, goblins, etc. is just extra crap thrown in for good measure and used to piss off the folks who see the devil in everything. It usually works too.

May the Celtic festival of Samhain be a happy one.

Goodbye summer. You bitch.

Election Prediction

I’m sure we’ll see a lot of folks go on Tuesday.

Rightfully so.

We’ll have to sit and listen to all of the conservative pundits talk about how “great” their predictions were and how they “knew” this would happen…blah…blah…and blah.

In a bad economy, the controlling party is always going to be the loser. That is all I need to know.

No need to predict the blatantly obvious.

The one good thing that will come out of all of this will happen when the newly elected members enter congress and apply the brakes to this out of control socialism. We may not see any real repeals take place until 2012 when Obama will more than likely get booted out. You can’t ignore the electorate and expect to have those same people give you another term.

Until they take office, the old guard can still do a crap ton (technical term) of damage.

Just remember the shape they left the national mall in the last time they had a “rally.”

The line that defines what congress can and can’t do has been moved so many times that it’s hard to figure out where it’s supposed to be.

As Glenn Beck pointed out on his show last night ‘people have lost faith in other people.’ I’m paraphrasing but you get the idea.

As hard as it is to grasp, we’ll probably need a 3rd party to gain control of the house, senate, and white house in order to fix most of the problems that we have and basically repeal decades of legislation that completely harmed America. Let’s face it. The Republicans and Democrats caused all of this. They also wrote legislation and rules that are conducive to keeping them in power.

If you doubt what I’ve just said, look up the rules for a Presidential debate.

Lifestyle Changes


You should never make a lifestyle change based on an idea, a theory, or a principle that doesn’t pass through a common sense filter or doesn’t seem logical.

Case in point:

Which do you think is healthier, butter or margarine? Butter is made out of natural ingredients and margarine is not.

Which do you think is healthier, Sweet and Low or sugar?

There is a synergy between human beings and their environment. We co-exist and nourish each other. Life is ongoing and always moving. When our bodies die, we provide nutrients to the plants and animals around us.

With that being said, does it really make sense to put anything in your body that doesn’t come from nature?

I believe that diabetes is a common problem because we eliminated a natural element from our diet at some point. It’s the law of intended consequences. We make a change to one area and end up inadvertently effecting something else.

If you combine what I’ve just said with “so-called” medical advances that are loosely based on proper scientific procedures and methods then you can easy see how much trouble we’re in.

The human life span isn’t growing. It’s receding. It’s getting smaller.

The more unnatural crap we put in our bodies the closer to the end we’ll be.

Ok, I’m done ranting now.

What started this? The guy in the office next to mine is into making smoothies. Healthy smoothies or so he tells me. He puts mix into it that looks like concrete and it made me wonder how healthy the whole thing could actually be.

Remember folks, all of this health crap is relatively new. It has not really been time tested. “I’ve been doing this for 30 years!” Ah, NO you haven’t.

Sex or Salad


This is something I was thinking about as a friend and I were engaged in conversation.

Friend: So, do you think you are losing your sex drive as you get older?

Me: I’m not sure.

Friend: So, let me put it another way. Would you rather have sex or a nice salad?

Me: It depends.

Friend: On what?

Me: Does the salad come with croutons?

Friend: Sure.

Me: What kind?

Friend: Italian.

Me: What kind of dressing?

Friend: Any kind you’d like.

Me: I want the salad.

Friend: You actually thought about it?

Me: I think croutons are a deal breaker. I’m liberal when it comes to salad dressing though.

Friend: What if the girl was Jessica Alba?

Me: She can’t have any of my salad.

Friend: (bangs head on table repeatedly)

Proposition 19

I personally have never been into pot. I friend of mine tried to get me to try it once. I took a puff. My face turned red. Nothing happened. Mystery is over. I never once thought about doing it again.

I don’t think it should be any more illegal than alcohol and that is about as much as I care about the issue.

Proposition 19 is about MORE than pot.

It’s about a states right to make and enforce its own rule of law.

This country was founded on that principle. The federal government was recognized as “barely necessary” and was written into our laws accordingly.

If California wants to make marijuana legal, they have every right to do so without federal interference. That also means that we don’t play the “you won’t get federal funding if you don’t play along” type of crap either.

States rights are the very foundation of these United States whether the fed likes it or not.

I think this fight will get a bit hairy.

It shouldn’t but it will.

If I were California, I’d arrest any federal officer who interfered with a state law if proposition 19 passes.

The last time I checked, state law is supposed to trump federal law.

If the fed doesn’t like that, the fed can suck it.

*** for more reading, check out this article on Reason. ***

The Combat Nap

Combat naps are supposed to last anywhere from 10 minutes to about an hour (if you’re really lucky).

I laid down to take a combat nap this afternoon.

I woke up around midnight.

If this were a field of battle, I’d either be dead or deep inside enemy territory as the line would have probably advanced around me.

Getting old sucks.

Help Desk Fun

You see, I have a slight problem.

My bandwidth settings on my websites are wrong and they need to be corrected. Because of a problem that is beyond my reach or ability to fix, I have submitted a help desk request to have this problem corrected.

So far, this is the way it’s going.

Me: Help Desk Ticket#1 Opened. I can not change my bandwidth up or down.

Them: Ok, here is what you do. Change your bandwidth of the biggest account down to 1 megabyte. Make sure the other accounts don’t exceed your maximum bandwidth and then change your biggest account back making sure not to exceed your bandwidth settings.

Me: Huh?

Them: Help Desk Ticket Closed.

Me: Huh? Um, I can not change my bandwidth settings up or down.

Them: Send us a detailed description of your issue with login instructions, what you click on, etc.

Me: Huh? Why?

Them: Help Desk Ticket #2 Closed.

Me: What? My issue isn’t fixed. Help Desk Ticket#3 Opened. Pictures and login information sent.

Update: Finally got someone who understood the problem and corrected it.

Now. The universe can continue.

Update#2 : The Strictly Right Mark Steyn podcast has become so popular that it’s hogging all of my bandwidth. No; I’m not providing a link. Re-read Update#2.

Netflix Review: The Day The Earth Stopped

This might actually be a regular feature around here. I wrote this late Friday evening after watching this on the Netflix site. Early Saturday morning (for shits and giggles) I decided to look up some other reviews on the movie. They all agreed with me. Rare? Yes.


Movie Summary

The idea of the film is that an alien race believes that Earth is on a dangerous course to becoming an eventual threat. In a preemptive action, the aliens send 666 “megalith” robots to Earth to destroy it. In addition, they send two humanoids. The male’s mission is unclear and never really known. The female called “The Destroyer” is in charge of deciding whether or not the humans should be destroyed or if they have a quality that makes them worth saving.

Initial Problems

The movie was made in 2008 and they were still using CRT monitors? Granted, they took over a warehouse building in the very beginning of the film. What computers were they using? Just big bulky old looking desktop PCs littered the “command center” and give the viewer the feeling that these props were donated by the local recycling center. In the beginning shots, someone off camera is talking while the camera is focused on people who seem to have nothing to do with what is being said.

Displays (when shown) were nonsense and didn’t portray a visual idea of what was happening. For example, Independence Day had various computer displays used to enhance the viewing experience. You should be able to look at these displays and get some type of “understanding” about what the actors see and what is happening. In this film, the displays made no sense and I couldn’t tell what they were trying to show. Is that a picture of a megalith? Why is it blinking? What does this mean?

A few great effects such as the megalith standing in the middle of the city were under utilized. The shots were really well done as far as CG (computer generated shots) goes. The problem with this film is that there were not enough CG shots. They re-used the same shot over half a dozen times. This makes me think that they had a woefully small budget or only had the use of a Commodore 64. Judging by the CRT monitors, I might just be right about that.

Military Problems

The military was poorly done. No real uniforms. No rank insignia. Drove Chevy Suburbans instead of Hummers. Couldn’t tell what branch it was. The movie didn’t contain shots showing the scope of military involvement. The commander’s lackey (assistant?) wore a suit and tie and looked to be about 16 years old. There were a few shots in the beginning of the movie where the lackey held a cell phone to his ear; ok, why? The guy in charge was clearly unshaven and his haircut was borderline unsatisfactory from a military standpoint. In other words, he would never pass any basic military inspection. The highest ranking officer on scene would have been a General and not a mere Commander.

Script Problems

Story was probably a 1st rough draft and not developed. If the script would have been developed and then shot by a competent director, this movie would have been pretty good aside from the fact that it still would have been considered a rip off of The Day The Earth Stood Still. I felt that it was made just because someone gave the money to do so. After reading other reviews on IMDB, it has been brought to my attention that this movie mimics “The Day The Earth Stood Still.” The remake was released around the same time and someone in the review section thinks that by releasing a movie with a similar name they hoped to garnish some of the other movies audience.

This is the 2nd movie (The Land That Time Forgot was the other one) that I’ve seen that was directed by C. Thomas Howell and in both cases, they weren’t directed very well. I wonder why he’s doing it. He also stars in the film and “over acts” nearly every scene. I used to think that C. Thomas Howell was a young actor who was going places. He did; go places. He just didn’t go to a good place.

The basic plot of the movie and the basic questions should be answered in the first 10 minutes (10 pages of script) of the movie. This movie did not do that. Only about mid way through the movie did we understand what the plot was and what the protagonist needed to do to succeed.

Naked Problems


Wow, the gratuitous nudity in the beginning of the film reminded me of the last C. Thomas Howell movie I had seen. Not quite sure why both of the human “alien” characters crashed their ship when the walking two-legged robots landed without a problem. Ok, so they crashed their ship; so at what point did they need to be naked? I am all for nudity but only when necessary and it just didn’t seem appropriate here. Don’t get me wrong; Sinead McCafferty is gorgeous without her clothes on but this movie could have been made without her showing her goodies.

Logistics Problems

The female alien human chick gets shot (for reasons I’m still not clear about) and afterwards while lying on the hospital bed her mascara runs. The woman was captured in her naked state and then given clothes and she is locked in a room. At what point would she have applied mascara and at what point would she have known what it was? This is another element that was out of place and didn’t fit.

Near the end of the movie when we are still unclear as to the fate of planet Earth, all the lights all over the planet go out. We cut to a shot of a car chase and low and behold, the lights are on in the city. Huh?

Judd Nelson was listed in the credits and only makes a brief appearance. His wife gives birth in the back seat of a Suburban. The baby is born with none of the usual “mess” and also appears to have aged 3 months from womb to air.

Because of a poor story, inconsistent visual elements (like the mascara), and bad acting this movie was painful to watch.

Linux Mint

If any of you are wondering what a good Linux Distribution is, I have a good suggestion.

Linux Mint. (excellent article on LifeHacker)


I run Linux Mint on an old Dell with a Pentium 4 processor and use that box to test Word Press code as well as other projects where I need a good Guinea pig.

As with most Linux distributions, Linux Mint is free.

Linux also carries a similar file structure to that of Apple so you need not worry about viruses and spyware; at least, not for now.

Many folks out there who just want to test their themes or a plugin will find Linux Mint more than adequate enough. In addition, all of the appropriate files are included so you don’t need to go searching for MP3 codecs, video codecs, etc. Everything just works out of the box.

High recommended.

Switching to Office 2010


When it comes to spreadsheets, word processors, and general office software I hate change.

I remember using one of the very best Word Processor’s ever written SpeedScript for the Commodore 64 and wondering how anyone was ever going to top that simplistic gem written by Compute! Magazine contributor Charles Brannon. I remember literally typing in the code from the magazine to create the software. Ah, those were the days.


We’ve come a long way since then. I use half a dozen different programs for different purposes. Word processors, manuscript writers, concept writers, etc.

Office 2010 is a major jump for anyone who uses Office 2003. Let’s face it; we’re talking a seven year gap.

I remember using Office 2007 and becoming frustrated by the new menu system.

I did some catching up last night by taking a few online courses and we’ll see how it goes.

Update: Our offices are now entirely upgraded to Office 2010. I think that once you get used to the “ribbon” and where they’ve moved everything, its not a bad upgrade. At least I no longer get errors when I try to open any Office document.

WordPress Woes

For reasons unknown to me, Word Press is not allowing me to delete widgets or even just make them inactive from the sidebar.

It just sits there and gives me a spinning wheel of nothing.

Why is it that every time these people make a change they seem to break the basic functionality of Word Press itself?

Enhancements are great but not at the expense of basic functionality.

I will have to step away from WP before I break something…


Update: Re-installing Word Press fixed the issue. I’ve since moved to another host and everything is still working. Yah!