Monday, March 31, 2008

R - E - S - P - E - C - T

"Find out what it means to me
Take care, TCB
sock it to me, sock it to me,
sock it to me, sock it to me
Oops, sorry. Got carried away.

It seems that many (most?) people out there have a skewed definition of this word. I'm constantly hearing people saying things like "Don't you disrespect me" or "You give me respect."

Respect is not given or demanded; it is earned! You have to be or do something that warrants respect. An example from something I saw on TV a little while ago. There's another (ugh!) "reality" show called Pussycat Dolls Presents: Girlicious that is about making a stupid pop group. They have a bunch of girls who are doing different singing and dancing things and the loser gets bumped. Blah, blah, blah...

Anyway, there was one scene where some of the girls were working with a world renowned vocal coach/teacher. He was giving out different parts for a song they'd be preforming. One of the girls didn't like the vocal line she was given so she got pissy and walked out. Man, the guy went out to talk with her and tore her a new one. She was like, "Oh I'm sorry, I'm sorry" but he came at her with something like (and I paraphrase)...

"Who do you think you are? What have you done
that makes you think you can have that obnoxious
diva attitude? They fly me across the world to
do this. You, haven't even earned $5 and you
pull this on me."

Here was a man who had paid his dues and worked to earn the respect he got. This twit had done nothing for nothing. She's a nobody who is hoping to become a somebody.

I find it tiresome that people have so little grasp of anything; so little knowledge or common sense. On average, each generation after WWII has become dumber and dumber than the previous. It's about as depressing a thing as there is.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Teens turn deaf ear to risks of MP3 players

Teens turn deaf ear to risks of MP3 players Wed Mar 26, 2008 4:16pm EDT By Amy Norton NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - "Teenagers seem to know that loud music can damage their hearing, yet most see no reason to lower the volume on their iPods, a small study suggests."

Is anyone really surprised by this? This is one of those studies that is ridiculous only because it's so damn obvious. You have to be brain dead to not know this. Why? Because everyone who grew up since the invention of headphones has been blasting their ears out. And we all knew it would damage our ears but, as all teens are invincible, it doesn't matter. Myself, I have a very good case of Tinnitus that's still not kept me from listening on higher-than-safe volume levels. But then, the music I listen to most is Classic Rock and Classic Metal. You can't listen to this music at anything lower than 11 on the volume dial.

We do need to try and find some way to get kids to lower the volume when the headphones are on but I'll be damned if I can figure out how.

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

I Like Dyke's?

Over the last 20 or so years I have been lucky to keep from getting caught up in the "Reality TV" crap... uh, I mean craze. The Real World, Dancing with the Stars, American Idol, etc., none of them were of any interest for me. But over the last 6 months or so I have somehow found myself sucked into this oh so fake world. Now I am stuck on The Biggest Loser, High School Reunion, Beauty and the Geek and Americas Next Top Model, just to name a few. So what does all this have to do with the title? I'm glad you asked.

On a previous cycle of the CW series ANTM, there was a hopeful named Kim. She's a lesbian who had an interesting androgynous look which she was able to develop into being soft and sexy. She was also famous for making out with one of the other (straight) models. Then on the new TV Land series High School Reunion, one of the J.J. Pearce High School class of '87 is Kat, the Lesbian. She's fun, smart and really cool.

Why do I really like these ladies? Who knows, but it might not be a random coincidence. See, the woman I've known for the last 20 years, was married to for 10 years and is the mother of my son is also a lesbian. Maybe I'm a lesbian, too. After all, I like making it with girls.

Seriously, I think that the reason I like Kim and Kat is their personalities rather than their sexual orientation. There are plenty of other models on ANTM hat I find equally as cool as Kim and at least one of the other HSR girls I find very, well, let's say she's interesting.

So, while I like some famous dyke's, it's not a universal feeling. There have been some previous girlfriends of my ex that aren't high on my Christmas list. Is there any significance to these two "reality" stars being gay? No, not really.

But there definitely some dyke's I do like.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A Matter of Perspective: US Death Toll in Iraq

US Death Toll in Iraq Hits 4,000 BAGHDAD - "U.S. officials said Monday they will press forward in the fight against extremists in Iraq a day after the overall U.S. death toll in the five-year conflict rose to 4,000."

Seems that many people are having trouble dealing with the US Military death toll in Iraq. The number just hit 4,000 for the 5 year long "war". That comes to 800 a year, or 2.2 a day. While the death of anyone during conflict is something to be avoided whenever possible, the numbers should never be looked at in a vacuum. As a comparison, we can look at the estimates for the invasion of Normandy on D-Day. Most historians put the number between 2,200 and 2,500 with the vast majority occurring on Omaha beach. That's 2,200 in one day. Compare that to 2.2 a day and see how it balances out.

For a different perspective, we can look at the number of traffic deaths in a year. The numbers for 2005 were 43,443 for all of the US. That comes to 11.9 deaths a day. If you were to make an estimate for a total over five years it comes to just under 220,000 deaths. To me, this is a far more unsettling statistic than the Iraq numbers. There should be many more marches, rallies and protests for this loss of life.

It just seems to me that people aren't capable of making informed decisions anymore.

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Monday, March 24, 2008

Convergence of Religions

This last weekend was, for the Christian world, the celebration of Easter. Contrary to the exhortations of the advertising industry, this isn't about chocolate or bunnies. It's to honor the resurrection of Jesus. But in India there was an interesting convergence of the Christian, Muslim & Hindu religions. This weekend was simultaneously the Easter, the celebration of the Profit Mohamed's birthday and the Hindu Holi festival.

The significant aspect of this that all three followers of their respective faiths were able to enjoy and honor their beliefs without having WWIII break out. It is concrete evidence that the various faiths are not inherently enemies. The great majority of people have no problems with others beliefs. It's the extreme minority of rabid idiots who advocate the killing and hatred.

If this kind of acceptance could be spread the world would be a better place. So how to spread it? You don't have to change the whole world in one shot. Just work on your little space of it. You'll be surprised at the effect it will have.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy Greenman Day

Drink some beer and eat some corn beef and cabbage. Or, like I have been doing all day, stay in your PJ's and watch TV all day. Either way it's St. Patrick's day. No snakes but maybe a pot-o-gold.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Woman Earns Silver Star in Afghanistan

Woman Earns Silver Star in Afghanistan - Associated Press | March 10, 2008 CAMP SALERNO, Afghanistan - "A 19-year-old Army medic from Texas is set to become the first woman in Afghanistan -- and only the second female Soldier since World War II -- to receive the Silver Star, the nation's third-highest medal for valor.

Army Spc. Monica Lin Brown saved the lives of fellow Soldiers after a roadside bomb tore through a convoy of Humvees in the eastern Paktia province in April 2007, the military said."

This is a nice bit of uplifting news. There's always so much reported on the negative aspects of the engagements you rarely, if ever, hear about stories like this. You can disagree with the US policy on this "war on terror" but give the soldiers their due. I know how hard they work.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

On health and wellness

One of the things that's knocked me off of my blogging is my health situation. First, the good news. I have lost just over 40 pounds since last August. This was accomplished by simply eating healthier food and not eating to much. It seems I only need to eat once or twice a day. Haven't started exercising yet but when I do I expect to get even better results.

Secondly I finally started going back to seeing doctors again and we've done some adjustments to my medication. That has made a BIG difference. My overall wellness and my cognitive abilities have improved greatly. But the pain has become nearly unbearable. I can't stand, sit or even lay down without the consent crushing pain taking the majority of my energy from me.

One scary thing that happened was when I had very bad chest pain in January. 911 was called and I was taken to the hospital for tests and such. The outcome was relatively good, my heart is in great shape, but the pain is still there. I can tell you this, though. It is a bit disconcerting to ride in an ambulance with all kinds of crap stuck to and in you.

So the situation is thus... I need to find a good balance for my meds, start exercising to go along with my better diet and find something to stimulate my brain before it becomes total mush. Or at least less mushy than it's been getting.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

To live and die in VA

Man oh man... It's been quite the while since anything new showed up here, huh? So far 2008 has started out a little rough. I'm hoping to get back into the swing of things again.