static, interference, intervention, intervene, get involved so as to alter or hinder an action, white noise, snow, fuzz, fuzzy, Fuzzy, ME

Monday, February 28, 2005


While The Aviator was the big winner last night, winning 5 Oscars, Million Dollar Baby won the big ones; Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor. See the results here.

Book: Last Call - Laura Pedersen
Movie: Traffik (episode 3) (5 stars)
Collateral (5 stars)
Iraq: February - 58
Total - 1498

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Another Weekend

The cold that I thought I had beaten has nailed me hard today. I had a very busy weekend which could have led to a pretty long post, but I feel like hell so this will probably be pretty short.

Friday was the closing show for the Critical Mass Art Show and it was a lot of fun. I got to talk to several of my friends about a variety of things and my new friend Brandon, who is the definition of cool, gave me another CD of his music. He uses a lot of drone effects and feedback and reminds me (kind of ) of My Bloody Valentine. The only downer was when someone walked off with Kathy Schubert's backpack. Kathy is an icon in the Chicago biking community and one of the nicest people you could meet. The fact that someone decided to steal from her pissed a lot of people off.

Yesterday, I started by paying some bills and doing laundry, pretty mundane stuff. My afternoon was spent having a very nice lunch with someone and the day finished with grocery shopping and going to see the movie Sideways. I really liked it. It had a very dark streak to it but it had a hopeful ending. While I generally dislike a happy ending on a dark movie, I think that usually it feels tacked on, the ending fit very well.

Today was a day of rest. I really did nothing today and I am going to watch the Oscars tonight. As usual, I am sure that there will be some awards that I will be disapointed with, but I really like the show anyway.

Book: Last Call - Laua Pedersen
Music: Bela Lugosi's Dead - Bauhaus
Iraq: February - 55
Total - 1495

Thursday, February 24, 2005

A thought

Is it worse to post when you have nothing to talk about or not post at all. I like to update every day but I missed all of last weekend and yesterday's post wasn't much of anything. I had a long stressful day at work today, I'm doing an Effective Presentation Seminar and it ate all of my time at work. I cannot stand public speaking, it scares the hell out of me if I have to do a presentation. I can talk to a group while sitting and give out the same information but I really ger stage fright when I have to get up in front of a group. I left for the seminar about 7:30 this morning and was the last person to leave at about 4:30 this afternoon. I had to run to Best Buy to pick up some blank CDs, so I got home at about 5:30. I started reading my email, took a nap, made dinner, finished reading my email, burned a CD (Out Hud - S.T.R.E.E.T. D.A.D.), and am now here and here is where I will end this.

Book: Last Call - Laura Pederson
Iraq: February - 47
Total - 1487

Wednesday, February 23, 2005


I have a cold today and I don't feel like doing much of anything, but there were a few articles that I saw today that I wanted to talk about. I will be short though.

First, there was the idiot on the south side of Chicago that confessed to robbing a bank on a call-in radio confession show.

The other thing that I saw reminded me of Seinfeld. There is a cereal bar called Cereality, opening up in the Loop. Cereality is apparently a chain that serves nothing but cereal. This just seems ridiculous to me and I have no idea why anybody would pay a premium price to eat cereal.

Music: Still in Hollywood - Concrete Blonde
Movie: Traffik (episode 2) (4 stars)
Book: Last Call - Laura Pederson
Iraq: February - 45
Total - 1485

Tuesday, February 22, 2005


I have been called on something I said last month and failed to follow through with. At the beginning of January, I let my friends and family know the address of my blog after I had been writing it for three months and had figured out what kind of blog it was going to be. A day or two later, I got my first and only comment from my sister Melissa. Among other things she brought up the fact that while I had mentioned several of my friends several times and most of my family at least once, I had not mentioned my youngest sister Kathryn or her (Melissa's) son Devon at all. At the time I mentioned that I would mention her on her birthday because I would undoubtedly talk to her. Actually, I talk to Kathryn more than I talk to any of my other siblings. It was a surprise to me at the time that I had not mentioned her yet. Her birthday was last week, February 16th and while I did call her and talked to her for about 20 minutes while she was going to dinner at Cracker Barrel, that night in my blog I talked about art, specifically about fake passports and dogs playing poker. So Kathryn, I truly apologize for not mentioning you. You are an important part of my life even if you had never been mentioned here before.

My friend Bob sent me an article today that listed (in the article writer's opinion) the Top 100 Gadgets of All Time. They laid out the rules at the beginning of the article, the two most notable being that the gadgets had to be smaller than a breadbox and had to have moving parts. I think those rules are pretty good at helping to define a gadget, but having said that, they included a couple of devices that didn't fit into that definition, specifically #38 and #31. My favorites on the list are numbers 89, 77, 75, 70, 64, 63, 57, 50, 24, and 9.

Music: Surgical Focus - Guided By Voices
Movie: Traffik (episode 1) (4 stars)
Book: Last Call - Laura Pederson
Iraq: February - 44
Total - 1486 military, unofficially 232 civilians working for coalition companies

Monday, February 21, 2005

Hunter Thompson

The father of Gonzo Journalism, Hunter Thompson was found Sunday after apparently committing suicide. Gonzo Journalism is an anarchic form of reporting/storytelling that is totally objective. The author inserts himself into the story and the truth is optional. He worked as a sportswriter through the 60's and a series of articles he wrote about the Hell's Angels became his first book, Hell's Angels but he became famous/notorious after Rolling Stone sent him to Las Vegas to report on a motorcycle race in 1972. The reports that he sent back had very little to do with the race itself and eventually became the best selling book, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. He later wrote Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail about the Nixon and McGovern campaigns in 1972. While Thompson was a contrarian, he despised Nixon and had nothing good to say about him. He lived in a remote area in Colorado, near Aspen, where he could do his own thing and fire his automatic weapons in his back yard when he wanted to. I discovered Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas about 20 years ago and was instantly drawn in. The man lived truly a life of excess and epitomized freedom. He has been called Tom Wolfe's opposite. While Tom Wolfe reported on American culture like Thompson, Wolfe kept himself removed while Thompson thrust himself in. He will be missed.

Music: Clang Boom - Tom Waits
Book: Last Call - Laura Pederson
Iraq: February - 42
Total - 1482

Hunter Thompson, 67, was found dead Sunday in his home of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

The Weekend

While my weekend was pretty busy. It wasn't busy when I expected it to be and a few unexpected things came up.
I expected Friday to either hang out at home or go to the Auto Show but neither of those things happened. I asked my dad on Friday morning whether he wanted to go to the Auto Show. He first asked my mom if she wanted to come, but when they started to express a little interest, my sister put a stop to it and they decided not to go. When I came home, I expected to spend the evening at home watching Dead Like Me, but I noticed that I had a phone call from my friend Guy. I returned his call and found out that he was in town and he was going to the gallery where his work is being shown. This surprised me a bit because I knew that there was going to be an opening on Friday night at the gallery but after talking to him the week previously, he had said he wasn't going to be doing the show that he had been planning on in February. He was going to the gallery to meet a buyer of his work and a possible commission. He met the person that wanted the commission and had a formal meeting on Saturday. He will be doing some work for the person. This is very big for him and I hope it works out as well as it possibly could. I met him while he was at the gallery and we spent the evening talking.

Saturday was my nephew's 4th birthday and I went to my sister's house to celebrate it with the family. I didn't leave until later in the afternoon because I wanted to wait until my mail came. I was expecting a package from Amazon and a movie from Netflix. I got my movie from Netflix but my package from Amazon didn't show. This irritated me a little because I according to the tracking, it was in Palatine on Friday. I went up to my sister's house, stopping along the way to buy a gift for Alexander, the birthday boy. It was a nice evening, but there was a humorous event that happened after dinner. We were all sitting at the table and Tracy went to the refrigerator to get Alexander's cake out. She looked in the refrigerator and asked who moved the cake. Nobody knew what happened to the cake. Alexander then piped up and told Tracy he knew what happened to the cake and where it was. Tracy, not really believing him, decided to play along and followed him. He took her up to his bedroom where she found the cake sitting on the floor with a knife, a plate, a couple of cans of whipped cream and a pretty good chunk missing from the cake. He told her that he wanted to share with everyone but he couldn't find anyone.

Today, I was supposed to have an afternoon date, but my date was sick. She did give me the option of meeting today anyway but if I had said yes today, I would have felt incredibly guilty. We have agreed to meet on Wednesday night instead which gives me at least one thing to do every night this week. So instead of going out today, I stayed home, downloaded songs from Insound, and watched Napoleon Dynamite.

Music: The Whores Hustle and the Hustlers Whore - PJ Harvey
Movie: Saturday -Dead Like Me (Season 1, episodes 10 through 14) ( 5 Stars)
Sunday - Napoleon Dynamite (5 stars)
Book: America (the Book)
Iraq: February - 38
Total - 1478

Thursday, February 17, 2005


I am about as left-handed as can be. The left-handed population in the United States is between 9% and 10% of the general population. Statistics show that a left-handed person is more apt to be schizophrenic, alcoholic, delinquent, dyslexic, have Crohn's Disease, ulcerative colitis, or mental disabilities. Luckily, I have none of these. Lefties are also more likely to have accidents or die young. While I did have a reputation in my younger years as being rather accident prone, I am still alive. A recent study in France states that while a left-handed person has some distinct disadvantages, they do have one advantage that shows up more in primitive civilizations that makes up for the disadvantages that they do have. This is the advantage of surprise. Primitive societies are generally more violent and in a violent society, a left-handed person has a distinct advantage because everyone will have experience fighting a right-handed person but a left-handed person is definitely a surprise. I am a very civilized person who lives in a civilized society, so this is not an advantage for me. A study by St. Lawrence University in New York also found that there were more left-handed people with IQ's above 140 than right-handed people. Some examples of this include Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, and Isaac Newton. So, a left-handed person is more likely to be gifted or compromised than a right-handed person. I actually end up in both categories.

Movie: Dead Like Me (Season 1, episode 9) (5 stars)
Music: Mexican Wine - Fountains of Wayne
Book: America (the Book)
Iraq: February - 30
Total - 1470

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Politics, Art, and Oddness

My post yesterday proved the point I made on the day before. I really had nothing to say, so I said nothing. Today, I happened to see three things that were worth commenting on. All a bit ridiculous but for different reasons. First, one of my favorite museums that I have never been to, the Contemporary Art Center in Cincinnati is featuring a show called State of Sabotage. The theme of this show was government or corporate power over the individual. One of the featured artists, Robert Jelinek had done several fantasy passports for the exhibition. I have seen this artists work and the passports are very good although the countries listed are completely fantastic as are the countries the subjects traveled to. Having said that they made a strong statement against totalitarianism. Jelinek's bags were searched when he arrived at Detroit Metro Airport. The Department of Homeland Security thought that these items could be harmful if imported into the United States so they were confiscated. Jelinek was unaware that this had happened until he arrived in Cincinnati and found a receipt from the Department of Homeland Security for the items. As I said before, while the passports were of very good quality, they were not real and they couldn't be mistaken for a real passport if they were looked at. This is just power trying to protect itself and it is just ridiculous.

Everyone has seen the images of dogs playing poker. They are the height of kitsch. The images are on cardboard prints, velvet paintings, carpets, and other things. The images are ubiquitous. The artist, Cassius Marcellus Coolidge, originally painted 9 dogs playing poker paintings in 1903, two of which were auctioned this weekend at Doyle's in New York. Doyle's has an annual dogs in art auction that coincides with the Westminster Kennel Club dog show. The paintings were expected to go for between $30,000 and $50,000. While the images are humorous, because of the ubiquity of the images, this seems like a lot to me. The two paintings sold to a private buyer in New York for $590,400. This just boggles my mind. I would think the fact that the images are so well known would lower their value, but having said that, the Mona Lisa is extremely well known and images of that painting can also be found all over the place.

Movie: Dead Like Me (Season 1, episodes 7 and 8) (5 stars)
Music: Doubt - Jesus Jones
Book: America (the Book)
Iraq: February - 29
Total - 1469

Tuesday, February 15, 2005


My day was utterly routine and I saw nothing in the news that I felt needed commenting on, so today's update ends here.

Music: Paranoid Android - Radiohead
Movie: Dead Like Me (Season 1, Episode 6) (5 stars)
Iraq: February - 23
Total - 1463

Monday, February 14, 2005

An odd one

Regular readers of this blog might notice that my updates vary by the day. Sometimes my updates are personal, some relate to the oddball things that happen in life, and some are related to the political situation in the United States that I am opposed to. While I might know what I'm going to write about before I start writing, I couldn't give anyone a schedule as to what I'm going to write about on any given day. Having said that, I probably talk about most of my charity stuff during the weekend because that's when I do most of it. So what am I going to talk about tonight? I guess some personal stuff which I have just talked about, some charity stuff, and definitely some oddball stuff. So I mentioned yesterday that I did a Chinese New Year celebration. This was with SASC, a group that I have been with for about 20 months. They provide volunteers to various nonprofits for various events. While I was there, a couple of my friends that were there told me about another group that essentially does the same thing. SASC has been pretty slow, so people have been looking for another place to do things. The group is called One Brick, and from what I have seen, it looks pretty good.

The big winner at the Grammys last night was Ray Charles. I was very happy to see that Loretta Lynn and Kanye West won at least one, although the winner of the Best New Artist Grammy, Maroon5, thought that Kanye West should have won that Grammy as well.

A story in the Chicago Tribune today just cracked me up. A pet turtle and hamster were also part of the haul of three burglars in Chicago on Sunday. The burglars also stole three fake furs, a playstation2, some jewelry, and money. They caught two of the burglars, who were brothers, at their home. They later implicated a third burglar who was picked up later that night. I keep trying to go through why they would think that stealing a turtle or a hamster might be a good idea. What is the black market value for a hamster or a turtle?

Music: I'm Old Fashioned - John Coltrane
Movie: Dead Like Me (season 1, episode 4 and 5) (5 stars)
Iraq: February -22
Total - 1462

Sunday, February 13, 2005


I had a great day today. I got to talk to my friend Sharon at the Sunny Ridge Chinese New Year celebration. I haven't talked to her in a while and it was good to catch up with her. I am now watching the Grammys and while it's not a bad show and there have been some great performances (i.e. Kanye West and the Jamie Foxx/Alicia Keys duet), it isn't the greatest that I've seen. Anyway, because I'm watching the show, I don't want to talk long. I will be more verbose tomorrow.

Music: The Grammys Show
Movie: The Grammy Show
Iraq: Febrary - 21
Total - 1461

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Where did the day go?

Its amazing how busy you can be and still accomplish nothing. I took today as a day of rest because I have been incredibly busy this week and will be again tomorrow. Tuesday was book club, Wednesday was Ash Wednesday, Thursday I helped hang the Critical Mass Art Show and on Friday was the Critical Mass Art Show. I have worked three days in the last week collecting and hanging the art and saw some really cool stuff. I did see some stuff that really interested me so much that I was interested in buying but the show does not work like a typical gallery show. In a typical gallery show, the gallery works as the go-between between the buyer and the seller. The High School Gallery, where the show was, is not a typical gallery. It acts as a collective (not for profit) and is simply a space for artists to show their work. If an artist wants to sell their work, the buyer and seller have to meet and work out the terms between themselves. Unfortunately, the artist that did the work that I was most interested in (that was for sale) didn't come to the show, so while she had a price, there was no one there to take my money. There was another work that I saw and was interested in and I talked to the artist and we talked about a price, but she left before I decided. The show was a lot of fun, I got to hang out with a lot of my friends and meet several other people.

Today, I started going through my email, which I had neglected for several days, and when I saw that was going to take a while, I went to pay some bills, bought groceries, and got my car washed. I then came back and finished going through my email and perused the message boards of a website that I am active on. I finally watched a couple of episodes of Dead Like Me on DVD which brings us up to now. Tomorrow, I am going to help with a Chinese New Year Celebration with Sunny Ridge, a charity that provides pregnancy counseling and adoption assistance.

Movie: Dead Like Me (Season 1, episodes 2 and 3) (5 stars)
Music: Dollars and Cents - Radiohead
Book: America (the Book)
Iraq: February - 17
Total - 1457

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Art Show Set Up

I went today to help my friend set up for the Critical Mass Art Show which will be happening tomorrow. I helped on Sunday, to collect some of the work and saw some pretty cool stuff. Today we looked at what we have and figured out how we would place it. There was some really cool work of all types of media; painting, photography, sculpture, collages, digital art, and cardboard sculpture. We did a pretty good job of placing the work throughout the space, making sure it didn't clash with work near it, and made sure the pieces were lit properly. It was some hard work but it was fun and I was helping a friend out. The show opens tomorrow, hopefully it will go well.

Music: Dad, There's This Thing Called Too Much Information - Out Hud
Book: America (the Book)
Iraq: February - 13
Total - 1453

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Chicago Climate Exchange

We had the vice president of Chicago Climate Exchange come to give a talk for our annual invitational lecture series today. This is a market based method to reduce greenhouse gases. The system is run on a mercantile exchange method. Every participant is audited in order to determine a baseline for their emissions. The total amount of emissions of the participants is determined, a goal is determined to lower these total emissions over a given time, and all participants are given points based on their baseline emissions. A goal is set for every year, a credit is given if the goal is met, and a debit, which must be made up by buying credits, is given to those members that don't make their goal. The idea looks pretty good, but there are problems. The first that I thought of when I heard this is that this is a market and markets can be manipulated. I bring up as an example, Enron's energy market and the manipulations that they did to drive up prices in California. Another possible problem is the fact that the present administration is anti-environment and the drive to reduce pollution is greatly reduced. It really isn't in a polluter's fiscal best interest to reduce their emissions. Finally, this point was brought up by my father when I talked to him about it and I thought it was pretty good so I thought I would include it. Pollution is not static and if several polluters in a region decide it is fiscally better to buy credits than to improve their emissions, the air quality downwind of these polluters does not improve, even if there are polluters in the polluted area that have improved substantially. The Climate Exchange might work as a part of an overall pollution reduction program but it has some serious problems on its own.

Music: Planet Telex - Radiohead
Movie: Dead Like Me (vol. 1) (5 Stars)
Book: America (the Book) by the writers of the Daily Show
Iraq: February - 9
Total - 1449

Monday, February 07, 2005


I saw this story today and it immediately reminded me of my oldest nephew. A 4 year old in Sand Lake, MI, a small town about 20 miles north of Grand Rapids, left his apartment at about 1:30 AM on Friday morning. He got into his mother's car and drove it to the video store which is about 1/4 mile from his house. He couldn't reach the gas pedal, but he was able to put it into drive and idled it to the video store. When he saw that the video store was closed, he drove back home. A police officer saw the car slowly weaving back without lights to the apartment and thought it was a car that had been left running at a gas station. He turned his lights on when the car struck two parked cars. The boy then backed up and hit the police car. His mother was unaware that her son was even up, let alone driving her car. Neither the boy nor the mother were charged with anything. This reminds me of my nephew Alexander because of an incident that happened almost a year ago when he was three. It was an afternoon and everyone was napping. Alexander woke up and crawled out of his crib. He then left his room, went downstairs into the kitchen, got a chair to get into a childproof cabinet, and got the car keys. He then got down, unlocked the garage door and went into the garage. He opened the garage door, unlocked the car door and got in. He put the key in the ignition and turned it and luckily freaked out when the car started. My sister heard him crying and ran down to find him crying in the car. His parents have now taken to hiding the keys where he won't find them despite the fact that the incident likely scared him enough that he probably won't do it again. (Hopefully)

Music: The Go in the Go-For-It by Grandaddy
Book: Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Iraq: February - 9
Total - 1449

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Critical Mass Art Show and January Casualties in Iraq

Next Friday will be the annual Critical Mass Art Show. Today was one of the days that were used to receive art works. It is an unjuried show. That is, anyone who wants to show something will be given a forum and be allowed to show their work. The theme of the show is anti-car or at least pro-bike. I volunteered today to help receive the work that came in. A lot of the work that came in was from people that aren't artists as such, but just people that had something to show. Having said that, while there was some stuff that was pretty amateurish, there was some stuff that was really good. In fact, there was some work that I really like and I may buy it when it goes up. It was pretty fun hanging out waiting for stuff today. One of my friends is the person running the show and a few other friends showed up to help out. In addition to us, their was also some work done making banners for the anti-car show parade and protest outside the actual car show next Saturday.

In Iraq, their were 107 American military killed in January. Information can be found at Iraq Coalition Casualties. Their names are as follows:

January 1: Lcpl. Brian P. Parello, Spc. Jeff LeBrun

January 3: Sgt. Thomas E. Houser

January 4: PFC Curtis L. Wooten III, Spc. Jeremy W. McHalffey, Sp. Joshua S. Marcum, Spc. Jimmy D. .Buie, Pvt. Cory R. Depew, Sgt. Benny J. Washington

January 6: Lcpl. Julio C. Cisneros-Alvares, SFC Kurt J. Comeaux, Sgt. Christopher J. Babin, Spc. Bradley J. Bergeron, Spc. Huey P. L. Fassbender, Spc. Armand L . Frickey, Sgt. Zachariah Scott Davis, PFC Kenneth G. Vonronn, Spc. Warren A. Murphy

January 7: PFC Daniel F. Guastaferro

January 9: Spc. Dwane James McFarlane Jr., Cpl. Joseph E. Fite

January 10: SSgt William F. Manuel, Sgt. Robert Wesley Sweeney III

January 11: Spc. Michael J. Smith

January 13: SFC Brian A. Mack, Lcpl Matthew W. Holloway, Lcpl Juan Rodrigo Rodriguez Velasco, PFC Gunnar D. Becker

January 14: Cpl Paul C. Holter III

January 15: Sgt. Jayton D. Patterson, Sgt. Nathaniel T. Swindell

January 16: Spc. Alain L. Kamolvathin

January 17: PFC George R. Geer, PFC Francis C. Obaji, PFC Jesus Fonseca, SSgt. Thomas E. Vitagliano

January 18: Capt. Christopher J. Sullivan

January 21: Capt. Joe Fenton Lusk II, Sgt. Kyle William Childress

January 22: 1st Lt. Nainoa K. Hoe

January 23: Ssgt Jose C. Rangel

January 24: Spc. Viktar V. Yolkin, Ssgt. Joseph W. Stevens, PFC Jose A. Leon-Perez, Sgt. Leonard W. Adams, Sgt. Javier Marin Jr., Sgt. Michael C. Carlson, Sgt. Brett D. Swank

January 26: Sgt. Jesse W. Strong, Sgt. William S. Kinzer Jr., Lcpl Karl R. Linn, Cpl. Christopher L. Weaver, Lcpl Tony L. Hernandez, Cpl. Sean P. Kelly, Sgt. Michael W. Finke Jr., Lcpl. Gael Saintvil, Lcpl. Rhonald Dain Rairdan, Cpl. Jonathan W. Bowling, Lcpl. Hector Ramos, Cpl. James Lee Moore, Cpl. Richard A. Gilbert Jr., Ssgt Brian D. Bland, Cpl. Kyle J. Grimes, 1st Lt. Dustin M. Shumney, Lcpl Brian C. Hopper, Lcpl. Saeed Jafarkhani-Torshizi Jr., Lcpl. Allan Klein, PO3 John Daniel House, Cpl. Timothy M. Gibson, Lcpl. Mourad Ragimov, Lcpl. Darrell J. Schumann, 1st Lt. Travis J. Fuller, Lcpl. Michael L. Starr Jr., Cpl. Stephen P. Johnson, Lcpl. Fred L. Maciel, Capt. Lyle L. Gordon, Ssgt. Dexter S. Kimble, Lcpl. Jonathan Edward Etterling, Spc. Taylor J. Burk, Cpl. Matthew R. Smith, Cpl. Nathaniel K. Moore, Lcpl. Joseph B. Spence, Cpl. Nathan A. Shubert, Cpl. Timothy A. Knight, Cpl. Paul C. Alaniz

January 27: PFC Kevin M. Luna, Cpl. Jonathan S. Beatty

January 28: PFC Stephen A. Castellano, SSgt. Joseph E. Rodriguez, Spc. Lyle W. Rymer II, Ssgt Jonathan Ray Reed, Spc. Michael S. Evans II, Capt. Orlando A. Bonilla, Sgt. Andrew K. Farrar Jr., Spc. Christopher J. Ramsey, CWO Charles S. Jones, SFC Mickey E. Zaun

January 29: Lt. Com. Edward E. Jack, Sgt. Lindsey T. James, Lt. Com. Keith Edward Taylor, Civ. Barbara Heald

January 30: PFC James H. Miller IV, Lcpl. Nazario Serrano

January 31: SFC Mark C. Warren, Lcpl. Harry R. Swain IV, Lcpl. Jason C. Redifer, Cpl. Christopher E. Zimny

Book: Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Music: Example One - Flux Information Sciences
Iraq: February - 9
Total - 1449

Saturday, February 05, 2005


I really had a nothing day today. I didn't read the news so I don't know what happened today. I spent the day listening to music deciding what would go on my iRiver and reading Life of Pi. My book club will be discussing it on Tuesday and I hadn't gotten very far in the book. I'm going to busy tomorrow helping a gallery set up for an art show on Friday so I won't have much time to read and I want to know that I have time to finish it so I don't want to have much to read on Monday.

Book: Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Music: Equinox - Hrvatski
Movie: The Ladykillers (Coen brothers remake) (5 stars)
Iraq: February - 7
Total: 1447 ( I will document the American casualties for January tomorrow)

Friday, February 04, 2005


While the title of this post is pretty morbid and it is what I am going to be talking about, I will try not to be too depressing. I mentioned in my previous post about the death of Ossie Davis. Actor John Vernon, who's major claim to fame was as Dean Wormer in Animal House, also died February 1 at his home in Los Angeles of complications from heart surgery. He was 72. Other credits included Clint Eastwood movies Outlaw Josey Wales and Dirty Harry. He also reprised Dean Wormer in the TV series Delta House, he played a psychiatrist in Airplane II: The Sequel, he played Police Chief Ferret in Fraternity Vacation, and the underworld figure, Mr. Big, in I'm Gonna Get You Sucka.

California State University student, Matthew Carrington, who was pledging for fraternity Chi Tau died of water intoxication while drinking water from a five gallon jug. I had heard that this was possible a long time ago but this was the first time I had ever heard the mechanism. A few of my friends and I had discussed how too much water may become poisonous and we were actually pretty close to what happens. If a person drinks too much water, especially while exercising, a person's blood plasma increases while the electrolyte concentration decreases. Electrolytes are neurotransmitters and a loss of neurotransmitters would just cause your body to shut down. A parody website listing the dangers of water (which they properly call dihydrogen monoxide) lists the dangers of water. This is very good satire that is funny because its true.

Movie: Coboy Bebop (vol. 6) (5 stars)
Music: Jetty - Tortoise
Book: Life of Pi by Yann Partel
Iraq: December - 107
January - 6
Total - 1446

Actor Ossie Davis (pictured here with actress wife Ruby Dee) was found dead in his hotel room in Miami today. He was 87. He was in Miami working on a new movie, Retirement. Mr. Davis was a star of stage and screen with credits including Roots, Grumpy Old Men, Bubba Hotep, and the TV show Evening Shade.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Roadkill Rage, the State of the Union, and Publicity

I ran across this story today and really don't know how I feel about it except that it is a story of true absurdity and I thought that I would put it out. The rule of the woods is that if you kill a deer, you bring it out of the woods. On the street, things are a little gray. The person that hits it has first dibs, although if they don't want it, it goes to the first person that does. This was where the story starts. A nice 10 point buck was hit by a car and killed near a forest preserve in Des Plaines. The person that hit it reported the kill and said that he didn't want it. Two people were informed about it, a Des Plaines police officer and a disabled ironworker from Glenview. The police officer arrived there first and the ironworker was fine with that until he saw that the policeman was just taking the head. Even though he was offered the meat, he didn't think that the deer should have been butchered at the street. After the meat had sat there for 8 hours, he delivered the headless body to the Des Plaines PD and was promptly charged with littering and disorderly conduct (which was later dropped). I think that the cop should have taken the deer but I think the ironworker should have also taken the meat.

The State of the Union address was last night. I have very little to say about this except that it was more of the same, I didn't like it, and I will do what I can to fight his policies.

I told several of my friends the address to this blog about a month ago and my hit rate tripled. I added the address to this blog to my profile on Care2, which is essentially a Friendster for liberal activists. Hopefully my hit rate will increase more.

Music: Split Personality - Matthew Sweet
Book: Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Iraq: January - 107
February - 2
Total - 1442

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Groundhog's Day

Today is Groundhog's Day and groundhogs all over the country let the country know whether we will have six weeks of winter or an early spring. The leading prognosticator Punxsatawney Phil in Punsatawney, PA did see his shadow so was predicting six more weeks of winner. One of Phil's leading competitors, Gen. Beauregard Lee of Lilburn, GA, who is nephew of Gen. Robert E. Lee and has been predicting the start of spring with a success rate of 97%, saw rain and was predicting an early spring. Marion, OH's, Buckeye Chuck agreed with Phil and St. Johnsbury, Vt's Pudding Hill Pete had something to say on everything but the weather. Having said all of this, why do woodchucks come out in the middle of winter? While the famous woodchucks are coaxed out, the average joe woodchuck comes out briefly in midwinter as well. They don't care about the weather, they are looking for love. It isn't that Valentines Day is close, it's just that there is a small window for the baby woodchucks to survive, to early and there won't be enough grass to eat when they come out, too late and they won't have enough time to fatten for winter. The male woodchuck is a bit of a gentleman however. For the first few dates he comes to visit the female to see how she is. It is only after he mates and the pups are born that he heads for the hills.

Movie: Insomnia (the foreign version ) (4 stars)
Music: The Flaming Lips - Sleeping on the Roof
Book: Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Iraq: January - 106
February - 1
Total - 1440

The stars and weather prognosticators of Groundhog's Day