August 31, 2009

Thus Endeth Summer

Today I watched as Connor got into the school bus that takes him to Jr. High School. He skipped and hummed his way across the gravel driveway, sending happy river rock to and fro amidst small puffs of dirt clouds. So happy, such adventure. Of course I am having my own sense of dread, as I do whenever he is on his own.

As a parent worst case scenarios rule the day in our overactive, overprotective minds. When your kid is not festooned with the normal defense's you worry even more about someones malice. In my world view the vast majority of people are decent and helpful. So the bus heads up the hill to make its awkward U-turn, I whisper a prayer, requesting a higher power to intercede.

Tina is working the next town up. I am about two miles away.

The kids are still on hiatus from collage. When they start we will have to figure out how to get him on the bus and off the bus. I can adjust my schedule a bit, Tina has some leeway as well. So that just leaves the no school days when we work to figure out.

Life's little challenges, HUZZAH!

So lessee, I'm almost mended from my surgery. I still have annoyances from same. My job may be gone due to lack of funding in about two years. Tina was able to get a full time job with the school system. My back yard is in need of attention. The economy is sinking Government is growing. We live in interesting times.

August 30, 2009

Mary's room

I came across a thought experiment called Mary's Room. This could be one of those things were I am the last one on planet earth to hear about it, nontheless here it is:

Mary is a brilliant scientist who is, for whatever reason, forced to investigate the world from a black and white room via a black and white television monitor. She specializes in the neurophysiology of vision and acquires, let us suppose, all the physical information there is to obtain about what goes on when we see ripe tomatoes, or the sky, and use terms like ‘red’, ‘blue’, and so on. She discovers, for example, just which wavelength combinations from the sky stimulate the retina, and exactly how this produces via the central nervous system the contraction of the vocal cords and expulsion of air from the lungs that results in the uttering of the sentence ‘The sky is blue’. [...] What will happen when Mary is released from her black and white room or is given a color television monitor? Will she learn anything or not?

More info can be found here.

August 29, 2009

It could have been worse... Maybe...

The best that can be said about Ted Kennedy's funeral is, It could have been worse.

The celebrant, who strove to avoid masculine references to God in the liturgy (his verbal substitutions plainly clashing with the voices of others sticking to the approved texts), managed to forget the Mysterium Fidei during the Eucharistic Prayer, and later asked the congregation join him "in the words Our Father taught us."

The homily, which started well enough but steadily deteriorated, fell into various holes like (I'm quoting from memory): "the fruits of [Kennedy's] work in politics well-prepared him for God's kingdom" (Lord, I hope that's not what he really meant); and "Kennedy tied his faith to justice in the land" (good grief, justice? for millions of unborn babies in the land? was that the fruit of Teddy's faith?); and "we are confident that Kennedy has entered into the new dwelling of God" (maybe you are, Father).

The kid's intercessions came out as unabashed advertisements for Democratic Party policy goals.

Mercifully, all the major networks used a single video feed, and pretty obviouslysomebody got to somebody ahead of time and ordered "Don't, under any circumstances, show the Communion lines!", so we were spared wincing as this famous Catholic pro-abort or that approached the Eucharist.

And finally, whodathunkit?, President Obama's eulogy, though offered in violation of liturgical law, was actually the most palatable of what turned out to be threeeulogies offered in violation of liturgical law, the first, Teddy Jr.'s, being maudlin, but mostly coherent if at times inappropriately partisan, while the second, that of Rep. Pat Kennedy, was embarrassingly pathetic and even included a joke about "that damn Kennedy" from the sanctuary. Sigh.

But what, in the end, most struck me, through whole ceremony, was how oblivious all the participants seemed to be (again, with the sole exception of Obama, who at least made one veiled reference to Kennedy's "public faults", and who was the only speaker to offer a prayer for Teddy's soul), how oblivious, I say, all the participants were to Ted Kennedy's disgraceful and chronic failings to defend the natural right to life (e.g., abortion, embryonic stem cell research), his refusal to protect the natural institution of marriage lately under such attack, and his bad example on a host of other issues of importance to Catholics and to the country. While a funeral is no place to rehearse, say, a man's role in the death of a beautiful young woman, such events and conduct should have, I think, instilledsome restraint in the rush to proclaim the man's accomplishments. (As for those "accomplishments", well, if one is wedded to the idea of a gigantic state, then Teddy's accomplishments were admittedly many. But if you're not enamored of statism, one might say that the damage Teddy helped inflict on the nation was great.) Instead, one speaker after another gushed on and on about Ted.

The whole experience left me less hopeful about "dialogue" on life issues (not that I was very hopeful to begin with): we are, it seems clear, talking to people who haveno sense of the enormity of the crimes being committed daily against the innocent. None. None.

So, as I said, the best one can say about Ted Kennedy's Catholic funeral (
to which, yes, he had a right, in accord with law) is, it could have been worse.

I suppose.

--thanks to Edward N. Peters, JD, JCD.

August 28, 2009


With the Senators passing there has been many newspaper pendents lionizing the Senator. Two more practical writings I read came from Daniel Hannan and Susan Estrich. They have different takes from that of the state controlled press.

As a Catholic Ted Kennedy's have always been a bit of an embarrassment, his stance on abortion and the entire Mary Jo Kopechne incident. Still I want to believe that the soul of Ted Kennedy will see God face to face. I desire this for every soul. I know not all will see God.

That said…

Do rules which apply to all Catholic apply to Sen. Kennedy? He has always seemed to be the Exception. Are there special rules in the Catholic Church for the Kennedy Clan?

Does canon law and liturgical law apply to the Kennedy Clan?

I have seen it written Pres. Obama is slated to give a eulogy during a Funeral Mass for the late Sen. Kennedy. The Rite of Christian Funerals 141 says: “A brief homily based on the readings is always given after the gospel reading at the funeral liturgy and may also be given after the readings at the vigil service; but there is never to be a eulogy.”

The 2000 GIRM 338 says: "At the funeral Mass there should as a rule be a short homily, but never a eulogy of any kind. The homily is also recommended at other Masses for the dead celebrated with a congregation."

Eulogies are inappropriate during a Catholic Funeral Mass. There is no given exclusion. Further, will the sight of the most aggressively pro-abortion President in history giving a eulogy, in a Catholic church… during a Mass… for the most aggressively pro-abortion Catholic Senator give scandal to the Catholic faithful?

This is a very difficult thing to see such a wanton disregard for a groups beliefs.

Much easier is the question of should Sen. Kennedy have a Catholic funeral?

Perhaps. It depends on whether he showed some adequate sign of repentance before his death. We have to be lenient on that point. Given what I have read of Sen. Kennedy’s last hours, I would not oppose this. It is disturbing, due to his decades long unrepentant support of abortion, and the scandal that caused. However, the Church’s law is very lenient. Thanks be to God.

August 26, 2009

Ideal mass for height distribution on species: Human.

I have a twofold quandry: I hit the 204 weight last week. I am hoping to crack the 200 lb mark in a couple of weeks. From that point on it is a matter of what I can maintain weighing without wanting to eat small dogs and children for snacks.

Now, my main goal is to get off of my diabetic meds. So whatever I weigh that allows for that is a good thing. Next is to figure out how much I should weigh... This is a bit more complicated then you would think.

A google search did not add clarity. This lack of helpful info for instance "Ideal body weight is determined by several factors, such as age, muscle-fat ratio, height, sex, and bone density." Which is all well and good, except no place does it mention how to find any of these.

Next up is the waist-to-hip ratio. This is a measurement that compares the circumference of your belly area to that of your hips. If the circumference of your belly is roughly equal to or greater than that of your hips, you’re storing too much abdominal fat. I

Using a measuring tape, measure the circumference of your waist at belly button level and of your hips at the level of your hipbones. Now divide the first number by the second. For women, a ratio of 0.80 or less is considered healthy. For men, ratios under 0.93.

Next up is BMI (Body Mass Index) which is a calculation. THe BMI dates to the 19Th century, the term "body mass index" for the ratio and its popularity date to a 1972 paper by Ancel Keys, which found the BMI to be the best proxy for body fat percentage among ratios of weight and height.

According to the calculator My BMI Is 28.2 which puts me as Overweight, but not Obese... It should be noted that Arnold Schwarzenegger during his body building days weighed around 235 lbs. Height: 6'2" His BMI was 43.1 which means he was morbidly obese then...

Met Life came up with a table that I should weigh between 146 to 184 (actually a bit more as I hover a pesky 1/2 inch below the six foot mark). This gap is due to my unknown frame size.

"Bend forearm upward at a 90 degree angle. Keep fingers straight and turn the inside of your wrist toward your body. Place thumb and index finger of other hand on the two prominent bones on either side of the elbow. Measure space between your fingers on a ruler. Compare with tables listing elbow measurements for medium-framed men and women."

Is it just me or is this seem a bit sloppy, in the scientific measurement process? Most of the methods are adapted from doctors calculating how much of some kind of drug will kill you. Kind of like the "You did not drink to much, your just underweight!" argument.

When I entered High School I weighed 135 pounds. At graduation I was 185. I should note that I have always been in the fairly strong catagory.

When I met Tina I was around 190 and married I around 200. By that reckoning, being around 195 sounds about right. That puts my Resting Metabolic Rate at 2142 calories a day burned, which is easily doable.

I am suprised that no one has a high fiveable method for seeing how much you should weigh.

John Stossel's Take: Commentary from Co-Anchor of ABC News' "20/20"

08/25/2009 2:44 PM

"Choice, competition, reducing costs -- those are the things that I want to see accomplished in this health reform bill," President Obama told talk-show host Michael Smerconish last week.

Choice and competition would be good. They would indeed reduce costs. If only the President meant it. Or understood it.

In a free market, a business that is complacent about costs learns that its prices are too high when it sees lower-cost competitors winning over its customers. The market -- actually, the consumer -- holds businesses accountable and keeps them honest. No "public option" is needed.

So the hope for reducing medical costs indeed lies in competition and choice. Today competition is squelched by government regulation and privilege.

But Obama's so-called reforms would not create real competition and choice. They would prohibit it.

In place of the variety of products that competition would generate, we would be forced "choose" among virtually identical insurance plans. Government would define these plans down to the last detail. Every one would have at least the same "basic" coverage, including physical exams, maternity benefits, well-baby care, alcoholism treatment, and mental-health services. Consumers could not buy a cheap, high-deductible catastrophic policy. Every insurance company would have to use an identical government-designed pricing structure. Prices would be the same for sick and healthy.

In this respect, it wouldn't matter whether or not Congress created a "public option," a government insurance plan. In either case, bureaucrats would dictate virtually every aspect of the health-insurance business.

What Obama says in favor of a public option -- as of today, at least -- tells us how little he understands competition.

A letter from one of my Representatives.

Dear Mr. Kiester:

Thank you for contacting me with your concerns about health care reform. I appreciate hearing from you.

In adopting reforms to the system of providing health care in the United States, Congress and the President should take heed of the adage "First, do no harm". Many Americans, particularly the 160 million who benefit from employer provided health insurance are happy with their coverage, their chosen doctor and the coverage provided under their plan.

I believe that reform should not be paid for by taxing the benefits of those already covered. They should not force anyone to change plans or providers. Finally, expanded coverageto the uninsured should not add to the ballooning federal deficit.

That said there are problems with our existing system. I've talked with small business owners who have seen their insurance renewals denied because one employee became sick or was injured. Others have complained about sustained policy price increases or exclusions of existing medical problems. These types of complaints point towards the insurance reform I have been pushing for 20 years; to have the insurance industry play by the same rules as other industries in America. Insurance companies and Major League Baseball are the only two industries exempt from anti-trust laws. That means insurance companies can legally collude to raise prices and exclude individuals from coverage. I have introduced legislation, H.R. 1583, to repeal this exemption. The Consumer Federation of American estimates that repealing the anti-trust exemption could help lower healthcare premiums by 10 percent.

The plan being considered in the House would focus on a few key factors. First and most importantly, it would make sure that every American has comprehensive health insurance that they know they cannot lose even if they lose their job or get sick. It would stop insurance companies from denying coverage to people based on preexisting condition. It would guarantee coverage to all Americans with a minimum package of benefits. For the millions of people who have insurance through their employer nothing will change. For Individuals and small businesses that do not have or cannot afford to provide insurance, they would be able to get affordable insurance by choosing from a "health insurance exchange". This exchange would give them a wide array of insurance plans to choose from, including, if they so choose, a public option. They can choose the plan and level of benefits they want. If they want to pay extra for a premium plan, they can. If they want just the basic package, they can choose that as well. The idea of an exchange is to pool risk, meaning the premiums paid for the plans in the exchange are put into one big pot which will lower premiums for everyone. Furthermore, there would be limited subsidies for lower income families and individuals to make sure everyone can afford coverage.

The insurance industry wants it both ways. They complain about the prospect of a public plan option as "unfair competition" while at the same time they are fighting tooth and nail to retain the antitrust exemptions so they don't have to truly compete with one another. They don't want reform. They want profits. As a result they and their allies are doing their best to frighten the public about what the health reform proposal currently being written inCongress will or will not do.

Opponents say that the bill would lead to fewer choices for Americans to choose their plan or doctor. The truth is the proposals being considered in the House will increase choice by giving people the ability to choose from an array of private and public health insurance options. Most importantly, if you like the doctor or plan that you have now, you can keep it. The bill will simply give people more choices, especially since one of the critical reforms is taking away the insurance industry's ability to deny coverage and care.

Some have warned that the bill would "ration care". The bill would actually take medical decisions away from insurance companies and put them in the hands of doctors, nurses and patients. No longer will insurance companies, whose primary goal is profits, dictate what care patients receive.

Some people warn of the "Canadian System" of people waiting in line to receive care and having to come to America to get a needed procedure. This is a bogus argument because the plans being considered in Congress today are nothing like the Canadian or European systems. What we are considering is an American system, based on choice and savings.

Simply put, we must do something soon or we face a health insurance crisis. The 47 million Americans in our country today lack health insurance get their health care in the most expensive way imaginable; by waiting until it's too late and going to an emergency room. The cost of this care is then passed on to the rest of us who have health insurance at the rate of over $100 billion a year in increased premiums and higher taxes. If we don't act now, the cost an employer-sponsored family health insurance plan will reach $24,000 by 2016 forcing most American households to spend 45% of their income on health insurance. This is unacceptable to me.

To be clear, I fully support the idea that people who are happy with their health insurance should be able to keep what they have. However, the cost of not doing anything is too great for all of us.


Rep. Peter DeFazio
Fourth District, OREGON

August 25, 2009

Define Normal

  • Main Entry: 1nor·mal
  • Pronunciation: \ˈnȯr-məl\
  • Function: adjective
  • Etymology: Latin normalis, from norma
  • Date: circa 1696

1 : perpendicular; especially : perpendicular to a tangent at a point of tangency
2 a : according with, constituting, or not deviating from a norm, rule, or principle b : conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern
3 : occurring naturally <normal immunity>
4 a : of, relating to, or characterized by average intelligence or development b : free from mental disorder :sane
5 a of a solution : having a concentration of one gram equivalent of solute per liter b : containing neither basic hydroxyl nor acid hydrogen <normal silver phosphate> c : not associated <normal molecules> d :having a straight-chain structure <normal butyl alcohol>
6 of a subgroup : having the property that every coset produced by operating on the left by a given element is equal to the coset produced by operating on the right by the same element
7 : relating to, involving, or being a normal curve or normal distribution <normal approximation to the binomial distribution>
8 of a matrix : having the property of commutativity under multiplication by the transpose of the matrix each of whose elements is a conjugate complex number with respect to the corresponding element of the given matrix

August 24, 2009

Blizzard Winning WoW movie (with apologies to steve)

Sorry about another WoW posting Steve. This video is an original song by Cranius animated via the wow game engine by Legs. It won the Blizzcon 2009 Movie made by Fans Contest. Congrats to them. (Watching on You Tube in High Def is recommended).

Explanation for those wondering(or just still reading): First a bit of background. The Massivly Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game, World of Warcraft, is a computer game for the PC and Mac. You are playing with\against a possible 11 million other folks. This is a monthly fee for play and competes directly with televison (but more social) as a form of entertainment.

You create a Character or Avatar, who then explores vast area's of a computer generated world, you can do tasks called Quests, and team up with groups of five to forty people to acomplish some quests. These people are either down the block or on the other side of the world and you interact with them either typing or via voice. As you continue with your Avatar you will gather equipment and abilities that allow you to do more difficult tasks (Levelling). When you play WoW you can choose to be on a server (copy of the world) that caters to actors (Role Players), or plain vanilla (normal), or Player .vs. Player (PVP).

Another aspect of the game allows you to go head to head with other Real Life players or Player .vs. Player (PVP). Playing against another thinking person is much more of a challenge (usually) then playing against the Artifical Intelligence of the computer.

Now relating that to the above Fan Movie. Cranius, the writer\singer of the movie is a big PVP guy and plays on a PVP server. As such he has an acomplished character which has scaled the pinnacle of achievement, This is his Main character. In the video he starts out playing an Alternate character (ALT you can have several alt's for variety). Another player with a higher level (better gear and higher level), kills him in PVP fashion then begins Camping his body. Camping is a way to cause some one Grief in the game, it is considered bad form and can get you a pretty bad reputation.

In the movie the title refers to logging out your Alt and getting your Main to teach someone a lesson.

Hopefully that explination and the Lyrics will tell the rest of the tale.

Oh, if your interested in trying out an online game I can get you a free one week play.

August 23, 2009

The lost art of debate.

Once upon a time, someone used the phrase "Straw Man Argument" I had no clue what that meant so I headed to the Jr. High Library and found some information about fallacious arguments.

A List Of Fallacious Arguments Something like this list provided via the information superhighway. (Thank you Al Gore!)

As of late there has been lots of dissent over health care and the general direction of our country. Some opinions are very strong, well worded with real world examples to draw conclusions upon. Other opinions are barking a party line.

While some tend to use tricks to deal with the issues while not dealing with them. Or President loves the Straw Man argument and has been diligently using this device with nearly each of his pleadings of support on his version of Health Care.

There are accepted ways to argue, debate teams are a prime example of this. Being able to argue either side of an issue really gives you a good clear understanding of the issue. This would be regardless of your personal belief.

There is a big difference between discussion and debate and argument. Recognizing a straw man, for instance, for what it is can give you a clearer picture. Same with other debate tactics.

August 22, 2009

Behind think of the Goodwins law..

"There is a trajectory of socialism, regardless of the good intentions of many socialists. As he framed it, you take things such as health care, things that are traditionally understood as within the ambit of individual liberty and free choice; you move such things into the ambit of state responsibility as the welfare state emerges and grows, on the theory that it is government’s responsibility to provide for everyone’s needs (by redistributing resources); as more things are moved from private to public control, the state by definition becomes totalitarian; and, inexorably, the totalitarian state gets bad leaders and the society comes to reflect the policy choices of those leaders."

Article excerpt by: Andrew C. McCarthy

"Our bureaucracy would certainly cause health care to result in rationing and euthanasia. There will be death of the innocents, just not on the same scale and not as evil of motive. Though in any case any form of euthanasia is intrinsically evil regardless of the intent of the "care-giver". One thing that most people don't realize is that it was American that often served to give advice to Nazi Germany when it came to eugenics. Some of the people that worked with Margaret Sanger and her Birth Control League and wrote for her magazine served as advisors to the Nazi regime. America at the time was on a eugenics kick and some of the laws since repealed are really disturbing."

Article excerpt by: The Curt Jester

The Latest round in the failed arguments for the Government take over of Healthcare seems to focus on the Morality of having the Government take on the Role of Nanny. With the current attempts to undermine discussion by envoking Racism and Hitler and Class Warefare. I thought the above two missives delve past the obvious shock value. I invite you to read them open minded and take from them what you will. Facts not Spin should rule the day.

At least I think that.

August 21, 2009

Carbon Dioxide irrelevant in climate debate says MIT Scientist

Here is the link to the story. This SHOULD be great news to anyone who suffered angst over the Man Made Global Warming issues. I think, rather, it will give rise to zealots. I hope I am wrong.

Here is the PDF of the released peer reviewed report. It is actually not a horrid read, as far as scientific papers go.

SPPI’s authoritative Monthly CO2 Report for July 2009 announces the publication of a major paper by Professor Richard Lindzen of MIT, demonstrating by direct measurement that outgoing long-wave radiation is escaping to space far faster than the UN predicts, showing that the UN has exaggerated global warming 6-fold.Report, page 3.

Lindzen’s paper on outgoing long-wave radiation shows the “global warming” scare is over. Thanks to recent peer reviewed papers that have not been mentioned in the mainstream news media, we now know that the effect of CO2 on temperature is small, we know why it is small, and we know that it is having very little effect on the climate. Page 3.

The IPCC assumes CO2 concentration will reach 836 ppmv by 2100, but, for almost eight years, CO2 concentration has headed straight for only 570 ppmv by 2100. This alone halves all of the IPCC’s temperature projections. Pages 5-6.

Since 1980 temperature has risen at only 2.5 °F (1.5 °C)/century, not the 7 F° (3.9 C°) the IPCC imagines. Pages 7-9.

Sea level rose just 8 inches in the 20th century and has been rising at just 1 ft/century since 1993. Sea level has scarcely risen since 2006. Also, Pacific atolls are not being drowned by the sea, as some have suggested. Pages 10-12.

Arctic sea-ice extent is about the same as it has been at this time of year in the past decade. In the Antarctic, sea ice extent – on a 30-year rising trend – reached a record high in 2007. Global sea ice extent shows little trend for 30 years. Pages 13-15.

Hurricane and tropical-cyclone activity is at its lowest since satellite measurement began. Page 16.

Solar activity has declined again, after a large sunspot earlier in the month. The Sun is still very quiet. Pages 17-18.

The (very few) benefits and the (very large) costs of the Waxman/Markey Bill are illustrated at Pages 19-21.

Science Focus this month studies the effect of the Sun on the formation of clouds. IT’S THE SUN, STUPID! Pages 22-23.

As always, there’s our “global warming” ready reckoner, and our monthly selection of scientific papers. Pages 24-27.
And finally, a Technical Note explains how we compile our state-of-the-art CO2 and temperature graphs. Page 28.

August 20, 2009

Today (August 20th) in HISTORY!!!

21 years ago this very date, I was fortunate to Marry Tina. I recall it as a perfect summer day in SoCal. She looked gorgous, I looked quite dapper. The ceremony was held at St. John the Babtist Catholic Church, the church of my youth. It was officated by Fr. Joe a long time priest friend (his mom was in attendance).

It was a traditional full mass with the marriage vows. My best man inquired about a script to follow along, me being a typical Catholic figured everyone knew the Mass, after all nearly everyone is Catholic right? Both of our families participated in different area's from readings to book signing, to ring bearer and in the wedding party.

Our Photog was a friend of Tina's who made several thousand quick and fun shots of the group. We then were wisked off to a German Villagish location called Old World for a lively reception, complete with Oom Pa pa band (Jolly Al) that was hosted by my Mother and Father-in-law.

There was a remarkable gathering of friends and family, a group from Germany that Tina knew from her time there, a friend from Austrailia had flown in for the wedding from NYC. Even Tina's wondering cousin Markus made the date. To date the comment we get the most is "You guys had the funnest wedding!" which always makes me smile.

It should be noted that my Nephew John was our ring bearer and it was his Birthday. It is cemented in my memory, as it should be, as a perfect day.

Of course two years later on that exact day our Daughter Diana was born. Making us a family of four (Trevor had been born June the previous year).

August 20th is a busy day. Lots of good things happened.

August 19, 2009

The Guild and a possible peek at the new face of Entertainment.

Back on July 27th, 2007 Felicia Day saw her first episode of a web "sitcom" posted on the internet. Directed by Jane Selle Morgan and Greg Benson written by Felicia Day it followed the lives of an online guild "The Knights of Good", each webisode is 3–7 minutes long.

Day, who plays World of Warcraft in between acting roles in television shows and movies. Decided to take her gaming and make something productive from her experiences and wrote the series as a sitcom pilot. The series was written to appeal to an audience of massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) fans.

After filming the first 3 episodes in two and a half days they ran out of money. After putting a donation link to Paypal the 4th and 5th episode were almost solely financed by donations.

On Monday November 24, 2008 Microsoft announced that they had signed an exclusive distribution deal with Guild creator Felicia Day. All 12 season 2 episodes of The Guild will premiere on the Xbox 360, Zune, and MSN with a four week delay for release on The Guild's official website.

The Microsoft releases will be free, but supported by Sprint advertisements and product placements. Notable is the fact that creator Felicia Day retains the IP rights to the series, with Microsoft paying an “unspecified” license fee upfront. Sometime in late February, when all episodes of season two have been released, Felicia and her team are free to sign a new nonexclusive distribution deal should they choose to do so.

So consider this wonderful adventure in entrepreneurship. They had an idea for a product, got it into a marketplace, found a way to secure some financing. Then later got advertising and licensing revenue.

Creation of business from nothing but an idea. Outstanding! I could see other entertainment venues following a similar avenue. It would be nice to see more of this kind of cowboy entertainment.

So watch an episode or two, see if you enjoy the show. If you do and want to support you can buy the DVD box set or download the new mp3 "Do you wanna date my Avatar" from itunes or Amazon.

Note: Joss Whedon credits The Guild as one of the inspirations for Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, which also starred Day.

The Array of White House ObamaCare Tactics Grows -- By Lee Cary

The White House is deploying an array of tactics to promote ObamaCare.

Here's the list to date.

1. Warn about the cost of inaction. Or the, "Sure it's expensive, but just think of how much it'll cost if we don't do anything!" argument. It's a false dichotomy. Many of those who oppose Obamacare believe healthcare reform is in order - just not the nationalized medicine approach proposed by Obama and the Democrats.

2. Use Grandma to build empathy through association. Or the "I wouldn't deny healthcare to the elderly for I once had a sick grandma, too" argument.

3. Accuse opponents of racial prejudice - play the race card. In an article entitled "Fear for Obama's Safety Grows as Hate Groups Thrive on Racial Backlash," ABC News alleged a link between racial prejudice and anti-Obamacare sentiments.

4. Shift the focus of the debate. The White House has shifted the focus away from the positive - improving healthcare for all Americans - to a negative - reining in the evil health insurance industry.

5. When accused of having a controversial proposal, just say "No we don't." This tactic is popular with some Senators and Representatives when constituents push back against specific proposals in Obamacare. It's the "No, it doesn't say that" response. It's dependent on tactic #6.

6. Hide the plan. When the House version of the plan is criticized, just say that the Senate has a different version, but then don't reveal that version. And, if you're Obama, say, "Well, that's not in my plan." It's all a shell game - plan, plan, who's got the plan?

7. Hide key congressional proponents. For example, Rep. Harry Teague (D. NM) is just one among those Democrat members of Congress hiding from their constituents during the recess. Callers asking to know his schedule are referred to the Congressman's website for a list of town hall meetings on ObamaCare. His last "Harry in your hometown" event was August 8th. Where's Harry now?

Congressman Dennis Cardoza (D. CA.) is also hiding from his constituents. According to the Merced County News:

8. Pretend to give up on controversial issues that were never acknowledged in the first place. We've heard that the alleged Senate bill has omitted the controversial "death committee" provision that was never acknowledged to have existed in the first place. This offers the illusion of compromise.

9. Hold pro-Obamacare pep rallies that profess to be open town hall-like events. Obama is reverting to the campaign style that brought him success during the election. Fill a room full of supporters, answer stacked questions, claim that support is widespread, and attempt to build positive momentum.

10. Blame the media for focusing on the opponents. Since the legacy media is decidedly pro-Obama, this accusation doesn't provoke their ire. It should, but it doesn't.

11. Demonize the opposition. This is, perhaps, the most consistent and frequently used tactic designed to weaken the opposition to Obamacare. Rush Limbaugh is accused of inflammatory language, and his alleged minions dutifully march into the contentious town hall meetings that surface on YouTube.

12. Make false claims for Obamacare. This tactic is close to #5. It's represents the dissemination of misinformation about the House bill, pertaining to the bill's costs and provisions. This tactic provoked angry pushback at some town hall meetings. People had read the bill, while their congressional member clearly had not.

I can see this happening at my house (MMO Humor)

Double Click on the Video if your PC is not showing the full size image.

August 18, 2009

There is no real reason why this is funny to me.

Comming off pain meds

14-hydroxydihydrocodeinone is the good stuff. I have a little bottle for post surgery pain. Wednesday and Thursday I took it on time. Actually later on Thursday I allowed another 30 minutes to pass and witnessed what it was masking. Friday night I did not wake up in the middle of night in pain, In the morning there was an ache that was distracting enough that I continued on.

By Sunday it was as needed and while I took one on Monday, I got my drainage tube removed and have not needed one since. Monday night I had a mutha' of a headache. Ibuprofen did little or nothing to take the edge off. Today I noticed my stomach feels like it has chunks of cardboard inside of it, as well as a duller version of last nights headache. My surgery has occasional discomfort but nothing much.

Last night I pondered if I was "withdrawing" from the medication or at least suffering after effects. I am downing fluids that would impress a camel after a month sojurn. No dry mouth or anything other then a head ache and tummy ache.

It would be nice to get on the bike. Maybe this weekend I'll do a little ride. In the meantime I'm working back into the swing of work.

August 17, 2009

The Guild video MMORPG geekout!

Hang with me in my MMO
So many places we can go
You’ll never see my actual face
Our love, our love will be in a virtual space

I’m craving to emote with you
So many animations I can do
Be anything you want me to be
Come on, come on, share a potion with me

Do you wanna date my Avatar
She’s a star
And she’s hotter than reality by far
Wanna date my Avatar?

You can type commands
I’ve got slots for what I hold in my hands
Don’t care what’s in your character bank
How ‘bout, How ‘bout a little tank and spank

Grab your mouse and stroke the keys
In cyberspace there’s no disease
Pick a time, send a tell to me
Just pay, just pay a small subscription fee


Single white human,
Looking for group
My stats so high
Don’t be out of the loop

Got an uber-leet staff
That you can equip
Close your mouths ladies
This is pure nerd-nip

I’m a pixel-based fantasy
A man who is stoic
I hack and slash
Who the heck’s more heroic?

Check me out:
Cloth armor
Fits me like a glove
Just twitta a time
And I’m ready for love

Hang with me in my MMO
So many places we can go
I’m better than a real world quest
You’ll touch, my plus 5 to dexterity vest

What role do you wanna play
I’m just a click away night or day
And if you think I’m not the one
Log off, Log off and we’ll be done

Being Human

This is quickly becomming a favorite show of mine. Again it is BBC America and again it is the writing that is outstanding.

That really is not fair of me. The Acting is top notch, the premise is wonderful and the directing works amazingly well at making the most of a small budget.

It stars Lenora Crichlow, Russell Tovey and Aidan Turner as three apparently twenty-something characters sharing a house in Bristol UK, trying to live a normal social life, despite being a ghost, a werewolf and a vampire. It is witty and thought provoking about dealing with being different. There is a great exploration around what the various conditions are, what they mean and they do not follow all the old and dusty plot devices of the past.

Being political

Fox News is on the Finge and should not be watched cuz its Skewed to the right!

The most vilified are Hannity, Beck and O'Reilly. They are the most popular news shows on Cable according to the August 12th numbers:

Fox News O’Reilly 3,814,000
Fox News Hannity 3,118,000
Fox News Beck 2,417,000
MSNBC Olbermann 1,243,000
MSNBC Maddow 1,082,000
CNNHN Grace 875,000
CNN Griffin 810,000

This is a long time thing, they have been the most watched for quite a long time. In fact they are gaining in popularity. Which makes you wonder how something mainstream can be considered "fringe?"

My daughter in her wisdom and youth reminded me of the dawning of my political awareness. The other day she was watching Mr. Glenn Beck, my wife inquired as to why, she was happy to see someone on the News who was speaking to what she held as personal political thoughts and it was "very refreshing". I had the same revelation when tuning into Mr. Limbaugh all those years ago.

August 16, 2009

Lack of Violence is dooming polite society.

The other day there was a couple of ladies talking in the supermarket. They had effectively blocked the aisle with their carts and seemed oblivious to the various people who would look at them puzzled then turn away annoyed and sauntering away.

As I was in no hurry, I politely waited with hands on the shopping cart never making eye contact or glaring, in fact I started humming a little ditty quietly to myself as I noted the passing of time. It took them ten minutes before they noticed my polite waiting and another two minutes to finish up the conversation before heading the separate directions. One of them glared at me and made a passing comment about being rude. To which I politely did not burst into laughter.

In this dynamic you had various degrees of society tolerance for behavior. No one mentioned that the two were not unlike bovines in the ability to clog the lane. No one tapped them on the shoulder to indicate the faux paux of common courtesy. Instead they opted for the path of least resistance, or the path of no confrontation. To my credit I did address the issue with a stance of passive resistance. Somewhere Gandhi would be proud.

As I sat there politely waiting for some sense of human compassion to flicker forth like a small moth killing ember, my mind was on a very different tract. Mostly entertaining visions of rudeness that was all too unkind. Further, a flash of fantasy where I had become the hero of the coffee row, tossing verbal insults and freeing the hapless consumers from this obstruction most fowl (pun intended).

It comes to mind that we exist in a community with rules called common courtesy. At times this is not common at all. In fact it is now common courtesy to throw a blind eye or ignore a fragrant disregard for our fellow humans. I was wondering why.

What mechanism is off kilter that allows for this sort of bad behavior?

Violence... A lack of violence in our society.

August 15, 2009


Seriously, have you ever seen anyone generate so much grassroots participation in democracy as we’ve seen with Obama?

Health Care fight

Some recent readings on this Health Care fight We the People must win.

Too many holes, an essay on promise .vs. what can be delivered.

The truth is getting out there as US citzens are letting it be known they want healthcare reform, not Government Run Healthcare. Latest polls show the US Citizens are winnning.

Town Hall meetings, not a place for dissent or discussion?

American Thinker ponders the Obamacare effect on the Golden Girls.

August 13, 2009

Dock o da bay

I had surgery (not talking about that directly). Now I am in recovery. Most of the dire warnings of what to expect have not occured. There is pain involved, but easily managed and I have some pretty good pain pills and some anti-biotics because infection is the real enemy!

I also have limitations. I cannot do much but hobble around from four area's where I sit. Today I felt like going out to get some Eggs, as we ran out yesterday. I quickly remembered that the pain meds I am on are not supposed to be in your system when you drive.

While I feel okay to drive, I decided not to inflict a lack of judgement on my community. So I check stuff on the internet, watch some TV and eat some food and sleep and the occasional bio break.

So I have a feeling of not participating rather watching the tide come in and go out. At least I am being well cared for.

August 12, 2009

The Curt Jester

Being a practicing Catholic in good standing with the Holy See in Rome I follow some religious blogs. One of the more intersting ones is The Curt Jester

He regularly has some interesting insights into the Church, Life, Liberty and the Government. To Whit:

"The Good Samaritan helped to provide medical care directly. He did not run back and tell the government there was a man on the road needing care. As Catholics we need to be personally involved in being a part of society in helping to provide health care instead of outsourcing our responsibility to the government." --TCJ

August 11, 2009

Speculative Historical RetCon by James C Bennett

Jefferson was a mixed bag, as was Adams, although on balance Adams was probably sounder. Jefferson was an agrarian romantic who didn’t really understand the financial side of the Anglosphere toolkit, an ideological republican who had some of the shortcomings of all ideological romantics, and because of those things, a Francophile who lingered with the French revolution far too long. On the plus side, he understood the cultural roots of England and English-speaking society quite well, although in an excessively Whiggish way - he believed in the purity of Anglo-Saxon society and the corruption of the Norman yoke. He saw the American revolution as the vindication of the freedom-loving Saxon against the Norman crown and aristocracy - the Witangemot reborn in America. This was based on a fairly good reading of Montestquieu whose appreciation of English constitutionalism was basically correct. His Anglo-Saxon romanticism led him to institute Anglo-Saxon courses at the University of Virginia.

He was also good on decentralism, suspicion of Federal power, and entrenched rights. He was good on the Louisiana Purchase. He was bad on foreign policy in general, and the terrible Embargo.

Adams is better on his theoretical understanding of society, and particularly good on his appreciation of Common Law. He was too reflexively anti-British in foreign policy (Coincidentally, I am right now reading Kathleen Burk’s Old World, New World where she is discussing his record)
I had never liked Hamilton very much, as too much of a centralist - he was perhaps our first National Greatness Conservative - but as I start to understand the financial side of the Anglosphere Toolkit better, the more I realize what he was about. He understood the tools that England had been applying for a century, realized that American was getting the dregs of mercantilist policy while England was enjoying the fruits of a better policy, and understood that with independence we could use those tools at home — which he proceeded to do, and very well.

But perhaps best of all was Franklin. Underneath the homespun PR façade, he understood both England and America quite well (France too, which is why he was so effective there.) He spent so much of his life in London that he really should be considered a great Londoner. He had a very clear-minded picture of what American and Britain could do together if only they could create an effective constitution for it - and spent a great deal of his life trying to create such an Imperial constitution and promote it in England. He only gave up at the very end, and went home to make the best of an independent America, putting his insights to work at the Constitutional convention. That imperial constitution (of which the Comonwealth was only a weak realization) was perhaps the greatest of his inventions that never came to fruition.

August 10, 2009

By popular demand

Bike additions

With my bike riding I found I wanted to know how far I went. Turns out this is an area of high technology.

Serious science tech goes into these little bike computers. I got the model shown on the left. It is ebarrassingly low on the innovation scale. As it does not have a gps or elaborate systems for monitoring your health as you ride. Instead it provides the trip miles, trip time and the sum of all trips taken.

Which is pretty much what I wanted. Oh, sorry, it also gives you current speed. It twist locks into a nice frame and has a part on a spoke and a part on the front fork. Took me five minutes to install twice (I kinda made a booboo the first try). The thought occurs you could have this sync with cell networks and track your every bodily function via the internet. That, to me, is worse then twitter.

Yeah, I cannot figure out the draw of Twitter.


The current debate\dissent is very curious and very telling. In reading the various diatribes and ignoring the histrionics I find myself wondering what the issues actually are.

The cost of health care is too much. When something costs too much what can be done to lower costs? Get more of said service. Supply and Demand.

So how do you get more of said service? Either get more health care professionals or make the health care more efficient.

Anecdotal observation shows that you have more people dealing with Billing in a Doctors office then you do treating customers (patients). That is because of the insurance companies that cut the checks. When I was a kid we would go to the doctor, my Pop would pay them, then he would send in a form to get reimbursed. They had some money in a separate account that they used for this. The doctor got the money up front, so they did not have to staff a bunch of people to deal with the insurance company.

Insurance companies have lots and lots of rules that the government says they have to play by. For instance they have to cover everyone for everything in some cases. That means a grown man would have gynecological coverage or a retired woman could be covered for pregnancy. The upside is if everyone is paying into that coverage the cost for the individual would be less. The downside is everyone is paying for something that some will never ever need in any fashion.

Pre-existing conditions is another problem. If your really really sick, the kind of illness that will cost millions of dollars in a short period of time. If you are applying for insurance to cover that cost there is zero chance any insurance company would want to cover you.

Lawyers can bring suits against Doctors and hospitals at little to no expense for themselves or clients. Doctors have to either fight or settle these claims. The cost of malpractice insurance to cover the costs is sickening. And they have to pass the cost back to the customer.

Then you have those who live hard. They eat too much, smoke too much, drink too much, live on the edge too much. But, not enough to kill themselves. It becomes very easy to judge someones choices and feel they should be made to suffer fate.

Personally, I want to be the one between the Doctor and the Insurance. . I want the insurance companies courting me for my business. I would prefer to cover myself and have my company pay my wages. Leave them free to offer some benefit like supplemental or such. I would like to have free clinics\teaching hospitals. That give treatment options to those less fortunate.

I do see a limited role in government, possibly to provide payment for those truly in need. Those with birth defects and other diagnosable special needs. Maybe offer incentives for the private sector to be philanthropic to this.

August 09, 2009

Connor and Dad at the fair

Saturday was the final day of our County Fair. It is perfect for Connor as you can purchase a wristband for $20.00 and have unlimited rides. With the rides costing $3 its a good deal. Connor, being as he is, enjoys the sameness or ritual if you will of the Fair. He knows we will ride on the bus, he knows he will slide on the big slide. The trick is to get him interested in another ride to expand the options. Most fairs do not have the same rides year after year, so when that time comes, he will have known options.

We got dropped off at the county courthouse and took the fair bus. This is a great option as the bus has its own lane and bypasses all the traffic, not that there was all that much traffic at 10:15 AM. The gates had opened but the rides needed 45 min still. So we got our armbands and Connor wanted to stand in line. It took a bit of convincing and consoling but we managed to take a walk around and look at the animals. Connor got a bit anxious, which required my re-enforcing that we will ride the rides when they open.

We got back as they opened and it was slide time. The large fibreglass slide is a staple at the fair, the first year we took Connor he took 50 plus trips down. While you might think the ascension would wear him out, your way wrong! This year he did a good 10 rides then opted to the Raiders. This is a series of obstacles of slides, rope climbs, punching bags, elastic webs and rope bridges ending with a nice long static electric charged slide down (do not touch the kids until they discharge).

I went through the first time to let the workers know about Connor. After that I was informed by Connor that I was not to go anymore. At least he let me go on the slide as much as I wanted...

About 12 trips through Raiders and it was the fun house. This is one of those rides I was glad not to have shelled money out on. It is a walk through fun house with out much to offer. Connor though is less critical and his 20 plus trips only ignited his smile over and over. There is a kiddie ride with some WWII planes called Flying Tigers that Connor rode on this year. He also did the Bumper cars with me two times. There was also a little kiddie ride that resembles a traffic jam. Connor was obviously too big for this ride and one time seemed to be enough.

I almost go him to try the haunted house dark ride. The noises from within put him off going. In between we got some French Fries and a Burrito. I was trying to save up my cash for Tina to get a requested Carmel apple. I offered Connor some Ice Cream, he was not interested, even as we stood in line. Even as we viewed the various containers. It was not until I was handed my cone that he changed his mind. We got home around 4:30. My sunblock had worn off my neck and my legs got a good reddening. For some reason my mid back was just achy enough to be annoying and want to lie down.

Connor? He started to see that the longer lines offered diminished returns. I had asked if he wanted to go home a few rides earlier. After pondering the long line for the Raiders ride, Connor acquiesced. "Lets go home, on bus."

And so we did.