Thursday, June 29, 2006

Homer

Ok, so here's the movies I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of the year (and into next year): Click here. I've just noticed that most of the movies on my list are action or thrillers (non-horror) of some sort. It was just a few of years ago when there was a lot of good movies out in other genres, even documentaries. Last year, most movies either completely sucked or just weren't up to par. I've enjoyed movie going this year a bit more, but it does seem that many movies just don't have the same story quality as years past. It is as though fewer people know how to write a movie anymore. Or many that so many movies are being made these days, the quality writers are getting lost in the sea of crappy writers. Producers and directors used to blame the studios are hacking movies up, causing them ruin. These days, I think many movies are just crappy from the start. I think this is why Action movies are still holding their own, for now. There's not much writing involved.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

What is desecration of the U.S. Flag?

What is desecration of the U.S. Flag?
Is marking over the flag with felt tip pin?
Is sneezing over a flag?
Is not saluting the flag?
Is standing with one’s back turned to the flag?
Is printing an image of the flag on paper, then throwing it out?
Is wearing flag colors as underwear?
Is soiling a flag with dirt?
Is walking upon a sidewalk with the flag painted upon it?
Is dying ones hair with the stars and stripes, then later getting a hair cut?
Is using a flag like handkerchief to wipe one’s brow of sweat?
Is throwing a shoe at the TV while the flag is displayed?
Is using the flag as a backdrop for another symbol?
What is a flag?
There is no law that defines what a U.S. Flag is besides the general dimensions for the different color fields, and placement of the stars.
How is one to know when one is handling a flag, or simply an image of the flag?
Does printing out the stars and strips on one’s printer constitution the creation of a flag? Does painting on the side of one’s truck?
Does having a cloth of the right size and color fields, but no stars?
Does using alternative colors for the color fields?
Does a photo of a flag?
Does a tattoo of the flag?

As a citizen, the flag represents my country and for which we all stand. I’m proud of my country and know that the desecration of my flag is wrong. But to make laws concerning such matters is about as un-American as one can be. To hold a piece of cloth that happens to be of a certain shape and design over the rights of our citizens to freely express themselves is abhorrent. The flag amendment being discussed by our Congress is a desecration upon our Constitution, and the rights for which the flag represents.

Monday, June 26, 2006

The Classic Restaurant Experience

Granville Entertainment District 
Dave, Little Miriam, Alice and I visited Vancouver a few months ago. On our Saturday evening, we were on the hunt for a good restaurant that suited everyone’s mood. We found this one place that we agreed on. It had an atmosphere similar to an Elephant Bar, but a little more upscale. The menu was classic meat and potatoes. The experience was, well, check this out.

So we put our name down at the front and let the hostess know that we will be in the bar. At the bar, I order a Long Island. The bartender asks if I’d like to make it a double for just on dollar more. I’m like, “sure!” Dave orders a Coke with no ice. They don’t have Coke, but have Pepsi. He’s fine with that. I was a little critical about having Pepsi at a bar.  So the bartender brings me my Long Island Ice Tea and Dave’s Pepsi, with ice. She immediate walks way to serve other customers. Dave gets her attention and gives the drink back to get a Pepsi without ice. As for my Long Island, it tasted like crappy lemon juice. That part about ordering a double? It was only one extra shoot in the drink. I’m not convinced there was more than just that one shoot in the drink. It was not good and didn’t have hardly any alcoholic content. When the girls joined us, they ordered some sweet and blue girly drink. It worked for them.

The hostess came to the bar to take us to our table. She started gathering our drinks from the bar. She had a tray in one hand, and was picking up the drinks with her other. She picked up the girly drinks and my “Long Island”. Then she went for Dave’s Pepsi. There were bar chairs blocking her from reaching his drink. Instead of moving the chairs or going between them, she walks into the chairs and bounces off of them, repeatedly. It reminded me of a robot that was out of control walking into a wall over and over. I’m not exaggerating. So after a few times of this, Dave and I move the chairs for her so she can reach the drink. Honestly, we would’ve been happy carrying the drinks ourselves. The one redeeming point is at least she was trying hard to assist use, even if her efforts where a bit inefficient. Her blonde roots apparently ran deep.

At the table, we wait for the waitress to come. OK. We continued to wait. Umm… still waiting. Finally, she comes and takes our drink order. She was Chinese, and I kinda felt like I was in Hong Kong because of the attitude she exuded. We waited long enough to know what we wanted for our meal, so we just ordered it all at once.

After some time, we got our drinks. I finished my Long Island and a Pepsi too in the time it took for the meal to come after.

Finally the dinner plates showed up. The food looks delicious. I cut into my pork shank and took a bite. It was tasty. I started looking at the presentation of the food on the plate. Noticing some unusual looking garnish on the meat, I took my fork and pulled at it. It turned out to be a long hair cooked in with the food. Dear lord! We spend about 5 minutes trying to get the waitress’ attention. She finally come over and we showed her the…before I finished talking, she noticed the hair herself and apologized. She took the plate back, and that was the last we saw of her for 15 minutes.

The manager comes over and squats down next to me. She apologized again and offered a few comps on our dinners, including a dessert and some quick appetizer. To replace my plate would’ve apparently taken an additional 20 minutes. (It appeared the waitress didn’t immediately put in the replacement order.) The manager also gave me a 50 dollar gift certificate. I’m like, “We don’t leave here and aren’t likely to come back to Vancouver for some time.” She still forced it upon me. Anyways, I ordered the chicken strips, and some brownie fudge thing, with the ice cream on the side. Chicken strips did come pretty quickly and where pretty good. Then the dessert came. The ice cream was not only not on the side, it was under all the brownie stuff. Dave is sensitive to dairy. That is why we ordered the ice cream on the side. So, we flagged the waitress down again and asked for our correct order. We got it after a bit longer.

I determined that I should pay the bill. The small tip should come from me, since I was the one that had such a delightful evening. The bill only included Dave’s, Miriam’s and Allie’s actual dinners. Nothing else. Well, OK. I left a 3% tip on the bill, but thought about the hostess. Hostesses usually get their tips from the wait staff. Even if she was a ditz, she did make a sincere effort help us out. So Dave left her a 2 dollar coin on our way out.

I gave the gift certificate to Little Miriam since there was a slightly better chance for her and Dave to use it than I. She looked at the certificate and read the expiration date. “6/31/05”. Because Little Miriam is an accountant; she immediately picks up yet another error by the rest’rant. It’s a comical conclusion to the most annoying and least satisfactory dinner of my life.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Primitive Man Never Existed, and the Stone Age Never Happened?

I came across a website that has some pretty amazing claims. I’m going to entertain myself by posting it here for journalistic purposes for rebuttal. The source for this article is here, but I don't necessarily recommend visiting it because of pop-ups.

“Did you know that 700,000 years ago, people were sailing the oceans in very well-constructed ships?” Umm, yeah, this is the opening statement and it’s hella random. 700,000 is long before modern humans walked the Earth.FH  Our ancient ancestors in that time knew how to make fire and hunt. (Yup, the use of fire wasn't even invented by modern humans.)FF  The advent of advanced world wide sailing actually consists of well documented events. Do the names Columbus and Magellan come to mind?

“Or have you ever heard that the people described as “primitive cavemen” possessed an artistic ability and understanding just as refined as those of modern artists? “ Umm, again, hella random.  First of all, artistic ability is in the eye of the beholder.  However, artistic ability can be judged in terms of complexity and the ability to create the desired results as accurately as possible.AA  This statement is literally comparing the Mona Lisa with finger painted stick figures, and calling them both equal.

“Did you know that the Neanderthals, who lived 80,000 years ago and whom evolutionists portrayed as “ape-men,” made musical instruments, took pleasure from clothing and accessories, and walked over painfully hot sands with molded sandals?” Painfully hot sands in Europe during the Ice Age?  LOL  Seriously, Neanderthal was adapted for Europe,EU not the Northern Sahara.  It isn’t likely very many Neanderthal often encountered hot sands. Besides that, no modern consideration of Neanderthals describes them as "ape-men".  They were human and very likely contributed to modern human lineage outside of Africa.NH

“In all probability you may never have heard any of these facts.  On the contrary, you may have been handed the mistaken impression that these people were half-ape and half-human, unable to stand fully upright, lacking the ability to speak words and producing only strange grunting noises.  That is because this entire falsehood has been imposed on people like yourself for the last 150 years.”  This paragraph uses a common literary technique that attempts to accuse the reader of holding on to an incorrect view point, but through no fault of their own.  No one likes to be accused of ignorance.  Perhaps this article intentionally targets supposed weak-minded individuals?  This method involves numerous logical fallacies.LF

“The motive behind it is to keep alive materialist philosophy, which denies the existence of a Creator. According to this view, which distorts any fact that stands in its way, the universe and matter are eternal.  In other words they had no beginning, and thus have no Creator. Then how did life come to be?  The supposedly scientific explanation is the theory of evolution.” These statements are just plan lies. “Materialist Philosophy”MP is a term that often is misused as general accusation against anyone that doesn’t blindly accept a particular viewpoint about a creator.  Beyond that, no where in modern science will you see any statement that suggests our Universe as no beginning.BB  That’s just nonsense.  Then the paragraph goes on to ask stupid questions that are meant to direct the reader’s thinking (getting them to think they are starting to realize some secret that the “establishment” has been hiding from them). Again, continuation of numerous logical fallacies.

“Because since materialists claim that the universe has no Creator, they must provide their own explanation for how the life and myriad species on Earth came into being.  The theory of evolution is the scenario they employed for that purpose.  According to this theory, all the order and life in the universe came about spontaneously and by chance.  Certain inanimate substances in the primeval world combined by accident to give rise to the first living cell.  As a result of millions of years of similar coincidences, organisms came into existence.  And finally came human beings, as the final stage of this evolutionary chain.” Actually, I’ve written about this before.  Evolution didn’t come about to prove anything about a creator.  It came about because evidence from geology was contradicting long held beliefs that were derived by taking the Christian bible too literally.  That’s it.  Facts contradicted beliefs, so the facts won and our understanding of biological evolution was discovered because of this.DE

“The early history of mankind—which is alleged to have come into being as the result of millions of accidental mutations, each more impossible than the last—has been distorted to fit in with this scenario.  According to the evolutionists’ account, which is totally lacking in any proof, the history of mankind is as follows: In the same way that life forms progressed from a primitive organism up to man, the most highly developed of all, so mankind’s history must have advanced from the most primitive community to the most advanced urban society.  But this assumption is completely devoid of any supporting evidence.  It also represents the history of mankind prepared in line with the claims of materialist philosophy and the theory of evolution.” Again, that “materialist philosophy” accusation is present.  This paragraph also declares an opposing view as an assumption with no evidence, but of course, the opposing view is no assumption, and is based on facts.  This continues to employ logical fallacies.

"Evolutionist scientists—in order to account for the supposed evolutionary process that they claim extends from a single cell to multi-celled organisms, and then from apes to man, —have rewritten the history of mankind.  To that end they have invented imaginary eras such as “The Cave-Man Age” and “The Stone Age” to describe the lifestyle of “primitive Man.”  Evolutionists, supporting the falsehood that human beings and apes are descended from a common ancestor, have embarked on a new search in order to prove their claims.  They now interpret every stone, or arrowhead or bowl unearthed during archaeological excavations in that light.  Yet the pictures and dioramas of half-ape, half-man creatures sitting in a dark cave, dressed in furs, and lacking the facility of speech are all fictitious.  Primitive man never existed, and there never was a Stone Age.  They are nothing more than deceptive scenarios produced by evolutionists with the help of one section of the media.”
Well, this is a long paragraph full of falsehoods and, in my opinion, intentional misdirection (lies).  First of all, this paragraph argues against points that simply don’t exist.  No facts support the idea of a half-man/half-ape being, and no serious person supports this idea as fact.  Who are these “evolutionist scientists” that this paragraph is referring too?  No one.  They don’t exist since no true scientist of evolution or otherwise would say such things.  They are as imagery as the half-man/half-ape being mentioned.  Humans are apes and evolved from a common ancestor with the other apes.HS  Furthermore, this paragraph talks about points in anthropology, not evolution.  Such confusion is common place for such literature.  One more point, the Stone Age is a well studied period.SA

“These concepts are all deceptions because recent advances in science—particularly in the fields of biology, paleontology, microbiology and genetics—have totally demolished the claims of evolution. That the idea that living species evolved and transformed into “later” versions of each other has been deemed invalid.” Well, this appears to be a direct lie.  All of the sciences mentioned here grow more and more dependent on our understanding of evolution as more is learned in each of their fields of study.  The foundation of evolutionary studies is not the will to prove a creator doesn’t exist.  The foundation of evolutionary studies is several principles of geology, as mentioned by me above.  However, since the principles within geology are ironclad, they are never mentioned by such articles. Writers of such articles intentionally hide any references to geological principles because any mention of them would destroy their arguments outright.

“In the same way, human beings did not evolve from ape-like creatures.  Human beings have been human since the day they came into existence, and have possessed a sophisticated culture from that day to this. Therefore, “the evolution of history” never happened, either.” This statement is thrown into to make it seem as though the article proved the existence of a creator.  However, the article never even addresses any points that prove such a position; more logical fallacies.

“This book reveals scientific proofs that the “evolution of human history” concept is a falsehood, and we shall show how the fact of creation is now supported by the latest scientific findings.  Mankind came into the world not through evolution, but by the flawless creation of God, the Almighty and Omniscient. In this site, you can read the scientific and historical proofs of this.” This is a common redirection used by many people trying to promote highly questionable notions.  The paragraph assumes the reader was convinced of the writer’s message and offers more “enlightenment” (often for a fee).  Well, I’m not going to charge my readers anything!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Newport OC

I'm visiting Newport in the OC. This is a cool like haven in LA where there's interesting people, but not too many of them. Kinda a sleepy place with like a hypersmall Conie Island area nessled in a smallass harbor. There's a rest'rant here called Newport Landing Restaurant that's got a bartender named Mike who's appeared in some show called The Real OC Desparate House Wives on Bravo...along with this girl Lindsey who appears in the scenes where the girls sit around drinking. Funny. I might try to catch it just to see this shit. I only came here on a whim and it took forever to get here from Industry, but I'm glad I did. Anudder guy Lawerance was local and was a Raiders fan, so we had a few sports stories to exchange.

As I sit out on the quiet misty evening looking on the harbor, I'm relaxed. The noises of the rest'rant are now behind me as I'm outsite in a vacant seating area. A small touring boat is sneaking around the docked boats, though I don't know why. The night air is light, damp and sprinkling me extremely lightly. Distant lights reflect serenely off the water's calm surface. It's only 11pm and this sleepy noke is almost completely shut down now. ::Breath of crisp air:: I just might come back here soon.
___
Sent with SnapperMail
www.snappermail.com