Friday, April 29, 2005

I was this close to a bear cub

Where's momma bear?On one of my visits to Kings Canyon, I ran into this bear cub hanging out along side the road. I was riding with a friend when we noticed it. Told her to go slow so we could get some shots. She drove slow enough four us to get for shots, but she was all scared that momma bear was around. I was like, "We are in a moving car. The momma bear isn't going to get us." Secretly, I was hoping the momma bear would show up! Now that woulda been an exciting story. Ich, I'll settle for this quaint story with a nice picture.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Comments about recent movies

Three movies I’ve seen recently are Sahara, The Interpreter and via DVD All I Want Is To Be Loved.
Sahara was a film following in the footsteps of the Indiana Jones type of movie. It falls well short of the Indiana Jones standard with too many ah-ha moments carrying the plot. An ah-ha moment is a point in the story where the story can’t proceed without some accidental amazing discovery or insight. Even still, the movie is fun to watch with fairly cleaver action. It’s not going to make it into my DVD collection though.
The Interpreter is a good political thriller film. I especially appreciated Nicole Kidman’s acting. You could see what she was thinking and feel what she was feeling, even without dialogue; all without over acting. I feel that the film’s story isn’t as grandiose as films like Clear and Present Danger. This story and plot were more dialogue driven. This makes Nicole’s and Sean Penn’s great acting essential for turning an ok story into a good movie. There is a change this DVD will make it into my collection.
All I Want Is to Be Loved sucked. I got the movie to see Nev Campbell naked. She’s not naked in any erotic or sex scenes, but hey, she’s naked! lol Well, I understand the movie’s title. The title serves as a clue for the final show down at the movie’s end. But, the whole story is so improbable, it isn’t enjoyable. The movie was less than 1hr and 20min. It would’ve have been a much better story if it was cut down to about 35 minutes. The entire first 45 minutes of the film serve no purpose, though they are meant to develop the story’s characters. Here’s a hint to future film writers: Don’t develop a character without telling the overall story for longer than a couple minutes. Simply having a character do a bunch of stuff just so show personality traits for 45 minutes is extremely poor writing, no matter how cleaver or witty the dialogue or on-screen activity. Ok, in case you saw this movie and missed the point of the title: The old Duke is lying, but not about the money. Nev never said he was lying about the money. He promised to satisfy Nev’s character, but obviously wasn’t up to the task. If you haven’t seen the film, don’t bother finding out what I’m talking about, unless you real goal is to see Nev naked. :)

Friday, April 22, 2005

Lying Liars face

There's one clue that someone is lying, which can be picked out on very close observation. Because the clue can be so slight, it may require reviewing a video tape of the liar's face in order to see the facial nuances that reveal the lie. Given a long enough interview process, a liar will always reveal their lie by making a quick motion their mouth and/or eyebrows in an ugly manner. When seen on freeze frame, it looks like they are making an ugly face on purpose. In fact, it is subconscious, and often so quick, even the trained observer can miss it in person. It's easy to catch when reviewing video tape though. Since I discovered this, I've been able to identity lies (and truths too) on news programs, interviews, politicians, White House staff, etc.
One of the poor liars in the White House is Condalizza Rice. You can see a complete facial shift between almost any other topic and when she's was talking about "facts" that were used to justify the Iraqi War.
Another liar in his interviews was Scott Peterson. He was pretty good at controlling his facial motions, but he wasn't good enough.
The most recent case I've seen is that lady that found the finger in her food. As I watched her interview, I couldn't see any ugly faces (beyond expected disgust when talking about chewing a finger). Then I re-watched the interview, and there it was, plan as day near the beginning of the interview. She compressed and dropped her lips for a split second right after finishing her response to a question. Caught! :)
How do you tell the difference between normal face twitches and a liar's face? Several ways. Most important is the type of movement, particularly with the lips. Often, one or both corners are pulled down, or the upper lip is pulled up in the middle. The pulling up of the upper lip isn't a great sign because several thangs cause this. However, the pulling down of the corners of the mouth is a sure sign because there really is not other reason for a mouth to be doing that. A second factor is the timing of the ugly face movement. A liar's face usually shows up right before answering a question or immediately following the answer.
Want practice identifying liars' faces? Seriously, watch pundants on Fox News and CNN.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Between the lines

The trouble with getting a new toy for guys is that we want to play with it all the time. Girlfriends get jealous of an inanimate object, you start to drift off at work cuz you aren't getting enough sleep, etc etc. That's kinda were I'm at right now. I think the bags have reformed under my eyes. I'm even a bit more ornery right now. :)

Friday, April 15, 2005

Support for the anti-gay marriage ban

Constitutional Amendment to establish marriage as only applying to a union between a man and a woman is a joke. Well, it’s not intended to be a joke. The topic of same-sex marriage is a point that agitates the Conservative and neocon base of the Republican Party. What makes the associated proposed Constitutional Amendment a joke is that it is very poorly worded. It cannot be passed in its current form because of sloppy language that can easily be abused to legalize heinous behavior. It is not intended to actually be passed, and thus the joke.

''Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and woman. Neither this Constitution or the constitution of any State, nor State or Federal law, shall be construed to require that marital status or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon unmarried couples or groups.''

What is a man and a woman?

It says that marriage can only occur between a man and woman. There are several problems with that statement.

  • I’ve said this before; hermaphrodites are both a man and a woman at the same time. Although rare, they create a valid issue. Are we going to tell hermaphrodites who they can and cannot marry simply because nature didn’t make up its mind? You can argue whether gays are born gay. You cannot argue whether a hermaphrodite was born a hermaphrodite.
  • The amendment federalizes marriage. No other national law governs who can marry directly. In the absence of clear instruction, “man and woman” is inherently inclusive of incestuous marriage. The old legal rule is that if the Constitution doesn’t specifically make exclusion, it is interpreted as being allowed.
  • No Federal law, not even the Constitution itself, can act retroactively. Massachusetts has already legalized same-sex marriage. Those same-sex couples already married under Massachusetts law cannot be unmarried by the federal government. Even if the Amendment passes, it could never apply to those couples. This would create a legal mess as States adjust to this one-time only hyper-minority group. In effect, it would provide status of privilege for these individuals which would not be conferred on any other citizen. By extension, such a position of privilege would require equal rights be applied to everyone. Basically, the existence of this group creates a catch-22 that invalidates (one way or another) any limitation placed on same-sex marriage by the Constitution or any federal law.

Domestic Mess

Now I’ll consider the rest of the wording of that proposed Amendment. The first part of the second sentence of the proposed Amendment basically says that States cannot contradict the Amendment. This is redundant, since no law is allowed to contradict any part of the Constitution. However, the next part of the sentence uses sloppy and obscure language to prevent States from giving rights to nonmarried couples. It is a fairly bizarre phrase. It limits rights of individuals within a relationship to just being friends in the legal sense, regardless of the true nature of the relationship. Just stupid. What about common-law? What about shared property? What about the couple’s children? There’s a million “What abouts…” here!

According to the second sentence, no rights of marriage can be given to nonmarried couples, but it makes no provisions for the nature of those relationships. People in nonmarried couples aren’t entitled to seek child support? Nonmarried couples that brake up aren’t allowed to split property as is done with divorce? That second sentence would create a domestic legal mess across the country.

Constitution cannot contradict itself

My third point here is that no law, not even the Constitution itself, is allowed to contract the Constitution. There’s a specific clause in the Constitution that actual says the Constitution cannot contradict itself. The inherent nature of the Constitution makes it unlawful to establish any law that creates a special class of citizen that cannot have the rights granted to other citizens, expect as a means of punishment for crime. This is part of the power behind the 14th Amendment, though not explicitly stated. Any other Amendment that limits the rights of one class of citizen would also have to specially repeal the 14th Amendment in order to be valid itself. The proposed Amendment does not repeal the 14th Amendment, so it is unconstitutional because of its de facto creation of a second class of citizen that does not have the same rights as others.

What a mess!

The proposed Amendment is horribly written. It creates one-time only hyper-minority that have special privileges. It is caught up in a catch-22 that is self defeating and invalidating. It contradicts the 14th Amendment, but does not repeal it, making it unconstitutional. Who wants this thing passed? If the civil rights battle can serve as an indicator, this proposed Amendment (if passed) would ultimately create such a legal mess, it could take half a century to sort out the details, whether enforced, repealed, or found unconstitutional in the courts. The logically conclusion is that it is not intended to pass. It is only used as a tool to rally the Conservative and neocon base of the Republican Party, to sucker more people to giving more support and more money to do more of nothing about the issue. It’s a joke on the true believers and party loyalists. The Amendment is a joke on America.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

I'll be joining the 21st century on Thursday

Two days from now, I get Cable broadband...officially marking the moment that I join the 21st century. :) I can hardly wait!

Wednesday, April 06, 2005


The first car I had was a hand-me-down from a grandfather, 1977 Dodge Aspen. The Aspen was a pretty much a Dodge Dart in the later years of the model's existence. It was a forest green and had some battle scarring from its long life. It had a tired but still fairly powerful 318 V8 engine. Sometimes people in their new Civics would pull up along side me and jokingly want a race. When I obliged, I kicked their butt. lol That car died from a valiant on-road battle with a similar later model Ford (this is another story all its own). Even though the entire passenger side was caved in, that old Aspen still run as if nufin was wrong. It just keep going. I used to park it out front of my job at the time with the mangled side visible. It was sort of a protest for how little I was making there. I had it about seven years from when I was sixteen. I declared the car a "he" cuz he put up with all my rough treatment without a complaint. In the end, I had to Ol'yeller his ass because of his injuries.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Happy Camper

I’m a happy camper. After exactly 3 years, I completely paid off my car and am now in possession of the title. Yippie!!! My current car is the first one I’ve not owned outright. I’ve never had an auto loan before, and I hated it. But now, the car is mine!