Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Lemming Alert: Small Problem with Blogspot

Hello my fellow Appreciators of Cliffs,

I am locked out of the Lemming House. I can see the keys through the window just sitting there on the table. The Darth Vader Lego keychain is either laughing at me or just breathing the way he breathes. I honestly cannot tell from out here, but I am locked out.

To translate from Kanrei to English: Blogger will not let me post comments right now. I can see yours, but cannot add to the conversations. I think the proper word for this is "@%*!" or something like. I am going to have to comment here I suppose.

Serena and Scary,
I tried to get into football years ago, but it is just not in me. I might have to turn in my Y chromosome or start sitting down when I pee or something, but I just do not like watching football. The Super Bowl is that rare occasion that I would Tivo it and fast forward through the show to see the commercials.

Welcome to the Lemming House and you are always welcome here. I have been a fan of yours for a while now, but was slow to comment on your blog. I am honored you came by and that you liked what you saw. Thank you.

I hope to be able to comment soon. I suppose it is about time Blogger screwed me actually. I was starting to feel rejected to be honest reading all of your horror stories. Between this and my Word story, this is not my night for writing I think.

Don't Know What You Got 'Til It's Gone

Those devious bastards! Those greedy, devious, underhanded, whorish, selfish, egotistical, self-centered bastards! I mean come the fu...almost cussed, but come on already. How about a damn warning or something first maybe? Is that too much to ask for? I suppose it is because those greedy, devious, underhanded, whorish, selfish, egotistical, self-centered (looks at line above to make sure he got it all) bastards did not bother with the warning! No, not Bill Gates and his Microsoft Mafia! No warning, no nothing- just cut off my free demo of Microsoft Office yet again! I hate you sometimes Bill, I really do.

Some of you may recall the brief hiatus at the Lemming House exactly 90 days ago. I know it was 90 days ago because that was when I downloaded my second version of the free Office demo. I even mocked that they had an option that stated "I am downloading the free demo because I do not want to buy it." I thought it was hilarious, only I am not the one laughing now. Damn you Bill Gates!

Focus Kanrei, focus. Ohmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Ohhhmmmmmmm. Fluffy clouds; fluffy clouds; no fluffy bunnies; no fluffy bunnies. OK, I'm better now.

As I am sure you have surmised, my latest version of the free demo has once again expired and I am once again Word-less. Funny how you bitch and scream about how much you hate something until you don't have it anymore and then you cannot figure out how to proceed without it. I am sitting on my bed right now looking at old photos of me and the free demo of Word; listening to our songs and telling myself I will meet a word processing program again one day. I am still young and any program would be happy to receive my words. In fact, its Word's loss, not mine. I will only be stronger for this. Besides, I can still get some spell-check action on the side from Firefox.

And for the record I never cheated on Word with Firefox; we were only friends. Firefox was always willing to correct my spelling, but I was a loyal guy to Word and never once strayed. Well, maybe that one time, but it was long ago and we were separated. Then there was that time with Notepad, but it meant nothing to me. OK, there was also that time I used pen and paper, but there is no way Word could ever have known about that! Besides, those other methods never corrected my spelling the way Word did.

I guess the reason they were asking us if we were downloading the free demo was to see if it was impacting their sales. People like me felt the option allowed us to be totally honest and we admitted we were too cheap to buy it. The smart move would be to therefore remove the full version of the demo and change it to a limited version. Microsoft is a smart company damn it.

And damn you Bill Gates just because. You give to charity and are smart and I hear a very nice guy. I know none of this is technically your fault and I should just buy the damn program and such, but, as I have said over and over, damn you! You are rich and I am not and that is enough reason for me to say damn you so damn you. I want my Word back!

Fine! That's it! I am going to hold my breath until my head starts to thump a little and then I am going to exhale, take another breath and keep doing this over and over until I get my Word back! So there!

The Super Bowl Rush

They estimate that 90 million people will rush to relive themselves once the second quarter of the Super Bowl ends. This means they will also flush at around the same time. 350 million gallons of water flows over Niagara Falls every thirty-nine minutes and the same amount of water is flushed when the halftime show starts. That is just an amazing amount of urine when you think about it, although I have no idea why you would want to…why am I even writing on it? 350 million gallons of urine enriched water is rather just gross come to think of it. I am just going to go for now I think. It would be for the best.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

24, Day 6, Hour 6: 11am-12pm

The following takes place between 11 am and 12 pm.

We are in hour six of 24 we have reached that stage of 24 that weighs so heavily upon every loyal viewer: soap opera subplot land. It is usually around this time every year that the plot slows down a bit and the minor characters get some development. Sometimes it is good; sometimes it is more painful than the torture. This season is a mixed bag and we got it all this hour with very little Jack and even less terrorist.

Subplot number one is quite good and could be a show unto itself. This plot involves the President’s two senior advisors squaring off over how best to defend the nation. One is a full martial law type of guy and the other is a civil liberties girl. I side with the civil liberties side, but martial law did make one very valid point tonight. He said something like “when the founding fathers wrote the Constitution the worst weapon could only fire three times a minute. Today you can kill thousands in a second and the Constitution never expected to have to deal with that.” He makes a good argument, but I still must always default to retaining what it is we are fighting to protect. I never understood those people who put plastic on their sofas. Why buy something and be afraid to use it?

Subplot number two is decent, but is barely a worthy distraction from Jack and the nukes. This one involves a suspected terrorist cell in a detention camp and an informant wearing a wire who just became part of the circle. It is bringing up some very important issues that are relevant in today’s world. For the last two episodes the group has appeared very suspicious and I was convinced they were up to something. As today progressed and the informant began to actually get information it turned out they were just people talking about what was happening. They had current news because one of them had a cell phone the guards did not see and was checking the news. The writers tricked us into supporting the infringement of another’s rights because they fit our profile of a terrorist. Curse them and there cleaver moral lessons!

Subplot three is more of subplot number two, but from another perspective. This one involves a CTU agent of Arab descent who is on a watch list now because of her heritage. Every move she makes in doing her job is now monitored and every request must be double checked. This subplot is just slowing everything down and I get the point. I got it from subplot number two. Now the writers either think we are idiots and must be spoon fed an important point or they just have nothing else to fill our time with. Where oh where is that damsel in distress of a useless daughter Kim when we need her?

On the bright side of everything we did get to meet Daddy Bauer and we did get to see Brother Bauer turn on Jack and Daddy. Brother Bauer has revealed it was he who was behind it all without the maniacal evil laugh and had Jack and Daddy taken away. The last ten minutes were a decent pay off for an otherwise painful hour.

Sorry for the lame summary, but the episode did not give me much to work with. It was mostly set up for what is to come later and we are in for a few hours of subplot intensive episodes I fear. Let’s pray they concentrate on subplot one and leave it at that.

In the Name of The Bono, The Edge, and Those Other Two Guys

So what exactly is it that, at 12:34 A.M.(that is my magic time by the way, but that is for another post another day), has me starting a blog thread? Well, a five letter word: irony. I was about to go to sleep when I made the fatal mistake of making the ever famous “one last look” at the news. What can I say; I’m a political junkie. I cannot help myself and am not sure I would if I could. I just know that if I don’t do the ever famous “one last look” I find myself laying awake and listening to news radio.

Much like the religious war currently being denied in Iraq, Christianity has had a centuries old war between the Protestant and the Catholic and, in an unrelated turn of events, between the English and the Irish. The Protestants were the British who followed the Church of England while the Catholics were Irish and followed the Vatican. Then there was the matter of what king ruled what lands, but again, that is another thread for another day. I want to concentrate on the religious aspect of this feud because this is ironic if ever something was.

The Church of England has began an effort to fill its pews and the method they have chosen is the use of secular music, but not just any secular music. Choosing a Pat Boone, an Amy Grant, or even a Stryper would not garner any press. No, this must be a special secular artist to really get those donors, I mean parishioners in their seats. This must be none other than G-d’s gift to fund raising- U2!

Yes, you heard that correctly. I mean read it correctly. You could have heard it if you were reading it to someone I suppose. Maybe you just read aloud normally. Who am I to judge you although that must be annoying to co-workers. Have you tried maybe chewing gum when you read or something? Perhaps if your mouth is full you will be less prone to read aloud. Unless you talk with your mouth full. You don’t, do you?

That was another tangent, huh? Sorry.

Yes, you read that correctly. The Church of England is using a Catholic Irish band to bring in people. I am far too tired to make something like this up. I mean they are called “U2-charist” for Christ’s sake…literally. Read more here because I am also far to tired to give this story the proper sarcasm it deserves.

It is indeed a Beautiful Day believers. Oh on Sunday, Bloody Sunday dear believers, by the light of the Unforgettable Fire we will protest War in October. Boy, what a time we will have.
“For if you walk away walk away,” sayith Joshua Tree,” if you walk away walk away I will follow.”


Monday, January 29, 2007

You Ain't Nothing But A Controversy

At the Smoking Gun right now you can read five pages from “Hounddog” A.K.A. “That Dakota Fanning Rape Movie.” Ironically, (not really) that is the scene covered by those five pages. You can read it for yourself right here. It is not everything, but it gives you a better idea of what exactly the scene is about and how it is done.

The scene is very intense and disturbing. It is hard to read actually, but the rape is not the point of the scene from what I read. The scene seems more about the fact that they felt it was fine to do this to a little girl because she was a “nigga lover” (that is from the script; I never use such language). It is not about sex, but, like most rapes, is about the attacker’s pathetic needed to feel some sort of power. This one seems to be racially motivated and would be relevant to the story because Elvis did borrow heavily from black culture and his fans could be seen as that thing I will not type again.

This most-famous-yet-to-be-seen scene also seems to go for the “artistic” approach rather than the graphic. While I am the first to say how much I hate the cliché “lightning flash” quick shots that movies use so often, this is a scene that it would work in. The script plans out exactly what will be shown and when and how and at no point does it seem to exploit Dakota Fanning or could ever be taken as kiddie porn. It is dark and hard to get through, but it is supposed to be and the director seems to have done everything to make sure the 12 year old star was mentally, physically, and emotionally "OK" with the scene.

Should the director have even asked a 12 year old to pretend being raped? I do not believe so, but I would say it depends on the 12 year old. Dakota Fanning comes across in interviews more mature at 12 than I am at 35. I encourage everyone to read these pages for themselves before coming to any conclusion and even then not jump to any. I mean how much can we really know from a shooting script to be honest?


Close Call in the Soda Wars

Most of the time I have an imagination that is running amok and it takes almost nothing to start me off on some weird trip. I should correct that statement; it takes NOTHING to start me off on some weird metal trip. I mean let’s take today’s lunch for an example at how my mind spins, shall we? How could a trip to a drug store possibly get me off and running, right?

I needed soda. Let’s start with that simple fact. I am a soda addict who cannot live without carbonated liquid to satisfy my thirst. Everyone tells me I need to drink more water, but I always explain that water is the main ingredient in soda and there must be at least eight glasses of water within the three liters of soda I consume on a daily basis. My 20 oz. bottle had long since ended its usefulness to me and my thirst was still raging. I needed that refreshment that only a dark caramel flavored diet carbonated beverage could provide and was on my way to the nearby CVS to arrange the quenching. Diet works best because the flavor does not alter as the soda reaches room temperature- it pretty much tastes warm and flat when new so makes it the perfect work-time refreshment.

Parked outside the CVS was a delivery truck, but not just any delivery truck. Outside CVS was the red and white refrigerated truck of the Coca-Cola Bottling Company dropping off its stock of cold and delicious Coke. My timing could not have been better, or is it that my timing could not have been worse for across the street, parked at Fuch’s park was the red, white, and blue refrigerated truck of the Pepsi-Co Bottling Company just sitting there; engine idling.

Tumbleweeds blew across U.S. 1 as I sat in the CVS parking lot scared to exit my car. A showdown was about to take place or at least in my head. I had never seen these two soft drink giants attempt a delivery at the same time and did not know what exactly would happen as these two titans squared off. Did Pepsi know Coke was going to be there? Did Coke purposely take a little too long with its delivery so Pepsi would see it there? Was CVS cheating on Pepsi? Was Pepsi loading a gun or just waiting for Coke to leave? This was certainly a tense moment.

To add to the drama, I was there to buy a Diet Coke, but there was a Pepsi truck staking out the CVS. If I left with the rival’s product would I then become the enemy as well? Should I just buy a Dr. Pepper and stay out of the fight or would Coke feel that Dr. Pepper is actually a Pepsi spy since technically Pepsi does the distributing for Dr. Pepper? Would Royal Crown soda be a safer choice? You can see how my imagination can really distract me sometimes.

I ended up with the Diet Coke simply because I had the protection of the Coke truck still in the parking lot as I dodged the shells and explosions to make it back to my car. I drove back to my office using only back roads to ensure I was not followed and snuck the bottle of Diet Coke from my car into my office. I think there are a few Pepsi spies in our employ right now. Damn soda wars, no one is safe.

I love my mind. If nothing else, I am always entertained.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

The 79th Year of Giving Make Up Awards for Years Missed by the Academy

I was looking at the nominee list for the 79th Annual Academy Awards and realizing I have not seen one movie nominated this year. This fact makes me 100% as qualified as every other person voting and therefore would like to enter my choices for the top awards. I mean the awards are never really about the current performances so much as the politics of Hollywood and one does not really need to see the movies up for the award to know who will win.

I am going to pick my winners according to the order they are listed at the Oscar Awards website.

The winner for Actor in a Leading Role will go to… Forest Whitaker. Just kidding. He is the person who should win in all likelihood and will get the award for this performance in a few years, but this year has eight time loser Peter O’Toole up for what is probably his last. They tried to give him an honorary one but he declined it saying he wants one on the merit of his work. I wonder if he will turn this one down since it will obviously be given to him instead of earned. He does deserve one for “Lawrence of Arabia” if nothing else and the fact he has yet to win one is a crime, but is he really the best of THIS year?

For Actor in a Supporting Role I am going to say Eddie Murphy. I have a feeling this is going to be a politically correct Oscar year with Dreamgirls sweeping almost every category they are in. This would also give the Actress in a Supporting Role to Jennifer Hudson which from what I hear is something she has completely earned from her performance.

I see the Hispanic culture being given their due credit as well this year with Penelope Cruz up for Actress in a Leading Role and Pan’s Labyrinth for Cinematography.

Martin Scorsese is going to take best Director for the simple fact that he, like Peter O’Toole, is an eight time Oscar loser. I cannot say if The Departed deserves the award, but I can say Scorsese has deserved it many times in the past and Clint Eastwood has already won his. To make it up to Mr. Eastwood however, Letters from Iwo Jima will take best picture. The Academy loves war movies.

Animated is down to Cars and Happy Feet. Looking at the global warming debate that has raged this last year I am going to say that Happy Feet will beat Cars. One is the story of penguins and the Artic and the other is about the machines that are blamed for destroying the Artic. This is the ultimate no-brainer in a no-brainer Oscar year.

To sum up:

Best Actor- Peter O’Toole
Best Actress- Penelope Cruz
Best Supporting Actor- Eddie Murphy
Best Supporting Actress- Jennifer Hudson
Best Animated Feature- Happy Feet
Best Director- Martin Scorsese
Best Cinematography- Pan’s Labyrinth
Best Movie- Letters From Iwo Jima

Place your picks.

Real Horror- It's About What You Don't See

The Hitcher was by no means a classic of horror. It was well made and well acted and original for the most part, but it never grabbed the following of a Texas Chainsaw Massacre or Friday the 13th which is a shame to be honest. It was one of my favorite horror movies of all time mainly because it is one of the few that actually got to me. It scared me; it kept me literally on the edge of my seat with no clue what will happen next. That is rare for me and movies.

The Hitcher stars C. Thomas Howell as a guy whose name is unimportant to me. He had a name I guarantee, but I cannot remember it for the life of me and am too lazy to IMDB it. Anyway, he plays a guy who is being paid to drive a car across country. It is a long a boring drive and he was told not to take riders, but it is a long a boring drive and he notices a hitch-hiker (Rutger Hauer) out in the rain. He should have listened to his boss. The hitcher quickly reveals himself to be a psycho who has thus far murdered everyone who has picked him up and plans the same for poor C. Tommy, but C. Tommy has a will to live, kicks Rutger out of a moving car, and the chase is on.

While the plot of the movie is by no means deep, it does serve as the vehicle we are strapped into for the rest of the ride. This is not a movie made for the story, it was made for those moments that make up the story. What this movie does so well is take us back to an era where special effects were special and not constant. Never is a killing done on screen and that is where this movie gets its power. We never know exactly just how insane Rutger is until the famous truck scene near the end. The rest is told to us through the actor’s faces and not on-screen gore.

I have not seen the new one and am basing every word of this on reviews of the remake. I have read numerous accounts of the “police station” scene and I can tell you that the original is done with much more style.

C. Thomas Howell is suspected of the murders that the hitcher has been committed due to the latter’s very cleaver frame up. C. Tommy gets arrested and falls asleep in his jail cell. The scene is assuring because the hitcher cannot get to Tommy while in police custody, right? Tommy wakes up and his cell door is open. He slowly leaves his cell and wanders through a police station filled with dead cops, but we do not see the cops. We see Tommy seeing the cops. We see blood on the walls and desks and phones, but no cops. The scene is amazing in its strength because somehow this psycho killed an entire station and C. Tommy is supposed to beat that.

The 2007 remake has this exact same scene, only done with that Michael Bay flair. The scene is shown from the hitcher’s perspective instead, set to the music of Nine Inch Nails, and every detail is shown. It apparently is shot like a music video and made to thrill the audience. This sort of changes the entire story and draw because now the audience is thrilled to see the Hitcher instead of the fear they are supposed to fell. The makers missed the point of this movie. We are supposed to sympathize and side with C. Tommy and not Rutger.

OK, to give them some slack there are horror movies that are about the thrill of watching someone die. I will give them that. The Friday the 13th movies and Nightmare on Elm Streets are all about the killer and the kills, but not all horror movies are about that. Some try to place you in the victim’s shoes instead and want the audience to feel horror when the killer is shown and not get excited because something cool is about to happen. What made Texas Chainsaw a masterpiece is that 99% of the gore is not show. The bad things happen behind closed doors and the film makers force you to come up with what happens. It is really more effective that way because we will each come up with something different that scares us instead of the film maker showing us what scares them.

I understand this move towards showing gore in movies today and it actually has everything to do with the war in Iraq to be honest. If one looks at the history of horror movies one cannot help but notice that it always reflects the political atmosphere. The 50’s gave us stories of people being controlled by evil aliens at the same time we were afraid of people secretly being communists and invasion from outer space while we feared another global war. Movies like Invasion of the Body Snatchers and The Blob played perfectly on those fears. The 60’s saw a rise in the gore and torture films such as Bloodfeast just as Vietnam was getting more and more unpopular. In fact, the gore and torture only increased as the decade wore on. The 70’s saw us no longer having faith in our government so naturally the Devil became a major villain with religion no longer being able to protect us in such classics as The Exorcist and The Omen and the 80’s saw the birth of the personable killer because the 80’s were all about style over substance. It really is no surprise to me that in the days of Abu Gharib we are seeing a return to the torture/ gore movies, I just wish they would do original stories like Hostel and Saw and leave our classics alone- no matter how non-classic it may be.

Friday, January 26, 2007

A Friday at Home (After a Rough Night)

Today's "It's Friday" will is going to be something I wrote last night. I have had a hard week at work this week and last night I felt all the weight of it come down on me. I took the Rex advice of blogging through it and it really did help. Please, if you read it, make it to the end because while I was sad when I started it I worked through it and the ending is much more up than the beginning. I can already see my mother reading it and stopping half way through saddened that she somehow ruined my life. Do not worry mom, just make it to the end. It is an interesting example of how a mind works through things and how suddenly a realization can come and save you.

This week I have been in two meetings. I have never really had a meeting in my life and this week I had two. These meetings were to discuss certain issues that have been reoccurring with my job: scheduling difficulties mainly. Given that the schedule is my job that would make these two meetings about me although no one uttered that fact. Instead it was all the general “there is a problem and we need to find out why” but it all came back directly to something I had a hand in.

How can I feel any other way than I am screwing up? How can I not believe that I am the problem and that people are just not telling me because I am the boss’s son? They love him and would do anything for him including covering for his screw-up of a child I am sure. The problems all appear to me to be coming from other places, but I also cannot argue with the fact that logic dictates I am the problem. I mean what other conclusion is there when unrelated issues all have one common element. It would make sense that the element all these things share would be the thing causing the problem, right?

My job is a balancing act by definition that guarantees someone will be unhappy with me everyday I work. I have grown used to the fact that someone is mad at me daily. Most times I get to upset the day staff by making them cancel patients, but at least they know me and know it is not my doing. The research company and the night staff I also run the risk of pissing off do not know me and they do believe it is my choice to cause them turmoil. All I do is what I am told, but my position makes me the messenger and they shoot messengers.

I love my job and would never want another one. I love the people I work with and actually wake up before my alarm everyday. I have a great time at work, I just worry that I am not good at it. My biggest fear coming to work for family was that I would somehow destroy the business and ruin everything for everyone. Every now and then I get the feeling that I am doing just that and right now is one of those times. I mean I know I really have not done anything wrong, but that does not mean I have not screwed up somehow because too many people are upset and the schedule is the common thread.

Yes, I do a research schedule and a regular schedule for two locations. Yes, I have certain people who can not do certain research studies. Yes, I have some people who work both locations and some who only work one. Yes, I have more than half a schedule of names of people who do not give me a work request then get pissed they do not work. Yes, I have school schedules to compete with and the love of weekends. And yes, I have people who I can never reach and others calling me every hour to see if there is work for them yet. I told you my job is a juggling act. I am not even bringing up the payroll, newsletter, and errands. I do have fun.

The reason I am bringing all that up is that I know mistakes are being made and will be made in the future. What I fear is that the mistakes are my fault somehow. That maybe I am in over my head and enjoying what I do is not enough.

To be fair to myself, no patient has been sent home due to anything I have done or not done. Everything is always taken care of and someone is always there for the patients. I am not screwing anything up in that regard. It is just people are unhappy and I have never been one to handle unhappiness. It plays on my insecurities when people are unhappy. It is somehow always my fault…

I think I just had a break through. Blogging does seem to help. I mean my entire life I have always been convinced I was the reason for any unhappiness happening around me. Every and any problem had to somehow be my fault. The things happening today at work are just normal work issues that come up from time to time and I am not screwing up. I am being paranoid and insecure and if I continue I run the risk of self-fulfilling prophesy.

Wow! I really just felt a load lift off of my shoulders. Thanks for listening to my rant. I hope my mother makes it to the end before she convinces herself I am miserable.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

(Nothing Better to the Left of Me and Lame Ducks to the Right) Stuck in the Middle with You

Today’s question from the lemmings should be “why is there nothing at all in the Lemming House about the State of the Union speech from last night?” Yes this is a mainly political blog and yes I do love politics the way most men love sports, but every sport has the boring game and last night I knew was going to be the boring game of the political season. Few things are less fun than watching a desperate lame duck beg for a sixth change to get things right. I saw it last year and hate reruns.

This is a rant and not a review of the speech. I have not even read the text of last night’s SOTU address to be perfectly frank. I know what it will say already without wasting my time or brain cells. It will breakdown to something like:

Blah, blah blah Iraq is part of the war on terror blah blah blah 9/11 blah blah blah Osama blah blah blah looking forward to working with the Democrats blah blah blah cannot afford to lose blah blah blah sending more troops blah blah blah give me another chance please.

There will also be a few blames probably passed along to show that while he mouths the words that he is the one responsible, he still tells you ways it was not his fault and that the troops did not ask for enough or the Iraqis are not doing enough or the media is trying to make us lose or some new excuse. He probably told us more reasons he is getting rid of certain unalienable rights to protect our freedoms. Nothing protects freedom quite like taking it away from people.

“Why should terrorists have rights?”

Very simple to be honest- the rights we enjoy do not come from our government so they are not given only to Americans. The Constitution speaks of the accused having rights, not of citizens having rights. The rights we have are the same rights all people have only our government claims to respect the rights of all people. All people includes the accused and, if you look at the first ten amendments you will notice that most of those deal precisely with the rights of the accused and the methods allowed by the government to deal with them. At no point is the word “citizen” used so therefore it does not only apply to citizens.

Now do not think this is a Bush bashing piece because it is not. I have plenty of disillusionment to go around to both side. I did not listen to the Democrat’s response either because I already know what that is going to say as well and I have no desire to waste my time or brain cells on that tripe either.

Blah blah blah Bush lied blah blah blah Halliburton blah blah blah war for oil blah blah blah illegal blah blah blah quagmire blah blah blah civil rights blah blah blah

I looked at the Democrat’s 100 hour agenda and I did not see one thing that we elected them to do in it. I saw raising the minimum wage, insurance, something about a five day work week for congress (right…), but nothing about Iraq. Iraq is why they have the Congress today and they are doing a big nothing except trying their best to make us forget they voted for this war in the first place.

I am sorry, but if Bush lied, you chose to believe his word and not investigate so it is as much your fault as it is his. In fact, it is more your fault because he only asked for the keys to the kingdom and you gave them to him. I don’t blame the retarded kid who drove the car into a wall half as much as I blame the idiot who gave the retard the car keys. I do not blame the democrats for not having a better plan though because sometimes there just is not a good plan. The only way to fix Iraq is to build a “way back” machine and never go in the first place. I mean why were we gunning for guppies when there was a sea of sharks circling us?

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

24, Day 6, Hour 5: 10-11am

For the first time in I do not know how many seasons of 24 I am actually all caught up. I know this is only the second week, but you must understand that the first week was four hours worth. That is an entire month’s dosage in just 48 hours. I was in severe danger of a full over-Bauer-dose.

If you do not watch the show than you must understand that one hour of 24’s assault on your nervous system is like every rollercoaster you have ever been on at the same time. The only break you get is when a commercial is on and those only frustrate you because, unlike other shows this one’s clock is still ticking during the breaks. That means things are happening while we are learning about Taco Bell’s newest constipation inducing concoction or seeing the actor who played dead President Palmer’s ads hawking All State or some other car insurance. Last seasons those ads were really distracting because he had just been killed and there he was telling me about life insurance. Talk about irony.

Tonight’s episode covered 10-11am after, well I can tell you now I suppose. The last ten minutes of last week saw a suitcase nuke explode in Los Angeles. The show had always come close to a major attack and has even had numerous successful small attacks, but this was the first time the terrorists ever fully got one off. We learned in this hour that at least 12,000 are dead with hundreds more at risk of radiation poisoning and there are still four more somewhere out there. Jack, having just shot a good friend to protect a suspect, had quit CTU and collapsed on the ground as the mushroom cloud was seen in the distance. I told you it was an intense ending.

Tonight touched on some of the initial chaos that such an event would unleash and focused more on the White House and how they were going to handle telling the American people and what to do next. The military wanted to bomb every suspected country with three nukes each. “If they want to live in the stone age we can put them in there” or something like that was said. Others wanted to arrest all Muslims living in America and place them in detainment camps and suspend the Constitution for a time. “I want to save my country from extinction and, if fear will do that then yes, I will use fear.” The President had the luxury of a television show reality and wanted to take it slow. “We will respond, but it will be the right response and to the right people” or something like that. I am usually better at quotes to be honest.

This is why I so love 24 to be perfectly honest. I would actually be just as happy if the entire show just focused on 24 hours of how the government would respond instead of the James Bond superhero thing. It is this aspect that forces me to confront my liberal leanings and see where I honestly stand when push comes to shove. 24 will give me the situation and it makes me wonder what I would do. What liberties would I give up if I knew the full details? Is there a place for torture in today’s world really?

24 will present a compelling argument for internment camps only to follow with an Arab family helping a total stranger. They will show you the camp and make you feel safe only to show you the terrorist cells recruiting while in the camp and innocents being beaten and tortured. No matter your political stance on every issue, 24 will make you think and question every one of your beliefs.
As far as the Jack Bauer goes for this hour, he was not much of an element in it. There was a major soap opera inspired twist ending that brought us back to last season for a moment, but I will not say much more on that until later. I am still very happy about this season and invite you to come along.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

To Be 17 Again....No F-in' Thank You

Perspective is an amazing thing when you think about it. It is also probably one of the worst things ever at the same time. Perspective enables you to feel like you know something no one else does, but it also forces you to act like you know something no one else does. It must be countered with age, wisdom, and reason in order to become an actual useful thing.

Weird start for a piece I know. I spent the day yesterday with a group of 17 year-olds. It was a very interesting and illuminating day. I almost feel like I should apologize to my parents for everything done and said at that age to be honest. I look at them and wonder how did I ever make it this far. I mean they view the world like it is their own private joke and seem to pity those too old to get it. They cannot help it I know and I also know I was the exact same way at that age as were you and everyone else. There is a reason the old joke "hire a teenage while they still know everything" exists in the first place.

The group was great and friendly and they were the tight knit group we grew up watching in John Hughes movies. It was great watching them interact, but the parents each at one point in time said "wouldn't you love to be 17 again?" To be honest, no I would not. Senility has yet to set in and I still remember what it was like to be 17 the first time and would not subject my worst enemy to that hell again. It seems great at the time, but that is because you only have 17 years experience behind you. The thing most 17 year olds do not realize is that it only gets better and more intense with time, not worse.

There is a trade-off with time that most teenagers do not realize until it has happened. The amount of free time and lack of responsibility is traded in for the ability to actually enjoy your free time and the freedom to live life. I did not feel any different at 21 than I did at 17, but I had more freedom and responsibility. Today, at 35 I still feel mentally like I did at 17. I have the same passion and beliefs (mostly) and still listen to the same music, but I have also learned to balance the passion of youth with the wisdom of age and that is the main reason I would never want to return to 17 again. To know exactly what you want to say and what you think, but to be unable to express it properly is a hell beyond words. That is what it is like to be 17 and no thank you I did it once already.

There is another side to that and it is the wondrous aspect of being 17 that is lost on all 17 year olds: they have their entire lives ahead of them. They are unburdened with the weight of regret. They literally have their entire lives ahead of them with all options still on the table. Every year we age we close another door to a possible future and at 17 the doors are still mostly open. It is sad that we do not notice the doors until we stand before a sea of closed doors.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

24, Day 6, Hour 2,3,4: 7-10am

I spoke too soon and jumped the gun. Jack Bauer is not back to form on 24 and the show has taken a major dramatic turn for it. This is not a complaint from me at all and as usual there will be no spoilers in this article. I have just returned from a three hour marathon at my Rent’s house and this season, sorry day looks to be the most intense yet and is bringing up some very serious issues.

24 is a show that has been synonymous with torture since its first season. The show has danced a very fine line between supporting torture and condemning it and the writers have really allowed the viewer to decide for themselves what the show is trying to say on the subject. Torture on 24 is a main character, but is usually applied to the wrong person or produces no results. This would make it seem like the show is anti-torture, but Jack Bauer also always gets the information he needs through torture. It is almost as if the show sometimes says that torture works only if you use the right type. Jack does not think twice to rip a lamp out of the wall and use the exposed wires for some memory refreshment or to shoot a guy’s wife in the leg if he believes the guy is willing to be shot himself. He is very effective at it and the show plays on the Incredible Hulk quote “you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.”

This season we find Jack after he has been the victim of almost two years of torture in China and he is no where near as ready to get back into it as he once was. The torture king has found sympathy at the worst possible time. Just tonight he stops torturing a suspect because he believes the guy will not talk. Five minutes later after some cleaver knife play by another, the guy tells everything. Jack was affected by memories of China and what it felt like. Jack cannot do his job and says as much, but quickly get caught back up in the day’s events and the most surprising, shocking, and any other adjective you want to add ending to an hour of 24 I have ever seen.

I do not do spoilers here, but will say the last 10 minutes of the first 4 hours is a very clear message from the writers to us, the viewers. They basically said that the gloves are off this year and nothing is safe. We cannot rest on the “happy ending” we normally know will come at the end of the season. In ten minutes they changed all the rules of a show that has always broken the rules and shocked an audience that has come to expect shocks. The one-two punch it delivers is something I am going to need a few days to get over to be honest.

I promise to get into some of the other issues being addressed this season in the next update for 24. The ending really took quite a bit out of me honestly. The DVD is out for these first four hours and I really suggest getting it NOW! GO!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Friday vs Microsoft Word

2007 is off to a good start thus far it would appear. I mean I am having another good Friday this week. I even have plans this weekend to boot. OK, they are with my family, but plans are plans and I will be out of the Lemming House on Saturday which is not usual. I will even be out of the Lemming House before noon on a Saturday which is unheard of. Weird, huh?

Did you know Microsoft Word is Christian? Neither did I, but I have noticed this need for Word to tell me I spell “good” wrong every time I say I am having a good Friday. It wants me to capitalize the “G” so it is “Good Friday”, but that is only once a year I think. The little “you screwed up” green line is under the good in this sentence as well. Freaking wrong Word tells me I spell my last name wrong every time too.

You know you are a horrible speller when Word cannot even give you suggestions. So many times Word has said to me “Dude, you are on your own you illiterate freak. I am surprised you got your name right. Oh wait, you didn’t.” YES I DID YOU STUPID PROGRAM!

Sorry, I hate Word most times and am 100% dependant on it because I spell so horribly. I should be thankful for those annoying red and green lines for letting me know when I screw up, but some assistance other than “wrong again schmuck” would be nice. Makes me happy I use a demo version although if I paid I might get more help. Hmmmm….

We are at T-90 minutes until the weekend folks. I hope you have a great one. Babble more later…

Hypocrite: Thy Name Is Rosie

I really have tried my best not to give any press to the spat here, but I must. I really hoped that if we just ignored them they would grow tired of it and move on, but I was wrong. Mark your calendar with this fact because while I may be wrong often I do not admit it in print often. This is a time I was wrong and am wrong and probably will still be wrong tomorrow. The sad truth is that Rosie and the Don will just not go away. We are stuck with the fat and the hair fighting it out for the rest of our lives and we need to just accept it. That war is not one she appears to be winning though so she has to start a new feud with another top rated show.

"To make fun of someone’s physical appearance, is this what America thinks is entertainment?"

I do not watch American Idol and never have. I am just not a fan of talent shows, but the show is a huge hit and there is no denying its success. The people who run the show certainly know exactly what they are doing and Simon’s rudeness is the main selling point of the show without a doubt. In fact, there is not a single person in the television watching world that does not know Simon will say the meanest thing he possibly can to the contestants who suck and the truth is the contestants know they suck and wait in line to be insulted by Simon. It is a badge of honor and everyone knows this, except Rosie. Rosie instead must take offense at Simon for insulting these poor people. Has she forgotten her comments about the Don’s hair? Rosie is getting on someone’s case for being mean?

“If you keep serving people crap, they’re eventually going to think it’s a meal…three millionaires… one probably intoxicated. So sad.”

Crap Rosie? Carrie Underwood, Clay Aiken, Kelly Clark..something are all amazingly talented people. I do not like their genre of music per say, but there is no denying they have a real gift. You are a comedian Rosie but you only make people laugh at you, not with you.

Rosie, you did have a drunk, sorry tired Danny De Vito on your show, did you not? Can you tell me that Paula is drunk on the show? Do you know for a fact? You got very upset with the Don for saying things about you, yet you feel the same right to do it to any and everyone else?

I am so sorry to write about that disgusting person (Rosie, not the Don) on this blog. I know the Paris Hilton stories were almost too much for you to take, but the hypocrisy of Rosie’s outrage over Simon’s quotes is just one step too far for me. She is now even more worthless than she was before. I believe the ratings the View is getting can be compared to the amount of rubber neckers an accident brings out: no one wants to see the gore, but also cannot stop watching out of pure disbelief. That is Rose- we cannot stop watching out of pure shock such a thing actually exists.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

24, Day 6, Hour 1: 6-7am

I have been giving thought to how I am going to do this without ruining it. Tivo has certainly changed the way we watch television and I do not want to ruin anything for anyone who has yet to start, but I have to write about “24.” I am like a kid with a new toy right now and I am about to burst, but I also hate spoilers so this is going to be a careful dance for us both. I know, do not click to read more unless you WANT TO KNOW MORE. How’s that?

Still reading? I knew you would. I am the same way. I hate spoilers and still must read them. I think I hate surprises more than spoilers, but that is not an invitation to ruin 24 if you are ahead of me. It is ruined every other season by someone and I really want to get the same ride I got off the first season.

“The following takes place between 6:00am and 7:00am.”

The United States is undergoing its worst series of attacks ever. In the last nine weeks there has been eleven terrorists attacks (or was it 11 weeks and 9 attacks?) that has left numerous Americans dead and many more injured. The Office of Homeland Security has a suspect they believe to be responsible, but they are not sure how to find him. They have only one option and that is to bargain with another terrorist who will give him up, but for the ever present price. Today’s special is selling for $25 million and one Jack Bauer who is the agent who killed terrorist B’s brother years ago.

When we last saw Jack he was kidnapped by China and heading for a horrible fate, but this is “24” and he is the star so six minutes into the episode enter the military plane with a special package. The President has made some deal with the Chinese for Jack’s return only to immediately turn Jack over to terrorist B and his happy room straight out of the movie Hostel. You know the room: a single chair and lots of shiny metal sharp objects that two people are needed to play with but only one has fun. Jack was placed in such a room and we learned a little anatomy in the scene (there is a bundle of nerves right near your armpit that seems to hurt quite a bit when punctured with a knife) as well as the fact that terrorist B is the real terrorist and is setting up terrorist A who has lost faith in their cause. I was not prepared for the twists to start so early in the “day.”

Needless to say Jack partially escapes by pulling a Dracula on one of his guards (yes that is exactly what I mean) and unlocking his cuffs with the guard’s key. The first hour ends with Jack hiding in a sewer grate in terrorist B’s hideout.

Also within this single hour Jack Bauer was able to shave off two years facial hair growth, shower, change, be driven out to the middle of nowhere for the drop off, be picked up by the terrorists, tortured, and escape. That takes some serious suspension of disbelief. They are lucky they create a compelling show to be honest because it really requires an epic leap to follow some of their plots.

That is where episode one ended. Let me know if I ruined anything for you and I will not continue with the updates. The only schedule I can promise is I will write the next episode as soon as I return from watching it at my Rent’s house.

Jack Bauer is back and this year is going to be a great ride.

Yo Ho Yo Ho! A Lack of Life for Me!

I have a new addiction. It did not take me all that long to get a new one or to get over my old one come to think of it. Company of Heroes is a fun game and all, but I have learned just how badly I really suck at games that involve war strategy. I just cannot think in terms of the ambush and how to maximize casualties on the other side. I have always preferred the types of game that my having fun does not involve someone else losing. What can I say, I'm liberal.

That is the main problem with games like Company of Heroes: you spend on average 90 minutes on a single game and those games are only fun if you are winning. If you are on the losing side you have ninety minutes of pain and loss ahead of you. Not exactly the most fun way to spend an evening to be honest. I do not mind losing, but those games quickly break down to my doing nothing more than supplying things for the other person to kill. I bought the game so I could be the one doing the killing and at 35 do not handle being out flanked by a 15 year old very well. It is embarrassing to say the least and frustrating beyond belief.

There is also the added fact that most games today are just too damn complicated. Pong used a knob that allowed you to move left and right: that was it and it changed the world. Atari had a joystick which added more directions and a single button, but it was still fairly basic. Defender was the most complicated game of the day with its four buttons and joystick. Four buttons! I barely have enough fingers for that and a joystick!

Today’s games have two joysticks and on average of twelve buttons as well as War and Peace size instruction booklets just to get started. This does not include all the hidden cheats that are needed to play most games and that you must find on your own. This desire for realism has ruined a past time for many an aging gamer to be honest. Games that are for your home computer are even worse usually on the mind since they use a keyboard to mimic most functions a joystick was designed to do easily (I say easily with my tongue firmly in my cheek).

All of this babble brings me back to the main topic which once again got lost for three paragraphs. I really have to get this tangent thing under control. I have found a game that is addicting worse than crack (not that I know) and so simple that even I can work it. The game is called Pirates and only uses the numpad of your keyboard for every function of the game. It is beyond quick to learn and impossible to stop playing.

The premise of the game is that you are a young pirate with your first command. You choose if you want to be Spanish, English, Dutch, or French, but have no loyalty to any of those nations. You are trying to rescue your family who was captured by an evil pirate, but there is no impending need to do that because you are a pirate and you have a fortune to make.

The game involves you sailing from port to port selling the goods you either buy in other ports or plunder from other ships. The various nations are always at war so there is quite a bit of gold in it for you if you concentrate on one nation and keep letting their enemy know the trouble you are causing them. You can attack other ships; raid ports; search for buried treasure; follow the quest to find your family; or just cause general chaos in the area. It is all up to you.

Last night I made peace with the Spanish just to get jobs from them protecting their treasure ships. Instead I would lead them out into the middle of the ocean and kill the crew, take the gold, and sink the ships. England paid very well for that. I am hooked. If this site goes a few days without an update know I am a very rich and successful pirate, but that should not happen. I have plenty of room in my lack of a life to fulfill every addiction I have and still have room for a few more.

For the record, yes I have the “Pirates of the Caribbean” song in my head every second I am playing the game.

Lemmings Make Mistakes?!

When “they” tell you to be sure you make a back up before making changes you better be sure you made a back up. These are not idol requests or wasted words by any means. Trust me when it comes to this and do everything you can to remember that back up. Write a note and staple it to your head if you must and place a mirror next to your monitor so you can be sure you see the note. You should probably write the note backwards so that it will be easily read in the reflection as well. It would seem obvious, but a person who constantly forgets to make a back up really cannot be trusted to notice the obvious, now can they?

There are all these nifty features that Blogger has added to their programming and many of these nifty features are, well, nifty. There are quite a few I would love to have on this blog. Things like guard rails to place around the cliffs for example and maybe a sign or two warning of the cliffs ahead; nothing too extreme or noticeable, but just minor tweaks to the ascetics of the place. I tried to add a few of these new features last night. You may have noticed that brief period of time where things were all screwy here at the Lemming House. That was me playing with the HTML code and ignoring the “save your template before making changes” warning. To make a long story short (too late) I lost most of my links and did not like the new template either: it was a double loss.

I am lucky (or just smart enough to outsmart myself) in that I do have a few different pages set up with similar templates, but only my main page is updated as I add new friends. I am a lazy, lazy blogger. This would be why the troll warning has reappeared on the front page for example. I did not erase anyone’s link per say and am really sorry for losing some really great links. Please if I have lost your link please let me know and DO NOT THINK I DROPPED YOUR LINK FOR SOME NEFARIOUS REASON! The only reason is that I am not very bright half of the time and am sort of dim the rest of the time.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

A Request From Your Host

I have a general request of all who comment here and it has to do with “24.” I watch it with my parents on an irregular schedule and, as a result, am usually at least four episodes behind. What I ask is that you do not post anything about the show here. I probably will be posting as I see them, but it is usually two to three weeks after it aired so I really cannot ruin it for anyone else. They are starting with a four hour/ two night premiere and we will probably only get two in this week at most.

I hope you decide to come along for the ride. It should be a lot of lip-chewing pant-pissing nail-biting disbelief-suspending time-ignoring fun. I cannot wait to see how many different locations they squeeze into a five minute traveling time this season.

Jack Bauer returns so no one is safe now.

Ponderings of a Waking Mind

Circling about in my head are a few thoughts. The single thought of “I’m bored” is enjoying the company for a change. Scary Monster’s admission that he did not know what a Pict was is the first thought to come for a visit. Do I even know today what a Pict is? I know curiosity in high school drove me to looking it up, but I cannot really remember what I found out when I did. I think it is an instrument of some type; possibly a string one from ancient times. I must look it up now and find out if I killed those brain cells or not. Hang on…

Pict (pĭkt)
One of an ancient people of northern Britain. They remained undefeated by the Romans and in the ninth century joined with the Scots to form a kingdom later to become Scotland.

Those brain cells are long dead it seems. At 35 pop culture is still driving me to learn new things. Is there any wonder I am so in love with pop culture when it keeps teaching me so much? I honestly typed the above paragraph with the thought of it being an instrument of some description. Pretty dumb Scary, huh?

Most people feel this need to act as if they knew things before exposed to them, not me. I am not ashamed to say I did not know of “Johnny Got His Gun” until after hearing Metallica’s One. I first learned of the charge of the light brigade from Iron Maiden’s “The Trooper” and I first read “For Whom the Bell Tolls” also because of Metallica. In fact, much of my education is due largely to my curiosity sparked from pop culture references. Most people would be embarrassed to admit such a thing but reality is usually there to embarrass us.

This leads us right to thought number two. I would like to introduce you to Mr. “G-d is bored.” He is usually here on Sundays. It might have something to do with the religious broadcasts I wake up to on the radio every Sunday. It is a constant theme on this blog it appears; more so than the politics I intended to write about. Even the political pieces usually break down to some version of G-d’s boredom. Our desire to be entertained is probably our most G-d-like trait. It explains why we worship Him so to be honest.

If you think about it we really do not treat G-d or Jesus or Mohammed any other religious figure any differently than any other celebrity. Each religion is nothing more than another fan club in essence with its own rules for joining and its own celebrity. It is a regional thing as well. There are not many chapters of the “Hank Williams, Jr Fan Club” in India today, they love Shri Harvinder Singh and Texas never heard of the man. (For the record, I searched “top sitar player” because I needed an example and have never heard of this man.)

The world today is simply G-d’s entertainment and we are his celebrities as much as He is ours. We get entertainment from watching each other fall, slip, win, fall in love, get upset, fight, and on and on. The more tragic the story the more we tune in and we wonder why life is so hard and what the meaning of life is. Isn’t that ironic, dontcha think?

The third thought is “I’m really thirsty” so I think it is time to start my day. My bathroom is screaming “CLEAN ME SEYMOUR” so I must go. Have a great day and avoid those cliffs.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Friday, Bad Lunch, Slow Clock, and Titles

Here is the question: is a slow and boring but easy Friday better or worse than a busy and quick moving, but hard and frustrating one? It is a serious question because after weeks and weeks and weeks of begging for an easy Friday I got one and am bored. I have checked my clock 10 times in the last five minutes. I know last Friday was slow, but it is in Warp 10 compared to today.

Normally Fridays are a stress filled savage attack on my temper with techs not wanting to work and more patients than we have beds wanting to come in. The last few weeks has been the opposite with techs wanting hours and patients gone for the long holiday. We are now in the second week of January and people are starting to go back to their doctors and appointments are starting to come back. We are always pretty dead from mid-December to mid-January which is why research is such a gift; it keeps us afloat during the lull in patients. Today is a new case for me and I am not used to it. I got everything done in one hour. Everything!

I don’t normally do this here, but “Fuck come on already!” I mean I have exactly the number of techs I need for the number of patients I have: no more, no less. I have no one to cancel and no techs to frantically search for. This is really weird to be honest, but I am not complaining at all. The office staff is even in a great mood today including the office manager. A comet is going to fall on us, isn’t it? There is something afoot I can tell.

I can say everything is not going great however. I got sent to buy groceries for the sleep lab: bagels, waffles, O.J, the normal breakfastie foods. I was starving and passed the deli of this store. I will not say which store it was, but will give you a hint: its name is located within this actual song title by Alice Donut- “'The Son Of A Disgruntled X-Postal Worker Reflects On His Life While Getting Stoned In The Parking Lot Of A Winn Dixie Listening To Metallica.” Did that help any? I also liked the title “Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving with a Pict” by Pink Floyd and the best album title ever is Joe Walsh’s “You Bought It, You Name It” followed closely by REO Speedwagon’s “You Can Tune a Piano, But You Can’t Tuna Fish”, but this is a tangent and a big one at that. I was talking about the one bad part of this day. I should start this part over I think.

I can say everything is not going great however. I got sent to buy groceries for the sleep lab and was starving. I passed the deli of this store (see above) and saw a cuban sandwich sitting in plastic housing and looking almost eatable. At my level of hunger it looked more than eatable…silly me. The cheese was harder than the plastic the sandwich came in and the white stuff I thought was mayo was certainly not mayo and I am pretty sure I really do not want to know what it was. I think they substituted cardboard for the role of meat in today’s production as well. I ate every bite of it though, hunger sucks. If I don’t post at all this weekend, call 911 because it means the sandwich got the better of me.

Happy weekend to all and to all a happy weekend. Wait, that was redundant. IT said the same thing. It repeated itself.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Rest in Peace Mr. Robert Anton Wilson.

While following the Grateful Dead in the summer of '95 I spent quite a bit of time in the backseat of a Honda Accord. Yes, they do have one sort of. It would be hours and sometimes days of travel time between shows and I brought with me one book: The Illuminatus! Trilogy by Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea. It was the hardest read of my life and had the greatest impact on me of any other book I ever read before or since. It is not for the content of the book, but for the way the book makes you see the world after you finished. When the tour was over I could never back out of the rabbit hole again.

The Illuminatus! Trilogy is the mother of all historical conspiracy theories. The film National Treasure as well as both the book and movie The Da Vinci Code owe quite a bit to this masterpiece. It is a book that links the city of Atlantis to the Free Masons and the Founding Fathers and the end of the world. It bases most of its tale on a cleaver linking of vague historical inconsistencies and known secret organizations then links the two as a catalyst for most of America's history.

The story is hard to explain and even harder to read. It took 500 pages just to get all the main characters introduced and the situations set in motion. The book has about 50 main character, takes place in multiple eras, expands to at least two dimensions, and let's you know it is 90% truth with 10% bullshit mixed in: it is up to you to tell which is which. It even supplies an appendix in the back of historical documents so you can confirm certain things that had to be bullshit but are true. Things like George Washington smoked pot; that one turns out to be true.

Reading this book in the back of that Honda is where your host Lemming was born. The tin foil cap was placed upon my head and Kanrei sat up to say "hello" to the world. From that point on my mind was connecting dots that were never there for my own entertainment. Sometimes I would believe them, but most times it was just fun coming up with them. I think a few would even have made Mr. Wilson happy.

Being no expert on Robert Anton Wilson I am not going to pretend to be one to write a tribute to the man. Instead I am going to simply re-post his last update to his blog so you can see the type of guy he was.

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Do Not Go Gently Into That Good Night

Various medical authorities swarm in and out of here predicting I have between two days and two months to live. I think they are guessing. I remain cheerful and unimpressed. I look forward without dogmatic optimism but without dread. I love you all and I deeply implore you to keep the lasagna flying.

Please pardon my levity, I don't see how to take death seriously. It seems absurd.


Rest in Peace Mr. Wilson.

Serena Inspired But Revealing

You Are 48% Democrat

You aren't a full fledged Democrat yet, but it's likely the party that fits you best.
You probably consider yourself an independent Democrat. You usually support the party, but you also think for yourself!

You Are 16% Republican

If you have anything in common with the Republican party, it's by sheer chance.
You're a staunch liberal, and nothing is going to change that!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

My Right Gemini Twin on Bush's Speech

Could it be our little Dubya is growing up? He is not a mature adult yet, but he has taken a massive step and I am quite proud of our little guy. I mean he is still deep in denial about how we got to where we are today in Iraq, but he is recognizing the depth of our failures thus far and his responsibility for those failures. Little steps forward are better than giant leaps backwards I believe. Tonight’s speech has given me a tiny ray of hope in an otherwise dim outlook.

“Al Qaeda terrorists and Sunni insurgents recognized the mortal danger that Iraq’s elections posed for their cause. And they responded with outrageous acts of murder aimed at innocent Iraqis.”

Al Qaeda has very little to do with the trouble in Iraq today. The Sunni/ Shiite war has a very long history that goes back much further than our overthrowing of Saddam. It is a conflict that even predates the war between Sunni ran Iraq and Shiite ran Iran in the 80’s. It is a religious war of ideology much like the Catholic/ Protestant war that wrecked havoc on England for so long. It saddens me that Bush still insists that Iraq has anything to do with the war on terror, but like I said, at least he is getting better.

“The situation in Iraq is unacceptable to the American people – and it is unacceptable to me… where mistakes have been made, the responsibility rests with me. “

It has taken President Bush six long years to admit error, but he finally has and that does count for something with me. It is a long way from his mocking the hunt for WMD’s and his insistence that we were winning in Iraq. The speech tonight could possibly signal the birth of a new George Bush; one that is humbled before the American people. It is possible that he really did get the message sent to him in November. His past history does not fill me with much hope, but the speech tonight does.

“In keeping with the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group, we will increase the embedding of American advisers in Iraqi Army units – and partner a Coalition brigade with every Iraqi Army division. We will help the Iraqis build a larger and better-equipped Army – and we will accelerate the training of Iraqi forces... We will give our commanders and civilians greater flexibility to spend funds for economic assistance. We will double the number of Provincial Reconstruction Teams.”

This is a very different plan than the one we have failed under for the past three years. It almost seems like President Bush has recognized it was his desire to run the war that caused most of the problems and has finally decided to let those who understand war run it. Most of the items he is covering in this new plan are actually things requested of him and denied long ago. This is not so much his plan as his acknowledging his plan sucked in the first place, but nothing was going to change until he realized his failures.

The plan is far from perfect and, to be honest, I still wish we had never gone in the first place, but wishes are for wells. The reality is that we are there. We have two choices before us and those are leave or stay. I would prefer we leave, but that is not going to happen so at least those with experience are going to be running it now. There is hope for success now whatever that means.

I am trying to be optimistic right now. I did not watch the speech, but read the text online. I may be giving the words written for him more credit than his reading them deserved. I may wake up tomorrow pissed off at the entire plan, but then I will read this and say “I am an idiot” and not know if I mean when I wrote this or when I read it.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Observations from the Cursed

I used to hear of an old Japanese curse (maybe it was Chinese; I know it was from the Orient) that said “May You Live in Interesting Times.” I always took this to mean “may you live during a period of time history will remember” and that usually means war or turmoil. I mean how interesting are those period of time where nothing really happened? In fact, you can view it as the more interesting your times are, the more cursed you are. This could be a carry over of Karma (another Eastern idea) and you have cursed yourself to be here at this time in a previous life, but no matter how or why, we appear to be cursed because this time is certainly more interesting than most others.

If I had to sum up the world in one word for the mental state of humanity in this new millennium, I would use the word “delusional.” There are no fingers attached to this term so do not feel I am pointing it at anyone in particular, but rather just assigning the term to everyone alive right now. We are all living under delusions of one sort or another. To be honest the world is so screwed up, I mean interesting right now that we must delude ourselves just to get up in the morning. Reality would increase the suicide rate I fear to be frank. All one must do is look at what happened just today and you get everything you need.

Today President Bush has decided he will be sending approximately 20,000 more troops into Iraq for what many believe will be at least three more years of savage and massive bloodshed. Insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results. I fail to see how 20,000 more troops are going to stop the civil war we are currently trapped in. There can be no debate over whether or not Iraq is in a civil war. The only ones still denying that fact are those who just cannot deal with it. It is and it is largely our fault. Deal with that fact so we can move on and fix things.

On the other side, Nancy Pelosi does not seem to fully understand her role in the government. She seems to believe that as Speaker of the House she has any control over deployment of troops or military matters. She does not, only the President has control over that. All Nancy has control over is the funding the military as a whole gets. The Pentagon I believe decides where exactly the money goes to. All she can do is cut general military funding which would be political suicide in every regard possible. The cuts would not come from the front, but rather would hit the V.A. hospitals and G.I. benefits and such. All she would do is hurt those at home who already have fought.

Now you must remember I did say the world was delusional today and not just America, right? Well it seems also today that all charges against Saddam Hussein in the murder of over 100,000 Kurds will be dropped. This boggles my mind to be honest. I mean I realize he is dead, but the trial is still going on with the other six defendants who will more than likely just lay it all at Saddam’s feet. If he were still a defendant then evidence in relation to him could still be admitted. Now, he is forever innocent because all charges have been dropped. Now all Kurds have been denied justice. Now we will never know how much of a role American aid played in the 1983 massacre. Never forget that was the same time we were in love with our Mullah fighting Iraqi dictator. This will only serve to add to the already growing conspiracies that we had Saddam’s execution rushed to silence our connection to him.

I think that is enough weirdness for one day. There was something else but I cannot remember what it was. I am sure it will come to me at around 2:30 am and make so much noise that I cannot fall back asleep and cannot blog it or else everyone would know I was blogging at 2:30 am. It takes delight in such torments as it vanishes with the rising sun. Stupid anti-me brain!

Are You Really Ready?

The countdown begins today. We have seven days until the new season of “24” and I for one cannot wait. I have been with this show since day one and have not missed very many hours of the ride and oh my what a ride it has been. It is one of those rare shows that leaves the audience literally on the edge of their seats every minute of the season. You never know who you can trust or even what characters will survive until the end of the season. Last year they killed of Edgar and Tony, two major characters, halfway through the season after killing off a slew of main characters to start it. No one is safe on this show which is very rare for television.

For those who have been in a cave for the last five year, each season of “24” takes place over the course of a single day; each episode an hour of that day. Jack Bauer, the main character, is an agent for the Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU) based in Los Angles and every season must stop a terrorist attack on America. It has ranged from assassination attempts on Presidential candidates to nuclear weapons to chemical attacks on L.A. As the last credit roll of season five began, Jack was sailing to China on a freighter beaten and bloody and no one had the slightest clue what happened to him. Well, no one but the President who is the one who set him up. The show has yet to end on a happy note.

This season begins on Sunday/ Monday with a two night four hour onslaught. How does Jack get back from China? What is going to happen with President Logan? Did Aaron live? Did they really kill off Tony? Who is going to die this season? What nastiness do the writers have in store for us this season? Will the inside of my mother’s cheek ever heal (she bites it during every minute of every episode due to stress)?

All these questions and more will NOT be answered on Sunday, but will instead torment and tease me for the next three months. I really hope you come along for the ride. I will update here without giving away too much for those who are behind. I hate spoilers with shows like this and will not be one.

The following takes place between 7am and 8am on the day of the California Presidential primary” was one of the best openings for a show ever and they have kept the mojo going strong.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Seems To Be The Time

Since everyone is posting what they look like, I figured it was time for me to torture you as well. Click with the knowledge you have been warned!

This is me from 1992

And here is your host about 3 years ago. Add a goatee and that is me today. Nice to meet you.

Three Cheers for the "Subway Superman"

In this new millennium the word “hero” has been thrown around quite a bit. It seems everyone today is a hero for just doing their jobs. The term is losing almost all of its meaning. A hero to me is someone who risks everything for a complete stranger; not for the fame or the glory, but because they happen to be the one who sees the need for help. For example, those who died on 9/11 are not all heroes. Most of them are simply victims of a tragedy. The heroes are those who ran into a burning and crumbling building because there might have been people trapped inside. Not everyone dying in Iraq today is a hero. Most of them are victims as well.

The word “hero” has a very specific meaning. I bring this up not to be cruel or politically incorrect, but rather because a real hero is in the news today and the word fully applies to this great person. Wesley Autrey of New York City is a real American hero and he shows just how high a concept hero is.

Wesley Autrey is a 50 year old man who lives in New York and takes the subway to work. On Tuesday a fellow New Yorker, 20 year old Cameron Hollopeter, fell from the subway station platform in Harlem onto the train tracks. Mr. Hollopeter was has having a seizure and was helpless as a train was approaching. Mr. Autrey, without thought of his own safety leapt from the platform and laid atop of Mr. Hollopeter as the train passed centimeters over their bodies. Both men were unharmed in a miracle beyond belief.

In true hero fashion, Mr. Autrey denies the title of “hero” claiming he was only a person in the right place at the right time. He says the real heroes are those fighting in Iraq today. This man is such a hero he cannot see how heroic he really is and is too humble to allow himself to see it. He even went straight from the incident to work, arriving late of course.

I am awestruck by this story to be perfectly frank. I did not believe such selfless acts were possible in today’s world. I really did not believe they were possible in New York City of all places either.

"Good things happen when you do good," Autrey said. "What better way to start a new year than saving a life?"


Friday, January 05, 2007

It's Fri...something.

So…it’s…..Fri….day….and….it….is….moving…entire…ly…too...slow…ly. The clock keeps going “tick”, but is forgetting the all important “tock” that should follow and advance time. I think today is the perfect day to lose my mind and have a mental breakdown at the office. Not due to pressure, but rather just to break the day up into “before Kanrei lost it” and “after Kanrei lost it.” Will make the day easier to talk about and create the illusion that something, anything actually happened today.

There are not even patients this weekend. Everyone is still on vaca or something it seems; everyone but me. I am trapped in a boring and uneventfully quiet office. The only action right now is patients calling up to reschedule for a later date. This means that those few techs who I called this morning to confirm are probably going to get another call in an hour or so to cancel. The worst part is that it is an hour that will not come until the clock finds its missing “tocks.”

To quote Dante’ from “Clerks”, I am not even supposed to be here today. I am supposed to be on my way to Tampa right now. In fact, it being 1:40 means I would be just about there right now. Why am I still in Miami and not in Tampa? Well, because G-d is a funny deity. I told you that I never make it to Tampa to visit my dad and you are starting to see why. Last week was my bleeding problem and now that my problem is taken care of my father has the flu and 102 temperature. Can you believe this? The same thing happened last year. I failed to make it first because my car died on the turnpike and then he got sick the following week. This year I get sick and, once I am healthy to go he gets sick the following week…again.

Is this maybe a sign that he and I are apart for a reason? Maybe the combined sarcasm of the two of us together will create a sarcastic tsunami that will overtake southern Florida and cause mass deaths. Who knows, but it is comical in some cosmic sense. It makes me believe there are no random occurrences in life. It makes me lean towards some deity in charge of it all. Maybe a failed comedy writer or something got a promotion to G-d. Stranger things have happened.

Lastly, I want to say how sorry I am to all the wayward lemmings that became a bit more wayward over the last month. The Lemming House is collecting some cobwebs and the dust is getting thick. I have quite a bit of spring cleaning ahead of me. It is not for lack of trying though. I have not even found anything to send into Blogcritics. I am in a drought of inspiration right now, but I am also giving birth to a new writing bug so who knows which will win out. December is always a quiet month for me so stay tuned. The fun starts anew now.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Working Out the Bugs of a Long Winter's Break

In 1992, one of the family was elected to the second highest office in this country. In 2000, he was elected to the highest office, but was never sworn in. Now, in 2006 two more of the family have rose to the top seats in both houses of Congress: Senator Harry Reid and Representative Nancy Pelosi, the two most powerful Deadheads in the world. I am no longer worried about the future being in their hands for they are family.

“You know it’s gonna get stranger so let’s get on with the show”- Feels Like a Stranger

In two separate reports tonight on the Drudge Report we have confirmation that both the Speaker of the House and the Majority Leader of the Senate are Deadheads (one story on each one) and I do not mean dead from the neck up. I mean they are members of the tribe; they are family; they love the Grateful Dead. Al Gore’s status as a Deadhead was common knowledge, but I thought that he was a rarity in government. It seems he was not.

In an interview with a Las Vegas news station Harry Reid said that his most prized possession was a signed Grateful Dead poster. While I do not approve of his keeping it in his bathroom, I am still in awe of a Senator having a signed Dead poster anywhere. When I used to go to shows I never pictured world leaders in the tie-dyes next to me. More insane rambling homeless people, but that could just have been the drugs: theirs or mine.

The other story was more of a harsh tale, but that seems to be what Pelosi can expect for the next two years. It dealt with her proposed cuts to lobbying money and what exactly will not be affected by it. It is a savage piece, but one sentence stands out to me and apparently to Matt Drudge because he is why I even saw it. The sentence:

“The NYT describes it as a "$1,000-a-head fund-raiser with performances by Tony Bennett, Carole King, Wyclef Jean and the surviving members of the Grateful Dead. 'Ms. Pelosi is a huge Dead fan,' her spokeswoman said."

Maybe she is a hypocrite. To be honest, she probably is. I have yet to ever see a politician who isn’t, but I now I have to cut her slack as well. She is a Head and therefore gets the benefit of the doubt. It would be want Jerry and Brent and Pigpen, and Keith, and even Vince would want. She may have been that way just to get to where she is and will do the right thing now.

The truth is I could not really focus on the story, I am just so amazed that Deadheads are rising so high in government. The other truth is that I do not have that much to say about this other than what I have said. Babbling I know, but I am working back into the swing.