1.31.2006

How to pay your taxes this year...

Dear IRS,

Enclosed is my 2005 tax return showing that I owe $3,407.00 in taxes. Please note the attached article from USA Today, wherein you will see the Pentagon is paying $171.50 for hammers and NASA has paid $600.00 for a toilet seat.

Accordingly, I am enclosing four toilet seats (value: $2,400.00) and six hammers (value: $1,029.00), bringing my total remitted to $3,429.00. Please apply the overpayment of $22.00 to the "Presidential Election Fund" as noted on my return. You can do this inexpensively by sending the candidate of your choice the one, attached 1.5-inch Phillips Head screw (see USA Today article detailing how HUD paid $22.00 each for 1.5-inch Phillips Head screws).

It has been a pleasure to pay my tax bill this year, and I look forward to paying it again next year.

Sincerely,
A Satisfied Taxpayer

Going Postal Today...

We heard about the tragic story about the postal worker who "went postal" on several of her USPS coworkers in California yesterday, or this morning or whenever it was. The story is here:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11107022/

I can't imagine what it is that makes these people do this... an odd phenomenon..

Anyway, here at the office we decided we would all scream and hide when our mail carrier came in today - he got a good laugh out of it. We all hollered, "duck and cover!!!"

If you don't know what that is, check this link out:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1528313029232126903&q=public+domain

That Bill Gates Feller

He's a jealous sort of guy, isn't he? He just can't stand to see anyone making advances in market share.... soon he'll start making washers and dryers... "damn that SEARS, they're making MONEY!!!"

NEW YORK (Dow Jones)--Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) is working on plans to develop a portable digital media device to rival Apple Computer Inc.'s (AAPL) iPod, BusinessWeek reported on its Web site Friday.

Citing sources inside the company and at its partners, the magazine said Microsoft hasn't decided if it will go ahead with the project, but has put together a team that's considering the business end of such an initiative.

Currently, Microsoft shares its technology with dozens of partners, and Chairman William H. Gates III has argued that consumers would prefer a vast choice of devices to the limited selection from Apple.

However, Apple has been extending its lead in digital music, BusinessWeek said. In 2005, Apple's share of portable media devices sold in the U.S. grew to 67% from 52% in 2004, according to NPD Group Inc. Making its own device, despite an uneven track record in consumer electronics, may be Microsoft's only viable alternative, BusinessWeek said.

1.30.2006

Got time to waste???

I figured I'd post this here today since the enron dudes are back in court this morning...

Here's your chance to peruse the entire set of emails that was recovered from the email servers at the company before it went down the drain.

Morons Of The Day awards, all around.

http://www.enronemail.com/

Does air have mass?

Just a little question. Because I was thinking about it. Last November I asked Val to get me a large list from which I might acquire knowledge about what sorts of things she might be interested in getting for Christmas, and on the list was a small aquarium for her to take to the office. I thought that was a nice idea, and it was out of the ordinary, so I got one. Admittedly, it was not the one she sent me as a link. I took it upon myself to get one *I* thought she would like even better, but when it came it seemed bigger than the one she sent me, and overall, it was bigger than she wanted to take to the office. Isn't that how all men think...? If you like that one, you'll REALLY like this one... doh!!

It's a nice globe-shaped one, and I thought it was unique, and nice... silly me.

Anyway, we ended up keeping it at home - which brought up the problem of where to put it. Our house is not as big as we'd like it to be, so after careful consideration, we dicided on a spot on the landing between the home office and the master bedroom, but when it was plugged in, the little air pump made a bit of racket. I don't sleep all that soundly these days, and I was worried about the pump making too much noise and keeping me awake. The solution came on the form of a 25 foot peice of air hose that meant we were able to put the pump around the corner in the office, and it would be out of the way, and not making noise all night. Problem solved...

But then I was thinking, how much hose could one realistically put between the pump and the tank? I got to thinking about the little pump having to push air through that much more hose, and wondered if we were going to burn out the poor little pump.

So, how much hose it too much? How much air can it push through the little hose?

When I was doing the big pond outside last summer, I remember I had to do a very careful calculation regarding the pump for the waterfall and stream parts. I had to calculate how far the horizontal run was, and factor it in with the vertical rise as well, coming up with an acceptable "gallons per hour" number.

I know that water is by far heavier than air, as far as pumping goes. And I do know that air does indeed have mass and weight. It's just not something we think about everyday. For instance, we "zero" our scales to show "0" when there is nothing on them. But I also know that the speed of sound is slower at sea level, because there is more air "on top" of us there, as compared to the city of Denver, for example. That's why golf balls go farther in Denver than in San Diego.

Just stuff that makes you go, "...hmmm...."

I think of the stupidest things when I'm just staring off into space waiting to fall asleep...

:)

1.27.2006

Brush With Greatness - or at least with a really big dude.

Went to lunch today - Panda Express - it's about a once-a-month weakness for me... And I ended up holding the door for Karl Malone and his two buddies. I said, "hello, Mr. Malone," and he said, "Hey, how ya doin."

You always call somebody that big "Mister."

And that was it.

He was wearing a big dark sheepskin jacket and a cowboy hat big enough to take a bath in. I told my wife Val about it, and she wanted to know, 1) what he is doing in utah, and 2) what he was doing eating at PANDA...


I told her I didn't stick around to see what he was eating.

More later.

American Arhcitectural Styles

Anyone who is interested in looking at the different American Architectural styles should check this page out:

http://jan.ucc.nau.edu/~twp/architecture/

It has every style, in chronological order, as well as a short description of identifying features, history of that particular style, and some sample pictures of each style.

great information.

Laters.

1.26.2006

Art-deco, and Mid Century Modern

I was talking to a co-worker yesterday, and we were both commiserating over the fact that we had both wanted to be architects when we were younger and neither of us pursued it at all. Then we were talking about design styles and places where one could see interesting things. The conversation turned towards art deco, and he was asking what years the "art deco" period refers to, and I explained that it was an overlapping time with Mid Century modern, and just as there are particluar enclaves where one can view entire neighborhoods of Mid Century Modern design, there are also areas where one can observe Art Deco style in similar conditions. I have posted links to one of each, if you care at all.

Mid Century Modern:
http://www.milehimodern.com/

Art Deco:
There are, in fact, many "design districts" in Miami. The new Design District should be considered the "Interior Design District." The historic Deco buildings in South Beach can be designated as the "Architectural Design District." Extending all along the beachfront is a flesh-worshipping "Body Design District." The Lincoln Road stretch of South Beach might be called the "Demotic, or Popular Design District." This street was redesigned by legendary architect Morris Lapidus in the '50s, replacing the highway and cars with plants, fountains, sculpture and caf├ęs. The mix of fashion, food, furnishings, accessories and international character provides more diversity than can be found on any other six blocks in the United States. World-class independent stores like Base and restaurants like Pacific Time give the area its panache, and the architectural restrictions give the area its authenticity. Click here to see more of Lincoln Road.

A couple of news observations

So, a couple of quick posts here before the day really gets going.

First, I was reading the newspaper this morning and found a note burried on page 5 that piqued my ineterest because it is a pet peeve of mine. The article stated that there was a "major" arrest warrant served yesterday by "ICE", which was formerly the INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) in the lily white, uber-righteous Utah county yesterday. They arrested four Mexicans who were producing up to 50 sets of illegal documents per week for illegal immigrants out of an Orem home. All four of the individuals were also illegal immigrants with no documentation whatsoever, and one had even been deported in 2003 for similar offenses. ICE was tipped off by employers around Provo, who had noticed a large number of Mexicans seeking employment using high quality counterfiet documents to apply for jobs there.

They should all be put on a one-way bus back to the hole in the fence at San Diego, and stuffed back through, and the one dude who was already deported should simply be chained to the fence there. There, I've said it.

Relating to this story is another one I heard as I was on the way to the office this morning: Apparently, in Nashville yesterday, there were arrests at a Driving School. After a long investigation, it was found that officials at the driving school, including its owner, had been bribing public officials at the DMV, providing cash in exchange for false Drivers' Licenses. This was a practice that went on for about a year, and they are still trying to round up everyone who went to that school in order to validate the license and check other immigration documents. They expect to find MANY illegals with false DL's.

Makes one wonder how much of that is going on. I get the feeling that this is simply the tip of a very large iceberg. Or burrito.

Thanks for listening.

1.25.2006

Drew Barrymore's Golden Flappers


So it seems I was not the only one who awarded Ms. Barrymore the Least Supported Actress award the other night. (see my previous post) She was on SNL last weekend as well:

Ok, I gotta go laugh til I pee...


I'm honored for the validation. :)

SuperSize my House - How McMansions Go Wrong

http://www.slate.com/id/2133029/?nav=navoa

Good observations, all of them...

Lovely homes at the end. Typical houses at the beginning.

In my business, we work with builders primarily. The buyers that are sent to us are buying homes built by McMansion Builders. Here in Utah, they are turning out these ostentatious, spackle-clad homes with no sense of scale whatsoever. People go to a 100-200 home subdivision and have a choice of four different plans, plus mirro reversals, and think it is the SHIZNIT.

Sad, really... it's "building to the lowest common denominator." Too bad. If I were in the market to be thinking about the biggest investment of my life, I'd be learning about architecture, style, and weight. There - off my soap box now.

If you want to learn about 21st century modernism, look at this:

http://www.jespersendesign.com/remodel.html

These guys have it going on. Beautiful form following function perfectly, from the architecture all the way through the interior design.

Obviously, not everyone can afford this kind of architecture. But there are other ways to get a little personality and uniqueness. I'll post some more affordable unique architecure options here shortly.

Frank Lloyd Wright Revisited

If you know me, you know I am an architecture buff... and I saw this on Slate's eMagazine today and thought I'd pass it along.

An overlooked masterpiece by Frank Lloyd Wright. By Witold Rybczynski Updated Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2006, at 10:51 AM ET

Click here to read a slide-show essay about Frank Lloyd Wright's Beth Sholom Synagogue.

http://www.slate.com/id/2134760/



Witold Rybczynski is Slate's architecture critic.

1.24.2006

Lame Joke of the day.

A farmer is sitting on the front porch of his house one hot summer day, when this kid comes walking down the road carrying a big bundle of wire.

“Hey kid!” the farmer says, “where ya goin' with that wire?”
“Well,” the kid drawls, “this here ain't just any ol' wire, this here's chicken wire. I'm fixin' to catch me some chickens!”
“You can't catch chickens with chicken wire!” says the farmer.
“Sure I can!” the kid says, and takes off down the road. He comes back at the end of the day and sure enough, he's got a whole mess of chickens caught in his chicken wire.

Well, the farmer's sitting on his porch the next day, and the same kid comes walking down the lane, carrying a big roll of tape. “Hey kid!” the farmer yells, “where ya goin' with that tape?” “Well, this here ain't just any ol' tape,” says the kid, “this here's duck tape. Im fixin' to catch me some ducks!”
“You can't catch ducks with duck tape!” says the farmer. “Sure I can!” the kid says, and takes off down the road. He comes back at the end of the day and again, the farmer can't believe his eyes. The kid has a whole bunch of ducks all wrapped up tightly in his tape.

The next day the farmer's sitting on his porch again, and the kid comes walking down the road carrying a stick. ”Hey kid!” the farmer says, “where ya goin' with that stick?” “Well, this here ain't just any old stick,” says the kid, “this here's pussy willow.”

“Hang on,” says the farmer, “I'll get my hat!”

From "This I Believe" - Taking a Stand means Taking Action.

From the NPR series, This I Believe...

November 7, 2005 · I am an American Muslim. I believe in pluralism. In the Holy Quran, God tells us, "I created you into diverse nations and tribes that you may come to know one another." I believe America is humanity's best opportunity to make God's wish that we come to know one another a reality.

In my office hangs Norman Rockwell's illustration Freedom of Worship. A Muslim holding a Quran in his hands stands near a Catholic woman fingering her rosary. Other figures have their hands folded in prayer and their eyes filled with piety. They stand shoulder-to-shoulder facing the same direction, comfortable with the presence of one another and yet apart. It is a vivid depiction of a group living in peace with its diversity, yet not exploring it.

We live in a world where the forces that seek to divide us are strong. To overcome them, we must do more than simply stand next to one another in silence.

I attended high school in the western suburbs of Chicago. The group I ate lunch with included a Jew, a Mormon, a Hindu, a Catholic and a Lutheran. We were all devout to a degree, but we almost never talked about religion. Somebody would announce at the table that they couldn't eat a certain kind of food, or any food at all, for a period of time. We all knew religion hovered behind this, but nobody ever offered any explanation deeper than "my mom said," and nobody ever asked for one.

A few years after we graduated, my Jewish friend from the lunchroom reminded me of an experience we both wish had never happened. A group of thugs in our high school had taken to scrawling anti-Semitic slurs on classroom desks and shouting them in the hallway.

I did not confront them. I did not comfort my Jewish friend. Instead I averted my eyes from their bigotry, and I avoided my friend because I couldn't stand to face him.

My friend told me he feared coming to school those days, and he felt abandoned as he watched his close friends do nothing. Hearing him tell me of his suffering and my complicity is the single most humiliating experience of my life.

My friend needed more than my silent presence at the lunch table. I realize now that to believe in pluralism means I need the courage to act on it. Action is what separates a belief from an opinion. Beliefs are imprinted through actions.

In the words of the great American poet Gwendolyn Brooks: "We are each other's business; we are each other's harvest; we are each other's magnitude and bond."

I cannot go back in time and take away the suffering of my Jewish friend, but through action I can prevent it from happening to others.

>>>
Eboo Patel is the founder and executive director of the Interfaith Youth Core, a Chicago-based organization fostering the international interfaith youth movement. He lectures worldwide on youth and religion and was a keynote speaker at the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Forum. In 2002, Utne Magazine named Patel one of "thirty social visionaries under 30."
>>>

>>>: I'm pretty sure that says it all... Inspiring indeed.

recommended reading

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0740721909/qid=1138137422/sr=2-1/ref=pd_bbs_b_2_1/104-9127253-9578326?s=books&v=glance&n=283155

God's Debris - Scott Adams

Mind warping mental gymnastics.

Just a thought... a few topics.

On the topic of Random Meanderings...

You know, I typically post stuff here from the news or wherever, and make a small comment about an obvious observation or something like that... and I've been watching the news during the State Legislative season here, and it just seems to me that we should just simply (in a weak moment) assign the whole damn state over to the LDS church and forget about it. That's what they want, after all, isn't it? I mean, really, that's what they all want, deep down, right?

The majority of our house and senate in this state, since MOST are people who either ARE or WANT to be higher-ups in Church government, would be happy to see the state government as simply an extended arm of the Rules and Regs of the LDS church... simple as that, no more need to couch it in political correctness any longer. In fact we should just move the State Capitol to 50 east North Temple, and call it good. There are an astonishing number of people who would be thrilled at the prospect, I have no doubt.

But then I get my brains back, and, like thousands of other responsible people in this state, I just can't stomach the thought of a body of old conservative men who think that every aspect of one's private and public life should be a matter of legislated rules, be they simple moral issues, right down to how, when, and where we are able to make a living, who we live with, and what sort of social benefits should be available to the citizenry.

Therefore, I hereby doff my chapeau to all the people who take the heat, and strive for the equality that should be inherent to our lives in this country. Keep up the fight, keep doing what you know is right, and fight for the rights of ALL people, not just those who think we should all behave and think in a certain way. Diversity is the name of the game here, and it needs to be protected at all costs. Why should I have to behave according to someone else's overly moral value-set? Who says that way is the only right way? Why can't we simply allow individuals to behave as they wish, as long as the greater good of humanity is the long-term view?

I had a VERY interesting email conversation with a good friend of mine the other day. He doesn't live in this state, or even in this country for that matter, and he was just trying to wrap his mind around some of the social issues we face in this state, given the very odd "variable" that is the dominant religion. He was trying to figure out how to be "of" that dominant religion, and still provide a social atmosphere where all citizens are equally treated. These are hard issues to tackle, and the way is not always very clear.

He made a comment that stayed with me in a couple of ways. He noted that if we, as a society, make it okay for gays to be "married", or at least recognize that partnership for the purposes of social benefits, where, then, does the line stop? He noted that it could easily be a case of the camel's nose already in the tent, and we would then open the door to people who think it should then be okay to marry a daughter, or multiple people, or live a communal life with MANY people, or animals, or whatever. I noted that most of that stuff is already illegal, and allowing people of the same sex to have the social benefits of being allowed to make emergency medical decisions on behalf of their partner was not letting the camel under the tent at all. It is simply allowing everybody who is a citizen of the "tent" to be treated the same, even if they don't think like the majority of the other people in the tent.

Then he noted that his young son had said to him as part of an earlier conversation with his dad... he said that if you take all "those gay people" and put them on an island, and let them do whatever they want, and in 50 or 100 years they would all be erradicated from the mainstream society. I took it as the thoughts of a (thankfully) simple-minded youngster, but I asked my friend if he thought that if that "experiment" was started, if there would be a new subculture of that community surfacing in the mainstream community again... I claimed that indeed it would.

I don't claim to know how one "becomes" or "is" gay, but I *feel* like it has something to do with BOTH genetics AND societal influences. If you take that influence out of society, you will still have the genetic predisposition with some people. Bottom line is that you and I just can't make it go away. And really, why would you? These are good people who contribute to the fabric of our multi-layered community, here and everywhere.

So, bottom line, there are laws already in place, but I think some of them should be adjusted to allow social rights for same-sex couples to be afforded the same social rights as all other people who live their lives by the laws already in place. Polygamy, beastiality, and even marrying one's progeny or other relatives is already illegal, which it should remain. These are not the people of whom we are talking here, and I don't think legalizing this type of union allows any kind of camel under the tent. They're already in the tent, by virtue of their humanity.

Buttars and Hypocrisy

Also from Last Saturday's Salt Lake Tribune: 2 Letters to the Editor

Hypocrisy at its finest
Before entering the Jan. 16 Martin Luther King Jr. memorial luncheon, where he was among the presenters, a man whose bigotry recently made international headlines chose to physically intimidate a KSL radio reporter (“Brokeback Mountain: Jazz owner speaks,” Tribune, Jan. 17).


On a day set aside to honor the father of our modern civil rights movement - an inclusive social justice activist steadfastly devoted to the principles of non-violence - our own Larry H. Miller managed to encapsulate the image of an intolerant playground bully, and did so en route to the fallen civil rights leader's memorial luncheon, where he, Mr. Miller, was to present an award. Hypocrisy at its finest.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., after whom many a scholarship program has been named, urged us to “make a career of humanity.” In light of Mr. Miller's recent actions, I can't help but wonder what he hopes to inspire. What is it, exactly, that Larry H. Miller would have his scholarship recipients aspire to - intolerance and physical intimidation? Grace A. McDonough Salt Lake City

Buttars has no morals
I was shocked by the Jan. 22 Tribune article touting West Jordan Republican Sen. Chris Buttars as a “morals crusader.” I have never witnessed such a misnomer in all my young life. Sen. Buttars does not stand for morals. He stands for religion, which is an entirely different subject. He does not respect, support or befriend his neighbors, as his religion admonishes him to do. Indeed, he does not do as his Savior instructs him, to love one another.


This is the man who claims that all homosexuals are immoral, when I highly doubt he has ever really listened to a homosexual in his life. His views are archaic and infantile, much like the bully on the playground who only likes those who are exactly as he is.

I am deeply offended that Sen. Buttars truly believes that I, and others in the LGBT community, have no morals. We most certainly do. We have families and successful children. We pay taxes, sit on juries, buy houses, go to PTA and Neighborhood Watch meetings, donate time and money to charity, and even go to church. A great many of us have found spirituality and faith in God, and we live our lives in a very moral fashion. He, on the other hand, does not, simply by refusing to live his religion and save judgment for his Maker.

Shame on The Tribune for classifying this man as someone who is doing this out of “moral conviction.” He is a bigot, and there is no skirting the truth behind his so-called conviction. He doesn't stand for moral values. He stands for hate.
Connie A. Anast Murray

1.23.2006

Kirby: Isolation is no longer an option

I read this in the Salt Lake Tribune this past Saturday, and thought to myself, AGAIN, "this guy gets it." So many parents around here try to make sure their kids don't get "polluted" by sending them to other places or allowing them to hang out with kids of "other" religions. 2 examples come to mind. About a year ago, a high school class decided they were going to take a field trip to Las Vegas to see a rare art collection at the Bellagio hotel on the Strip. Well, it was all dandy til the permission slip went home and parents figured out that their little gems were going to *gasp* Las Vegas... OMG!!! what will they come back from that place like??? Gimme a break... almost every parent opposed the trip, and the students missed out on a highly educational experience.

The other instance is more of a personal observation: I know MANY parents who choose to keep their children back from travelling with sports teams or cheerleading groups, etc., out of state, because they might run into "bad" people who don't hitnk like they do. These are people who still think that the Mormons should legislate the Mormon platform to all residents of the state, regardless of their own personal beliefs, because it was the Mormons who were here first and it is still their state. "If you don't like it, leave and go somewhere else." I have stopped counting the times I have heard that argument. If that's the case, we should curtail all federal funding of things like roads and education, health care, etc., because the Mormons should be allowed to do their own thing and support their own programs. Maybe the Church should be paying property taxes, since they want to exlcude everyone from the benefits of living in a very pretty state... I could go on... and on....

Here's the article:

Got a letter from the Salt Lake Theological Seminary. Being a seminary graduate (three years, two of them early morning) myself, I opened it before realizing that it wasn't Mormon seminary. It was evil seminary. The Salt Lake Theological Seminary is - and keep in mind that this is coming from an expert in evil - some sort of secret non-Mormon doing that may involve virgin sacrifice or, worse, a straight-faced attempt to explain the Trinity. Well, I'm having none of that. Being a member of the only true church on the earth today, I already know everything I need to know for my salvation. I threw the letter away. Later, I fished it out and burned it for safekeeping. An impressionable child might have found it at the dump.

I am, of course, kidding. But if it makes you feel better, crank out that e-mail. Lord knows I wouldn't want you to hold back and have your head go pop. The letter was actually from David Pascoe, assistant vice president of communications at the seminary. We met last week at a screening of Richard Dutcher's movie "States of Grace." I'm not saying David is bad. But since he readily admits to being "a former Catholic now a practicing Methodist," what could he possibly know about the workings of God unless he first repents, gets baptized, becomes a member of the true church and - let's be very clear about this - gets all his home teaching done?

Where was I? Oh, yeah, the letter. I'll tell you what it says, but first cover the dog's eyes. David actually had a number of things to say. Mostly he wanted to tell me about a DVD he's promoting for Christian youth. It instructs them on how to maintain friendships with Mormon kids, a tough gig considering the intensity of their respective beliefs.

I know what some of you are thinking, that it's a real shame we can't set people on fire anymore for stuff like this. Faith mixing? Crossover friendships? He can't be serious. He is and he's probably right. The world is too small anymore to stay away from each other forever. Insulate yourself all you want but eventually you're going to bump into someone who isn't like you.

Although the DVD deals with religion, this is true no matter what the difference might be. Person-to-person we have far more in common than not. Makes sense to reinforce that rather than the differences, especially given how much success we've had with the latter. At the risk of quoting someone who doesn't belong to the right church (still kidding), the letter said: ''Find out who I am as a person before you start telling me what's wrong with my beliefs.'' Dang right. There's solid human understanding in the irony of discovering that someone who isn't like you is, um, well, pretty much just like you.

Our religious differences aren't going away, people. Maybe there's a reason for that. There could be an education in the very things we try to avoid. Given our own foolishness and his apparent love of irony, it would be just like God to have allowed all the different religions just to see if we got the point of having our own. --- You can write Robert Kirby at 90 S. 400 West, Suite 700, Salt Lake City, UT 84101, or e-mail rkirby@sltrib.com.

Excerpt from the "Gay Rulebook"



This cartoon refers to the previous post entitled "Moron of the Year Award: Phyllis Schlafly"

It appeared in the Salt Lake Tribune this past weekend. Credit goes to artist Pat Bagley, a syndicated cartoonist.

1.20.2006

3 stories about Knicks forward Davis' foray into the stands

Apparently, the NBA is unable to see past the dollar signs of public relations, and has suspended Davis for five games after he went into the stands to check on his wife during an away game in Chicago. At first glance this looks like pretty serious punishment, but now that the stories are being told, it seems "the little woman" has a bit of a mouth to go along with her well-documented temper... she had previous gotten into it with Latrell Sprewell a couple of years ago. (Sprewell, remember him? That's the guy who couldn't get the "team" thing strait in his head... now he's probably selling cars... or crack. He reportedly wants to get back into the NBA, but that desire is apparently one-sided, as no teams are really interested in giving him any money to play.)

Anyway, I was watching the Lakers/Kings broadcast last night, and they showed the video during a timeout, and it all looked pretty inocuous, but now that all the sides of the story are coming out, maybe the NBA got it right... the fan involved said he doesn't drink at games, and that Kendra came after him for yelling at the refs... Davis claimed he was intoxicated. He was escorted from the area, then allowed to re-enter after averybody settled back down.

However, perhaps the NBA ought to do something to get visiting players' families out of the stands... how to do that is the question.


http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news;_ylt=Akfx1d_xlGZi4OHeebfyMLi8vLYF?slug=ap-knicks-playerinstands&prov=ap&type=lgns

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/basketball/nba/2006-01-19-fan-davis_x.htm

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/basketball/nba/knicks/2006-01-19-davis-stands_x.htm

The Good Samaritan

A man appeared before St. Peter at the pearly gates. "Have you ever done anything of particular merit?" St. Peter asked.
"Well, I can think of one thing," the man offered. "Once, on a trip to the Black Hills of South Dakota, I came upon a gang of high-testosterone bikers who were threatening a young woman. I directed them to leave her alone, but they wouldn't listen.
"So, I approached the largest and most heavily tattooed biker and smacked him on the head, kicked his bike over, ripped out his nose ring and threw it on the ground. I yelled, 'Now back off, biker boy, or you'll answer to me'!"
St. Peter was impressed. "When did this happen?" he asked.
"Just a couple of minutes ago," the man replied.

And on the eighth day, God created the clueless politician.

In a speech on Monday that aspired to the Pat Robertson school of rhetoric, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin made two stunning declarations. The recent hurricanes, he intoned, must be God's payback for the U.S. "being in Iraq under false pretenses" and for the behavior of some black Americans. He went on to reassure the crowd that New Orleans "will be a majority African-American city. It's the way God wants it to be. ... This city will be chocolate at the end of the day."

>>>: Pat Robertson and Ray Nagin deserve each other. No-Brainer MORON of the Day award here.

1.19.2006

Vatican Paper Weighs in on Intelligent Design

Talk of the Nation, January 19, 2006 · The Vatican newspaper on Tuesday ran an article saying intelligent design is not science and should not be taught alongside evolution in schools. It also says that evolution does not necessarily exclude God from the process of creation.

>>>: Hmmm... I wonder what all the right-wing Evangelical Christian MEATHEADS think about that one...???

Ziggy The Parrot

Never buy a pet that talks, unless you're prepared for what it says...

It has been said that the dog is man's best friend, but computer programmer Chris Taylor's best friend is Ziggy, the parrot. That's because Taylor found out his girlfriend was having an affair when Ziggy kept repeating her lover's name, British news media reported this week. The African grey parrot kept squawking "I love you, Gary" as Taylor sat with girlfriend Suzy Collins on the sofa of their shared apartment in Leeds, northern England.

When 30-year-old Taylor saw Collins's embarrassed reaction, he realized she had been having an affair - meeting her lover in the apartment while Ziggy looked on, according to a report by the British Press Association. Ziggy even mimicked Collins's voice each time she answered her telephone, calling out "Hiya, Gary," according to newspaper reports.

Collins, 25, a call center employee, admitted to Taylor the four-month affair with a colleague named Gary and left the apartment she had shared with Taylor for a year. Taylor said he had also been forced to part with Ziggy after the bird continued to call out Gary's name and refused to stop squawking the phrases in his ex-girlfriend's voice.

"I wasn't sorry to see the back of Suzy after what she did, but it really broke my heart to let Ziggy go," he told reporters. "I love him to bits and I really miss having him around, but it was torture hearing him repeat that name over and over again.

"I still can't believe he's gone. I know I'll get over Suzy, but I don't think I'll ever get over Ziggy." Taylor acquired Ziggy as a chick eight years ago and named him after the David Bowie character Ziggy Stardust. The bird has now found a new home through the offices of a local parrot dealer. Collins told the Guardian newspaper that Taylor "... spent more time talking to it (Ziggy) than he did to me."

One More Golden "Globe" comment...

Did Pamela Anderson unwittingly inspire this year's most prominent Golden Globes fashion trend? The Stacked star, who appeared onstage as a presenter wearing what looked like a Hefty bag on top, was one of several stars who seemed to have left their bras at home. Several actresses (Anderson, Sandra Oh, Drew Barrymore, Scarlett Johansson, Emma Thompson, Mariah Carey) seemed to be revealing more than they intended. Maybe they should have saved such outfits for the upcoming Screen Actors Guild ceremony, also known as the SAG Awards.

I laughed, I cried, I was embarrassed for them all. Don't get me wrong, I'm no prude, I just think that if you're going to let "it" all hang out, it should at least be something worth LOOKING AT.

Movie Thoughts: Glory Road / The problem with the NBA game

Went to see this movie last night. There were a couple of things that struck me about it. It was refreshing to hear a coach say, "you're here to play basketball my way, good, basic, fundamental skills basketball."

So much today, the coaches, administrators, schools, NBA teams and the league in general, simply allow a player to run roughshod over an entire program and make a mockery of the entire thing. Showboating selfish play is the accepted standard mode of play these days. There is so much money at stake for these teams and programs, either at the NCAA or NBA level, that teams and administrators are willing to allow the selfish play that is so typical today. It is not uncommon for a player to essentially say, "give me the ball, and you other four guys go over there by the side line, clear your man out, and let me go one-on-one with my man and score. And when I'm done with this dude, I won't be playing defence on the next few plays, because I will be busy "snapping" my jersey."

The little hippity-hop through the leg dribble, around the back, big fakeout moves are a total crock.

Interestingly, The Sporting News is reporting this morning that the Memphis Grizzlies are doing the best TEAM job in the league right now... with DEFENSE.

>>>
The Grizzlies are doing it the way Fratello's teams always have done it: with defense. Memphis entered the week holding opponents to a league-low average of 86.7 points and stood fourth in field-goal percentage defense. The Grizzlies' strength is their ability to keep opponents out of the lane, and that keeps Pau Gasol and Lorenzen Wright from being exposed inside.
>>>

OK so that's my rant for the day... The other thing I found astonishing in that movie was the fact that only about 40 years ago, black players, and black people in general, were enduring an amazing amount of persecution. The scene at the motel before going to Seattle should bring a twinge of shame to just about any self-aware "cracka". How truly sad.

Then the coach announced that he was electing to start all the black players in the final game, not because they were black, but because they were the best players on the team. The one white dude stood up and said he wanted to play, and was feeling like he was relegated to the background because of all the attention the black players were receiving. One of the black guys then looked at him and said, basically, that the white guys shouldn't feel bad about being in the background for a few months, black people live their lives in the shadows from day one. Then the other black guy turned to him and said, "welcome to the back of the bus, white man." Poignant indeed.

During the end credits of the movie, there were interview snippets from players in the championship game, most notably Pat Riley, the current coach of the Miami Heat. He made an interesting comment that struck me then, and has stuck with me since. He noted that the championship game was, in effect, the Emancipation Proclamation for that day, 40 years ago. Oddly, the original Emancipation Proclamation was signed almost exactly 100 years previously to that event. Do we need this every 100 years? I certainly hope not.

Those are my observations for today.

Funny Bumper Sticker

This morning on the way to work I saw a humorous bumper sticker:

All Golf Courses Should Be Motocross Tracks

Of course it was on the back of an old bronco.

Simply brilliant. Where would all the rich people live then? I can just see the marketing now:

Welcome to our new exclusive communnity of DOUBLEWIDES, where your hookup looks out on the 2nd set of whoop-dee-doos. You're guaranteed to be able to see them when you're sitting in the old bathtub we'll install for you out behind your trailer at no charge.

1.18.2006


I'm putting this on ebay tomorrow, but I thought I'd put it here first to see if anyone wants it.

Odd News Roundup

So, in a quick search of odd news and crap like that, we find the following bizarre items:

Wendy's Finger Lady sentenced to 9 years in prison:
Ayala, 39, who had been a Las Vegas resident, had initially claimed that she discovered the finger after buying the bowl of chili last March. She hired a lawyer and complained publicly about the experience, attracting wide attention to the seemingly bizarre incident.

A judge in Santa Clara Superior Court sentenced Anna Ayala and her husband, Jaime Plascencia, to nine years imprisonment for their role in the Wendy’s scam, which caused a sharp fall in sales at the third-largest U.S. burger chain.

>>>: Me thinks she will have more than a finger to worry about in prison. Just a feeling.

Skating with the Stars - More head trauma than actual entertainment
The celebrities have been reasonably well chosen — it’s a good mix of the formerly famous like Jenner, the formerly infamous like Bridges, and the famous-only-in-Los-Angeles like Barberie. (She is probably the only person still listing “Good Morning, Miami” on her CV.) In other words, they’ve done a good job finding people who are unimportant enough that they’re willing to fall down, but famous enough that it’s fun to watch them fall down.

>>>: and to think that FOX cancelled the smartest show on TV, Arrested Development, in favor of this crap. Talk about marketing to the lowest common denominator. They must be counting on the fact that the people who are watching this steaming pile of mindlessness are still watching 1982 televisions, the ones where you would actually have to get OUT of the barcalounger to change the channel. Heaven forbid that we should actually be allowed to watch a situation comedy WITHOUT A LAUGH TRACK. My goodness, we might not know when to laugh!!


Capt. Kirk sells kidney stones to casino
Actor William Shatner has sold his kidney stone for $25,000, with the money going to a housing charity, it was announced Tuesday.
Shatner reached agreement Monday to sell the stone to GoldenPalace.com.


>>>: Must...sell...kidney...stone...no...other...choice.

Drew Barrymore: Fashion Misguided
I have no idea who dressed this unfortunate individual for the Golden Globes on Monday night, but holy crap. She obviously never saw Kermit singing "it's not easy being green". She needs new representation, or a mirror. Somebody please give her a role that will make her more than $30.00 so she can finally purchase some underware. My award for her: Worst Supported Actress.


Heath Ledger speaks his mind
Heath Ledger has lashed out at the U.S. theaters that banned “Brokeback Mountain” as “immature” and “hilarious.” The Aussie actor made the comments after learning that two theaters in the heavily Mormon state of Utah have refused to show his flick — which some have dubbed The Gay Cowboy movie. “Personally, I don’t think the movie is [controversial] but I think maybe the Mormons in Utah do. I think it’s hilarious and very immature of a society,” Ledger said, reports the Australian paper The Herald Sun.

>>>: he's right.

Well, I guess that's all for now - but I'm sure there will be more later. I'm a busy boy today.

1.17.2006

Steelers fan takes it a bit too seriously

>>>
PITTSBURGH (AP) - Talk about a heart-stopping game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Indianapolis Colts.
Fifty-year-old Terry O'Neill of Pittsburgh says he was watching the game at a bar when he had a heart attack just seconds after Steelers player Jerome Bettis' fumble at the two-yard line late in the fourth quarter.
The play allowed the Colts to have a renewed chance at winning the game. O'Neill says Bettis is his hero, and he was upset with the idea the player might have ended his career with an error. "I wasn't upset that the Steelers might lose," O'Neill told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "I was upset because I didn't want to see him end his career like that. A guy like that deserves better. I guess it was a little too much for me to handle." Doctors are planning to implant a pacemaker in O'Neill to help control an irregular heartbeat along with prescribing him medication to deal with hypertension. When asked how he was feeling, O'Neill told the Tribune-Review: "The Steelers won the game and I'm still alive, so I guess I'm doing pretty good." From now on, O'Neill says he will probably just take it easy and watch future games at home.
>>>

really, this dude needs to turn in his "terrible towel." He doesn't take his football NEARLY seriously enough.

On to other inspiring things



As I go along here, I would like to throw in a couple of items that go under the category of "inspire me" as I noted in the title header of this little blog spot. I've spent a little time ranting about this and that, which is all fun, but there are other things as well, which inspire me, and make me a better person than if they were not part of my life. One of those things, and the biggest part, is my wife, Val. Quite frankly speaking, she's probably the best person I know, and she definitely inspires me every day. She makes it possible for me to do what I do, and her unconditional love is something I cherish. We have had the chance to travel a bit, but we would love to do more of that - we have a little list of places we'd love to get to in our lifetimes - preferably sooner than later. Here are a couple of pictures from this past year. The first is from our trip to St. Thomas this past November, and the other is from this past summer (05) on a trip to Alberta, where we had a nice visit with my parents and brother, and got to hang out for a day in Banff. It's a lot different than the last time I was there, several years ago... it's turned into quite the tourist destination, and it is rather full of people all the time. But that's okay. More on this stuff later.

Letter to the Editor - Tribune's Gay Bias

"Please, enough is enough! I couldn't believe it when three articles in as many days were devoted to "Brokeback Mountain," an obviously adult and controversial movie. Since then, I've stopped counting how many articles and commentaries you have featured regarding the movie. The Tribune is showing its usual gay bias. You can wrap it up in beautiful scenery, filming, acting, romance, etc., but it's just another attempt to romanticize the gay lifestyle and make it more palatable. I wonder how many favorable articles and commentaries you would devote toward a movie of the same caliber, romanticizing the polygamous life-style. I wonder what comments all the "open-minded" commentators coming out of the woodwork would make then. "

Morgan T. Beach West Valley City

--Hey Morgan, the last time I checked, polygamy was ILLEGAL. Moron Of The Day Award, right here, folks.

Brokeback Mountain: Jazz owner speaks

Utah magnate Larry H. Miller, who gained national news media's attention after he decided to pull "Brokeback Mountain" from his Megaplex Theatres in Salt Lake City, broke his silence about the controversy Monday in a confrontation with a KSL radio reporter at a luncheon honoring the memory of late civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. Miller, obviously irritated by the reporter's question about "Brokeback Mountain", swiped the microphone toward the floor and, as he glared at the reporter, snapped: "I said everything I had to say when I pulled the movie. OK? Anything else you want to know?" A KSL-TV video operator recorded the confrontation, which aired on the station's 10 p.m. broadcast Monday.

I've been thinking about what I might write about this story since I saw it in the paper this morning, but what, really, is there more to say??? I'll make a bet here: I bet big Larry got a little phone call from "somebody", "asking" him to pull the movie. Just a feeling.

Bush: All Talk / No Walk

''Abraham Lincoln recognized that all men are created equal. Martin Luther King lived on that admonition to call our country to a higher calling, and today we celebrate the life of an American who called Americans to account when we didn't live up to our ideals.''

--President Bush, at the site displaying Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, Jan 16, 2006.

Question: Who is going to call Americans to account today? [eerie silence] It's hard to get elected doing that. Let's just tap their phones instead. Apparently, forgiveness is easier than permission.

Why Holly Mullen Gets It.

I wasn't going to post this entire column here, but decided to after all... it's so totally right on point, and brings to light some unfortunately typical hypocrisy that is so prevalent in "these here parts."


Mullen: A love forbidden is still love
By Holly Mullen Tribune Columnist
Holly Mullen

"Brokeback Mountain" loomed large in Salt Lake County last week, and not just in its heft at the local box office. The film traces 20 years of a forbidden romance between two gay Wyoming cowboys, as well as the tragic effects of that relationship on others who share their lives. The buzz started when management at MegaPlex 17 at Jordan Commons yanked the film Friday to the surprise of people who had seen it advertised in the newspaper and showed up to see it at the Sandy theater. While neither theater management nor owner Larry H. Miller is discussing reasons for the decision, Miller had indicated in an earlier interview on KCPW-FM that the movie would screen at his theater as planned. "It's something that I have to let the market speak to some degree," Miller told the radio station just hours before the theater pulled the film. "I don't think I'm qualified to be the community censor." Given the showing the film made last week, uberbusinessman Miller's comment is as easy to swallow as a Utah Jazz basketball. If he were making strictly a marketing decision, his theater chain would be backstroking through even more than its usual piles of cash. "Brokeback" is showing on two screens at the independent Broadway Centre Cinemas in Salt Lake City, and the theater's take for the week was 12th-highest nationwide. The MegaPlex 17 dust-up only reinforced my own decision to see the film on Sunday. Given the masterful creative forces behind it - it's based on a 1998 story by E. Annie Proulx and directed by Ang Lee - I would have seen "Brokeback" were it about vertebrae fractures. Saturday night, four couples sharing dinner spent nearly an hour slicing and dicing its content, morality, cultural significance, and maybe toughest of all for the straight men at the table - cinematic depiction (however limited) of gay sex. It was a fascinating conversation, given that only one person at the table - a woman - had actually seen the film. She explained how "Brokeback" is a love story, pure and simple. And she added, you can't discount the painful spinoff the women and children in these men's lives endured. Her analysis was perfect. The pain is palpable as the two main characters battle their biology by marrying women and fathering children, with all the predictably tragic consequences that come from living a lie. How many times have we seen that sad scenario played out in real life, as gays and lesbians struggle with their true sexuality and try to fake it in a world where heterosexuals make the rules? Depression, divorce, custody fights. It goes on and on. At its best, film is always out front, riding the most gnarly waves of societal change. And this film is doing plenty of that, examining the gut-churning challenges of life before anything remotely close to gay rights came along. But mostly, the film critics have called this one right. At its core "Brokeback" isn't radical at all. It's about the ache, the obsessive push and pull, of forbidden love. However morally objectionable some in the straight world might want to paint it, this film gets straight to the marrow: Love is the fuel of all humanity. Straight or gay, we all want to get it and to give it in return. hmullen@sltrib.com or (801) 257-8610

Talk Like A Pirate

I think that one day per month should be "talk like a pirate" day.

Just think how much fun it would be...

http://www.talklikeapirate.com/translator.html

Holly Mullen: School of ROCK

Holly Mullen, of the Salt Lake Tribune, totally ROCKS. She is one of an unfortunately few people who actually GET IT!

Find her here, and see for yourself:
http://www.sltrib.com/mullen

The other dude at that paper that actually gets it, is Robert Kirby.
http://www.sltrib.com/kirby

Paul Rolly shines a sometimes uncomfortable light on misled people who have inexplicably been elected to serve us:
http://www.sltrib.com/rolly

One More "Brokeback" Thought - then I'll leave it alone

So, my wife, Val, was listening to the radio on her way to work this morning, and the movie reviewer mentioned something that rings true: If you haven't SEEN Brokeback Mountain, you don't have an opinion. So there you go.

Obviously the Hollywood Foreign Press Association liked it - they gave it four awards last night, including Best Picture, and Best Director.

Okay, I'm done. Til next time.

:)

1.16.2006

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

[paraphrase]
"We will one day find the promised land. I may not be there with you, but we will reach to promised land."
[/paraphrase]

What is the "Promised Land" of which MLK spoke? A country where all people are free and equal. His phrase, "I may not be there with you" means he probably knew it would take a while. He was shot and killed the next day.

Today, I would say we are only half way there, sadly. All men are free but they are not equal. And I am not just talking about race here either. As long as this country's government is run by the "religious right" there won't be equality for anyone who is not a white male Christain.

Just my $0.02. And why not, it's my blog. :)

Moron of the Year Award: Phyllis Schlafly

These guys make Atilla The Hun look like a junior high school teacher.

http://www.eagleforum.org/

They had their Utah Chapter meeting last week, in concert with the beginning of the 2006 Utah Legislature opening. They had, as a keynote speaker, Sen. Chris Buttars, R-South Jordan. As usual, complete foolishness and uneducated hatred ushered forth from his bigoted mouth:

>>>>>
Eagle Forum convention: Sen. Buttars is there and says gays harbor diseases at higher rate than others.

As usual, the Eagle Forum will focus on bills concerning family issues and parental rights, Ruzicka said. Eagle Forum adherents - Ruzicka said the group doesn't have an actual membership list - this year are lining up to support Sen. Chris Buttars' bill that questions evolutionary science and his measure that would outlaw gay-straight alliance clubs at Utah high schools.

Buttars disparaged homosexuals, claiming they are "changing the meaning of everything," that "their definition of morality is they have no morality" and harbor diseases at a higher rate than the general population. "If you read the homosexual rule book, you'll find their greatest target is your kids," he said.
>>>>>

You know, pretty soon you'll need blonde hair and blue eyes to be in his club... sound familiar to you??? May he meet the same end.

Actually, I'd love to be a fly on the wall when he meets his Maker, and has to figure out what to say in order to save his own ass from what is hopefully a very hot and decisive end. There's only one place for these hateful people.

Thought for the week:

We know exactly where one cow with mad-cow-disease is located among the millions and millions of cows in America but we haven't got a clue as to where hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants and terrorists are located. Maybe we should put the Department of Agriculture in charge of immigration?

The United States of Wal-Mart

Walmart / Sam's Club SUCKS!!!

Never shop there. They are oppressive to every person they deal with, from employees, to suppliers, to local competition. A few years ago, I was working as a designer for a Golf Bag manufacturer. It was at a time when they were just starting to look at larger distribution agreements, like Sears, Costco, Dick's Sports, etc. When they approached Sam's Club about getting into those stores, the sales guys went to a meeting with the managers of the sports division for WalMart/Sam's Club, and when our guys were told what price they would have to meet in order to get into the stores, they politely excused themselves and walked out.

The thing about Walmart is this: they have grown to a state that they beleive they can pressure a supplier to provide their product at a price that makes the MOST profit for Mr. Sam, but deteriorates every other person on the chain. The only care about one thing - and it ISN'T you.

They also treat their employees as if they are simply a commodity. Giving only 30 hours per week to avoid having to pay medical benefits. More on Wal-mart another time - I could go on for HOURS!

THESE ARE BAD PEOPLE.

The Brokeback thing

So, we went to see this movie yesterday. My first thought, upon entering the theater, was, "aren't all you people supposed to be in church??!"

We ended up sitting on the second row, off to the side. Bummer.

Anyway, as for the film... I can't really see what all the hub-bub is about it. It's a good movie, and it's getting unwarranted press because of its supposed subject matter. But in reality, this is a film about people, and their flaws, and their reactions (given their flaws) to the stumbling blocks one encounters... (isn't that what all valuable literature is about? It's a classic theme. THE classic theme.)

It's about not being able to get past something, about being so striken with something and not being able to let go, even when you know it's the best thing. It's about holding onto the best thing that ever came along for you, even if it's not perfect.

Ledger steals every scene from Gylenhaal (or however you spell it!). I found him a bit one-dimensional, especially juxtaposed with Ledger's character.

The scene with Ledger at the end, with the 19 year-old daughter, at the trailer... haunting.

As far as the press goes, or at least the "conscientious objectors", they've missed the point entirely. But then again, that's almost always the case, isn't it?

1.13.2006

Random Rantings - Idiots all around us


The problem I have with people who make these kinds of public decisions is that they simply do what makes them the most comfortable, regardless of whether or not it is consistent with the rest of their very publicly advertised belief system. The problem with 98% of this type of people is that they are HYPOCRITES!!! Maybe that's why I am so dis-enamoured (if that's a word) with that "major" religion right now. Banning the movie is okay, because my religious beliefs tell me so. But I also own the local NBA franchise and they play on Sunday, and that's okay, even though I'm not *really* supposed to do that, and I'll show OTHER "R" rated movies in my theaters, and even though my religious leaders say I shouldn't be looking at ANY of that stuff, it's still okay, because I can put butts in the seats. And, yeah, I can drink Coke and eat all the chocolate and red meat I can shove down my throat, and most other caffienne-laden and otherwise bad-for-you items, without being excluded from my other *important* religious practices, because I have only been told that I shouldn't drink COFFEE. So, I don't drink coffee, because THAT will keep me out of the temple. HYPOCRITES and HOMOPHOBES, all of you.

All I have to say, is, "whatever, man." Morons.

And the state legislature is comprised mostly of these people. Great. According to Pat Robertson, we should be expecting a hurricane here next summer. Because that's what God does to bad people. That's why Ariel Sharon had a stroke - he moved God's people out of Gaza. Bad leader, bad.

Brokeback Mountain - Salt Lake Tribune/Local News

Check this out. It's from today's Salt Lake Tribune. For the last week, the city has been roiled in this whole Brokeback Mountain thing. Larry Miller, prominent (LDS) business man pulled it from his theaters at the very last minute when heard what it contained, and the whole city/country is talking about Utah as this wonderful Quaker State, where nobody does anything that might detract from some pristine communal set of values... gimme a freakin break. Then, last night on the news, I hear that one of the two local CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOLS, Juan Diego Catholic High School, took their seniors to the movie. They interviewed the school's principal on the news last night, and he said that ALL the parents supported the activity, and then he said, get this, "seeing a movie like this promotes acceptance and tolerance in our communities, and it makes people better Christians, and therefore better Catholics." Good for him. Why couldn't "another" major religion in this fine "community" see that light??? Hmmm, maybe I should be a catholic. Interestingly, both my wife and I have said that if it were up to us, our kids would be going to that school. This event just goes to show that that comment is still valid, and well-supported.


Miller's move: shrewd or rash?Views: Some say it's smart, but a PR expert says it's fiery Larry of old
By Steven Oberbeck The Salt Lake Tribune
Family values activists gathering in Salt Lake City this weekend will urge supporters to steer their dollars to Larry H. Miller's businesses because the auto and movie-house magnate yanked the critically acclaimed gay romance ''Brokeback Mountain'' from his Sandy theater complex. Miller's move will provide plenty of fodder for this year's meeting of the conservative Utah Eagle Forum, according to the group's president, Gayle Ruzicka. "I for one will certainly be trying to support his businesses," Ruzicka said. "And I'm sure that others who already have done business with his companies will be supporting them even more." "Brokeback Mountain" is based on a story by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Annie Proulx and is about a 20-year romance between two Wyoming sheepherders. The Utah Film Critics Society named "Brokeback Mountain" the year's best movie, and also gave top honors to director Ang Lee. The movie has received similar honors from critics' groups nationwide, as well as seven Golden Globe nominations, four Screen Actors Guild nominations, and nominations for Directors Guild, Writers Guild and Producers Guild awards. Miller initially told a radio reporter he would not act as a censor and would let the market decide whether the movie was worthy of its billing. Then, two hours later, he pulled the show from his theater's lineup. The decision drew national and international criticism and once again made Utah the butt of numerous jokes poking fun at the negative stereotypes surrounding the state's predominantly Mormon population. But even members of Utah's gay and lesbian community concede that, given the overwhelmingly conservative nature of the state's residents, Miller may have scored a marketing coup and could end up attracting a lot more customers to his auto dealerships, professional sports teams and restaurants than he has driven off. "If you want to look at it strictly from a playing the numbers standpoint, it probably wasn't too bad of a move," said Valerie A. Larabee, executive director of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Community Center of Utah. "At the same time, he's certainly increased interest locally in what is a very beautiful movie." From a marketing standpoint, Miller appears to have read his audience well, although it would have been better for his businesses had there been no controversy at all, said Russell Belk, a professor at the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah. "You have to assume he was expecting more support than backlash," Belk said. "And considering the demographics of Utah, he probably wasn't too far off." Miller continues to remain silent about the reasons behind the decision. But one public relations professional, Politis Communications' president David Politis, doubts that Miller's decision was a calculated move. "I believe it was the result of a spur of the moment decision, a passionate reaction that came about after he learned what the movie was about," Politis said. "We've seen him make split-second decisions in the past when things have upset him." In October 1994, Miller canceled a Delta Center appearance by shock rocker Marilyn Manson, the scheduled warm-up act for industrial-rock band Nine Inch Nails. Miller said Manson's stage show was too offensive. At the concert, Nine Inch Nails frontman, Trent Reznor, invited Manson to the stage anyway, where the rocker ripped pages from The Book of Mormon and threw them to the audience. Five months earlier, Miller, fed up with verbal assaults from a Denver Nuggets' fan, punched him and later apologized in a tearful news conference. Since then, Miller's outbursts have been aimed at his own players, usually after lackluster play. Another observer suggested that the decision to cancel "Brokeback Mountain" will neither hurt nor help Miller's businesses. "My guess is that most people probably aren't that aware of all of his business holdings anyway," said Paul Mero of the Sutherland Institute, a conservative think tank in Salt Lake City. "Considering the conservative nature of our population, I'm sure a lot of people think: We'll, it's his business and he's entitled to do with it what he wants."
OK, so I like to collect odd pictures of weird people and other semi-rude things. I have MANY. I mostly use them as my user picture for MSN messenger... I like the change them when I am chatting with my kids, it freaks 'em out. Good for a laugh anyway.

Me, on my bad days. Ok, well, not really... this dude (who has had a decidedly BAD day), has more hair than me. Other than that... well, you make the call.

welcomg to my blog spot

Hi. welcome to my blog spot. You know me. At least, if you're here, you know me.

First of many.