Sep 30, 2010

Thursday Music

I'm not sure why I like Leonard Cohen. His voice isn't that appealing, but his songs compel me. I know it's silly to try and find great vocals in modern music, but for the most part someone's singing ability is not a deal breaker. Sure there are bands like Rush who I can't handle largely due to the fact that every time I hear the singer wail I want to destroy every item in my reach.

Cohen; however, has songs which can be best described as unique and the lyrics draw me in. Sure sometimes I have no idea what it is he's trying to say with some of his songs and some would consider him a poor man's Tom Waits, but the poetry of his songwriting has me taking away something new every time I listen to him.

So today I bring you Leonard Cohen's 'The Future', which has been stuck in my head this morning for reasons I can't explain.

"I am an old scholar, better-looking now than when I was young. That's what sitting on your ass does to your face." - Leonard Cohen

Sep 29, 2010


Yesterday at work a co-worker, whom I've never met, approached me and said she saw my wedding photos and complimented me on how nice it seemed. I thanked her, but was curious as to how she came across those photos. Before I had the chance to inquire she admitted she stalked my Facebook.

See my privacy settings are loose as I don't really give a damn who sees my photos or whatnot. I guess the girl, who apparently knows my name, looked me up and took a gander at my pics. Oddly enough she admitted to all of this and decided to strike up a conversation about it.

She then stated she's getting married in Mexico next month, but asked me about the Bahamas as she's thinking of traveling there with her future husband next year. We chatted a bit about the country and what resorts to stay in. Finally I wished her luck on her upcoming nuptials and the conversation ended.

As she walked away I couldn't help but think why she decided to stalk my FB account. It seems natural to do that to someone you know, but to someone you've never met?

"There is a fine line between serendipity and stalking." - David Coleman

Sep 28, 2010

In loving memory of WIGSF

The blogsphere is filled with sadness lately as it has been noted that the good WIGSF has taken down his online writing outlet. Without warning the chronicles of the Canadian we all know and love has been removed from the world wide web. No longer shall we be entertained by the wisdom of the donut loving, woman hating, Futurama/Simpsons obsessed author.

I don't recall how it was that I stumbled upon his blog, or him mine, but throughout the years I followed the details of the fellow who entertained, and often offended, his dear readers. Alas we shall no longer be in suspense if he ever did find a girlfriend, or if the Canadian/Italian did decide to send his father to technology boot camp.

Yes it is with great sadness to think the blogsphere lost another writer. Goodbye WIGSF. May your ramblings be remembered with joyful glee.

"People who dress likes strippers mid-act can't complain when they get treated like strippers mid-act." - WIGSF

Sep 27, 2010

Overrated books part 3

An atheist once told me that he felt religion was a personal matter and no one should hold your spiritual matters against you. Wise words I felt and I've never forgotten them.

I had what one may call a 'crisis of faith' for a long period of time after reading the scriptures for the third time. Years ago someone gave me a copy of 'The Case for Christ' by Lee Strobel to help answer questions I had about the gospel record. Before that I found the evidence to corroborate the New Testament writers to be sorely lacking and I questioned if Jesus even existed as a historical person much less a spiritual one. In her handing me this book I imagine it was to answer my queries and to be more secure in my walk with God.

Lee Strobel is a legal journalist who attempts to make the case that the gospel records are accurate and are corroborated by historical evidence. He claimed to be a skeptic at the time of his investigation, but early into the book he states otherwise. I'm not sure which is true.

Strobel interviews many apologetic scholars about the biblical accounts, but he never once sits down to talk with anyone who doesn't fit his world view. There are no secular historians or anything of the like. Early in the book you'll find him speaking to experts who claim the gospel authors are at best anonymous, which raises a red flag about his theory that it's all true. We know Mark, the first writer, was written at least 40 years after Christ's death, because he mentions the destruction of the second Jewish temple, and quite possibly couldn't have been around to witness the events, but he fails to mention any of this.

He goes on to give all sorts of anecdotal evidence of Christ's accounts, but no where does he find a contemporary who documented any of his events such as birth, Sermon on the Mount, miraculous healings, crucifixion, or resurrection. None of his experts bring forth any evidence of the slaughter of the innocents by Herod, which one would assume would be somewhere in the historical record.

All of his interviews lead nowhere but to assume the testimony of Christ's existence is heresay. This would never hold up in court, but Strobel thinks otherwise for reasons I don't understand. Is he lying to his readers? I mean he knows a judge would never allow a defense to not cross examine a claim, but the author seems to believe that shouldn't matter. He never interviews a single member of the Jesus Seminar, nor does he even give any challenges to his own hypothesis. The gospels are accurate because he believes it to be so and his so called evidence should be proof enough that Jesus is the son of God.

Strobel did write a compelling book as it's easy to read and digest, but one can't help but think he's preaching to the choir. The faithful will never question his investigation as that would complicate their spiritual walk. People who want a serious query into Christ existing as a historical figure will find it frustrating that they wasted their time on such obvious propaganda.

Around the same time my father read the book and found it to be proof enough of Christ's existence. We sat down and talked about it and I told him my problems with the claims in Strobel's writings. He didn't have an answer for a single one, but it never shook his already strong faith.

After I finished it I laid my copy to rest and wondered about the apologetic movement for a bit. One thing they seem to never grasp is if someone needs evidence to back up their spiritual views how strong is their faith to begin with? That question lingered for a spell, but brought me to a conclusion neither I nor the girl who gave me the book expected; the bible is not a historical document. It's simply a salvation story and something that was always intended to be taken upon by belief. Those who state otherwise are misguided at best.

"The market Strobel's book was written for, is clear: it is written for the Christian evangelical market. It is really preaching to the choir; it is so blatantly one-sided that I can't imagine any thinking skeptic being taken in by it, and I'm sure that Strobel realized that. But he's not selling the book to skeptics. He's selling it to Christians who either want to reinforce their faith, or think they're going to convince their skeptic friends with it." - Scott Bidstrup

Sep 24, 2010


While I'm a big fan of conspiracy theories as they amuse me to no end, some I feel grow tiresome. Such is the case with the Truther movement, the collection of Americans who believe 9/11 was orchestrated by the US government.

While I believe it's important to be skeptical of our leaders and to question and analyze evidence presented by them, I don't understand the followers of Alex Jones or others who think the Bush administration was behind the deaths of so many Americans on that tragic day. Truthers would have you believe they've covered all specifics when it comes to the science behind their theory, but upon closer examination you can easily tell the story they buy is horse shit. No amount of their so called experts has ever submitted or passed a peer review regarding their tale, but that doesn't matter. If you successfully debunk their nonsense you're either passed off as sheep or labeled as being in on the conspiracy.

The fact that they can't accept that a few hijackers thwarted our security to bring terror to the world speaks volumes about their body politic. In their conspiracy they give Al-Queda a pass, believe the Bush administration was actually competent, think thousands of Americans who love and serve this country are somehow in on the attacks, and denote the bravery of so many that day, from the passengers on flight 93 to law enforcement and firefighters. Some will even tell you with a straight face that the phone calls made by the victims on those planes were faked, which I find so personally disgusting I have to stop myself from getting violent when I hear such a ludicrous statement.

I won't go into debunking all their claims as anyone interested can find much better resources to do so. Films like 'Screw Loose Change' and books like 'Debunking 9/11 Myths' do that far better than I ever could. Still it's never enough for the Truther movement as you'll find their only research is simply nodding their heads with their so called experts who conveniently agree with them. They don't have the moral or intellectual courage to admit they're wrong and their misplaced activism can and has been dangerous. If they simply put their efforts into something useful and factual our country could be a better place to live and the world just might be safer, but yet they follow the Gospel of Jones without question and have the audacity to claim that people who actually accept accurate science to be the mislead. They remind me of Creation scientists in that respect.

Recently Iranian President, Holocaust denier, and all around corrupt asshole Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke in front of the UN rambling his nonsense. After he denounced capitalism, even though his country benefits highly from his oil exports, the President decided to share his opinion on how the US government was behind the 9/11 attacks. What's more interesting about this is his rhetoric was met with a round of applause by many representatives of our world's countries.

So to you Truthers, this is the company you keep? Oh so you believe that our government planted those thoughts in the Iranian leader, who's completely out of his tree, in an attempt to discredit your theory? You never disappoint.

"The wave of the Islamic revolution will soon reach the entire world." - Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Sep 23, 2010

Only socialists rub one out.

It seems that the Republican party has cornered the market on mildly hot crazy women. I'm not sure why this is. Conservative women seem to have hit the gene pool jackpot, well at least where looks are concerned.

Christine O'Donnell has recently, and surprisingly, become the Republican nominee in Delaware, a state most people often forget exists. Still she's gathered a lot of media attention for being a former witch who worshiped at the altar of the dark lord and believes her current spiritual savior is against self satisfying behavior.

Why these issues matter is a mystery to me, but it's worked in her favor as she has seemed to nail the tea party-former pagan-no condom-Obama is a socialist Kenyan Muslim vote. Before she decried the press as evil folk who play board games that result in the winner sawing the limps of live puppies, I saw a lot of interviews with her and have no earthly idea what she stands for. It sort of reminds me of the Arnold's run in California. Everyone was interested in him, most even liked him, but no one could tell me where he stood on the issues.

The point is that even the mention of masturbation gathers the attention of all and can get you far in politics. Well done Christine. Well done you.

"If he already knows what pleases him and he can please himself, then why am I in the picture?" - Christine O'Donnell.

Sep 22, 2010

You might be a redneck.

Awhile back I wrote about how Kelly and I went to a place called Redneck Heaven, an establishment that has lots of character to say the least. Last night I went with my father in-law, brother in-law, and ex-step dad in-law (yes I know that makes little sense). We brought our sausage fest into the place where testosterone rules and found ourselves warmly greeted by a scantily clad waitress who looked to be all of 18.

Now when I say scantily clad I mean most of the girls might as well have been naked. The shorts were so little that you saw most of their backside and the tops left very little to the imagination. The waitresses were tall, leggy, and had very little fat on them, if at all.

Some flirted and hustled for tips. Our waitress was a little more classy as she talked about how much she hated working there and was putting herself through some sort of beauty school. To her credit she didn't engage in dirty talk and kept it professional. She was very pretty and like most of them probably have much more to offer society than their bodies, but we men gladly hand out loads of cash for attention and eye candy from women who haven't even yet reached the ripe old age of 25.

The food was ok, but the atmosphere made up for it. I'm kind of curious about pastie night.

"Do not miss out on the PILLOW FIGHT tonight at 7pm!!!" - from Redneck Heaven's FB page.

Sep 21, 2010


Leonard Skinner has passed away. Yes I spelled that right. The man who's namesake became synonymous with the legendary southern rock band is no longer with us sadly.

Anyone who's ever been a fan of Lynyrd Skynyrd knows the story of how their name came to be, but what I never knew was to what extent the coach befriended the band after they openly mocked him. Apparently Leonard took it all in good humor and allowed them to use one of his reality signs in an album's cover art, introduced them at a concert in Jacksonville, and had them play a bar he once owned.

He took his infamy in stride and sounded like he made some great friends because of his enforcement of a school policy against long hair on men. Although it seems he was uncomfortable being forever linked with the band he rolled with it and became a rock legend. Good for him I say. May he rest in peace.

"It was against the school rules. I don't particularly like long hair on men, but again, it wasn't my rule." - Leonard Skinner

Sep 20, 2010


As most of you are aware the recent controversy over the New York Jets alleged behavior when hot reporter Inés Sáinz decided to interview them in the locker room has made some waves in football. The NFL has decided to investigate and heads may roll concerning what was said while she entered a room full of naked men.

Now I do believe that no matter what players should act professionally and if they are found doing otherwise they should be punished, but I'll never understand why it's ok for women to enter a locker room where men are changing. Is it really critical to interview a guy while he's naked? I mean what more are they going to get from an athlete besides the following:

"We gave 110%."

"We really need to play better."

"This was a disappointing loss."

"We'll work on our offense next week."

It's all the same cliched rhetoric that I'm sure the press can wait on until the conference, but they insist the NFL parade their players in front of reporters in various states of undress so they can get their interview. The league agrees with them for whatever reason and finds it necessary to keep good relations with the press.

I'm sure the WNBA wouldn't allow me in their locker room regardless of my press credentials, nor could I insist that I get the up to the minute thoughts on Anna Kournikova's recent match while she's about to drop her towel. Why shouldn't I though? It's only fair that male members of the media get their interview. Is the WNBA sexist? Would they allow me in if I said I was a reporter from One Bad Apple, your source for all newsiness?

I wonder what NFL players' wives, or husbands if it's legal in their state, think about a bunch of people checking them out naked because they play a sport. Then again they just probably see dollar signs.

“I die of embarrassment! I am in the locker room of the Jets waiting for Mark Sanchez while trying not to look to anywhere!” - Ines Sainz

Sep 17, 2010

Bad movies I love part 27.

It's difficult to mention Peter Jackson without immediately thinking that he was the brains behind what is arguably the greatest motion picture trilogy of all time, but film geeks like myself are well aware he had a career before hand. While some of his earlier work is disturbing (Meet the Feebles) and some is brilliant (Heavenly Creatures) he did, and still does, have a fascination with horror and crafted the hilarious zombie movie Dead Alive.

People who know me understand I'm not big in the horror genre nor do I care much for zombies. I always found the slow moving brainless creatures stupid and not in the least bit scary. The greatest of horror has villains with a psychological bent, such as Psycho and The Exorcist. Zombies, by there very nature, cannot posses the personality of a Dracula or a Hyde and leave a strong disconnect with the audience.

Peter Jackson, as well as the makers of Zombieland, knew this and created the low budget Dead Alive. It's a simple story of a nugget of a man with an overbearing mother who earns his living mowing lawns. As a result of a virus carrying monkey he finds his small village plagued with the undead. At first he tries to befriend a few as he had sympathy for them, but finally survival instinct kicks in and it's up to him alone to eradicate the population of his town.

What seems like a fright fest from the cover art is misleading. It's really a comedy on the whole genre of walking dead pictures. Take for instance a scene in a cemetery near a large church. An old priest sees a bunch of zombies try and eat those still living and decides to go all Jackie Chan on their asses. Another scene has the mousy protagonist walking a zombie baby through a park. The kid starts to get hungry and tries to eat him and a fight ensues. The onlookers take shock in seeing the man kick the crap out of what seems like an infant, but is really a flesh eater.

Folks, this is great cinema.

"Originally released as Braindead, this gory, maccabre satire of 1950s New Zealand society is yet another proof that Peter Jackson is one of the sharpest, most skillful directors working in the genre; a good companion piece to Meet the Feebles." - Emanuel Levy

Sep 16, 2010

Thursday Music

When Kelly and I took a bus from the Nassau airport to our resort we found our driver to be very friendly and informative. Acting like a tour guide he gave a brief history of the country and reminded us that JFK is dead when we passed a road with his namesake.

The driver then went on about the local cuisine. He first told us about Sky Juice, a drink mixed with conch, coconut juice and milk, gin. It was told to us that the cocktail was very powerful and he was right. Corey found this out quickly when he decided to drink nine of them on his first night in. Later that evening he went swimming in the ocean during a lightning storm.

The riders on the bus were told about conch and how much of a powerful aphrodisiac it is. It was supposed to give men a 'strong back', and like Lionel Richie once sang, perform all night long. We must've heard this tale about a dozen times from various locals, all referencing the pop-star's song. Kelly and I laughed about this, till one night we were eating dinner in their romantic dining restaurant while terribly depressing love songs blared over the speakers. All of a sudden Lionel's signature hit came on.

We smiled as we already heard it the evening before on some bad VH1 show, but in all the years the song has been in existence that was the first time I actually took the time to listen to it. It's nasally and all over the board in beat and format. The lyrics are stupid at best and I have no idea why his producers thought it would be a great idea for the song to take an African native turn.

Yet he had a huge career. Good for him I guess.

"So much of my career has been about saying things the way people say them, using melodies not that I can sing but that the people can sing." - Lionel Richie

Sep 15, 2010


When Kelly and I arrived back in the States from our wedding/honeymoon we decided to drop in and see the progress that's been done on the building of our home. While we were excited to see how fast it's coming up; however, we noticed something. The brick that we asked the builder to set aside for us was missing. We emailed them to inquire what may have happened to it. Today we got a response:

"About the brick... someone stole it all. Along with all my brick mortar material from two other addresses. So I will be watching out for anyone doing any work with your brick color. I am very sorry about that."

I was planning on using the left over brick for some yard decor, but sadly that won't happen. Brick is so cheap around here it seemed like a lot of work to lift two pallets worth of heavy building material that was sitting on the back patio. I imagine the operation took a lot of manpower, more than I'd be willing to risk jail time for. Some construction folk are different though. They have many side projects and material is gold for them.

Funny enough the builder's name is Stony. I'm not kidding.

"Better to be a strong man with a weak point, than to be a weak man without a strong point. A diamond with a flaw is more valuable that a brick without a flaw." - William J. H. Boetcker

Sep 14, 2010

The band.

The blessed symbols of union that is the wedding ring has long been a part of marriage traditions. As I understand it, what originally started as a pagan symbol of infinite love became hijacked by other faiths and finally the jewelry industry decided that it would be a great idea to have men spend a down payment on a house for a stone that's responsible for the deaths of poor miners. It's just a symbol, but one that means so much in the hearts of many.

I have to admit the romantic in me did enjoy seeing Kelly put the ring on my finger. I gladly wear my 'back off bitch' jewelry for I'm proud of the love I've found. It hasn't; however, come without toil.

Shortly after we got married I tried to get used to wearing it. I kept fidgeting with the ring as I'm not exactly Mr Bling and am unfamiliar with them. Still I guarded it with my life as I went snorkeling and jet skiing.

The following Monday Kelly and I joined Jessica and Andrew at Atlantis. We were in their water park floating around mock river rapids and sliding through tubes. A frolicking good time it was until we decided to exit the pool.

I look at my ring finger and find it naked. My heart sank and I may or may not have cursed Neptune. Kelly noticed immediately and was broken up by the fact that I was missing my wedding band, but after a few tears and some conversation we both agreed it was just a symbol and can easily be replaced.

I figured we would wait to get another one when we got back in the states, but instead the next day we went to downtown Nassau to do some shopping. I found a nice ring which fit comfortably, but later that night as a test I washed my hands and flung my upper appendages around. The piece of jewelry flew off my finger.

The next day we went shopping again and found a ring that takes quite a bit of force to get off. Sometimes it feels like I may have to saw my finger just to remove the band. Still it's a nice piece and am happy to wear it for the rest of my days.

"Marriage: a ceremony in which rings are put on the finger of the lady and through the nose of the gentleman." - Herbert Spencer

Sep 12, 2010

I no longer have a fiance.

As I stood there waiting patiently with my back turned to the venue I wiped some sweat from my brow. I wasn't nervous, but the perspiration was largely due to the intense tropical humidity. As the guests sat comfortably in their chairs I stood and contemplated the new life I was about to enter.

We touched down in Nassau to weather that was less than stellar. After we checked in to the resort we walked around and gave ourselves a tour. We saw a couple who was just newly wedded having their pictures taken. The wind was intense and being on the beach felt like being sand blasted. The couple worked as well as they could with the photographer, but hair and clothing were flapping in the breeze and they just looked miserable. Kelly congratulated the couple, but they said being out there was equivalent to walking through a monsoon.

This did not ease Kelly's fear of terrible weather during our nuptials. Hurricane Earl and Fiona were well in effect. I eased her mind telling her I was sure it would be fine, but I lied. I too was afraid that we would experience rain and wind at our wedding.

Our happy day arrived and the weather couldn't have been more perfect. The sun was shining, the smell of the salt water air was refreshing, and a gentle breeze filled the atmosphere. The gazebo was decorated to the hilt and I and our wedding guests were awaiting the arrival of my bride. On queue I turned around and laid eyes on her in that wedding dress that hung in our closet for a few months. I was not allowed to see it, but it was sort of like locking a drug addict in a Walgreens and asking them to leave the prescriptions alone. Still I resisted all temptations and looked upon her for the first time as my bride. She looked more beautiful than I could possibly imagine.

"A wedding anniversary is the celebration of love, trust, partnership, tolerance and tenacity. The order varies for any given year." - Paul Sweeney

Sep 10, 2010

They did it...

On the fifth anniversary of 9/11 the blogsphere exploded with posts reflecting on the terrorist attack and the current state of the world body politic. I wrote a post that just tried to express my feelings that overwhelmed me during that terrible event. I re-post it every year on this day in hopes that I never forget. Today will be no different:

I seem to be jumping the bandwagon of bloggers who are posting about the fifth anniversary of 9/11, but I figured it would be nice to write down my thoughts if only for myself. The remembrance of that day is slowly going fuzzier with age and I pray I won't forget the feeling that the events brought me.

I was in my normal before work routine of eating breakfast. I flipped on the news and I saw the billowing smoke coming from the World Trade Center. My then girlfriend came out of the room and I looked at her.

"They did it," I proclaimed. "They finally did it."

"Did what?" she asked.

"Terrorists struck two planes into the World Trade Center. We're under attack."

She didn't say anything. She looked at the television and watched with confusion.

It took me forever to realize why my first words were 'they did it, they finally did it.' I then recalled a conversation back in the late 90s with my friends Corey and Joe. We discussed one of our most loved political subjects and that is Israel. The conversation then went into terrorism and unto Osama Bin Laden. We were unsure at the time if Osama was a real threat, but all of us agreed that soon terrorism would be at our front door steps and it would be larger than the embassy and USS Cole combined.

We had no idea just how massive it would become.

The phone range. It was Corey.

"Hey are you watching the news?" he said.

"Yeah," I replied.

"The shit is going down," he observed.

"It sure is," I said. "I'm going to call the folks. They don't have television."

"Tell em I said hi."

"Will do. I'll be online soon. If I hear any more news I'll send it to you."

"Same here."

I called the folks and updated them on what I knew at the time. Mom tried to make some reasonable explanation about why our country was under attack, inciting what she believes is our country's lack of godliness.

I was annoyed. Here I was calling her about a terrible situation and she had to go Pat Robertson on me. I could've have asked why Amsterdam gets a free pass, but really I didn't want to argue and just let it go. People all have their way of coping with tragedy and I just as well let her have her's.

I left for work shortly thereafter. I was tuned into the radio when the news announced the first tower collapsed. After I got to work the second tower then plunged to the earth taking numerous lives with them.

I got inside the building and people were talking over each other about what just happened. I sat at my cube and was being bombarded by IMs with news about the Pentagon and Flight 93. My inbox was flooded from friends I haven't heard from in years wondering what my thoughts were on the whole mess.

As one could imagine the phone volume was really dead that day. Then after being at my cube for hours without a call the phone rang. It was a customer who was having trouble with her word processing software. She was angry about her support options and hung up on me. I wasn't all that polite given what was going on and she took the time to call in and bitch about typing a letter.

Since it was so slow my boss let a few of us go home early. I came home and sat on the couch, eyes being glued to the tv. My then girlfriend came home, said nothing, sat on the couch beside me, and rested her head on my shoulder. I threw my arms around her and we sat in silence for what felt like forever watching the terrible tragedy unfold before us.

Five years later I think about this eternal conflict of a fearful empire clashing with civilizations that can't seem to bring themselves out of the 7th century. I could go on about the politics and war that has been brought and my analysis on it, but this day I choose to remember one thing about 9/11 and that being my first words when I comprehended what was going on.

"They did it. They finally did it."

"After 9-11 there was a body of literature from people like Baudrillard and Chomksy who wrote very eloquently about what the hell was going on, but they didn't pitch a solution." - Ben Nicholson