Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Singing In The Rain

A chance of rain was supposed to happen today so I woke up and turned on the weather channel while getting ready for work. The reason why rain concerns me is because my Jeep has a soft top and it has been down since last Thursday. It's been nice and hot everyday and I've enjoyed the open air during my long drives.

So the weather guy this morning says 30 percent chance of rain, "no need to cancel your plans because if there is rain, not everyone is going to get it." I got ready for work, went out to the garage, opened the garage door and looked at the sky. It looked pretty gray in the west, I figured there was a decent chance I'd see a few drops so I decided to put the top up but not put in any of the windows. On a Jeep this means, the only thing around you protecting you from the elements is the windshield.

Twenty minutes into my trip and I'm in the middle of a typhoon. The sun completely disappeared so it's pitch black except for the occasional flicker of death-lightning lighting my way. The rain is hitting the road so hard, SUVs are pulling under bridges and on the shoulder because they can't see to drive. Wimps. What's bad for a convertible is when it rains not only does the rain fall on the outside of the windshield, it hits the inside too and the only internal windshield wiper I have is my hand. In addition to the downpour that's pushing people off the road, the streamline winds are not allowing the rain to fall in the normal gravitational direction of, you know, straight down. Instead it's going sideways and hitting me on the face soaking the right side of my whole body. My passenger seat has amassed a small puddle of water, my dash is splashed with tiny water droplets. 30 percent huh? I've never getting my weather from them again. By mid morning, the whole city (over 200 square miles) was hit by strong storms. Idiots! That weather report was only 30 minutes old!

Despite my wet encounter this morning, that's only the second worse time I've been caught in heavy rain while driving my Jeep. I love it.

Monday, August 25, 2003

The Artchitect and Neo

The scene in Matrix Reloaded where Neo reached the source of the Matrix and encounters the Architect has some very interesting dialog, most of which is lost on the audience on first viewing. I've copied the dialog from matrix_reloaded_6's blog who provided some of his insight on the scene, which is very good and definintely worth reading. I only include the movie dialogue here, no comments.

Architect: Hello Neo

Neo: Who are you?

Architect: I am the Architect. I created the Matrix. I have been waiting for you. You have many questions and although the process has altered your consciousness you remain irrevocably human, ergo some of my answers you will understand and some of them you will not. Concordantly, while your first question maybe the most pertinent you may or may not realize it is also the most irrelevant.

Neo: Why am I here?

Architect: Your life is the sum of a remainder of an unbalanced equation inherent to the programming of the matrix. You are the eventuality of an anomaly which despite my sincerest efforts I have been unable to eliminate from what is otherwise a harmony of mathematical precision. While it remains a burden assiduously avoided it is not unexpected and thus not beyond a measure of control. Which has led you inexcerably here.

Neo: You haven’t answered my question.

Architect: Quite right. Interesting, that was quicker then the others.

Neo: Others? (What others? How many? Answer me)

Architect: The Matrix is older then you know. I prefer counting from the emergence of one integral anomaly to the emergence of the next. In which case this is the sixth version.

Neo: Then there are only two possible explanations, either no one told me, or no one knows.

Architect: Precisely, as you are undoubtedly gathering the anomaly is systemic. Creating fluctuations in even the most simplistic equations.

Neo: Choice, the problem is choice.

Architect: The first matrix I designed was quite naturally perfect; it was a work of art, flawless, sublime. A triumph equaled only by its monumental failure. The inevitability of its doom is apparent to me now as a consequence of the imperfection inherent in every human being. Thus, I redesigned it, Based on your history to more accurately reflect the varying grotesqueries of your nature. However I was again frustrated by failure. I have since come to understand that the answer eluded me because it required a lesser mind, or perhaps a mind less bound by the parameters of perfection. Thus the answer was stumbled upon by another, and intuitive program, initially created to investigate certain aspects of the human psyche. If I am the father of the matrix, she would undoubtedly be its mother.

Neo: The Oracle

Architect: Please, as I was saying she stumbled upon a solution whereby nearly 99 percent of all test subjects accepted the program as long as they were given a choice, even if they were only aware of the choice at an near unconscious level. While this answered function it was obviously fundamentally flawed thus creating the otherwise contradictory systemic anomaly, that if left unchecked might threaten the system itself. Ergo those that refuse the program while a minority if unchecked would constitute an escalating probability of disaster.

Neo: This is about Zion

Architect: You are here because Zion is about to be destroyed. Its every living inhabitant terminated, its entire existence eradicated.

Neo: Bullsh--

Architect: Denial is the most predictable of all human responses. But, rest assured, this will be the sixth time we have destroyed it. And we have become exceedingly efficient at it. The function of the One is now to return to the source allowing a temporary dissemination of the code you carry reinserting the prime program after which you will be required to select from the matrix 23 individuals, 16 female 7 male, to rebuild Zion. Failure to comply with this process will result in a cataclysmic system crash killing everyone connected to the matrix. Which, coupled with the extermination of Zion will ultimately result in the extinction of the entire human race.

Neo: You won’t let it happen, you can’t. You need human beings to survive.

Architect: There are levels of survival we are prepared to accept. However the relevant issue is whether or not you are ready to accept the responsibility for the death of every human being in this world. It is interesting reading your reactions. Your 5 predecessors were by design based on a similar predication a contingent affirmation that was meant to create a profound attachment to the rest of your species facilitating the function of the One. While the others experienced this in a very general way your experience is far more specific, Vis a vie love.

Neo: Trinity

Architect: Apropo, she entered the matrix to save your life at the cost of her own.

Neo: No

Architect: Which brings us at last to the moment of truth, wherein the fundamental flaw is ultimately expressed and the anomaly revealed as both beginning and end. There are two doors, the door to your right leads to the source and the salvation of Zion, the door to your left leads back to the matrix to her and to the end of your species. As you adequately put, the problem is choice. But we already know what you are going to do don’t we? Already I can see the chain reaction the chemical precursors that signal the onset of an emotion designed specifically to overwhelm logic and reason. An emotion that is already blinding you from the simple and obvious truth, she is going to die and there is nothing you can do to stop it. Hope, it is the quintessential human delusion simultaneously the source of your greatest strength and your greatest weakness.

Neo: If I were you, I would hope that we don’t meet again.

Architect: We won’t.

Saturday, August 23, 2003

Vive la Revolutions

The new Matrix trailer for Revolutions has been released on the official website. The clip is narrated by the Oracle and this is what she says:

"Everything that has a beginning has an end
I see the end coming
I see the darkness spreading
I see death
And you are all that stands in his way
If you can not stop him tonight
Then I fear that tomorrow may never come"

Friday, August 22, 2003

Small Change, New Title

Five posts in as many days. New record for me!

I decided to change the name of my blog here from pick lock's brain to outlining samsara. I thought it was a more appropriate reference to my blabbering than an inference to picking locks, which is where I got most of my readers from anyway - a Google search result of people looking for information on breaking and entering. Boy were they surprised when the search engine brought them here.
Major Archeological Discovery!

I'd like to know how the Alabama Judicial Building got their hands on an artifact that the Nazi's in Raiders of the Lost Ark couldn't get. And why isn't anyone looking at the monument in Alabama turning to goo?

Thursday, August 21, 2003

Tapped Bumper

On my way in to work this morning, I was stopped on a highway on-ramp. Rush hour traffic in my area can really get backed up so I'm half way down the ramp, completely stopped. Everyone else is too as the cars ahead are looking for a place to merge onto the highway. I have the top down on the Jeep so I can hear everything going on around me and I heard a crunch behind me. I looked in the rear view mirror to see what it was and I was sure the car behind me just got rear ended. It wasn't hard enough to send the driver into me thankfully but I couldn't see any damage since we were all packed in close. I wasn't even sure the two cars behind me were the ones involved.

I figured the two would pull over on the shoulder once traffic got moving. Traffic did get moving, but the car behind me kept driving like nothing happened. We're going down the ramp and the car that caused the accident started tapping his horn notifying the guy he hit that they should pull over and exchange insurance information. But the car behind me ignored all of that and merged onto the highway as if nothing happened. Apparently he was in a hurry or wasn't concerned about the damage.

Once we were moving I could finally see the damage done on the car that caused the accident. He had a giant dent in the hood and it made me laugh because he couldn't get the guy he hit to pull over.

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

The 411 on 911

How did they come up with 911 as the emergency phone number? The first number is in the lower right section of the keypad and the last two are in the opposite corner. It's been around for many years right, even back when most of the phones were rotaries? You know how long it takes to dial 9 on a rotary? Anyone who remembers back that far, if you had to dial a 9 in your phone number, you would stick your finger in the slot, pull the dial back to that beer tab looking thing and release it. You had so much time while the 9 was dialing you could go put on an Iron Butterfly record, play through the whole thing, come back and put in the rest of your number. And God help you if you had two or more 9's in there. You felt like your index finger was broken by the time you were done.

I was just curious why they gave the people who are most desperate at the time of dialing the hardest 3 digit number to dial (are you sure you don't want to make it 919?) and for the people who want to look up where Uncle Harvey lives the more efficient number. Right there, boom, 4-1-1.

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Kevin Bacon to Kevin Bacon in 3

I'm having fun with the Kevin Bacon game. I'm using an online resource called Star Links to try and find the most reclusive names and see how far of a leap they have to make to match. I can't get past the score of 3 which means it used 3 movies to link the two names including the two movies each actor was in.

For example, John Holmes the porn actor to Ronald Reagan yields a return score of 3. Yes that's right. Ronald Reagan was in The Last Outpost with Bill Williams. Bill Williams was in Night of the Zombies with Jamie Gillis. And Jamie Gillis was in Ginger Lynn: The Movie with John Holmes.

Here are some other fun ones:

Lara Flynn Boyle was in Where the Day Takes You (1992) with Dermot Mulroney
Dermot Mulroney was in About Schmidt (2002) with Jack Nicholson

Ice-T was in CB4 (1993) with Ice Cube

John Belushi was in Tarzoon, la honte de la jungle (1975) with Brian Doyle-Murray
Brian Doyle-Murray was in Snow Dogs (2002) with James Belushi

Sarah Jessica Parker was in First Wives Club, The (1996) with J. Smith-Cameron
J. Smith-Cameron was in You Can Count on Me (2000) with Matthew Broderick

Jennifer Aniston was in Waiting for Woody (1998) with George Clooney
George Clooney was in Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002) with Brad Pitt

Ellen DeGeneres was in Edtv (1999) with Jay Leno
Jay Leno was in John Q (2002) with Anne Heche

Christopher Walken was in Illuminata (1998) with Ben Gazzara
Ben Gazzara was in Bloodline (1979) with Gert Frobe

Verne Troyer was in You'll Never Wiez in This Town Again (2003) with Whoopi Goldberg
Whoopi Goldberg was in Telephone, The (1988) with Herve Villechaize

Monday, August 18, 2003

Dreams of Solomon Grundy

Here was a dream I had Saturday night. I went with a group of friends to a "resort." In reality this is something we actually do; get a nice place in a remote city and game all weekend. In my dream however, the nice place was an underground cave. I was disappointed they would pick such a drab place for this year's get-together but I wasn't totally against it, as long as we had fun. In the past, when we did this we would bring thousands of dollars of electronic equipment with us to keep us entertained: TVs, game conosles, cell phones, a video camera. In my dream it was no exception. We were wired to the teeth for fun.

After we moved in and got settled, I found out that there was a race of cave dwellers that lived near our underground resort. They spent their whole life in these caves and as a result, looked very pale, wore shabby clothes and had bad English. They were tall and hulk-like as well, very built. Their physique seemed as chiseled as the walls of this underground city. Sidenote: I think I know how their physical description made it into my dream. That day I was listening to a Crash Test Dummies song called Superman. In the song, there are references to a Superfriends-Legion of Doom character named Solomon Grundy who happens to look a lot like the cave dweller race in my dream. Very interesting.

So we're in our resort/cave room, playing our video games when the cave dwellers sent a platoon of cave-soldiers over to the resort side to attack the residents. Apparently, this is a common occurence because our resort had a response team of defenders ready there to fight back. The battle was bloody (chalky?), both sides sustained heavy losses. When it was all over, we were safe but our electronic equipment was gone. Come to find out the reason for the attack was that the cave dwellers are merchants and they sell used equipment in their cave shop, located not far from the cave resort. Since they don't make it to the surface world a lot, their only line of supply are the tourists staying in the nearby cave resort. My video camera and Nintendo console were among the stolen items and as result I was not happy.

I decided to visit the cave dweller shops to see if I can find my possessions and reclaim them. If there was going to be trouble, I'd just break down and buy them back. I looked at some of the items on sale and they were definitely used. Old VCRs, stereos, hand held video game units; all scratched and dented, basically pieces of crap was all they had for sale. This was stuff you would find at a flea market or yard sale. To make it worse, the items were all overly priced. A ten year old VHS VCR went for $1000! I don't know how they stayed in business.

I never found my items and even if I did, I knew I didn't have the cash to get it back. I returned to the resort and took out my frustration on my friends for picking such an obviously piss-poor place to spend our vacation. I yelled at them for hours and said I was picking the spot next year.

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Politics Is Definitely An Art

To be successful in politics, it seems to me you have to have a sense of timing. There are a lot of factors which you can't control but nevertheless they are factors which the voters expect you to control as an elected official. And if you can commit and action that coincides with a usual pattern and claim your action caused the change, you become the big man. Even tougher to pull off is finding a way to speed up the pattern. There are some circumstances where you can control a situation but it would require extreme action.

The U.S. economy is supposedly on the rebound soon after President Bush pushed major tax cuts that he said would create jobs. He does this in a time when it was likely the economy would have rebounded on its own. The country has never gone four straight years of a down market and we just completed three. To add fuel to it, the economy is recovering quickly mostly due to massive military spending to support the wars in Iraq and Afghanastan. Talk about a spin. The ugly face of war spurs our economy and Bush claims it was his idea of the tax cuts that did most of the work. Excellent work my genius political friend. No wonder you are President of the United States.

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

You Can't Make This Stuff Up

I met a friend of a friend of mine not too long ago. Out of habit, I extended my right hand to shake his, but he didn't respond. I looked down at his arm and noticed he was wearing a cast. I didn't ask how he did it, I just apologized for not seeing the cast before gesturing. I asked my friend a few weeks later what happened to the guy's arm. This is what he told me:

"He was out walking his dog when a goose came up and attacked the dog. He tried to intervene to fend off the goose but he tripped on the leash and fell to the sidewalk breaking his arm."

I was stunned for a long time as I tried to find which part of that statement to make fun of first. It was humor overload.

Monday, August 04, 2003

Murphy Was Right; Even Though He Didn't Say It

What to know something? Murphy's Law is not "Anything that can go wrong, will." The actual quote by McDonnell-Douglas' quality-control engineer Edward A. Murphy, Jr was,

"If there are two or more ways to do something, and one of those ways can result in a catastrophe, then someone will do it."

Murphy is misquoted and given credit for a reference made by something called Finagle's Law of Dynamic Negatives.

Go figure.
The Smiling Faces of Saddam

The US military, using a photo of Saddam Hussein, digitally altered it to produce the different potential looks Saddam could have today to be used by the soldiers in the hunt for the man. What's interesting is that in these photos that show the deposed Iraqi leader with a beard or white hair or what he would look like with no mustache, he's smiling in every one.

If anything is going to help the U.S. military find this guy, it would be a photo with the proper look on a man's face when he loses his country, fortunes, family, power and freedom. Smiling is the last expression he should have.