Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Another Hmmmm Moment

Another Hmmmm Moment

When hiring the cast for Queer Eye, was sexual preference discrimination practiced? Isn't that illegal?

Hmmmm moment #1
Hmmmm moment #2
Hmmmm moment #3

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Sealab 2021 Getting Attention

Sealab 2021 Getting Attention

Can there be a better show on television than Sealab 2021? I think not.

I was flipping through my new Wired today and in the fetish section, they have a piece on a flat screen
television and displayed on the screen was a scene from the genius Cartoon Network Adult Swim show Sealab 2021. It was the episode where Captain Murphy has his brain removed (Quinn was experimenting) and replaced with a mouse at mechanical controls.

Seeing this in the magazine excited me because 1) The world deserves to know about Sealab and 2) Wired continues to be hip by using hip material.

My favorite episode of Sealab 2021 has to be Lost In Time where a couple members of the crew, Stormy and Quinn, get stuck in a temporal loop and begin piling up each time they go back in time 15 minutes. Each instance of Stormy and Quinn get degeneratively worse as they go back in time and eventually devolve into some interesting things. But Stormy only saw the positive side and created his own dodgeball team of Stormys and Quinns.

The show has gone through some changes. One of the best characters on the show is Captain Murphy and the voice actor who did Murphy unfortunately died towards the end of last season. So no more Captain Murphy. I've seen the new episodes and they replaced Captain Murphy with a cowboy gym teacher who incidentally is voiced by the actor's son. He's not nearly as funny as Murphy but the rest of the crew pick up and do a decent job of filling in the void that Murphy left.

Just recently they had an episode where there was a Sealab and a Spacelab. Everyone on Sealab had a counterpart in Spacelab so there was a space Quinn, space Debbie, space Stormy and so forth. The Spacelab was monitoring an asteroid that was on a collision course with Earth. They ordered a tool that could destroy the asteroid and save Earth, a tool which happened to double as a High Definition Television known as the ASHDTV, Asteroid Smasher High Definition Television. They didn't want it for its HDTV properties, just the asteroid smasher part. However, since Spacelab and Sealab are very similar, just one is in space the other at the bottom of the ocean, the ASHDTV accidentally got delivered to Sealab. Of course the only thing the Sealab folks saw when they received the delivery was a high definition television and they put it to immediate use, destroying their old, small screen, crappy analog television. The repeated calls from Spacelab to Sealab to have them return the ASHDTV went unheeded and as a result, the asteroid impacted Earth and everyone was destroyed.

Nothing short of comedy brilliance I tell ya. Sealab 2021 and the rest of the Adult Swim shows for that matter (Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Harvey Birdman) are the best kept secret and hugely underrated shows currently on television.

Monday, June 28, 2004

My Day

My Day

I've had a busy week. I'm receiving a new air traffic system at work to support. Good for me because it's job security, so I welcome it.

My days are pretty routine actually. I understand people are fed up with the sameness of their lives, the methodical mundaneness, but mine has never bothered me. I think it is because I look to be comfortable and in relaxed settings. The smallest change is a job for me, so in my view there can't be too many boring days, although change can be fun, the routine is just more relaxing. It's a give and take with me, depends on my mood.

Here's my day (weekday):

6:30 a.m.: Alarm goes off. I or Mrs. Lock hit the snooze. Most of the time it's Mrs. Lock.

6:39 a.m.: Alarm goes off again. Snoozed.

6:48 a.m.: Alarm goes off. Snoozed but I lie in bed staring at the ceiling calculating how late to work I'd be if I slept to the next snooze. Mind is still in unconscious dream land so I (mis)calculate I have plenty of time, hours if need be.

6:57 a.m.: Alarm goes off, finally it's shut off. This is the motivation not to go back to sleep. I put on my glasses and stare at the ceiling which is now in focus. Then I calculate how late I'm going to be.

7:05 a.m.: Still in bed, with my glasses on. I turn on the TV to get the news and weather. Hearing the voices clears my head and brings me more into consciousness.

7:10 a.m.: Time to get up head into the bathroom and take care of hygiene.

7:15 a.m.: Check the clock and think 'If I leave right now, I can be on time.' I still have plenty to do though.

7:20 a.m.: Get dressed, go downstairs to feed the farm. Fish get a pinch of flake food; cat gets Iams in the food bowl plus fresh water; rabbit gets a carrot from the fridge. Rabbit also gets pellets, fresh water and hay. He's manic about seeing the carrot, so much so, he sometimes falls out of his cage trying to get to it before I can get the cage door open. Try to keep my finger from getting between the carrot and the rabbit's mouth.

7:25 a.m: Feed myself. Bowl of cereal or on occasion, Pop-Tarts or both. If we have any bananas, take one for work. Watching the same news broadcast downstairs while I eat my breakfast. Keep checking the clock and know that if I leave know, I'll only be ten minutes late.

7:30 a.m.: Rinse out cereal bowl. Grab any lunch items I might need to take to work. Go upstairs, kiss the wife who's still getting ready. Head back downstairs, get in the Jeep and head for work knowing I'll only be 15 minutes late. Not bad.

7:31 a.m.: Once a week, during the drive, realize I have an empty gas tank and forgot to fill it up the night before. Have to get gas. I'm really going to be late now.

7:40 a.m.: Got gas and on the road again. I'm going to be half an hour late.

7:40 - 8:15 a.m.: Fight traffic to get to work. Listen to morning talk shows on the way.

8:20 a.m: Walk in to work, check on the systems. Make sure nothing crashed over night. If something did crash, it's going to be a busy (and short) day. Check work email, take care of any routine procedures depending on the day of the week.

Before 9:00 a.m.: Update Daily Simpsons.

9:00ish a.m.: Check personal email after immediate work needs are met. Log on to instant messenger.

9:00 - 4:00 p.m.: Surf the web - read email, instant message, read blogs, update blogs. Answer the occasional work phone call and/or email and keep an eye on systems. God bless system administrator jobs.

4:00 p.m.: Clock out. I had lunch in there somewhere. Usually a cold cut sandwich of some kind plus chips. Just eat at my desk while I surf.

4:00 - 4:15 p.m.: Fight the airport traffic to try and get onto the highway to head home. During the drive, listen to the radio or CD.

4:45 p.m.: Make it home. Pull into garage. Get mail and any newspapers lying in the driveway, grass, street or on the roof. If it's Monday, haul the empty trash barrels back into the garage.

4:45 - 5:00 p.m.: Head inside, sift through mail separating out my mail and wife's. Put junk mail in the shredder (80% of our mail), a real credit card offer graveyard. If the weather is nice, let crying cat outside and rabbit. God bless fenced in backyards. Clean out litter box. Turn on Maury to catch the only interesting segment of the show, the last 15 minutes. "So he isn't/is the father of your baby? Don't worry, you'll be on next week's lie detector test show." Dress down (get out of work clothes). Boot the laptop. God bless wireless networks. Log in to email to see if anyone has written me in the last hour while I was driving. Log in to instant messenger.

5:00 p.m.: Take the porcelain throne. Have lots of material to read under the bathroom sink. Finish up any hygiene events I may have missed from my rushed morning, shower or shave.

5:30 p.m.: Check to see if there are any TiVo programs I need to watch - yes, hours. Bunch of Seinfelds, SG1s, Aqua Teen/Sealab/Harvey Birdmans, Daily Shows plus whatever was on primetime the night before.

6:00 p.m.: Wifey gets home. Get a kiss. Wife gets settled in but doesn't dress down. Joins me to watch whatever I'm watching.

7:30 p.m.: We think about eating. Briefly discuss what we should have for dinner.

8:00 p.m.: Decide we really should eat dinner sometime. If we eat in, Mrs. Lock starts cooking. If we eat out, we take off for the establishment. If we need groceries, pick them up while we're out (usually falls on Monday somehow).

9:00 p.m.: Get home (or finish eating). Watch more TV/TiVo, play video games, get my freak on (to quote Mrs. Lock) or do our own thing. Whatever strikes our fancy. This is where we mix it up and fight off the mundane blahs. TV, video games, marital quality time or do our own thing which usually means one of us gets on Kazaa and downloads music.

10:00 p.m.: Try to get our butts in bed so we don't have to keep hitting the snooze in the morning.

10:30 p.m.: Get our butts in bed but open a book and start reading.

11:00 p.m: Lights out.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Just because you didn't think of it, doesn't make it a bad idea.

Just because you didn't think of it, doesn't make it a bad idea.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Let Loose The Dogs Of War

Let Loose The Dogs Of War

Here is the second half of pictures I rounded up from our visit to Civil War Days at Billie Creek last week. I promised you a cannon picture and I delivered. Ready, aim, FIRE!

US Platoon
General On The Field
The Lone Soldier
Confederate March
Confederate Field
Confederate Field With Flag
Let Loose
The Dogs Of War

Monday, June 21, 2004

Happy First Anniversary

Happy First Anniversary

Happy anniversary Mrs. Lock. I married the woman of my dreams one year ago today.

Quit Killing Germs

Quit Killing Germs

Anti-bacterial soap is not only an unnecessary thing, it could be hazardous to your health; more importantly it could be hazardous to my health. The marketing ploy is to convince you that you are surrounded by armies of germs and you need to take the battle to them with these wipes or mops or sprays or soaps.

What's wrong with germs? We've survived 30,000 years with them in the worst possible conditions. As cavemen we ate raw meat after wiping our butts with our hands. The black plague thrived in destitute situations in Europe with people who were hygiene-ignorant throwing their waste out into the streets, living in knee-high squalor with the disease still only managing to kill 25 percent of them. So what do you think a line of dirt or old milk container or kid mucus is really going to do to your family?

As a kid, working on the farm where a good portion of the area's fly population liked to hang out, I would run an open fist across a panel of flies resting on a board and catch half a dozen of them or so in my hand. I would shake them up, get them all dizzy and let them go. This is how you entertained yourself on the farm. After I was done with my work, I'd go home and eat my dinner without washing up. That's right, and it was fried chicken and corn on the cob every night too, no pansy silverware for my "infected" hands to keep their distance. I never got sick, never missed a day of school or work due to illness. I'm as healthy as an ox (a healthy one).

Anti-bacterial products kill 99% of germs, including the good ones. They are making our immune system weaker by not allowing it to fight anything. What do you think will happen when the resistant strains start to multiply, the versions that your precious soaps won't kill? If you gave up hope on your immune system to fight the germs we have now, what chance do you think you will have against the supergerms? So cut it out. Just use spit and water to wash up before dinner - or nothing.

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Camel Crossing

Camel Crossing

This picture is from a Saudi blogger called Religious Policeman (link located under list of Samsari in my sidebar). He has taken a few pictures of the camel populace around Saudia Arabia and the one I'm showing here is probably my favorite.

Be sure to check out his other camel photos. Picture posted with owner's permission.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

We Will Never Run Out Of Oil

We Will Never Run Out Of Oil

George Will has a fine column this week about how oil is only technically a limited resource because it will become cost-inefficient to collect before we ever run out and since we're a market-based society, we will never run out of oil - we just won't want to pay for it anymore.
Excerpts from The Washington Post
Oil: How Bad Do You Want It? by George Will
Sunday, June 13, 2004

Of course, oil supplies are, as some people say with a sense of profound discovery, "finite." But that distinguishes oil not at all from land, water or pistachio nuts.

Russell Roberts, an economist, says: Imagine that you love pistachio nuts and are given a room filled 5 feet deep with them. But you must eat them in the room and must leave the shells. When will you have eaten them all? Never. Because as it becomes increasingly difficult to find nuts amidst the shells, the cost of the nuts, in time and effort, will become too high. You will seek a substitute -- pistachios from a store, or another snack.

Tim Appenzeller, writing in National Geographic, says tar-sand deposits in Alberta "hold the equivalent of more than 1.6 trillion barrels of oil -- an amount that may exceed the world's remaining reserves of ordinary crude." Alberta, a future Saudi Arabia? Perhaps. Full-throttle production of oil from tar sand is not economical. So far.

MIT's [M.A.] Adelman notes that even before 1800 -- before the coal-fired Industrial Revolution -- Europeans worried about exhausting coal supplies. "European production actually did peak in 1913 and is nearly negligible today." Billions of tons remain beneath European soil but are uneconomical to remove. So far.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Growing Up

Growing Up

Fifteen years ago in high school, I remember looking at the middle school students and thinking, "I was never that young. They're getting younger."

Ten years ago in college, I watched the freshmen start their undergrad life and I thought to myself, "Those freshmen are young. No way I was that young when I started. They're getting younger."

Only recently is it beginning to dawn on me that they are a part of the work force and now the cycle repeats itself only with each new cycle, the cynicism gets worse as I get older. Because now we're on the same playing field. Before, I was the upper classman, my whole life still in front of me as I decided on what career to pursue. I was winning. I was in the lead. I was going to get to the finish line first. But now they have advanced to my level, they have crossed the finish line I crossed years ago and I'm still standing there at the end with nowhere to go. I'm at the finish line with the broken tape lying on the ground, but I'm not panting, I'm not sweating, I'm not even in shape anymore. I sneer from my La-Z-Boy recliner and watch them double over with exhaustion, smiling as someone hands them a cup of Gatorade.

Now, we are the same, we all finished, we are all workers eking out a living - except they're younger. It's funny, as a kid, I was winning by being older but now they caught me and they're crowding me... cramping my style... making me look old.

I finally realize that this group of kids I see enter where I once was, is the same group that has been chasing me all of my life, chasing me into old age. Did that generation before me have a bizarre recessive gene fusion accident that turned them out younger than I was at that age or have others noticed this about surrounding age groups?

In the seventh grade, I remember being intimidated by the 8th and 9th graders. You want my lunch money, here you go. You want to borrow my only pencil but never return it, go right ahead. I look at 8th and 9th graders now and I think, "I can take 'em."

That generation is always going to be right behind me and there's nothing I can do to shake them. They're always going to be there and remind me that I'm old and getting older.

To compound the problem, most of the celebrities are younger than I am. As a kid, I couldn't wait to grow up and be like them, but now, I passed it and they have millions and fame and good times and they're in their 20s! Sometimes younger! I know it's only going to get worse as I grow older and a new generation of celebrities and sports heroes take over and soon I won't only be older, I'll be twice their age.

I'm getting laughed at by the generation above me as they read this. They're thinking, "You think that's bad, wait till you're 40, 50, 60..." I do feel like the guy in the snowglobe staring into his own snowglobe.

You know the saying, 'the youth is wasted on the young.' I am appreciating it more and more as time marches me on.

Dag-blasted whippersnappers.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Bill Clinton

"Bill Clinton showed incredible energy and great personal appeal. As chief executive, he showed a deep and far-ranging knowledge of public policy, a great compassion for people in need, and the forward-looking spirit the Americans like in a President. Bill Clinton could always see a better day ahead -- and Americans knew he was working hard to bring that day closer. He's a man of enthusiasm and warmth, who could make a compelling case and effectively advance the causes that drew him to public service."

--President George W. Bush

Iraq's Future Looks Promising

Iraq's Future Looks Promising

Iraq's a mess, no doubt about it. But it's the birth of a new nation and I'm not sure I can expect anything more than a giant wreck at this stage. People who think nothing good can come of the new government that's about to be born in Iraq are forgetting their American history (or their own country which undoubtedly would have similar instances).

I'm very excited about the new Iraq. Stable? No. In the near future? Not likely. But it's growth. Whether or not you agree with the method of this regime change or continued coalition presence, this is history and you'll know it if can you remove yourself from your own opinions. Witness it, remember it, tell it.

I can't help but feel the cynicism from those that can not remove themselves from their ideals and just observe what is happening for a second. You might disagree with the methods (I am one of them), but boy do I have a story for you about how your country was formed.

Monday, June 14, 2004

What's So Civil About War Anyway

What's So Civil About War Anyway

Over the weekend, Mrs. Lock and I took the Jeep out to Civil War Days in a very remote area in the state known as Billie Creek. If you haven't been to a reenactment event, I highly recommend this amazing experience. These people are the ultimate role players because they don't sit at home in an air conditioned house rolling d20 dice and eating Pringles but they look like they're still having fun. For them it's a creative and educational form of extreme camping.
Of course I have some pictures. I filled my 256 ram card with a ton of shots. Somehow I whittled it down to just ten to show here and I might have more for you in the days to come. I know I'd like to get one of the field cannons on here.

The General
Drummer Boys
Marching To War
Pair of Mules
Ol' Glory
Sleeping Man
The Three Wise Men

Friday, June 11, 2004

History Of The World Prejudice With Certain Epochs

History Of The World Prejudice With Certain Epochs

Here's the problem with History Of The World: Part I. It's a fine movie, not hilarious but it has its moments, good gags that were funny in the early 80's anyway. What bugs me about this movie is that half of it is devoted to the Roman Empire sketch. For a movie titled History Of the World that has fifty percent of its onscreen time covering the Roman Empire seems to be a bit misleading to me.

The Roman Empire did span a great many years in our human
history depending on your view of what exactly an empire is. Some historians put the Roman Empire lifespan at about 400 years. You can ratchet this up to 1000 if you include the Byzantine period, the splinter group of the Romans. So I will give Mel Brooks the benefit of the doubt and say the Roman Empire lasted 1000 years.

The Roman sketch in the movie would take up an accurate span of the film, that is half of the film is Roman because half of our 2000 year history saw the Roman Empire, since the movie ends with the French Revolution in the late 18th century we have an end point to this history that the film tries to cover. No problem right?

The movie opened with cavemen.

What's that? 30,000 years ago? The ratio is way off now with only fifteen minutes devoted to this prehistoric period. If 1000 years equates to 45 minutes on film, then 30,000 would make it 1350 minutes. That's 23 hours this movie would have to be just for the prehistoric scene. To make matters worse, fifteen minutes were devoted to the Spanish Inquisition and about fifteen minutes for the French Revolution. Now the formula is all out of whack.

Little wonder there was no Part II. They covered 30,000 years of history up until 1800 in one film. How can they possibly fill 90 minutes with the last 200 years? Hitler on Ice would only be interesting for about two minutes.

It is possible that the sequel planned on getting into our future with the Jews in Space. Maybe they plan on covering another 30,000 years but don't hold your breath. The voice over (Brooks himself I think) for the sequel previews did mention "Coming soon..." That was 23 years ago. But then again, 30,000 years is only 15 minutes using Mel's fuzzy math so who knows.

It's good to be the king.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Bad 1980 Teamups

Bad 1980 Teamups

So we need an Airwolf vs. Blue Thunder movie. That's right. If they're going to have Freddy Vs. Jason, why should we stop at one 80's duo matchup. Knight Rider vs Automan, Wonder Twins vs. Manimal, Big Bird vs. Snuffleupagus, Snuff's powers of invisibility would kick the crap out of an eight foot bird. Prepare to molt Big.

I want to see Airwolf take on Blue Thunder in a chopper showdown. I think Airwolf would win, being designed for stealth and warfare. Airwolf was more of a military design and Blue Thunder a street-patrolling tool for the cops of the LAPD. The federally designed equipment wins out almost every time since there is usually more money for the budget. Airwolf made it into the lower parts of outerspace, there's no way Blue Thunder could catch it. Plus Airwolf had a darn fine navigator in Ernest Borgnine. Who did Schneider have on BT? The dumb burglar from Home Alone who was also the loser in City Slickers. He was cool as the adult voice of Kevin Arnold on The Wonder Years, but doing good voiceovers hardly qualifies you for navigator position on a state of the art flying machine.

Airwolf had the cooler theme song too.

As for the others, the victorious would be K.I.T.T. and Manimal.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004



They're heeeeeere.

I snapped this little bugger on my back porch. He wasn't moving much so my guess is he was spent if you know what I mean. What usually follows is death.

This particular one is the Brood X version of the Magicicadas, the largest of them all and the last time we saw his species was in 1987; next time will be 2021, at which point this blog will be virtual dust and I'll be 48 years old.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Cool Venus Transit Image

Cool Venus Transit Image

I thought this was a neat image. Here is the caption:

Tue Jun 8,12:02 PM ET
A bird flies during a transit of Venus, lower left, observed in Wakkanai, a town at the northernmost tip of Japan on Tuesday, June 8, 2004. A transit takes place when Venus passes between the Earth and the Sun. (AP Photo/ Kyodo)

I can't wait for the Mars transit!

Mrs. Lock's Garden In The Shade

Mrs. Lock's Garden In The Shade

More flower pictures. All of these are from our own gardens that Mrs. Lock has worked feverishly to build up.

Click any of the photos to enlarge.

Push the little daisies and make 'em come up.

Daylilies. All of our strengths, none of our weaknesses.

Porky's girlfriends, p-p-p-p-petunias.

A rosa rose.

Coach Parcells Eats His Cleat

Coach Parcells Eats His Cleat

I said cleat!

NFL Dallas Cowboys coach Bill Parcells had some 'splainin' to do about this comment:

Describing the calls of quarterbacks coach Sean Payton, Parcells said, "Sean is going to have a few ... no disrespect to the Orientals, but what we call 'Jap plays.' OK? Surprise things. No disrespect to anyone."

He later apologized for the comment.

"I made a very inappropriate reference," Parcells said. "Although I prefaced the remark, 'No disrespect to anyone intended,' it was still uncalled for and inconsiderate." The team followed with its own statement of apology.

What's funny and that which isn't addressed by Parcells or in the article is that referring to Asians as "orientals" is also considered offensive. Teas, rugs and music are oriental, not the people. They are Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Asian, from the East or from the Orient. So double whammy on Parcells but he only had to aporogize for one because no one called him on it.

One Of These Things Is Not Like The Others

One Of These Things Is Not Like The Others

According to the Televison Critics Association's Awards "The Daily Show" is in the running for outstanding achievement in news and information, along with NBC's "Meet the Press," CBS' "60 Minutes," ABC's "Nightline" and PBS' "Frontline."

Now that's funny. Jon Stewart is laughing while Russert, Wallace, Koppel and whoever does Frontline are either crying or having heart attacks.

Monday, June 07, 2004

Ronald Reagan, 1911 - 2004

Ronald Reagan, 1911 - 2004

June 5th, 2004 was Reagan's last day.

Ronald Reagan, the 40th United States President, died at the age of 93. For the last ten years of his life he and his family dealt with his Alzheimer's and as a result, the former president left the public eye shortly after leaving office so the last thing we really remember about him was his contributions as our President during most of the 1980s.

During those years Reagan was in office, I grew into my teens. I couldn't vote and as most kids my age at the time, didn't care all that much about politics. So I never really watched the man do his thing as our President because at the time, I didn't care. I was more concerned with school, making friends, finding my personality and figuring out what I wanted to do with my life (still a work in progress btw). As an adult now, I am able to study history and research what kind of a man Reagan was.

Many know his career as a movie actor, his post as California's governor which paved the way for other actors to have the same post and of course his years as President. Ronald Reagan was a very interesting man and one I admire in many respects. He had ideas about life that I share, the kinds of ideas you wouldn't expect a politician to have.

In 1938 Ronald Reagan attempted to join the Communist Party. That's right, the man who would become Gorbachev's nemesis, destroy Communism's largest supporter and build America's military into a machine to protect us from the reds tried to be one himself. Interestingly, the party rejected his membership because they felt that it wouldn't have his full commitment and that he would change his political view spontaneously. The Communist Party had prophets!

Into the 40s Reagan was a huge FDR fan and New Deal supporter. Couple that with his role as Screen Actor's Guild President in the early 50s and you have the makings of a man with very liberal values.

In the 60s however, Reagan changed his political views and publicly supported Republican Barry Goldwater's campaign for Presdient by using his acting talents and appearing in his political commercials. That was the start of his career as a conservative and the rest is history.

I remember where I was when Reagan was shot in 1981. I was sitting in my 3rd grade classroom at Orion Elementary School in Anchorage, Alaska. We were working on some crafts project and my teacher Mrs. Kimball wheeled in the TV set to watch the news.

I credit Reagan with some of the greatest quotes said by anyone, some I've used in my blog here to promote my own views and so I'd like to list a few more. You can't deny the impact Ronald Reagan had on the United States and arguably the world. I would say he will be missed, but he has been missed since he left office and public view.

"Government is like a big baby - an alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other."

"A government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take it all away."

"Facts are stupid things."

"Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidise it."

"How do you tell a communist? Well, it's someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It's someone who understands Marx and Lenin."

"I call upon the scientific community in our country, those who gave us nuclear weapons, to turn their great talents now to the cause of mankind and world peace: to give us the means of rendering these nuclear weapons impotent and obsolete."

"I have left orders to be awakened at any time in case of national emergency, even if I'm in a cabinet meeting."

"People don't start wars, governments do."

"Politics is not a bad profession. If you succeed there are many rewards, if you disgrace yourself you can always write a book."

"Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first."

"The best minds are not in government. If any were, business would hire them away."

"The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'"

"It is not my intention to do away with government. It is rather to make it work -- work with us, not over us; stand by our side, not ride on our back. Government can and must provide opportunity, not smother it; foster productivity, not stifle it."

"We who live in free market societies believe that growth, prosperity and ultimately human fulfillment, are created from the bottom up, not the government down."

"It's time we asked ourselves if we still know the freedoms intended for us by the Founding Fathers. James Madison said, "We base all our experiments on the capacity of mankind for self-government." This idea that government was beholden to the people, that it had no other source of power, is still the newest, most unique idea in all the long history of man's relation to man. This is the issue of this election: Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American Revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them"

"Public servants say, always with the best of intentions, 'What greater service we could render if only we had a little more money and a little more power.' But the truth is that outside of its legitimate function, government does nothing as well or as economically as the private sector."

"You and I are told we must choose between a left or right, but I suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There is only an up or down. Up to man's age-old dream -- the maximum of individual freedom consistent with order -- or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. Regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would sacrifice freedom for security have embarked on this downward path."

"Thomas Jefferson once said, 'We should never judge a president by his age, only by his works.' And ever since he told me that, I stopped worrying."

"My fellow Americans, I am pleased to tell you I just signed legislation which outlaws Russia forever. The bombing begins in five minutes." (During a radio microphone test)

"I don't know if I could do this job if I weren't an actor."

Sunday, June 06, 2004

The Tao Of Serial Killers

The Tao Of Serial Killers

"If there's a serial killer loose in your neighborhood, it seems like the safest thing is to be the neighbor. They never kill the neighbor, the neighbor always survives to do the interview afterwards."

'Uh, he was kind of quiet.'

"I love these neighbors, they're never disturbed by the sounds of murdering, just loud stereos. Chainsaws, people screaming fine, keep the music down."
-- Jerry Seinfeld

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Everything must go...

Everything must go...

I'm sitting in my garage and it's a breezy but nice 75 degrees (F) outside as I look at the lane that runs in front of my house and a line of bumper to bumper cars parked up and down the block. I have tables and tables of items I like to call stuff, sometimes junk or when customers are not around, crap because it's our annual tradition where we put tiny pieces of masking tape on the items we find around the house, items we don't need (it's hard to defend that we need ANYthing), items marked so low it would make Wal Mart cry.

We set our not-so-lovely parting gifts out in seemingly random piles, in and around the garage, extending out to the driveway when space is needed, and we raise the garage door which is just as good as any retail establishment's neon Open sign. The symbol of the open garage door with a table of junk-crap-stuff sitting underneath of it does something to people. It sets into motion a universal invite to fellow residents from around the county to come, peruse our stuff-crap-junk we no longer want but that another family just might also not need.

Here's the great part - they PAY us for this! Oh yeah, I can't believe it either. They pay us to lighten our household burdens and add to theirs. Is a society dependent on materialistic needs great or what? God bless America and our capitalist ways.

Sitting here for the past couple of days watching folk of all ilk walk up, pick up our crap-stuff-junk and study it for several minutes as if they were trying to translate passages from an ancient Mayan scroll, there is one adage that keeps going through my mind: "One man's junk-stuff-crap is another man's treasure." And don't think this sexist passage is just limited to one gender either, Packratitis is a disease that affects everyone and treatment should not be sought, at least not until we close our garage door.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Mr. Rogers Would Be Proud

Mr. Rogers Would Be Proud

I learned a new word yesterday that I should've known a long time ago as I practice it repeatedly on this blog. The word is dialectic and I believe I am generally a person who is dialectic in forming many of my own views. It's actually more than an adjective, it's a process used mainly in philosophy, a process to arrive at a truth.

A socratic version of the dialectic formed when Socrates confronted someone for a debate on a topic that he pretended to know nothing about. During the discussion he would ask enough questions the person couldn't properly answer that Socrates would eventually get them to doubt their own belief in the matter. I've always called this playing Devil's Advocate, taking the opposite view to work your way towards the truth but apparently that is also the essence of using the dialectic.

I came across the word while reading an essay on the religious symbolism that can be found in the Matrix movie series. The essays are titled The Passion of Neo. In it, the author surmises that Neo was the symbol of the dialectic, being the synthesis of two opposing groups: the slavemaster machines and the free people of Zion. The goal of both was to annihilate each other but Neo, whose name means new found a third solution, a compromise that could provide a peaceful existence to both.

I won't go into all of the themes he discusses in the essay, he has written a book on the subject but I encourage you to it check out and read detailed insight into the symbolism that can be found in the Matrix series. It is very good and very interesting if you enjoyed the trilogy.

So I use the dialectic in my writings to try and convince people that ideas they have may not be truth. I encourage questioning, self introspection, taking an alternate view of something to find out what you believe in should be something you can believe in or if they're just accepting someone else's view (a parent, friend, spouse). I don't see anything wrong with doubt, in fact I encourage it. I titled this blog sensing samsara because I wanted a theme of something that would make you think. Samsara is the trials and tribulations in life and if you can sense the truth of these challenges, recognize the common pitfalls of human behavior, you can't help but become a better person.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Humans Vs. Machines

Humans Vs. Machines

The story of man vs. machines comes from the fear of the unknown. The interesting stories are the ones that can almost be believable and writers have made a career out of scaring society with the idea of machines rising up and getting the better of us. What do most people
know about machines? They're designed purpose is to do a job that we no longer have to do and as long as it's working and serves our needs, why is it important to question how? The problem is that given enough time, no one will remember how the machine works and this is when people's fears can take over, they start imagining a race of machines enslaving us because of its abilities and we won't know how it's going to happen. It's a very understandable response.
You might say to me that you don't understand how a car runs but is there any horror fiction about cars killing people? Actually yes (Christine) but that's different although it does exploit the fear of the unknown and in this case the unknown of the spiritual world and not a mechanical evolution. People have had the experience of dealing with combustion engines in automobiles for over 100 years. If the cars haven't risen up against us by now, it's not likely they're going to. Besides what can they do? Run us over? "Whoa, whoa. You better watch what you say about my car.
She's real sensitive." People are scared of the evolution of machines, the potential they have given their abilities and not so much the current state that they are in serving us.

And what an evolution machines are having! The computer - a marvel performing calculations with lightning speed, not unlike the human brain. So not only do you have the fear of the unknown here, but a computer personified does a better job than us, smarter than us. How can we fight a superior enemy? Witnessing the rapid advancement of the machine coupled with not having the knowledge to completely understand how it works and you've got a formula for a good ol' fashioned scare fest. This is definitely a human trait. Fear is so interesting.

So computers do these amazing things, as the technology gets better and as its function improves increasing its responsibilities therefore our dependence, less will be understood about computers but who cares, it gives me information, communicates with my family, automatically orders supplies I need and lets me move my finances around without entering a bank. Computers are harmless... for now. But they're evolving and very quickly. Evolving into what? What could it become one day? Our imagination is limitless in this area. Enter the Man vs. Machine story that we can almost believe, have to believe because we don't know any better.

The unknown isn't fully to blame for fear. Extinction is the base of all fears, death to oneself or family. Wars perpetuate this feeling of danger, so do disease but that's not so rampant now adays. The baby boomer generation group was in the midst of the Cold War, Freedom vs. control, democracy vs communism, U.S. vs. U.S.S.R. There's always been something there to remind us of our mortality and although we may not consciously think of it on a daily basis, the thought that we could be wiped out in moments (using technology by the way) is always in the back of our mind therefore fear is always present. We are conditioned to fear as long as war is rampant. This isn't a political statement that war is bad, maybe it's good we always fear something, I'm just exploring the emotion here.

Image 1: The T-1000 in Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Image 2: Morpheus and Agent Smith in The Matrix
Image 3: Master Control Program (MCP) in Tron

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

President Gets Checked and Balanced

President Gets Checked and Balanced

God bless federal court judges.

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A controversial ban on late-term, or partial-birth, abortions signed into law by President Bush late last year was ruled unconstitutional on Tuesday by a judge in the first federal court decision against the law.

Right on! It's not up the government to tell people how to live their lives and it certainly isn't their place to enforce religious beliefs on its citizens. Just take our taxes and fix our highways.

Ronald Reagan once compared government to a baby. I'll take Ronnie's cue and recommend a common rule that's normally for children - Government should be seen and not heard.

Here's another one from me: You can't outlaw sin.

Et Tu Martes?

Et Tu Martes?

Three day weekend is over and today feels like Monday, in another words, it sucks.

Actually it's not that bad, I just get really busy at work at month end and having the extra day off just meant more work piled up making the Tuesday I got back a harsh Monday.

I had a good weekend though. We had the family get together with my in laws at the house. Mrs. Lock's aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings and parents in attendance. It was the fiesta theme so we grilled ka-bobs on the grill, had soft and hard tacos people could make plus everyone brought a ton of side dishes. We were in no danger of running out of food.

The Chili Pepper PiƱata was a smash hit. I think the 11th or 12th person had decapitated it. He didn't actually crack it open but since the stem part of the chili pepper broke off, we couldn't hang it back up. So we let the twins go to work on it while it was on the ground. I think their dad is considering enrolling them in anger management classes.

The weather was decent, bouts of rain which forced us inside for a little bit but we gradually immigrated back outside. They had to stop the race a couple of times too. Buddy Rice ended up winning it 50 miles short of the usual run making him winner of technically The Indy 450.

DJI 10186, NASDAQ 1983, SP5 1119
#1 Movie at the box office: Shrek 2
Last movie I saw at the theater: Kill Bill: Vol. 2
Last movie I saw not at the theater: History Of The World, Part I
Books I'm currently reading:
Plan Of Attack by Bob Woodward
Woe Is I by Patricia T. O'Conner
CDs I'm listening to:
Nothing new but almost picked up Ultimate Air Supply this week. Need to find it somewhere cheaper first.
Video games I'm playing:
Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow
Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II
Empire Earth