Friday, October 29, 2004



I have a theory on why a number of people have claustrophobia. It's in the top 5 of things we're afraid of.

I think it is because we remember our time in the womb when our environment was very enclosed and very tight. You might wonder why a memory of our time in the womb would scare us since it was probably a happy time. What we also remember though is that we were completely submerged in a fluid.

As an adult, if you've ever been swimming, you know being submerged in liquid for a small time means death. We learn to fear the danger in our environment. This lesson coupled with what we subconciously remember from the womb, and retroactively, we develop claustrophobia.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

This is a photo that appeared in the November 2004 issue of Wired for an article about the death of corporate brands. I loved the picture so much, I had to display it here.

It reminds me of a Mad TV skit called Clops - claymation cops modeled after the reality cop show Cops where one of the Clops got a called about a disturbance at a bakery. When they arrived, it with the dough boy "baked" on crystal meth and he was flipping out, shouting, screaming, throwing things around. The Clops filled him full of holes with their guns but the bullets just ricocheted off or the dough boy absorbed them unharmed. The dough boy laughed at the Clops for trying to kill him citing he was invincible until one of the Clops shoved the dough boy into an oven, turned the broiler to high flaming the dough boy to a crisp.

"Bad toys, bad toys. Whatcha gonna do? Whatcha gonna do when they turn on you?"

Red Sox World Champs

Red Sox World Champs

So the Boston Red Sox finally win a World Series for the first time in like 80 some years. And they did it quite impressively too by being down 0-3 to the Yankees for the AL pennant; coming back to win the next four then going on to meet the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series and sweeping them for eight straight wins in a row.

Finally, now maybe they'll quit whining about the curse of the Bambino. Superstitious freaks.

I do look forward to returning to a time when winning the World Series becomes and remains the top news headline for the day in this country.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

A Lesson In Daylight Savings Time

A Lesson In Daylight Savings Time

I may have preached on this before, but it's that time of year again. Time for the country and soon most of the world to come off daylight savings time (DST). You people wanted your precious daylight for the summer and now that it's gone, it's back to the winter grind.

The state I live in is only one of two states (I think) that does not observe daylight savings time. I always get "You guys are crazy!" No, you guys are crazy for changing your clocks twice a year and with it your internal physiological clocks wreaking havoc with your psychological makeup just so you can enjoy an extra hour of summer every day.

Even though 96 percent of the country observes DST, they don't understand how it works. It takes a guy in a state that doesn't use it to explain it to you.

I have bosses on the east coast that schedule teleconferences using Eastern Standard Time (EST). No one is even observing EST at the moment except maybe us (more on that later). So they schedule these meetings an hour off from the intended time and they don't even realize it. Fortunately, I know what they actually mean when they pick the time so I show up when they need me. Since everyone else out there misunderstands the timezones in the exact same way, they all show up at the same time too so no harm, no foul and problem perpetuates itself unless I speak up.

The country and most of the world is currently observing DST. Next Sunday, October 31, most likely while you're sleeping, this country will go off of DST and return to Standard Time (ST). When referring to timezones while observing DST, you either use DT or just T. If you're on the east coast, you refer to times in EDT or ET (phone home). Don't start using EST until after October 31 (this year).

Here's a tip that is usually the source of confusion. The timezones themselves do not change; you just hop to one when it's time. EST itself never changes. It is always -5 hours from Greenwich Mean Time (GMT); shorthand is -0500 GMT (a standard reference point for timezones always compares to GMT). Since GMT doesn't change with DST either, the number (aka the offset) is always constant for each of the timezones. So EST is always -0500 GMT, all year long. When they switch to DST in April, they leave EST and begin EDT. EDT is -0400 GMT. That's the extra hour they get during the summer.

Do you see how that works? When going from ST to DT, you shift closer to GMT, so currently, during DST, Eastern is only four hours from GMT and Central is five hours from GMT. I'd like to point out now that CDT has the same GMT offset as EST; minus five hours. Remember the timezones themselves never change, just the people. CDT is -0500 GMT. EST is -0500 GMT.

See how easy that is?

Here's my problem with DST. I have to deal with my east coast bosses who don't understand why my state doesn't observe DST and I have to remind them on a regular basis what time it actually is here. This isn't our fault for not complying with the norm, it's your fault for setting a faulty norm. If you don't think this country sets precedents for being the odd man out, metric system anyone? Convert 78 degrees Fahrenheit to Celsius for me. Which side of the road do you like driving on?

Now, if you're interested in some tidbits about understanding a region that doesn't observe DST, read on. If your brain is already full from what I've said, I suggest you stop and come back tomorrow.

Indiana does not observe DST. It's a farmer thing. Although as more businesses set up shop here and as more farmers shut down, it's getting harder to fight off the DST advocates. I hope the day never comes when Indiana has to observe DST. If it does, I'm looking for houses in Arizona (the other state that doesn't observe DST). Ok I'm not that serious about it, but I'm pretty adamant.

So Indiana never changes its clocks. We actually have our own timezone. It's called, appropriately enough, the Indiana timezone. If you browse through the timezones on your Windows PC clock, you'll see it listed among the world's timezones. Since Indiana never changes and the timezones themselves never change and GMT never changes, Indiana, CDT and EST are all the same timezone; -0500 GMT. In the summer, we share our time with the Central location and in the winter, we share with Eastern. It's a lot of fun pointing out this discrepancy to non-Hoosiers. They just don't get it.

The biggest impact (to me) of having the country observe DST and us not having it is that it messes up my television programming. To make matters worse, it's not consistent on all stations. Some of our shows get bumped around an hour when the country changes and others don't. It's a network vs. cable thing; cable gets moved, the networks that have local affiliates in the state don't. This really screws us up because now we have conflicts we didn't have before plus our favorite shows are on later in the winter which means we have to stay up later to watch them.

So, I plead with you, United States, quit observing DST. You're just causing harm to you and to others and most important of all, you're messing with my stories.

Friday, October 22, 2004

The Future

The Future

Our figuring out the answers to scientific complexities that currently elude us is a as certain as man's curiosity. Our own biological design is a goal and also a reminder that whatever we want is possible to achieve. Our existence is our own motivation to find all of the answers - ALL of the answers to life.

We are living proof of what we think now of as miracles. As long as we live we will figure out all of the mysteries that is us and with that understanding, be able to create whatever we diddly darn well please.

Such knowledge will demand great care and responsibility lest we wipe ourselves out with it. If you've ever considered if a higher power created us, think about what that being's intention was by giving us a very advanced scientific blueprint (ie: us) plus an overwhelming desire to understand such things. Then consider whether or not that power knew we would figure it out. Assuming we did figure out all of the puzzles in life, does this being count on us to use it wisely or will He/She/It/They lose his investment.

It's a little bit comforting to me to think there is a higher intelligence behind our creation because if He's smart enough to build us, He should be smart enough to keep us from blowing ourselves up. Or if it turns out to be a test, maybe He won't interfere at all and merely gave us a resource to keep our extinction from happening and it's a matter of recognizing that resource to exercise it. Either way, with a Divine Being behind the scenes, we have a chance.

If there is no higher power and life happened by accident, then it saddens me to think that with no Great Protector - we will eventually remove ourselves and all life from this existence.

-- Lock

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Technological Dependency

Technological Dependency

I went over to my brother's last Saturday for my nephew's one year birthday party. I took my laptop with me to show my family some pictures I had taken and loaded onto the machine. My Mom got a hold of the laptop, started playing around with it and then asked me why she couldn't get on the Internet like she could when using it at my house.

I wanted to laugh. My initial thought was to answer "Well my house is 45 miles away and I can't find a router strong enough to broadcast that distance." But instead I gave a very polite and non-condescending explanation of how WiFi works.

It makes me think of how easily we use machines that we don't have an understanding of how they work. I don't know how a combustible engine really works, but I can depend on my car to get me to my destination and I really don't care how it does it.

Incumbent or Newcomer?

Incumbent or Newcomer?

Less than two weeks away from the Presidential election and the two major candidates are in a dead heat. Boy, was I wrong (see last paragraph).

It's time for a change. The last time I voted for a President, we had eight years of peace and prosperity. It's time to bring that back. I'll take a flip flopper over someone who won't admit their mistakes.

Monday, October 18, 2004



Hey there blog. What's up? Haven't chatted in awhile. Today is my first day back at work. I took all of last week off and it was nice. What did I do? Nothing. Where did I go? Nowhere. It was the best vacation I've ever had.

Actually, I did get a bit busy. My parental units came up for the week to celebrate a couple Libra family birthdays - mine and my nephew's. The parents stayed with me for most of the week. It was good to go out with them, hang out with your parents like you would friends.

They got me a birthday card which was enclosed with a check for 25 dollars. I thanked them for the card and teased them about the check saying I used it to pay my mortgage. I turned 32, my wife is giving birth to their granddaughter next February and they're still giving me checks for my birthday. I wonder if it will ever stop? 50 years old and I'll still get 25 dollar checks (adjusted for inflation is about $7.55).

In between entertaining the parents, I played a few video games, watched a few movies but spent most of my time watching the Farscape marathon they had on SciFi. That was fun getting back into that show that I hadn't seen since they cancelled it. And what a great show it was. Very fast paced, very smart. Just good solid scifi - Enterprise could learn a few lessons since it can drag at times.

That's all for now. See ya.

P.S. Angelina Jolie named #1 sexiest woman alive by Esquire magazine. Well duh.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Vacation: Days 1 - 2

Vacation: Days 1 - 2

Day 2 of my vacation and I'm having a great time.

Day 1 was eventful. I actually went in to work for a couple of hours to take care of some routine yet important stuff. Ironic that the one day of my vacation I decide to work and it was a holiday.

After my two hours at work, I went home and fired up the Xbox. Played video games for about an hour or so and then met Mrs. Lock for lunch. We haven't done that in awhile. Not since I used to worked second shift many years ago.

After lunch, back to the homestead to watch some TV and play more video games until wifey got home from work and then it was movie time.

Day 2, I got up with Mrs. Lock (light sleeper), saw her off to work and then tried to plan my day - video games, television or movie? SciFi decided for me because they're in the middle of a massive Farscape marathon. They're playing the whole series over 11 days. I sat down at 8 and started watching. It is now after 2 and I decided to take a break. The Tivo continues to record the episodes, I'll just catch them later. Somewhere in there, I took a breather to run to the store and pick up some toilet paper at Mrs. Lock's request. I also picked up a black T-shirt with Frankenstein's head displayed in the middle. I'm wearing it now. Got to celebrate the holidays.

One of the reasons I had to get the toilet paper is because today I am waiting on the arrival on my parents. They're coming up from Florida to celebrate my and my nephew's birthday and it'll be nice because they'll stay with me for the week and help me celebrate my vacation. Let me just say that it's not that we don't use toilet paper when we don't have guests, you just have to keep a handy supply on hand (so to speak) when you double the house's occupants. We need to drastically increase the coffee supply in the house too but I think Mrs. Lock is picking some up on the way home.

I can't wait to see how the rest of the week goes. A whole lot of time off and a lot of things to waste it on.

Mrs. Lock said something interesting to me last night. It was right after we got done watching Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11. We saw the argument about the Bush family's ties to oil companies and ultimately the middle east and how such a relationship might have a corruptive hand in how our President makes his decisions. My wife wondered if by electing Kerry, we wouldn't just be perpetuating the same corruption. The Bushes made their fortune from oil. Isn't there a foreign power that owns the ketchup/tomato industry that could control the Kerrys in a similar fashion? Mrs. Lock says to keep an eye on Italy if Kerry is elected.

Screwed if we do, screwed if we don't. Why do we even bother?

Monday, October 11, 2004

My wife is due on 2/1. That's Groundhog's Day eve. I told my wife that when our child is born and if she sees her shadow, she'll go back in the womb for 6 more weeks of pregnancy.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Turning 32 means being offered the choice between sex and a nap - and you hesitate.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Kung Fu Baby

Kung Fu Baby

I got kicked in the face this morning by my unborn daughter. I was trying to listen to hear what goes on in the womb and them BAM - I got it right on the cheek bone. Is that what I get by physically altering her universe on her?

Just wait until you are born. You're gonna have to come out of there sometime. I know the time and I know the place - and I'll be waiting.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Lucas's Yang

Lucas's Yang

George Lucas, in an attempt to bring balance to the Force, made three really outstanding movies and then, decades later, released three real pieces of crap - Genius!

The man is very heavily into Eastern philosophy, he believes in the yin and the yang and incorporates many such themes into his art.

After making the first Star Wars trilogy which were amazing films,
obviously ahead of their time and still stands up as a champion when compared to modern movies, he felt a spiritual need to produce three anti-Star Wars movies which he is in the process of doing now. This is what brings balance to nature which is what nature needs. Lucas knows what he's doing. He does this for us, for the universe, for eternity.

He even realized that the first three movies were so superb, that he couldn't possibly make the exact opposites even if he turned out Showgirls three times. So what he did to give him a fighting chance was to tweak the masterpieces he already made many years before. Films we thought were done and a part of history forever. But this filmmaker had the insight, the guts, by adding some changes here and there to the original trilogy. He did this to bring them down to a smaller level, one he could compete against (his own movies) and turn out the steaming piles he needed in the second trilogy.

Don't ever question the master.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Never Too Old To Get Toys

Never Too Old To Get Toys

Mrs. Lock turned 31 yesterday. For her birthday I got her a night-light lamp in the shape of a crescent moon and a Mother Goose storybook with full color pictures.

We agreed to get each other baby items for our birthdays (mine is next week) in preparation for the big gift I gave her five months ago and the one she's about to give back in four.

Friday, October 01, 2004

If China were to have a nuclear metldown, would it be known as the America Syndrome?

Views On Religion - A doozie...

Views On Religion - A doozie...

You have been warned.

Reading The Da Vinci Code has reminded me of my own views on religion. For me, it's still a case-in-study, but I see benefits and I also see damage religion can cause. But religion may not be to blame. It's the people who use it or as the case may be, abuse it.

First, my background. I was raised in a very conservative and God fearing house. We went to church on a regular basis, something like three times a week, every week, every month, every year. I was a regular in Sunday School, youth groups, Christian camps, church services, religious outings, fellowships, religious holiday plays and vacation bible schools. You name it, I've done it. I've been present in many denominations ranging from Jehovah's Witness to mainly Protestant beliefs (sorry, no Catholic experience). Protestant sects such as the very professional Methodist and Baptist, to the chandelier swingers and speaking in tongues members of the Assembly of God to the snooze fest generic churches where no one offends anyone and accounts from the Bible are watered down and only symbolic in meaning, subject to the interpretation by the preacher. So, I think I have some perspective when I speak on this topic, having spent most of my life in a church. In fact, I'd consider myself an expert witness so I have the right to express my opinion on this age-old controversial subject and actually, I believe, just might have some valuable insight.

Begin humble opinion

I don't automatically assume any religion's bible to a book of facts. I think it is a book that is based on some kernel of truths with embellishments and exaggerations; something that happens with any myth maker. If a bible were chili, the truths would be the beans and meat, and the made up stuff would be the spices, the chili powder; the more you add, the hotter it gets.

Having said that, I'm not necessarily knocking religion except in certain extreme causes. An important thing to point out is that people are using religion to do good. If a book commands you to honor your parents, don't steal, don't murder, don't lie and be on your best behavior, what's wrong with that? It's intent is to make people better and make society more civilized. But what are you going to notice? The guy who doesn't cheat on his taxes, or the guy who kills his family with a Weed Wacker because God told him that they were unjust? Religion gets a bad rap and as long as you leave something open to interpretation (which is impossible to stop btw), rogue agents are going to use it for their own motivations. But the responsibility still lies on the people of that group. Another topic for another day though.

So what's my problem with religion? The problem is, I want to know only truth. It doesn't have to be absolute truth, I don't need to know everything, I just don't want to know even one thing that's made up and I certainly don't want to conscientiously place my life-long belief system on that inaccuracy.

How important is it for you to believe in truth? If you want a belief that is based on entirely fact, religion is not for you. You'd be better suited in the sciences. Religion and science do not get along because the members of each group can't understand how the other half lives, how they think the way they do. It's absolutes versus faith. To science, faith is chaos. To religion, science is sacrilege.

Religious history is full of fables that are loosely based on an event or a person or persons and there is no doubt that some truths are actually present in these stories as is the case with any historical account. Many believe there was a Tutankhamen, a Mayan civilization and Vikings, but the stories that go with these accounts are not exact, especially when the divine is called in.

Verbal communication was much more prevalent than written through most of a religion's history, so stories were handed down the ages by storytellers who told their account as they heard it and remembered hearing it. The religious claim divine guidance when versions of the Christian Bible are printed, reprinted, translated, put onto book-on-tape, preached in church, told by missionaries or turned into a pop-up book for children. But they have to believe this to believe what they follow is true.

Religion is an event that happened somewhere in our history. Laws came from the effects of this event, an ideal of how one should live his life. The event can not be repeated or updated since it was one event or a series of events, which by definition means it already happened, in the past. And now that it has passed, you may now all believe in this idea because it's past, it's history, it's set in stone. No changing though! Because it's already happened. Can you change the past? No. Besides we already have the instructional manual printed. There's no amending it. It was already made. Look, 66 books. You can't have 67, then it wouldn't be the Bible. So since they started this ideology a long time ago (read: they were the first), they must be in God's graces and we should follow their teachings forever. A religion is a religion because someone thought of it first. Think on that. It means, change is not allowed.

So how can people believe in a religion with inaccuracies? Because religion doesn't call for its followers to seek the truth. The catalyst for religion is a thing called faith, and faith is believing in something you don't actually understand. The stories that can be found in a religion's bible can be believed by the faithful because believing in something, anything, is what they need to develop their faith. It is human nature to believe in something, to get behind it, support it, make it flourish so it can protect you. No one chooses to be on the losing side, and here's the kicker, especially not after having already made the choice. Research Jim Jones and the People's Temple to see evidence of this common human behavior. We look to our leaders with this behavior to give us what we want, to protect us so that we may support what we believe is the right way and pass our ideals on to our offspring.

Remember the church once believed the world was flat and that the universe revolved around the Earth. Where was the divine guidance there? Did God take a lunch break? This was an official church view and all followers of this religion, a religion which still exists today and flourishes with a good size memberhsip, should have undeniably believed in. I wonder what would we still believe today had science not existed.

So maybe it's not important to you to know the earth is not flat. Maybe it's just important to you to support your club, regardless of the truth.

End what turned into be a holier-than-thou attitude

This piece was a long time coming. I'm surprised I waited this long to post it, but again, that book that I'm reading, my views are right there in its pages.

DJI 10184, NASDAQ 1936, SP5 1130

#1 Movie at the box office:
The Forgotten

Last movie I saw at the theater:
Spider-Man 2

Last movie(s) I saw not at the theater:
Cold Mountain
Bad Santa
School Of Rock

Books I'm currently reading:
The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

CDs I'm listening to:
Van Halen's Best Of Both Worlds

Video games I'm playing:
DND Heroes
Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic