Monday, February 27, 2006

Bambino Miller

Read Ye, Read Ye,

Can't wait to weigh in on MD's "guy flick" post (John Carpenter's The Thing is and eternal classic, as is Robocop), but well, actually that can wait. This news seems a tad more weighty:

Colette Marie Miller born 3:09 pm today at Columbia Regional Hospital (http://www.columbiaregional.org/); 8 lbs, 6 oz; 20.5 inches; and way more dark hair than her old man. Mom and baby doing well and expect to be home Wednesday. We're of course on Plan 9 from Outer Space ... or Cloud 9 ... whatever. We're thrilled.

That's all for now.

Pops Bozworth

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Live From Palm Springs

Roy and I are off on a little golfing adventure. We've spent the last three days on various golf courses in Palm Springs, CA. It's sunny and warm. The weather has been perfect. My golf however, leaves a bit to be desired. After we return, we'll post more photos and stories. Hafa adai.

Friday, February 24, 2006

What's the best "Guy" film?

I got to watching some late night tv and the movie "The Thing" came on. That's the old 1982 version with Kurt Russell in it. The comments made by the narrator before the film really hit home. He was talking about classic "Guy Films." He highlighted this movie as one of them. He made some interesting points.

If you've seen the film, you know that it's about an isolated group of "Guys" that have to do battle with an alien that takes on the form of those it consumes............classic "Guy" material! I never even noticed till he said it, but there's absolutely zero females in the movie!!! (sometimes this isn't a good thing).

It got me thinking about other classic "Guy" films. Those that come to mind for me.....Escape from New York, Rambo (all of them), and many others. The most recent other movie would be "Braveheart". Braveheart is a movie where the hero falls in love, then the girl is murdered, forever screwing up the hearbroken hero. It causes him to start a war against those who murdered his loved one. Talk about a great love story!!! The chick gets murdered in the first 45 minutes and the guy goes into a warrior type rage for the next 2 hours!!!

Oh well....it got me thinking anyway:)

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Jagua jumps in...

Well, I wrote a long post a couple of days ago, but it must be floating around in cyber space. That or Seamhead trashed it due to age old animosity. Nah, that couldn't be it. Just because I used to call him "ankle biter," which would now be seen as a slur to height-challenged folk.

Anyway, I have taken a 1/2 time teaching position at Mill Creek Elementary. I'll be working with English Language Learners (ELL). Which means that I'll work with small groups of kids who speak other languages (Korean, Manderin, spanish, Hungarian, etc.). It's mostly a literacy type of teaching position, which suits me pretty well. I don't none like that thar math too much, and most kids in 4th or 5th grade have passed me up already!

Some of you may know that I'm in a certification/masters program for this very thing. The universe is conspiring to bless me. Pronoia.

I am staying at my current position for the time being as a 1/2 time employee. Works out well because both 1/2 time postions work out to full time since both are with Columbia Public Schools. So. Benefits.

I will probably go full time next fall. This has been a good job, but I'm sure ready for a change, so this has been excellent so far!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

College Party

There's an interesting discussion, that could turn into something much more than a discussion, going on about a party that may or may not have taken place within the last two weeks on our campus. The alleged party was a "Black Party", where all participants dress up like African Americans and eat and drink what they believe African Americans enjoy. Alleged food and drink were fried chicken, greens, cornbread, Colt .45, etc. The African American students are livid. The alleged group throwing the party was a fraternity, 99% white. KMOX has picked up the story. There was a party of this nature that took place 2-3 years ago. A similar party took place at the University of Tennessee in the late 90's or very early 00's.

Our stance is we don't condone this behavior of the alleged party. However, this is a freedom of speech issue. We have investigated the fraternities that have been implicated and hit a dead end. If the university does anything to the organization they might be infringing on freedom of speech issues and possibly opening itself up to litigation. If the fraternity did have this party, their national organization could pull their charter. Then, the university is safe by honoring the discipline set forth by the national chapter. We are in the early stages of this issue.

There are many angles to talk about here. What do you all think? I glossed over the party and the discussion that is taking place right now. If I need to expand, I'll try to respond in the comments.

SM

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

WHAT are we DOING?!?

We are turning over control of our major ports to the United Arab Emirates Dubai Ports?

So what if it's the Coast Guard and Customs that are supposed to check incoming goods? I mean who cares. That's not the point. Is this our way of showing we are not anti-Islamic? Or, will we actually have safer national security because this particular company has better security methods than we do currently? And, are they just better than us or are they best in class? Does this not just raise wonder about what kind of true intentions we have with the UAE? We make a statement about creating alternative energy in the SOU to reduce dependency on foreign oil, but then turn and give port authority to the UAE? Michael Chertoff made a comment about this being an example of keeping open global trade. Just what exactly is our major export to the UAE?

If our govt "checked it out" and "put in requirements" then, in this case given today's sensitivities to our borders in general, those things should be made obvious to the American people. Someone needs to step up and say why this is better from a security, diplomacy, and trade perspective in more detail than to just say "we've put in measures" and simply saying "don't worry". Why does this make sense? Or, does it?

Skeptical Yet Uniformed,

Howdy

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Blog Daddy Takes Us To Daytona

Don't miss Blog Daddy's post about this weekend's upcoming Daytona 500. Remember, root for the 99! Go Carl!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The Mighty Quinn


JP was able to snap this at Wal-mart in Columbia yesterday.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Is There Life on Other Worlds?

The confirmation that there are planets orbiting other stars in the last several years brings the question about life on other worlds. What do you think? Are we alone? Certainly the odds are against us being alone. How do religious beliefs play into it? I myself think that there’s got to be other intelligent civilizations out there.

I have an interesting video from the Learning Channel that discusses the “odds” of life out there. The following are highlights of how the makers of the video break it down:

-There are approximately 250 billion stars in our Milky Way Galaxy.

-Say that half of them have planets.

-Since we have 9 planets, let’s say the average is 5.

-That gives us 625 billion planets in our galaxy alone (notice that this doesn’t include moons…there are over a hundred moons in our solar system. Moons could harbor life as easily as a planet can).

-Say that 10% are in the proper position in relation with their sun for life to arise. (that brings us to 62.5 billion)

-Say it’s extremely difficult for life to form, only 1% of worlds where life can arise, it actually does. (That brings us to 625 million)

-To resolve this even further, where life is able to evolve, only 1/10 of 1% evolve intelligently. This brings the number to 625,000 intelligent civilizations in our galaxy alone! Add that to the billions of known galaxies out there, and you can see that the universe could be a very busy place.

The following are some other fragments of the video that I found interesting:

-Distances make conversation nearly impossible.

-Signals can’t travel faster than the speed of light.

-They might not be listening to our part of the dial.

-Even if they spoke perfect English, a conversation with a civilization located around even the closest star to our own, would require 4.3 years for the signal to get there. Add that to the 4.3 years to hear the reply, it would take nearly 9 years to get a response to a question.

-Broadcasts beaming into space span 1000 light years before being to weak to decifer.

-We’ve been sending TV and radio signals strong enough to reach the stars into space for the last 70 years, reaching only about 100 stars. If we can expect only one advanced civilization in 250,000 stars, the odds of finding one among 100 stars are pretty low.

-Then of course, how would we understand the signal should we receive one. We have no equivalent of the Rosetta stone.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Made In America

The trade deficit is soaring. My brother in law bought his daughter an "American Girl" brand doll last year for Christmas. He looked at the bottom of one of the doll's feet and there was a manufacturing stamp that said "Made in China".

GM & Ford are reeling. Textiles and Technology jobs are moving overseas.

Seems like AB could start a new ad campaign against import brews by stating something by word playing their "Born on Dates" with "Born in the USA".

I wonder what communist China is doing with all that money we Americans are sending their way from here by buying such cheap goods when they are adding that money to the money they get from their own citizens who buy Chinese in domestic China because American imports are more expensive there? Are Levi's brand and the fact that their youth want our style our only saving grace?

Give us free trade in China and let their people choose on an equal playing field or put in the same rules here. How long can this go on?

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Suggestion Box

I was asked to play at a peace rally on Sunday, February 19, in front of the courthouse. They want your basic anti-war fare, but I ain't playing no "Blowin' in the wind" or "Imagine." Not that those songs aren't fantastic and beautiful, but I'd like to play some snappier, newer tunes.

A couple I've thought of:
"(What's so funny 'bout) peace love and understanding" - Elvis Costello...?
"Won't get fooled again" - The Who
"Let it be me" - Indigo Girls

Any suggestions?? If you happened on a peace rally, what would you want to hear, or what would catch your ear? If I Had a Hammer?

I'm afraid I'm too angry/dissapointed/disgusted to be the typical hippy folkster.

I just read MLK's "Letter From Birmingham Jail." It makes me want to be a better person. It also makes me angry that no matter how much good there is, people will sell it right out for personal gain. This world has had enough great examples of what life could be like; we have no excuse to support governments that behave the way so many governments do. I really do believe that it's some mixture of power and money that makes everything go to shit.

People are great. Institutions are generally evil.

Hey, shit. I didn't even mean to rant. What the crap? What's wrong with me??!!!

So, if you can think of any good songs, drop them here....

Monday, February 06, 2006

A Couple of Suggestions

Here's two things you can do to make your life a little better in the middle of a cold winter:

1) Get Jeff's CD. I have been listening to the one my sister sent for my Mom. There's some good stuff on there.

2) Get Tom Russell's "The Long Way Around." RWP and Skeeter Master will tell you this guy is an awesome storyteller. These songs are great. I can't stop listening to it.

Hopefully a Great Discussion will Follow

Over the past few days the blog has seen some great discussions. The State of the Union address seemed to start the flow of these discussions. We heard ideas in the State of the Union like "tax relief" and "alternative energy". Some political rhetoric to appeal to the conservative base. I'll let Seamhead get after "partial birth abortions" even though that wasn't mentioned in the State of the Union, I think it's pretty much the same thought process.

Who can question the rhetoric, the media? That would depend on where you stand. Members of the blog went into a discussion about "the liberal media". Would the media really be considered "liberal" if they are just regurgitating rhetoric the conservative think tanks are using to unite their base? Is it possible that both the media and progressives are just reacting to the conservative language? The progressives are always on the defensive. Are progressives giving in and moving to the right to appease the middle? It seems to me the conservatives are unwavering, never moving to the left. They are winning. Are conservatives to blame? Maybe instead of being as Howard Dean and Seamhead say "Republican Lite", the progressives need their own rhetoric. Maybe they need not to waiver and give in to polling analysis on an issue by issue basis. How can progressives go on the offensive rather than on the defensive?

According to George Lakoff, Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at University of Cal-Berkeley, there are eleven points progressives need to take back public discourse. I thought I would share these with everyone. Maybe we can beat the old record of replies.

1. Recognize what conservatives have done right and where progressives have missed the boat. What they have done correctly is frame the issues in their perspective.

2. Don't think of an elephant. If you use their language and their framing and just argue against it, you lose because you reinforce their frame.

3. The truth alone will not set you free. Just speaking the truth doesn't work. You must frame it from your perspective.

4. Speak from your moral perspective at all times. Progressive policies follow from progressive values. Get clear on your values and use the language of values.

5. Understand where conservatives are coming from. Be able to explain why they believe and what they believe.

6. Think strategically, across all issues. Think in terms of large moral goals, not in terms of programs for their own sake.

7. Think about consequences of proposals. Form progressive slippery slope initiatives. (Here's your chance Seamhead with that partial-birth abortion talk. It's a first step down the slope to end abortion)

8. Remember that voters vote their identity and values, which need not coincide with their self interests.

9. Unite! And Cooperate!

10. Be proactive, not reactive.

11. Speak to your base. Never move to the right.

Just to add some gas to the fire, Lakoff states that "eighty percent of all talking heads on television are from conservative think tanks. In 2002 four times as much money was spent on research by the right as by the left, and they got four times as much media time. They get what they pay for."

On with the discussion.

SM

It's Finally Here!

I've been waiting for this. It's got 5 blades! And another one on the back of the razor! I've got to get me one of those. I guess I follow new razors the way some guys follow the models of their favorite cars. I yearn for razor advancements the way some guys yearn for the latest in Golf technology or the way JP anticipates the latest, greatest Frisbee. (Is it possible to improve the Frisbee?) Someday, I'll have a razor with 50 blades on it. Shaving will take about 30 seconds. And my head will be as smooth as a marble countertop.

Friday, February 03, 2006

When Are We Going to Mars?

The most disappointing part of the State of the Union for me was the stuff that was left out. I was on the edge of my seat waiting to hear more about the Mars trip. I mean Bush said we were going to send a man to walk on Mars!!! When is he going to follow up on that?

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Oh, he didn't mean it literally . . .

I wonder what else he didn't mean literally.

Disappointing Democrats

Now I know that many Democrats, Republicans, and citizens alike are disappointed that an acceptable bill to all parties on Social Security reform has not been submited through Congress yet, but as an American citizen, I found it very disappointing that the Democrats in the hall last night felt the need to stand and applaud during a State of the Union speech when President Bush said his proposal on Social Security reform was not passed last year. Great for the Democrats that they were excited in their defeat of the proposal, but they should have all remained seated rather than stand up an applaud with giddy childish grins led by Senator Clinton. The statement the President made spoke for itself. Remaining seated would have spoken for itself. Standing and applauding made them look foolish in my opinion. Whether you agree with the President or not, standing and applauding in opposition during a speech so visible to all the world simply seems to me to send a poor message, was inappropriate, and disrepects our Presidency as an office. If they had actually listened, he was trying to make a point on the need for bipartisan support. They just reinforced what is wrong in government as a whole. You can't simply point at the President and say he is not doing enough or the right things when you've got parties that act like this. If they do that during a State of the Union speech, imagine what it is like to try to accomplish anything on Capitol Hill. As an American, I was embarrassed by their childish actions last night.

I think I'll vote for McCain in the next election. And, I hope Hillary runs.