Wednesday, January 21, 2009
My Fellow Americans
Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,
Well, had a bit of a downer day yesterday because a few of my friends were having downer days and I couldn't be there for them in person…only via telephone or email or something. Hopefully they're doing a lot better today though. Yesterday was also the One Day Photo Project for January…so feel free to check out my entry as well as others. Basically, it chronicles my day after work where I walked around town a bit, cleaned up my apartment, watched a bunch of History Channel documentaries on Presidents and was just kinda lame…but like I said, I was in kind of a lame mood. I'm pretty much over it though. Work party tonight…and there's certain to be some adult beverages and good times.
While watching the History Channel last night, I did get to be a little optimistic. Why? Well, because I was watching the History Channel and history tends to repeat itself. Before Bush, probably the most widely-accepted worst President of the US ever…was James Buchanan. Honestly, before the special, all I could tell you about him was that he was the only "Bachelor" (gay) President…but apparently he did everything he could do divide the country right down the middle…and essentially piss everybody off…bringing the country to the brink of war…and leaving the economy in turmoil. In fact, when his replacement came in, allegedly his parting words were, "If you are as happy entering the presidency as I am in leaving it, then you are truly a happy man." Sound a little familiar?
Well, luckily the guy replacing him…was Abraham Lincoln, who I'm pretty sure is just about everybody's favorite President…because what he lacked in experience, he made up for in surrounding himself with great men in the various fields of his Presidency and was determined to make the country great again. This is what I hope that Obama does. Now, as you all know, the Lincoln Presidency wasn't one of the happier times in American History, which is why they've made many, many movies about it…but change is tough. Hopefully suspending Gitmo is a good start for the Obama story though (starring Will Smith, coming summer 2018). I've thought about running for public office one day…but we'll see how that turns out. I mean…BS is like breathing to me…and I'm actually a pretty charming guy…and I'm willing to admit that I don't know everything…but I'm willing to work hard, learn and surround myself in great people to git-r-done. I don't know, we'll see. Here's the news...
Jaws of Life Stolen - The city of Highland Home, Alabama's volunteer firefighters are trying to figure out why anyone would want to steal the "jaws of life." The $12,000 equipment, which is used to rescue people trapped inside vehicles after car wrecks, was recently stolen from the department. Department President Stephen Wilson said he doesn't know why anyone who wasn't a firefighter would want the 60-pound device. The Crenshaw County Sheriff's Office is investigating the bizarre theft. The thief (or thieves) didn't take a television set or two air tanks worth $10,000. Geez, I don't really have any insight into who stole it…but I definitely have an idea of why they stole it. If I were investigating, I would go to the nearest junkyard and look for a few Children of the South hooting and hollering and tearing up the beat-up remains of a Chevrolet Corsica and cutting through it like butter. "This thang's f**king awesome, Cletus!!! Watch me tear this Mercury up. RRRRRRRR!!!" That stuff is quite entertaining…er, I mean…I hear that stuff would be entertaining. Anyway, good luck with that…and let me know how the junkyard search goes.
Mommy's Little Narc - A Fort Pierce, Florida woman ended up in jail because of a little girl with a big mouth. Police went to the home of 22-year-old woman on Friday to serve warrants for assault, harassing phone calls and violation probation carrying a concealed weapon without a permit. Officers said two men and a woman at the house told officers that the woman had left...but then a 4-year old child approached one of the officers and revealed that the woman was under a bed. Officers found the woman exactly where the child said she would be. She was arrested and being held without bail. I'm curious what the relationship is between the girl and the arrested…but I'll bet it's really bitter right now. "Can't believe I was narc'd out by a four-year old." It just goes to show…that sometimes keeping secrets from children is the only way to go. "So daddy…there ISN'T a Santa Claus?" "No sweetie, mommy & daddy work really hard so that we can get you pretty gifts…and gifts for each other." "So why tell me some fat pimp in a red suit breaks into our house every year and leaves me socks & underwear?" "I don't know. Guess it's supposed to be fun for kids. It was when I was a kid…until I was about six." "Wow! What else isn't real?" "Well, there's the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny…" "The bunny never made sense anyway. What about Jesus?" "Heeee, he's real. Evidence is sketchy from that long ago…you know, like dinosaurs. They might have had feathers, you know?" "So…Jesus has feathers? Oh, is that why he could walk on water?" "It's possible…but doubtful." "How about that cool lamp in your closet that smells funny? Is that really a lamp…because I couldn't find where you put the bulb in…and the plug doesn't go into the wall?" "Have you been sneaking around our room again? That's daddy's lamp. That's all you need to know about it. It's ugh…sentimental value." "Why does mommy keep an egg beater in her underwear drawer?" "It's a massager, sweetie. Sometimes mommy's…muscles get tight…and when daddy's out of town and can't help her, she uses that." "How about the boxes of pictures of ladies under your bed that aren't even…" "STAY OUT OF OUR F**KING ROOM!!! OFF LIMITS!!! YOU'RE GROUNDED!!! GO TO YOUR ROOM!!!" Daughter runs away crying…and daddy remembers this day for when he gets caught reading his daughter's diary a decade later. "What're you doing in my room?" "Oh how the tables have turned…and who the f**k is this $teve guy you're writing about? He sounds like he's fifty." "He's forty-seven…and tall…and handsome…and tastes like chocolate." So yeah, keep kids in the dark as long as you can…and have a few stories saved up just in case.
Panda Update - Pornography (my idea), diets, sexercise programs and sperm donations may have all failed...but Thai authorities said Tuesday that a rare cold spell has boosted hopes that the country's famously celibate giant pandas could produce a cub. The Chiang Mai zoo has struggled to make its star residents -- nine-year-old Chuang Chuang and his eight-year-old partner Lin Hui -- mate since the pair arrived on loan from China in 2003. But zoo director Thanapath Pongpamorn said temperatures that have fallen as low as four degrees Celsius (39 Fahrenheit) in recent days have in fact steamed up the pair. "They normally live in a climate-controlled room but they seem happier with the cold weather at the moment." Thanapath said Lin Hui has shown signs of being ready to mate, including following her partner around, and it has also helped that the cold snap has coincided with the regular mating season. "Because of the readiness of their physical condition and the weather, we hope we will have good news soon," he said. Lin Hui received semen from her companion in April 2007 after the pair showed no interest in reproducing the traditional way...but she failed to become pregnant. The previous year Chuang Chuang, who had been deemed too heavy to mate (ouch!) with Lin Hui, lost seven kilograms (15 pounds) on a low-carbohydrate diet and was then shown 15-minute video clips of successful panda couplings…but the panda porn did little to inspire. Then again, I might be a little confused too if I were starved, forced to work out…and then shown porn…if I were a Panda. That's usually my routine…to remind me what I’m working out & learning to cook for…ladies. Anyway, leave it to a cold spell to bring people (and pandas) closer together. I'm not going to lie. I've used that one before…because it saves money on heat…and is effective. "(Shiver) It's a little cold in here." "Sorry, the heater's been acting up. I have it turned up but…why don't you come over here and share this blanket with me? It's really warm." "Don't you have another blanket?" "That's a fantastic idea! Let's go upstairs. Take your shoes off and bring your drink." Charming, I know.
New Animals Found - Scientists said Sunday they had uncovered new marine animals in their search of previously unexplored Australian waters, along with a bizarre carnivorous sea squirt and ocean-dwelling spiders. A joint US-Australian team spent a month in deep waters off the coast of the southern island of Tasmania to "search for life deeper than any previous voyage in Australian waters," lead researcher Ron Thresher said. What they found were not only species new to science -- including previously undescribed soft corals -- but fresh indications of global warming's threat to the country's unique marine life. "Our sampling documented the deepest known Australian fauna, including a bizarre carnivorous sea squirt, sea spiders and giant sponges, and previously unknown marine communities dominated by gooseneck barnacles and millions of round, purple-spotted sea anemones," Thresher said. Using a submersible car-sized robot named Jason, the team explored a rift in the earth's crust known as the Tasman Fracture Zone, a sheer two kilometer (1.24 mile) drop to 4,000 meters (13,200 feet) below the ocean's surface. Blogging on board the ship, researcher Adam Subhas said the team witnessed some "cool biology" as they descended the fracture, including the sea squirt, which he described as "basically an underwater Venus fly trap, but much bigger." The sea squirt, also known as an ascidian, stands 50 centimeters tall on the sea floor at a depth of just over 4,000 meters. It traps prey in its funnel-like front section if they touch it when they swim past. "The geology was fascinating too -- the sediment was incredibly fine and lightly packed; it made me think of powder snow," Subhas wrote. Fossil coral fields were found, dating back more than 10,000 years. Thresher said samples taken would provide ancient climate data for use in global warming projections. "Modern-day deep-water coral reefs were also found, however, there is strong evidence that this reef system is dying, with most reef-forming coral deeper than 1,300 meters newly dead," he said. Though close analysis of samples was still required, Thresher said modeling suggested ocean acidification could be responsible. "If our analysis identifies this phenomenon as the cause of the reef system's demise, then the impact we are seeing now below 1,300 meters might extend to the shallower portions of the deep-reefs over the next 50 years, threatening this entire community," he said. Rising sea temperatures are blamed on global warming caused by the build-up in the atmosphere of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide -- which is also blamed for higher acidity in sea water. A UN report warned in 2007 that Australia's Great Barrier Reef, described as the world's largest living organism, could be killed by climate change within decades. However…the team has yet to find the one organism that they've been searching for…the Tasmanian Sea-Devil. A mythical creature rumored about for minutes…since some eccentric blogger mentioned it's name in mid-January 2009. As legend has it, this creature stands about…let's say three meters tall…and has a diet consisting of electric eels…providing the energy needed to sustain this digestive process…or as the locals say, "He eats lightnin' and craps thundah!!!" That's right, it's a hybrid of a Looney Tunes & a Rocky joke…with a dash of Australian accent. You're welcome. Anyway, had to wake the kids up with all this science talk. I find this stuff interesting…but I'm a nerd. Now for a Presidential Movie List…
Gold - Air Force One (1997) - How can you top President Ford? No, not Gerald, President Harrison Han Solo Indiana Jones Ford? How about having the bad guy…as Gary Oldman? Or Glenn Close as the Vice President (not Palin)? Or Al as your Secretary of Defense (yes, that was a Quantum Leap joke)? The ultimate kick-ass President movie. For that one person out there who hasn't seen it, the story is that President James Marshall (Ford) and his family and a bunch of other "important" people are on Air Force One, when a terrorist leader (Oldman) takes them all hostage, requesting the freedom of another terrorist leader currently being held in some kind of Gitmo-esque Russian prison. They weren't expecting the President to fight back though. Dang, I wanna go home and watch it now. "GET OFF MY PLANE!!!"
Silver - Head of State (2003) - I do enjoy the satirical side of the Presidency as well…especially when Chris Rock is running for President. "What're your plans for Social Security?" "Give it to old people." Simple…and effective. Anyway, it's a great movie with a lot of stand-up mixed in…but also a pretty good message, in my opinion. It's about an alderman (Rock) who gets picked to run on the Democratic ticket (with his brother the late great Bernie Mac as VP) basically so the next guy four years later will have a shot…but then the people like him…and he's got a legitimate shot at the White House (why it gotta be white?). On the comedy side, you may also want to check out "Man of the Year" (2006) with Robin Williams as a comedian pundit running for office and winning (costarring Christopher Walken) or one that I liked called "My Fellow Americans" (1996) where two former Presidents (played by Jack Lemmon & James Garner) are on the run because they're involved in a political conspiracy…but it's one of those odd couple getaway movies…just that they're former Presidents…and Dan Aykroyd is President in the movie. How can that not be funny? Favorite part - The words to "Hail to the Chief" that they have. Mine are very similar…and yes, when elected President, I'll sing them…with Parliament Funkadelic backing me up instead of some high school band.
Bronze - JFK (1991) - "Back…and to the left. Back…and to the left. Back…and to the left." I like (most) Oliver Stone movies. Mostly because they're really different from other kinds of movies. Some are even loosely based on a true story. Kevin Costner plays Jim Garrison, a District Attorney from New Orleans who takes it upon himself to investigate the 1963 assassination of John Kennedy in Dallas (great museum there by the way, next to the grassy knoll). What his finds in the evidence…involves cover-ups, treachery, speculation, secrets, intrigue and most disturbing of all…Gary Oldman plays Lee Harvey Oswald. Oh yeah, he's in this one too. It's a long one though…so pack a lunch.
Suggestion - Nixon (1995) - Another Oliver Stone flick (probably not the last) starring Sir Anthony Hopkins as Richard Milhous Nixon. It has a star studded cast with Joan Allen as his wife Pat, Bob Hoskins as J. Edgar Hoover, Paul Sorvino as Henry Kissinger, Powers Boothe, Ed Harris, James Woods, Mary Steenburgen and so on telling the life of "Tricky Dick" and his complex and controversial Presidency. There was also a TV movie around that same time called "Truman" with Gary Sinise as Harry S. Truman that was pretty good.
Flush It - Swing Vote (2008) - Have you ever seen a trailer for a movie and thought "There is absolutely no way this movie can NOT be retarded?" Well, that's kind of what I thought of this movie…and because of that, I haven't seen it…but I don't have to see it to flush it. I don't double-check my stool for peanuts or pennies, now do I? Anyway, Kevin Costner plays a guy who somehow the Presidential election comes down to his vote and his vote alone (like that would ever happen). The scariest part…is he's deciding between Kelsey Grammar & Dennis Hopper. "Hmm, Sideshow Bob…or Deacon from Waterworld? I can't decide." I'm also a little skeptical to see yet another Oliver Stone movie "W" because…well, I just don't want to think about him anymore…but I'll probably check it out when it comes on video.
Future Watch - Lincoln (2011?) - The more that I learn about this movie, the more excited I get…though it's going to be a few years before everybody's schedules work out. Okay, so Liam Neeson is playing the title role…which is a little odd…but he's got the features and he's a great actor, so that's cool. Lincoln's story is a complex one and I want it in the hands of a master…and that's where fellow director Steven Spielberg comes in. Awesome. Next, who's going to play the crazy wife Mary Todd Lincoln? The Flying Nun herself, Sally Field. She does a good crazy. Best of all, who's going to play the racist and contradictory point-of-view Vice President Andrew Johnson? Harrison Ford. Just to top it off, John Williams is doing the musical score. This has classic written all over it. Keep your eyes out for this one. However, there's also a lot of other presidential stories that I want to be told in movie format, not just on the History Channel. Like Washington, Jefferson, the Roosevelts Teddy & Frankie, even the wild Andrew Jackson (starring Christopher Walken) would all make for incredible movies…but maybe they just don't want to go into the human element of the story. See, Presidents are supposed to be incredible men, almost God-like effigies…and even I might shy away from having a movie were the drafter of the Declaration of Independence has a steamy love scene with a slave girl…even if it's played by Halle Berry. Wanna start some controversy? Let me know.
Anyway, that'll do it for today. (Finally) Works gonna be busy the next few days and I've got a work party to go to in a little while. Have a great day everybody!!!