And now, I’m reading Jerusalem Vigil, the first book in the Zion Legacy series. Woo-hoo! Oh vey! Am also reading two other books in my spare time: The Reagan Diaries and Dutch: A Memoir. Lots and lots of reading.
Sunday, September 30, 2007
And now, I’m reading Jerusalem Vigil, the first book in the Zion Legacy series. Woo-hoo! Oh vey! Am also reading two other books in my spare time: The Reagan Diaries and Dutch: A Memoir. Lots and lots of reading.
Yesterday I started a handwritten journal entry--inspired by The Reagan Diaries. Hopefully it'll keep up. Longhand seems tedious, and though I love using pens, I may have to switch it to computer. The other night I spoke with my nephew, Caleb, who keeps a journal, and I told him about how frustrating longhand journals can be because it seems like my mind is usually at least three sentences ahead of my pen.
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Friday, September 28, 2007
One person had a response I liked, where they speculated how God would reply to such a question: “I AM.”
The idea is that humans will always have a hard time trying—with their finite minds—to understand an infinite God. I would compare it to trying to explain calculus to a newborn child, and even is a loose comparison since the bridge between our and God’s intellect is far greater.
This question reminds me that there are just some question about God that will have to wait until I trade this imperfect mind for a glorified one.
SPOILER ALERT: if you’ve never seen The Shining but want to, please don’t read any further.
Ok. here it goes.
When the film was released (according to my mother-in-law, who first saw it when it came out in theaters) between the scene of Jack Nicholson’s character frozen to death and the slow zoom on the picture of him “always” being at the hotel, there was another scene. Wendy Torrance is in the hospital, and Overlook Hotel manager Mr. Ullman comes to visit her. He tells her that they’ve searched the hotel and maze thoroughly and could not find Jack’s body. He then leaves, laughs as he pats Danny’s head, and then something really creepy happens.
A ball rolls on the floor to where Danny is.
Yes, that same ball from earlier in the film.
Danny then starts to “shine” again as the scene ends.
One person I e-mailed once claimed to know the late filmmaker and said that the deleted footage is locked in a London vault. Maybe we’ll get to see it again.
Chavez, like his buddy Fidel Castro, has in the past questioned President Bush’s intelligence. There’s a part of me that wonders just how smart Chavez is. After all, he’s in bed with Ahmadinejad, an Islamic extremist who wants Israel wiped off the map. Like other Islamic extremists, Ahmadinejad probably wants to eventually see a world where the international religion is Islam. Simply put, you either convert or die.
I wonder what Chavez would do if put into a “convert to Islam or die” situation.
This deal reminds a lot of Germany and Russia’s non-aggression pact they signed prior to World War II. Just a few years later, after the pact served its purpose, Germany invaded Russia.
* I always get a chuckle when foreigners call Americans “Yankees”. They apparently don’t know that this slur was used in the Civil War as a derogatory term for people from the northern United States and is still in use today. Back at college, a southern roommate of mine told me that his girlfriend (also from the south) had one strict dating policy: no Yankees.
If you’re not from America and are reading this, if you happen to be visiting southern America or happen to meet an American from a state like Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Florida, etc., don’t call them a Yankee. Not only will they likely find it insulting, but, well, depending on their disposition, they could construe it as grounds for a fight.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
One blogger said that we should give Vick a break considering what all he's been through lately. Nonsense. Vick brought this all on himself; he may very well had an NFL career left to salvage had he not initially lied to the commissioner Roger Goodell and to Falcons owner Arthur Blank about his involvement.
Let's say Vick does two years in prison and then is done. Will he have a career in football? Even if the NFL allows teams to sign him, he'll have to get into shape. Two years layoff of not dropping back and reading defenses will require the shaking off of a lot of rust. Every year, young, strong arms come out of college. My guess is that Vick may wind up in the Arena Football League or maybe even the Canadian Football League.
If it's stress Vick needs to release, there are plenty of ways to do it without getting high.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Spector's defense team will now have a chance to bone up on their case as a retrial seems certain.
Spencer is accused of killing actress Lana Clarkson by putting a gun into her mouth and making her pull the trigger; Spencer's attorneys argue that Clarkson's death was either accidental or suicidal. Clarkson's death was said to have come after a night of drinking.
Sheesh. When will this stubborn world realize that nothing good happens when you combine weapons and heay drinking?
This means: "Hello! My name is Richard."
Well, it's actually Richard in the sense of the Hebrew equivalent, which would be Rikard. English consonants like J and the consonant dipthong of Ch (as in Richard) don't exist in Hebrew except for odd modifications of Hebrew letters. Haven't figured that out yet.
(Two hints: I've already blogged about it and it's alive).
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
If you have herpes, that gift that keeps on giving, Valtrex wants you to know there’s hope. On Valtrex’s Website, we find out: “Only once-daily VALTREX is proven to reduce risk of transmission of genital herpes*…Based on a landmark study, VALTREX 500 mg once daily has been approved by the FDA to reduce the risk of transmission of genital herpes, along with safer sex practices.”
Notice the asterisk? That usually means there’s an important clarification. Scroll down the page toward the bottom and you see this:
* In immunocompetent (able to develop immune responses) heterosexual adults. Safer sex practices should be used with suppressive therapy with VALTREX.
Cutting through the crap: even if you take Valtrex, it is still possible to contract herpes; Valtrex reduces but does not remove the risk of spreading the disease.
Herpes, like other viruses, has no cure. So if you get it, just remember. Someday if you meet the girl or guy of your dreams, they’ll have to ask themselves one hard question: do they love you enough to have sexual intercourse with you and run the risk that they may very well someday get herpes from you?
I wish Valtrex would face more on the realities of herpes instead of trying to sugarcoat it.
From the rumors that have been circulating around, you’d be hard pressed to go into a Hollywood medicine cabinet and not find Valtrex or some equivalent.
Hollywood cultural imperialist actor Kevin Spacey meets with Venezuelan dictator…er, president Hugo Chavez
Chavez has said that his country hopes to make films as an alternative to Hollywood’s “cultural imperialism.”
Now, I’m really confused. Most of the mainstream films made in Hollywood are by actors like Spacey, Sean Penn (who’s visited with Chavez), Danny Glover (ditto), Jack Nicholson, Brad Pitt and so on. All of these actors make no secret about their very liberal leanings. Very few actors in Hollywood are openly conservative. And as far as Christian filmmaking industry, it’s more along the lines of independent filmmaking.
All the above actors are very wealthy men, no doubt reaping the financial benefits of working in a culturally imperialistic profession.
I’ve never wondered why Hollywood celebrities whine so much about capitalism. Griping about a system that has allowed them to become insanely rich is the quintessential example of biting the hand that feeds you. A friend of mine suggested it’s guilt for making so much money for the work they do.
Yes, the same Ahmadinejad who, along questioning the Holocuast and saying Israel needs to be wiped off the world’s map, told a crowd at the university that “We don’t have homosexuals like in your country. We don't have that in our country. We don't have this phenomenon; I don't know who's told you we have it.”
Reportedly, homosexuality is a capital offense in Iran, a country ran by an Islamic form of government.
Be that as it may, Arsham Parsi begs to differ with Ahmadinejad.
Who is Parsi? He’s a homosexual Iranian who left the Persian country to escape persecution. He now is head of the Toronto-based Iranian Queer Organization. He says there are many documented cases of gay persecution in Iran. Or, as many gay rights supporters would say, “hate crimes.”
But if Ahmadinejad thinks Parsi is alone as a gay Iranian, think again. International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission spokesperson Hossein Alizadeh, an Iranian homosexual who now lives in America, said in a New York Sun article that in Iran, there is “a constant fear of execution and persecution and also social stigma associated with homosexuality.”
Alizadeh added that there are many cases of Iranians seeking asylum because of their sexual orientation.
But, again, here’s what I don’t understand: with all these accusations (and I suspect they are the tip of the Iranian iceberg, why did Columbia allow Ahmadinejad the chance to speak? Is he really any better than the U.S. military policy of telling homosexuals, lesbians and bi-sexuals that they can serve as long as they don’t disclose their sexuality?
Give me a break.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
The interview itself is something I’d compare to a chess match. Each side took its fair share of opponent's pieces, but at the end, the game ended in a draw when neither side realized it could convincingly prevail.
(I just can’t do a post about chess without including a picture of the master himself, Garry Kasparov. Здравствуйте, Господин Каспаров!)
My father-in-law, who has a knack for finding really cool stuff at yard sales, bought me a chess set. It's one of those that, when not in use, folds into a solid rectangle. Needs work done to it, including varnishing, replacing the squares, new hinges, handle and hasp. Jennifer told me the inside should also be lined with velvet to prevent the pieces from scratching. Still, not bad considering it was being sold for $1 and Dad paid 50 cents for it. Not bad at all.
Looking it over, I toyed with the idea of royal blue and white squares since I love chessboards with contrast. Decided against it, felt that the squares should match the black and beige wooden pieces. Someday I’d love to get a chessboard and pieces that are royal blue and white. Perhaps from a place like Israel.
If there's anyone out there who loves playing chess, let me know. My sons like to play against me, but maybe I could engage you in playing over the Internet.
What an amazing life. I never knew that Marceau, whose real surname was Mangel, was Jewish and had fought in the French resistence in World War II and worked to save Jewish children from being sent to the death camps. Unfortunately, his father wasn't so lucky and died in Auschwitz.
Marceau, of course, had the only speaking line in Mel Brooks' Silent Movie. Asked if he wanted to be in Hollywood's first silent movie in decades, Marceau had only this to say: "Non!"
I also remember that in the filming of Braveheart, director/actor Mel Gibson told cast members that his female co-star, French actress Sophie Marceau, was the pantomimist's daughter. Asked about this, Marceau said that not only was she not related to him, she had never even met him.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Things I’d love to do if only I had the time:
Over time, I may add to this list. As a Christian, getting to know the Bible inside and out goes without saying, as does furthering my relationship with my wife and sons and expanding my professional career as a writer. Here are a few things I’d love to accomplish in what little time I might have left on earth***:
* Brush up on my Spanish, Russian and the miniscule I remember from Mandarin Chinese
* Learn Hebrew (I’d love to visit Israel someday; I also feel Hebrew will be the official language * of heaven and is, if you will, God’s “first language”)
* Learn German (the language of my great-grandfather
* Develop my hobbies of cooking and photography
* Travel around the world, particularly Europe, the Middle East and Far East
* Watch how a movie is made
* Meet Robert DeNiro, Michael Mann, Ted Levine, Wes Studi, Diane Venora and Kevin Gage and tell them how much I loved the film Heat.
* Learn how to play the guitar and even a little of the drums
* Spend a few nights in a German castle (such as the one in Neuschwanstein)
* Visit Germany and spend time with distant cousins of mine
* Visit Russia, and buy a chess set made there
* Meet Garry Kasparov and Boris Spassky (I’d probably have to go to France to meet Monsieur Spassky)
* Make my own chess board and pieces
* Further my chess collection with a set made from metal, marble and a heavy wood (I already have a glass one)
* Become the spokesman for Papermate ink pens
* Have a Culligan or Glacier water machine installed in my future home so I can always have excellent iced tea freshly-brewed
The book, Drudge reports, confirms two things about Fidel.
One, he is terminally ill and dying.
Two, he is determined to outlive the Bush presidency, which will be on January 20, 2009. As of this writing, he has 485 days to go.
Well, his bad health withstanding, that’s not too difficult a task when you head a brutal regime that holds no open elections. The one thing about Castro I’ll always remember are all the countless Cubans who have risked their lives on makeshift boats to float the 90 or so miles from Cuba to the Florida and freedom. It astonishes me how many knuckleheaded celebrities like Jack Nicholson, Danny Glover, Oliver Stone, et al., inexplicably think of Castro as a great man. Such is Hollywood’s continued love affair with communist dictators.
I can’t say I hate Castro (but I do despise what he has done to Cuba), but I find myself almost amused at the nonsense of how he keeps a hectic schedule even at this age, working 18-20 hours a day, sleeping only five hours a day and how his schedule would tire a much-younger man. I’d only get five hours of sleep a day if I knew that my brutal regime made lots of enemies and that the more I slept, the more opportunity I was giving for the plots to materialize.
Glad I don’t live in Cuba. Castro has been known for his multi-hour speeches. As they say in Spanish, ¡Muy aburrido! (Very boring!) I can’t even sit through a one-hour state-of-the-union speech of President Bush’s, whom I voted for twice.
Note: in the picture, Castro holds the recent book of former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan that criticizes President Bush and praises former President Bill Clinton.
This was me taken from a few months ago. I think I took it, but it may have been my wife, Jennifer.
Wow, look at the size of that schnoz. Michael Jackson, please tell your cosmetic surgeon to STOP CALLING ME!!! My nose is not for sale!
Friday, September 21, 2007
If my bank account were dependent on how much “street cred” I had, I would be overdrawn.
I became curious about the subject of street cred after reading the latest legal escapades of Cordozar Calvin Broadus, Jr. (a.k.a. Snoop Dogg). The Urban Dictionary defines street cred in several ways:
* Your “coolness” factor
* Imaginary “points” you get when you do something cool
* Commanding a level of respect in an urban environment due to experience in or knowledge of issues affecting those environments
* Respect from urban communities. Usually something essential for making it big in the rap world.
The Urban Dictionary has a series of points to measure how much street cred you’d have within the 12-30 year age group in the African-American community. The more points, the more respect you’ll have. Being born black and in a single-parent home combined is worth 10 points. Born poor is 10 points. 75 points are for being shot multiple times and surviving, while you get 70 for being a member of the Crips or Bloods. If you’ve been to prison, that’s 65 points and if you are “16 years old and have a baby mama” you get 20.
Then there are the negative points. Minus five for being born white (such as Marshall Bruce Mathers III). Minus 100 for no criminal record. Minus 35 for smiling when someone takes your photo. Minus 2000 points for being born in the following states: Utah, Maine, New Hampshire, Montana or Arizona. I guess that means that horror novelist Stephen King (born in Maine) is out of luck.
I took up the test and tallied up my results. On the street cred scale, I scored a minus 340. I don’t count smiling in pictures (which would give me -375) since I only smile when the picture taker tells me to.
And as for being shot and surviving, I’m guessing immunization shots don’t count.
In short, like “Weird Al” Yankovic, I’m too “White and Nerdy” to be a gangsta. Oh well.
After making an off-color comment about Jesus, she then said, “This award is my god now!”
Griffin drew criticism from the Catholic League, a group that battles anti-defmation. They called on the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences to “…denounce Griffin's obscene and blasphemous comment.” (Good luck). A rebroadcast of the ceremony featured Griffin’s comments edited out.
Known for her caustic sense of humor, Griffin said her comments were meant as a joke and had this to say about the criticism: “Am I the only Catholic left with a sense of humor?”
Griffin, of course, is assuming a lot—namely, that she has a sense of humor.
I have never seen Griffin’s show, but I have seen her commercials. Funny isn’t the right word. Annoying is much better. She is a stark reminder to me of just how low the threshold for humor has evolved in America.
If Griffin really wanted to be funny, why attack the tired punching bag of Christianity? Don’t enough comedians already practically make careers out of trashing Christians? Why not make jokes about Islam? Perhaps, “I practically had to sleep with Allah to get this award!” Or she could say, “Thank God I’m not in Afghanistan. If I were, the Taliban would take this trophy, forge it into a knife and slash my throat with it!” Or, perhaps this: “I’m SO glad I won! If I hadn’t, I would’ve gone out, strapped dynamite to my waste and blown up this building!”
Perhaps because Griffin and her defenders know the truth: Christians are easy targets because unlike Islamic extremists, they don’t commit homicide (a.k.a. suicide) bombings. They don’t do forced conversions. They don’t arm children with explosives and send them after soldiers. They don’t storm into houses, killing the men and raping the women and girls. They don’t take hostages and demand the release of criminals. And when Christians commit horrific crimes like blowing up abortion clinics, mainstream Christian leaders are quick to condemn the actions and show no support for them. Christians may verbally condemn Griffin’s actions while other groups resort to violence. Just ask the European cartoonists who practically had to into hiding after drawing cartoons that radical Muslims thought insulted their faith. People died during the spreads of violence, just as they did when Islamofascists protested Pope Benedict XVI’s speech, where he merely quoted a medieval ruler’s critical views on Islam.
Only in America can you trash Christians all you want, but don’t you dare make fun of Muslims, homosexuals or religious minority groups.
BTW, for those Christians offended by Griffin’s comments, lay off her looks. Frankly, I don’t think she’s bad looking.
He knew his life was over. This prisoner eventually earned a reputation as one of the most feared inmates and eventually died in prison.
Seeing how this young man’s life was ruined really boils my blood, especially when you consider the yet further light sentence Cordozar Calvin Broadus Jr., a.k.a. Snoop Dogg, received after pleading guilty to felony charge of possession of a dangerous weapon.
Broadus (I refuse to call him by his rap name) had initially maintained his innocence. He was sentenced to 160 hours of community service and three years’ probation. Broadus initially had been arrested last year after police discovered a collapsible baton in his bag while at a California airport. He insisted it was a prop for a video he was filming while police said it was a dangerous weapon.
Donald Etra, Broadus’ attorney, said that his client’s felony conviction would be reduced to a misdemeanor if the gangsta rapper can stay out of legal trouble for a year.
That might be asking too much for Broadus, considering that…
…over the years he has made no secret about his marijuana habit. I read somewhere once that Broadus even paid one man to roll his blunts for him…
…this arrest was actually his second that year. He was arrested at the same airport almost two months later for suspicion of transporting marijuana. Authorities also found a gun at his home…
…this last April, Broadus plead no contest to felony gun and marijuana charges and was sentenced to five years probation and 800 hours of community service.
…he also was denied entry into England a year or so ago after his entourage got into a scuffle with authorities there…
…and in 1990, Broadus was convicted of cocaine possession. Then in 1993, he was charged with gun possession after a traffic stop. In 1997, pled guilty and was given three years probation and agreed to make public service announcements against violence…
…Broadus was acquitted in 1996 of a murder charge.
Etra had this amusing thought about his client: “We are very pleased with the outcome,” he told the Associated Press. “[Broadus’] goal is to make music, not make court appearances.”
You’d never know that from his criminal record. Who knows, maybe Broadus simply did all these crimes to develop “street cred.”
Broadus, according to the article, also was ordered to make a $10,000 charitable donation. Let’s see…Broadus strikes me as a smart businessman, so he’s probably worth tens of millions—perhaps more than a hundred million. Why not give him a fine that really puts a dent in his pocketbook?
Better yet, why isn’t he in prison? How many times does he get the luxury of plea bargaining on drug and weapons charges before he’s sent to prison?
This disgusting tale really goes to show that if you have money in America, you can get away with almost anything. What a despicable shame.
Etra added that Broadus wanted to get on with his life. Yeah, so did Sheephead. Only because Sheephead came from a poor Georgia family and wasn’t a gangsta rapper with money, that was a luxury denied to him.
Do I have anything against Broadus? No. I’ve never even met him. And from what I’ve seen of him in Starsky and Hutch, he seems like a decent actor. I just wish he actually had to answer for his crimes instead of consistently getting slapped on the wrist.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
This of course reminds me of that classic Victor Kiam Remington commercial. You know, "I tried Remington razors. I liked them so much, I bought the company!"
So, I imagined the lady saying, "I liked this business so much, I bought the company!"
Yes, I'm weird.
Yeah, right. Tampa Bay went on to beat the Eagles 27-10 and then easily defeated the Oakland Raiders 48-21 in Super Bowl XXXVII.
I’m not a gambler and called the number out of sheer curiosity, and all I ended up doing was getting a bunch of unwanted follow-up phone calls, asking if I wanted to lay bets (No, thank you) and one time where the caller was extremely unprofessional with me.
The music producer, accused of murdering actress Lana Clarkson, is on trial for second-degree murder. The prosecutors say Spector killed Clarkson while Spector said Clarkson killed herself (whether accidentally or intentionally).
The jury, earlier this week, was locked up at 7-5. Is it 7 for guilty and 5 for innocent or 7 for innocent and five for guilty? Don’t know. The jury’s not saying. They told the judge they were deadlocked.
Judge Larry Paul Fidler, who’s presiding over the case, rejected Spector’s attorney’s request for a mistrial and said on Tuesday that they could consider a lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter.
Now, the judge has said he will withdraw this instruction because, as BBC News reported, “…it misreads US law.”
Now, according to the story, jurors now “…no longer have to conclude that Mr. Spector held a gun to Lana Clarkson’s mouth before the weapon fired to find him guilty.”
Which way will the jury go? Not a clue. If there’s a hung jury and a mistrial, my limited understanding of law tells me that Spector can either be retried or he will go free. Sometimes, a mistrial is just as good as an acquittal. There are exceptions; John Gotti Jr. was tried thrice on racketeering charges. After three hung juries, prosecutors finally decided not to retry Junior.
There are two things I speculate will happen in this case. One, if Spector is convicted, he will appeal. With this crazy turn of events, that’s automatic now. Two, if Spector is acquitted, Clarkson’s family will almost certainly sue him for wrongful death. And again, because Spector is probably worth several hundreds of millions of dollars, it’s probably something he can live with. Clarkson wasn’t an A-List actress, so it probably won’t dent Spector’s pocketbook too much.
All the food in the refrigerator that was moldy and had to be condemned…wow. The restaurant is very fortunate they weren’t closed down by the health inspector. They were able to pull it together and be not only successful, but also a mainstay in the community.
I was amazed by how profane Peter got with creditors. Seems like being profane and threatening violence will take a big problem and turn into the Titanic.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
When I first saw that, I wondered if Pope Benedict XVI had some issue with America and was refusing to meet U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as a way of protesting. Or perhaps they had some type of religious disagreement. Or perhaps it was simply to protest things about America the Vatican disagrees with: abortion, the death penalty, contraception.
So, why did the pope refuse to meet with Ms. Rice?
Believe it or not, the reason is harmless: he’s on vacation and, according to Breitbart, had spent all of August (the time when Rice wanted to have an audience with him) refusing to meet with any political leaders. The news agency also reports that diplomatic relations between the United States and the Vatican are great.
But, of course, you have to read the article to find these things out, and deeper to realize just how harmless the Pope’s refusal was. Still, Rice is said to have wanted to meet with him as she attempted to bolster her diplomatic credibility before traveling to the Middle East.
This story reminds me loosely of an article I read last year in a Michigan newspaper. The headline spoke of how animals in labs were showing homosexual behavior. Only when you read deep into the article (which few people probably did, I suppose) do you learn that the behavior occurs primarily under controlled conditions and when the animals are injected with certain chemicals.
Sounds like what we need are a few good headline writers.
(Photo of Pope Benedict XVI courtesy of Breitbart.com)
Barry Manilow announced recently on his Website that he had boycotted his recent proposed appearance on The View because he disagreed with conservative Elisabeth Hasselbeck and didn’t want her to be the one interviewing him. Or even on the panel, for that matter.
Access Hollywood notes that Manilow is a longtime friend of recently-departed View member Rosie O’Donnell, and that his friendship with the former “Queen of Nice” may also have been a factor in his decision.
Manilow posted this on his Website on Monday, September 17: “…I wanted to let you know that I will no longer be on The View tomorrow as scheduled. I had made a request that I be interviewed by Joy [Behar], Barbara [Walters] or Whoopi [Goldberg], but not Elisabeth Hasselback [sic]. Unfortunately, the show was not willing to accommodate this simple request so I bowed out.
“It’s really too bad because I've always been a big supporter of the show, but I cannot compromise my beliefs. The good news is that I will be on a whole slew of other shows promoting the new album so I hope you can catch me on those…”
Access Hollywood further reports that the folks at The View have a different story. They claim that it was the show, and not Manilow, that decided to cancel the booking because they would not allow the singer to decide who would interview him. As you can see from the picture above, Manilow has been on the show in the past with Hasselbeck there. Why the problem now? AH also reports something fascinating, saying that, ‘The sources suggest Manilow is causing a stir in order to create a buzz as his new album, Greatest Songs of the Seventies, is getting ready to debut.
Considering that Manilow reportedly recorded an unused duet with O’Donnell for the album, perhaps he’s trying to further get on her good side by trying to stick it to Hasselbeck.
Or perhaps Manilow is simply living by the code: controversy sells.
Most people remember Janet Jackson’s infamous “Wardrobe Malfunction”, but I wonder how many remember that she had a new album due out soon. Though the album didn’t fare well commercially, the idea is to promote your album by creating as much attention as possible.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
If you love suspense, then you have to love what’s going on in the Phil Spector trial.
Jury deliberations have reached a temporary stalemate. Spector, who created that weird thing called “The Wall of Sound” (I’m not musically inclined so I have little idea what exactly it is), is accused of murdering 40 year-old actress Lana Clarkson in the early morning hours of February 3, 2003. Spector contends Clark shot herself. He faces 15 years to life in prison if convicted of the second-degree murder.
KNBC in Los Angeles is reporting the jury is split 7-5 and that nothing can be done to break the deadlock. The judge then announced he might give the jury the option of convicting Spector of the lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter. If so, Spector should count himself lucky; on involuntary manslaughter, he might not even have to do any jail time. True, there will be the wrongful death lawsuit to deal with, but Spector—who’s probably worth hundreds of millions, can just quietly settle out of court.
It’s hard to believe a beautiful actress like Clarkson could be at a standstill in her career, but that’s the way it goes, I suppose.
Exactly what happened is hard to tell. Clarkson is dead. Spector, assuming he did commit murder, surely won’t admit to it. Supposedly, Spector admitted to his chauffer that he had shot Clarkson, but the defense pointed out that Spector’s chauffer is Brazilian (his first language is Portuguese) and doesn’t have a strong grasp of English.
My thoughts go out to Clarkson, and my prayers go out to her family. I don’t know what her spiritual condition was like, but, as a Christian, I pray she had a relationship with God.
Monday, September 17, 2007
I suspect Bush feels that with less than two years to go before his presidency is over, there's no sense in getting into a heated confirmation battle. Especially with the war and other things going on.
Otherwise, I hope you enjoy reading. Feel free to leave comments.
Arbela Township, Michigan
I'm enjoying the company of these beautiful creatures for as long as I can, since our neighbor has said that they eventually will be butchered.
For me, being an ardent duck lover, it's sad. I hope someday to own property with a large pond and create a "duck sanctuary". I've even told my sons that there would be three simple rules regarding my future property:
1. Absolutely, positively, no duck hunting.
2. If you get the proper license, you may hunt ducks elsewhere on someone else's property, but not on my property.
3. There are no exceptions to rules 1 or 2.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
In today's 20-10 win over the abysmal Kansas City Chiefs, Grossman completed 20 of 34 passes for only 160 yards, 1 TD and 2 interceptions.
Here's a link to a sports site that i blog at: http://sportswrap.berecruited.com/2007/09/16/dallas-cowboys-win-pleasure-in-paradise-for-terrell-owens/
I saw that the weather today in San Antonio (where we used to live from 1998-2004) was 87 degrees for a high. You can have it. I love being able to wear jeans and not feel like my legs are baking.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
There's a line in the film that British prime minister Tony Blair's character utters that got my attention. He talks about how Queen Elizabeth II never wanted the job of monarch and how she'd watched it kill her father. Assuming Blair really said this, it's perhaps fitting since it's a fluke--if you will--that Her Majesty became queen: her uncle, King Edward VIII, abdicated the throne in 1936 in order to marry his divorced American wife.* His brother and Queen Elizabeth's father, King George VI, then became king. Her Majesty, being the firstborn in a family of two daughters but no sons, then became Queen after her father's death on February 6, 1952 (exactly 21 years before I was born).
As I watched the movie, though, I could see the Queen's love for her grandsons, but an overall coldness in the family for Princess Diana. Even Charles seemed very saddened by the death of his ex-wife. I told Jennifer that I really hope the British monarchy moves forward into the 21st century as Princes William and Harry eventually marry: the aggravation that could've been averted if they would simply let the royal family members marry out of love. It's clear Prince Charles wanted to marry Camilla in the first place. It's little things like this that make me wonder if, should the Lord tarry, the British monarchy will still exist 500 years from now.
*If my British history serves me correctly, King Edward VIII (later known as the Duke of Windsor), was the only monarch to willingly abdicate the throne.
Friday, September 14, 2007
OPEC grand poobah Abdalla Salem El-Badri said today that current price, according to the news story, "[does] not reflect fundamentals and was unlikey to last long."
OPEC has increased production, and El-Badri said he hopes to have a "Country Time" prices. Just as the lemonade famously promotes itself as "not too tart, not too sweet", El-Badri hopes the prices gets to a level where it's not too high or too low.
I know a tiny bit about the oil business, and I know there are lots of factors that go into the prices of crude oil, natural gas and gasoline. For one thing, it's been more than two decades since a new refinery was built in America. Demand, meanwhile, has absolutely skyrocketed. When demand far exceeds supply, high prices ensue. There's also the strength of the dollar, the often-expensive process of exploring for and extracting oil/natural gas from the ground.
I really wish America would take more initiative to become 100% independent of foreign oil through drilling oil in hydrocarbon-rich areas of the country as well as developing alternate energy sources. Keep in mind that there's only so much oil in the ground, and though scientists reportedly have found ways to take large amounts of garbage and turn it into oil, I imagine it's far from a cheap process.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
I watched a guitar contest on Youtube and could only take about 29 seconds before I shut the screen off and felt like boiling my eyes. It was, so…words escape me. It reminds me of how Stephen King hosted a writer’s contest and talked about how there were some entries that were, “…frankly, abysmal.” They were so bad, that he didn’t post them because he felt it would be distasteful to shoot a cripple.
Such was the feeling for me as I watched this file of a man competing in the 2007 Air Guitar World Championship in Oulu, Finland, near the Arctic Circle. He jammed out on guitar—well, not really. He was pretending to play a guitar, his right holding an imaginary pick and his left hand holding down imaginary chords. Yes, he was the overall winner for the second year in a row, but seeing him play an imaginary guitar was just too much.
Irony of ironies, for the two-time winner, Japan’s Ochi Yosuke received a custom-made Flying Finn electric guitar worth more than $4,000. a man who wins a contest for pretending to play the guitar receives a real guitar. Of course, being in this contest and being able to dazzle the crowd with your air guitar capabilities doesn’t mean you can actually play the instrument: one of the reported favorites for the title was American Andrew “William Ocean” Litz, who can’t play the guitar. He finished 11th.
Spears' performance was ridiculed by many. Some said her dance moves looked very, well, abysmal. Some complained about the lip-synching she did. Others gave Spears a hard time because of her weight. Apparently, they don't consider her svelte enough. After all, Spears has had two children, apparently delves into comfort food and reportedly had surgery to make her body look more voluptuous.
To me, Britney didn't look all that bad. But then, the entertainment world's definition of a woman at an acceptable weight usually means a woman who's bulimic or anorexic.
This story reminds me of all the fashion ads I've seen, along with that movie The Devil Wears Prada. A vast majority of these "models" look as though they could use a nice six-course dinner. Sorry, but a woman who looks like she's starving herself to death and is constantly throwing up meals in an effort to keep her weight down is hardly my idea of beauty.
Britney, if you just happen to be reading this, dietitians I've spoken with in my ventures as a journalist say that being in good physical condition consists of sensible food choices with exercise and, if you drink alcohol, either keep it in moderation or not at all. I suppose occasional "cheat days" don't hurt.
Better to be a little heavy than to starve yourself and become the next Karen Carpenter.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Oh well. I hope the GOP keeps this in mind the next time a Democrat is in the White House...
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Taking into consideration the actions of some of the players of today I would think my actions were a bit mild. I have raised four articulate, highly intelligent and beautiful children. They know the story well as it gets dragged out every time I am in the public eye. Thank you for the interest, you are correct I do prefer to look ahead.
Some think I'm daft for saying so, but I honestly prefer the cold Michigan winters over the hot Texas summers.
Something bad must've happened, I thought.
Sure enough, it did. 9-11 has gone down as a new day in infamy. May we never forget, although it's becoming very clear that many already have.
Monday, September 10, 2007
When not blogging, I'm also a freelance writer and do two columns: Richard's Ramblings and My Two Shekels. More on those in future posts.