Sorry for the length, but I didn't have time to write a short blog.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Rush: Not a Sports Movie

I could be writing about the dysfunction of Washington right now.  I could be writing about the most hated man in Washington.  I could be writing about birther meme posted by a friend. But...

Ron really it's him.
I am not going to do that.  Washington will still be dysfunctional on Tuesday.  The most hated man will still be hated, and birther memes will remain one of the stupidest things you can post.  So, instead I  am going to write about something important.  Something that is worth while.  Something readers tell me they enjoy reading.  I am going to review a movie.  Rush is Ron Howard's most recent venture in directing, and it is a good one.

I approached the movie with a little trepidation.  First I was concerned that it could easily become a "sports" movie about a famous rivalry in racing.  I was also concerned when this  movie advertised itself as "the best movie of Ron Howard's career." Any time you have an advertising campaign resting solely on an A-list director's name, I feel I should worry.  Well, it's not the best film of his career.  I think Apollo 13 is his best work.  It is also heads and shoulders, actually from the knees up,  better than How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

The real James Hunt and Niki Lauda
The movie centers on character.  Great characters drive great stories. Rush is more than a story is about Grand Prix Formula 1 racing. It is about the personalities and rivalry of two drivers in 1976.  The real life racers were Niki Lauda, an Austrian driver played by Daniel Brühl who is a Spanish-German actor, and British racer, James Hunt played by Australian actor Thor...I mean Chis Hemsworth.  To say the physical likeness between the actors and the real races  is astonishing is an understatement.  While I don't know what the originals sounded like, the performances were believable and strong.  Oscar strong? No, but they were good and clean performances.

Like many driven athletes (no pun intended) the two men are competitive, high strung and approach life peering though different glasses.  They are also both something of likeable jerks,and both have one other thing in common.  In social graces, they are both inept in different ways.  Hunt (Hemsworth) is a partier and lives life completely in the moment, but he uses and tends to alienate people closest to him.  Lauda (Brühl ) is disciplined, single-minded, and one difficult individual.  He is overly direct and competitive. So what is their common likeness which binds them?  They are both gifted drivers.  While Lauda was the perfect mechanical driver, Hunt was the risk taker on the track.

Lauda was badly burned in an accident when his car mechanically failed.  Hunt's drive to become a Grand Prix champion and with Lunda out of racing for the burns, Hunt, who had a disastrous beginning, was catching up when the accident occurred.  Lunda has always maintained that it was Hunt's wins and driving that forced him back into the Formula 1 despite his injuries.  Once we get the carefully laid out understanding of the sport, we are then engulfed in the story of two enemies who pushed each other to greatness.  We become involved with these two-their lives and their social ineptitude. We want them both to win and both to lose.  The races are exciting.  We come to understand them or at least accept who these men were.

It is a solid, good movie. It is great storytelling and the more I think about the movie the better I like it.  Rush is R rated for brief nudity, strong language and some graphic visual effects.  I don't know that I will buy the DVD simply because it is not one of those movies you would necessarily watch again and again, but it would be well worth the money.  Go see it.

Friday, September 27, 2013


I know. I know.  I've talked about this before, but I keep hoping that a few folks who keep posting these memes will see one of these and actually pause before posting. It's a silly hope, but I keep trying.

So if you don't get what's wrong with this one immediately you need to stop and put a thought into your head. The irony of this is so multi-leveled, where do I begin.  The Bible, particularly the New Testament, is touted as a writing love and peace is juxtaposed to a weapon, a handgun.  Is the first thing that leaps to mind when you see a handgun sport or protection? If it is, you need serious help.  It is a weapon. I know of no time when guns were taught in school.  I do know that many after school programs include hunter and gun safety.  Why are morals and shooting guns a school's responsibility?  Don't parents have some responsibility in this? If you are going to put all responsibility on a school you had better be prepared for the outcome because not all teachers believe in guns or your religion.  That too is a protected right. Free thought, I am sure you've heard of it. If you abdicate your responsibility, you become irresponsible.

Next is the Constitution.  How can you possibly support a very narrow interpretation of the second amendment and ignore a straight forward one of the first? I've said this before and will try one more time: Our country was built on the idea of freedom of religion.  The Christian religion is not the only religion in this country. Religion being taught, as how this meme clearly intends, is a violation of the first amendment and the intent of separation of church and state even with any kind of interpretation of the amendment.

This  is another along the same line is this meme.  Please see above about teaching the Bible. One more time for the Supreme Court ruling impaired. Bibles are not banned in any school.  A student or staff member may not impose their religious point of view in the classroom.  They may read any religious item.  In fact, coming up is the annual See You at the Pole event.  Students and staff gather at the school flag pole before school in celebration of their beliefs.  If you are going to post this stuff, at least check your facts.   If you want your child to have a religious teaching in a school, I suggest you send them to one of the numerous religious private schools that exist all over the country.  

Finally is this meme that really has nothing to do with The Constitution.  Gotta love the intent, but honestly, God will do you a favor if you repost a meme? I know that He answers all prayer -- but not in the way you want -- but now, apparently, He does favors.  I think the meme may be confusing God with the godfather who does favors for his friends.  I've actually seen versions of this meme now a half dozen times or so.  This is the equivalent of post this and you'll get money.  Do you honestly want to put God on the level of one of those silly luck memes? Stop, just stop.  It's foolish.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Read Something Banned

It's banned book week; not ban a book week.  I never dreamed that people would still be banning books in a country based on free speech and free press, but they do.  I am not talking about monitoring what your kids are reading and making sure it's appropriate to the reading level and age.  No, I am talking about the banning of books for others.  It still happens in this country.  I would think, if nothing else, these self-announced consciences of the masses would figure out that the best way to get some one to read a book is to make it illicit.  In all honestly there are plenty of books that have been banned that would have been barely read or would have fallen out of publication years and decades ago if it wasn't for the folks who want them gone.

As a former English instructor, there is virtually no book, short story or movie I used in the classroom that hadn't been banned somewhere.  I am talking about real attacks on our moral fiber like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Scarlet Letter, and The Hobbit. The banners come from every spectrum from the right to left and from the moral majority to the born again.  Such actions have made writers like R.L.Stine stars.  I mean Stine's work is written as high-interest, low challenging material for middle school boys. It is far from great literature, but the banners of all things immoral have kept the books in publication and growing for years.

I still remember my first banned book.  Not the first one I read, but the one that a group of parents had taken from our hands when I was in high school.  Tell Me That You Love Me Junie Moon was the book.  In all honesty, not one of us in the class would have probably read the book except for enough to skim it to pass quizzes.  As soon as it was taken us, the book became the singular best seller at the book store in the nearest town.  We read it to see what it was that would completely demoralize our young minds.  The book was one of those late '60s books that became a mediocre movie in the early '70s.  It was and is a long way from a timeless classic.  The offending piece of the novel that got it banned to protect our child-like minds was that at one point one of three housemates, a paraplegic, touches the breast of another of the housemates, the acid-scarred Junie Moon.  That was it.  The book for some reason briefly caught a few people's attention. My parents thought the whole thing was rather dumb. I remember little else about it except that it was forbidden fruit.

Banning books is a bizarre act.  I remember the student who didn't want to read 1984 and convinced her parental unit that the book was inappropriate.  The parent did the smart thing and rather than trying to get the book banned asked for an alternative.  As was my policy, I complied with the request.  The irony of this was that just a year or so later, the student wrote a thesis paper on the book for an advanced placement class.  I think what happened was she discovered that her friends were shocked and amazed by the book and she ended up reading it anyways.

Then there was the principal who was concerned about a number of complaints administration had received about Faerie Tale by Raymond Feist.  In the years I taught the book, which did have a strong sensual scene, I never once had trouble with a book because I always prepared the way for the book and made it clear that the book with its ties to Midsummers Night's Dream was worth the read as both modern fantasy and dark fantasy. It also was frequently a class favorite.  I hadn't taught the class for years at that point, although I chose it for the original curriculum.  It did remain as an occasional alternative, but as a class book it was dropped. Not so much banned as not battled for.

I also recall the Sunday school teacher who announced how  The Lion King was terrible and awful for children because it had talking animals and the son who sees his father in the heavens.  It never occurred to her what an excellent teaching tool this would be for teaching something like -- oh, I don't know, some other guy and his dad.  She also was blissfully unaware that The Lion King was inspired by the horribly immoral play Hamlet.

Okay, so now you know the secret.  If you need your kid to read Scarlett Letter just tell them they can't.
So here's a couple of book lists: 100 most challenged and banned books in the past decade.
100 most challenged and banned books from the '90's.
and finally a list of Classics that have been challenged and why.

Please take a time and enjoy being a rebel.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Dear Me

Dear folks who are writing letters to your younger selves,

Stop.  Just stop.  It is trite, self-indulgent, and pointless. It has nothing to do with accepting who are.  If you're writing about how it will get better, then it is pointless.  Even if you could even contact your younger self, the letter would irrevocably alter the perception of what is to come and thus change where you are now.  If you are writing to warn that your younger self shouldn't do this or apologize for you own stupidity, then you already know what you need to do and stop indulging in self-pity, get off your duff and do something about it. By placing the blame in your past, you have officially denied responsibility in the present.

Look.  You cannot time travel.  You made choices.  Some are good, and some are bad. Things that have happened cannot be undone.  Writing to your self is the worst form of self aggrandizement, especially if you are a celebrity.  If you must, write a "tell all" autobiography or even a "tell some" autobiography.  Since, however, you cannot contact your younger self, that means you are writing for what? Who? Me? I am not interested in your self-postulating and inner search, even if you hired a really good writer to polish your tripe.

If you are trying to find yourself, I have a suggestion. Look at the spot where you last left yourself and get over it.  Time to move on and quit wallowing in your own ego and inability to come up with something creative.  Dear younger self: it may or may not get better. Expect ups and downs.  If bad stuff happens, get over it and move on.  If some good stuff happens, count yourself lucky and move on.



*And yes given what I just wrote, I realize the irony of using a banner from a site dedicated to these trite and silly letters.

Friday, September 20, 2013

A Little Less Syria-ous

It's still scary out there.

When the threats began to attack Syria, I was worried.  I was worried that we would go to war.  I was worried that the Syrian government would continue to kill more children.  I was worried that the President wouldn't go Congress.  I was worried that he would fail when he did.  I was worried that he would succeed.  And then it all changed...

The threat of attack from the strongest military nation seemed to have some effect or maybe it didn't. Before Congress could vote and because Obama refused to say if voted down on taking military action that it would or would not stop him from striking and a supposed off-hand comment by Secretary of State John Kerry also seemed to have an effect.  I don't know what happened but a combination of events that may or may not have been orchestrated caused a change.

Following Kerry's remark suddenly President of Russia Putin announced that Syria may be amenable to turning over their chemical weapons to Russia or maybe the UN.  Suddenly Syria who had denied it had WMDs announced they had them.  They still said they hadn't used them, and Putin tried to tell the world that the rebels or terrorists as he called them had used some they stole to blame al-Assad. But the point is suddenly we weren't going to strike, and we were at the negotiation table.  Syria was suddenly a signatory of the chemical weapons treaty.  The only ones really left out in the cold were the Syrian rebels.  Putin even started to get some credit...but wait...there is something just a little fishy in the way the politics played.

The vast majority of Americans didn't want to go to war.  But a few of the Republicans like Lindsey Graham and John McCain actually seemed disappointed that we weren't going to strike.  Others grumbled that the President had made us look weak.  Really? You cannot announce we shouldn't attack and then complain we are weak when we don't.  You don't get to complain that the POTUS isn't going to Congress and then complain when he does.  The fact is that this is a demonstration that certain political folk oppose whatever Obama is for no matter how foolish it makes them and their group look.  To quote Kerry, "This isn't a game." Get real.

Then Putin wrote his open letter which was carefully placed by a New York promotional company in the New York Times.  In it he announces our intelligence is  wrong and goes on to berate our nation's tendency to use force and then attacks the idea of American exceptionalism announced by Obama even though Obama didn't use the term in his speech.  We also now know from UN inspectors that 1. Weapons grade chemical gas was used on the people and 2. it was delivered by Russian-made missiles that only al-Assad and his government have access to.  Russia has denounced the report as inaccurate. Hmmmmmm. I don't suppose Russia's interest in all this could be that if al-Assad falls they lose their only ally in the Middle East and access to the oil there and loss of all the weapons they've "sold" to the Syrian regime.  No, that couldn't be it. But Kerry also made the statement using the famous quote of  you are "entitled to [your] own opinion, but not [your] own facts."

But then there was this response to Putin's open letter.  The hate machine of Limbaugh
and others announced that they were unsure about Putin's claims on the attack. They don't trust Obama or Kerry, "Now, you know, Vladimir Putin is saying that Obama and Kerry are lying. And I don't know about you, but I find myself to be in a really curious situation. Who do I believe, Vladimir Putin or Barack Obama and John Kerry?" said Limbaugh following the letter's publication. This was followed by Ralph Peters on Fox News announcing, "I don't like Putin, but I respect that guy. He is tough. He delivers what he says he'll deliver. He knows his people. He presents himself as a real He-Man....But he lives up to it! Our president talks tough, but in the clinch he's gutless." Some have even endorsed the president of Russia as "leader of the free world" (this was actually tweeted by Matt Drudge). I even had a friend post a link to the letter announcing that Putin makes a lot of sense.

Really? You are going to trust the guy who wants to put people in jail for public displays of things like the rainbow flag and even rainbow suspenders, runs around shirtless like he's some kind of he-man, is about as dictatorial as it comes in his own country, has blocked any chance for reform in Syria in the UN, and was once the head of the KGB over the elected President of the United States?  Does anyone remember the meeting that British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain had with Adolf Hitler? He took Hitler's word that Germany was not going to invade past the Sudetenland.  He was conservative too, btw.  I think I will choose the side of a president over the ally of the country who attacked its own people with serin gas.

Don't get me wrong.  What is happening in Syria is a scary thing.  It needs to be solved and hopefully without violence.  I am just thinking that if folks want to play politics, this is one topic we need to be serious about. We

I will give Obama one thing even if he stumbled into a peaceful resolution.  Republicans were prepared to vote against a war.   It united the country against taking aggressive actions or being the "police for the world."  It caused great reflection by UN.  Syria has WMDs.  Putin is at least talking to us. And rather despite what some have stated, willingness to negotiate, bring a peaceful resolution, and possibly getting rid of a mad man's WMD does not make us look weak.  It makes us look like a leader. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Where Did They Go?

Recalls were held a little while back for two of Colorado's state senators.  The recalls were successful.  The state constitution was more or less used exactly as it was intended and so two senators who were a part of the gun laws that were passed in Colorado were recalled.  It is not the use of the recall which I wish to write about.  The people voted in those two districts, and they have spoken with their vote. The only part of the election I would question was that this recall was the first election in many years that was not allowed to have the mail-in ballots, but from the petition signatures to the election, it is state constitutional and it put Colorado on the national stage for two reasons: we recalled two state senators, a rare event and the NRA made sure it would happen.

What I want to write about is the aftermath of the recalls.  No not the election of two Republican senators who won in an off, off year election and who, if they play extreme politics, may find themselves replaced in the next regular election by the rest of the voting public.  They need to remember that while elected during the no mail-in-ballots recall by less than 11 per cent of the electorate, they may have a tougher row to hoe when the rest of the regular election voters show up in an election that has the mail-in ballots. Sorry, Republican friends, the small turn out that occurs in an off, off year election means very little in political terms.  It was not some Republican resurrection, but what typically happens in a special election. Those most passionately involved turn out.  The rest, no so much.

I am barely going to mention that with the two new Republican senators in the Colorado Congress that nothing changes.  Nothing.  No change in the control of the two houses. No change in the current agenda. No change in the gun control laws that the two were recalled for.  I am not going to even spend too much time on the courage of these two senators, coming from where they do, on voting their conscience and taking a stand.  A rare thing these days to find in a politician.

I am not going to spend that much time on the fact that the only thing the NRA accomplished was not changing the laws or many attitudes.  No what they accomplished was a small wave of fear among more weak kneed politicians in other states who might be considering terrible things like limiting clip sizes and requiring back ground checks, which by the way in Colorado have already stopped ten people with criminal backgrounds from buying guns since the closing of the gun show and private sales loophole.  I am going to barely point out that the NRA used Colorado as a testing ground.  As Jon Caldara of the far right put it  “If the president of the Senate of Colorado, who did nothing except pass the laws that Bloomberg wrote, gets knocked out, there will be a shudder, a wave of fear that runs across every state legislator across the country, that says, ‘I ain’t doing that ever. That is not happening to me. I will not become a national embarrassment, I will not take on those guys.’ That’s how big this is.” There will virtually no time spent on the fact that the recall originally included five senators and that one was a non-starter and two others could not garner enough signatures for the recall movement.

No.  What I want to write about and what I wonder about is what happened to my friends?  I grew up hunting with these guys.  We took hunter's safety together, back in the day when the NRA's  was not the gun lobby but actually making guns and their users safer.  I cannot imagine them supporting making sure that we don't do background checks so that criminals can get guns.  I cannot imagine one of them thinking that a clip holding more fifteen rounds as being in any way sporting.  I still remember putting the plug in my shotgun to limit the number of shells it held because limiting the number of rounds while hunting certain game was a law which we obeyed.  No one sat around complaining that it was unconstitutional to limit the rounds when we went out to shoot geese.  We were sportsmen. There was no talk of how the government was going to come get our guns, and we would fight them.  Nope that didn't happen until so called gun organizations started sending out mailers and the articles became steadily more driven by playing on fears and paranoia.  What happened to those guys whom I hung out with? What happened to those levelheaded friends who believed in protecting and sportsmanship and  not guns for the sake of guns?

And yet, after the elections were called, friends were on the social sites like Facebook announcing that two were down, and the governor was next.  They called the governor names.  I know they were taught respect even if we disagree with someone.  I am sure they even taught it to their children.  They announced how they were going to take the state back, as if someone who is not Republican has no claim to any belief outside conservative circles? I am an independent.  I was born in Colorado.  My parents were born here too. I don't think of myself as particularly conservative or liberal.   I think my voice counts.  But there it was that "liberals need to watch out."  The far right fears the background check because it will lead to a national database of who owns what guns.  There is such a database.  It is owned by the NRA,and it is not just a listing of members, but a list that tracks gun salebuyers, sporting magazine subscribers, and purchasers of tickets to sporting and gun shows of nonmembers as well. The NRA attempted to keep it a secret.

Where did these honest men go? The ones who thought conspiracies were stupid and for the weak minded. What happened to the ones who believed in the vote of the people and the majority voice was the way it was? When did they decide that if people didn't vote what they believed, they should call them names, threaten to start their own state, and call anyone else who disagrees a name and then collect their toys and go home?  Where did the level heads go who would have never fallen for the propaganda of either left or right?  What happened when we used aplaud that rare politician who took the risk and voted his or her conscience?  How did they become the bad guys?  I miss those guys that held justice and democracy dear and would defend even voices they disagreed with. I miss the guys who measured their beliefs on their honor and clearheaded thought. They knew that nothing they owned made them who they were.  A gun does not make a man.  Being a Republican or a Democrat does not make the man.  A man...a person is made by the life they live and the example they set. What example are they setting now?

I am tired of paranoia and wing-nut knee jerk reactions.  When did we become so paranoid and hateful? We need to take our country back, not go backwards to a time that never existed.  I miss those guys I grew up with.  I miss those old hard nosed ranchers and farmers who gave us an understanding of what it means to live with honor and decency.

I miss those guys.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Vin Riddick

I hold in my heart a special place for bad movies.  I hate to admit, I kinda like Vin Diesel's Riddick movies. They are a guilty pleasure.  The problem seems to be what to call them.  This movie, simply called Riddick, has also been called Riddick 3, but the problem is there wasn't really a Riddick 2 or Riddick 1.  There was The Chronicles of Riddick, which was the second movie in the franchise, and really has nothing to do with the first movie. The first was Pitch Black.  Pitch Black was, I think most will agree, the best of the three movies, which is not actually saying much. So what do I say about Riddick?

It is a Vin Diesel movie.  If you go in expecting something new, startling, well acted, and an amazing science fiction film, you are going to be disappointed.  It is an action based, barely plotted, not particularly well acted, movie with some moments of nudity, somewhat cartoonish (in an anime sort of way) and gruesome effects, swearing and an interior monologue/narration that really doesn't work all that well along with a special effects dog that more or less steals the show. Its characters are stock and two dimensional. It is as predictable as a Dirty Harry movie.

In other words, it is an action, Vin Diesel, testosterone driven thrill ride.  It is better than the second movie, which it gives a nod to but not as startling or as tense as Pitch Black which it also gives a nod to.  I like that it doesn't pretend Chronicles didn't happen, although I have to admit, I would have liked to seen more of Karl Urban in the fil, although certainly the beginning and end of the movie set up fourth movie.  You have to also appreciate anyone that willingly spends that amount of time wearing mirrored contacts.  It has to become annoying if not down right uncomfortable.

The movie is filled with writhing, slimy, drooling, poisonous monsters that are exactly what you would expect for any movie that has been made after Alien.  It is over-the-top with Vin Diesel as the likeable murderer who is an unstoppable killing machine.  It won't win awards for acting, writing or even effects, but it is still fun if you have a soft spot in your head heart for such movies.  I do.

I will probably buy the DVD.

Friday, September 13, 2013

A Nerd Journey Part 3: Nerd Prom

Before we had purchased tickets to Denver Comic Con, I had asked my wife a simple question: Do you suppose we can afford for me to go to Comic Con International in San Diego.  My friend and comic book guide and I had discussed this possibility a year or so before.  To my surprise, delight, and a whole bunch of other nouns of thrilled descriptions, she said yes.  I called my son and asked him if he wanted to go.  He too said, yes.  And there we were, barring inability to get tickets, I, along with my son and my friend and his son, was going to the Mecca of nerdom, San Diego International Comic Con (SDCC).  I had no clue what we were getting into.

SDCC is also called Nerd Prom and for good reason.  It is one evening and four days of all things science fiction, fantasy, and game play.  It draws over 160 thousand nerds and bring in $163 million to the local economy.  This means that despite the tremendous pain having that many people gathered in one place for one of the odder events, San Diego does it shiny best to make everyone welcome.  Restaurants change their entire decor for the event.  Streets are closed and movie and television production companies set up massive attractions for their upcoming films.  Movie and TV stars show up to do Panels, or in other words promotions for their upcoming films.  Just to mention a few of the upcoming and current films and television shows with promotional booths  that were at this year's was Ender's Game, Game of Thrones, Catching Fire, Dracula, The Blacklist, Revolution,  and The Wolverine. I am getting ahead of myself.

One of the first issues was to get tickets.  I was fortunate that my  friend who does audiobooks  and writes for an online sci-fi magazine was able to purchase professional passes.  That means he could get three passes which covered him, his son and me, and so all we needed was a pass for my son. He did this by putting on every computer he could find on the ticket site.  SDCC sold out in just over 90 minutes this year.  We were lucky. One computer got through, and he got his pass. In advance of the passes coming through, we also booked our flights and rooms early figuring if passes didn't come through, we would cancel.  Once tickets go on sale, rooms are sparse in the entire area.  Rooms at the hotels near the conference center downtown go into a booking pot which means that you cannot book rooms downtown early for SDCC.  You have to take chances in the mad rush for luck of the draw, basically.  All the rooms downtown were gone in about ten minutes once they became available.   My friend found rooms on the island of Coronado. We got the last rooms available there despite booking very early. This gave us a beautiful location, but it also gave us the cost of going by taxi or ferry to the conference most days.

The big day arrived.  We were getting into the preview night on Wednesday night one of the more difficult nights to get at SDCC.  We would arrive in plenty of time to get to our hotel, check in, figure out how to get to the convention center, get our passes and then go see the preview of new television series. At least that is what we thought.  We flew into San Diego after a brief stop in Vegas where we attempted to buy lunch. The staff at the restaurant tried valiantly to get our order right.  They failed.  Still, we arrived in San Diego fed, just not with what we ordered, and decided to go take one of the air port shuttles to our hotel.  The van, carrying us also took others to other hotels.  It was a ride, to say the least, that became an adventure.  My friend described how two years before he and his son had stayed at a different hotel that was in a less than stellar neighborhood and how they also enjoyed being in the flight path of landing jets at the airport.  As he finished his story about the bad hotel, the shuttle stopped and my friend's son announced that in fact this was the hotel. Two people left the van to get, no doubt, glumly their hotel room after having heard what a horrid place it was.  My son and I burst out laughing.  Our driver had decided to end his life, or at least seemed to have a death wish.  Barely avoiding running into several vehicles and running over pedestrians, we, the last passengers in the shuttle arrived at the hotel, shaken like a Bond martini.  We checked into our rooms and made our way to the bus stop across from the hotel that we hoped would take us either downtown or the ferry.  We were wrong.

I have no sense of direction, and since I had no idea where downtown San Diego was, I was at a distinct disadvantage.  My friend had not made the trek before either.  We chose the right bus going the wrong direction.  After riding for quite a while looking at the lovely beaches and military installations, one passenger, over-hearing our pondering if we were in fact going the wrong direction, informed us that we were.  While the bus we were on would eventually turn around and go back to downtown San Diego, it would first continue its route and make a final stop near the border at Tijuana.  We decided that we didn't want to go to Mexico and so got off at the next stop.  We found a restaurant where we could get change for busfare so we could take a bus going the other way.  The young lady was kind and made the change telling us that they really did have good food and that we should come back. We crossed the highway, awaited a bus going the other way and then rode the 30 to 45 minutes or so back downtown.  We would be too late to get into the previews, by the time we got our badges.  Still they were previews as my friend would point out that we would see when the shows came on in the fall anyway.  So we went instead to the exhibitor's room.

The San Diego Convention center is 615,700 square feet.  To give you and idea of the size, the Colorado Convention Center in Denver is 584,000 square feet.  Still the size of the San Diego Convention Center has had some controversy of late as to whether it is big enough for the International Comic Con which now not only covers the convention center, but most of the hotel's meeting spaces, downtown open spaces, and the entire district known as the Gaslight District across from the Convention Center.  Not bad for a convention that in 1970 had 145 attendees.  Since 2005 SDCC has had over 100,000 people in attendance with this year's being a record.  So to say that the exhibitor's area is massive is an understatement.  Every major studio, book publisher, comic book publisher, tee shirt manufacturer, toy manufacturer, ornament manufacturer, steam punk group, graphic art studio, anime, comic artist, and a host of other vendors and exhibitors occupy the space.  One does not simply walk through the space.  You shuffle, you get bumped, you do your best to see all that you can see and for the next four days, after that first night, it is exactly what we did.  It Was Awesome!

Next: The Real Con

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Logic: A Meme by Request.


Okay so you don't get the idea of logical argument?  False premise 1: Abortion was not done long before Roe v. Wade.  False premise 2: All unwanted pregnancies currently end in abortion.  False premise 3: Jobs invented at the least Apple and at most the modern computer age. 

Steve Jobs was not the sole founder of Apple BTW. The meme makes the assumption that without Jobs there would be no Apple jobs. 

There was this guy: Steve Wozniak was actually the mechanical and programming wizard who designed and programmed the first Apple.  
And in case you don't believe me, here is a picture of The Woz with Steve Jobs.

There is also this guy. His name is Ronald Wayne, and he was a co-founder of Apple with Jobs and Woz.  He left after 12 days essentially throwing away the golden ticket. He set up the original business model that would become Apple.

There is of course this guy so I suppose if Jobs hadn't been born we might all be still trying to deal with Windows Millenium.  Of course, he might have come up with some thing else like a whole different operating system.

Or maybe this guy would found a new computer system. His name is Larry Page and along with Sergey Brin created a company called Google.  Their company makes Android. So I guess he sorta did make a whole different operating system.

Oh and the IPod was not invented by Steve Jobs.  The original idea was conceived by Tony Fadell, although according to Steve Jobs it was inspired by Star Trek as was the first flip phones.

So maybe without this guy none of it would have happened. His name is Gene Roddenberry, and he created Star Trek.

Of Course without this guy, Jobs, Woz and the rest would be pointless.  His name is Konrad Zuse.  He is the inventor of the modern computer.

And they would've all failed without him.  He is Thomas Alva Edison.
So if you want to play "what if" you make a huge presumption that someone else would not have come up with something.  SinceJobs was adopted, what if he was adopted by a different family or if he and his sister had been adopted together.  By the way, he was put up because his mother was at first not allowed to marry a Syrian Muslim, Abdulfattah Jandali, who she did eventually marry.  

We can also play "what if" with this.

What if this guy had never been born?
Mark Zuckerberg
How would you deliver your illogical and lack of thought memes?  I guess we would have to go back to MySpace which was founded by these guys: 
Chris DeWolfe and Tom Anderson
What if abortion had been legal and this guy's parents didn't want him?

How would the world be different?

Dumb game, huh? Dumb meme, too.