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Friday, April 30, 2004

My iBook has iDied

Well, I haven't updated in the last couple of days because I've had MORE troubles with my iBook. Now, this time, it's not the logic/mother board problem. This time, it's the hard drive that's crapped out on me. It won't let me save anything and after a time, won't let me do anything else. I tied unistalling any third party apps that might have screwed something up, but that didn't help. Then, I did what is called "refreshing the OS." This means that I reinstall the OS again in an attempt to replace any corrupt or just screwed up files. This didn't work, either. Then I backed up everything I needed to (but still managed to forget a few things) and wiped the hard drive clean. Then, I reinstalled OSX and everything seemed to be fine. I was installing updates when suddenly I noticed that I couldn't save once again.

So, now I'm about to head out to the Apple store to take advantage of what I call the "Third Time's the Charm Swap Out Deal" where they actually replace your crappy machine with a new one. The catch is that I am going to demand an upgrade to a PowerBook. I'll be reasonable and offer to pay for the difference in price, but I DO NOT WANT ANOTHER iBOOK!

Why would I trust them again after I've had one fail on me three times in two different ways? I love the Mac OS, but their hardware, is starting to make me wonder. It would seem stupid to try again with the same model, don't you think? Sure, they've upgraded it since I bought mine, but still... I'm feeling pretty damn burned as it is right now.

Watch this space to find out how it goes!

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Terrorists Target MY Mall???

Wow, and here I thought Los Angeles was too stupid and frivolous a town to get targetted by terrorists. This is from an AP article at DailyNews.Com:

U.S. warning LAPD about potential threat

By Mason Stockstill
Associated Press

Federal officials have warned the LAPD about an unspecified potential threat to a Los Angeles area mall and said an attack may have been planned for today.

"As of now, the information is uncorroborated and the credibility of the source is unknown," the Police Department said in a statement.

No specific shopping mall was named, but the warning indicated a mall near the Federal Building in West Los Angeles could be targeted.
There is only one mall in the general vicinity of the Federal building in West LA - that's MY mall. The one I go to. I shop for various stuff there, toys at KayBee, anime stuff at Power Anime, DVDs at Suncoast. I enjoy visiting the food court and partaking in orange chicken at Panda Express and have a hard time passing by the Hot Dog on a Stick without getting one. I've seen a few movies at the theater there, including Takashi Miike's Audition.

The point is, that's MY MALL.

All I've got to say to any terrorist scum bags who wanna mess with my #1 shopping destination is:

BRING IT ON!

Also found this from a Reuter's article at the MyWay News website:
A police statement said: "Recently, federal officials received an unsubstantiated potential threat, which indicated an attack would take place at a shopping mall in the general vicinity of the Federal Building in the West Los Angeles area. No specific mall was named. The information indicated the attack would occur on April 29, 2004."
Hey, that's TODAY... I think I just might go shopping today... All right, Mr. Albert Qaeda, if that IS your real name, I'm going to go to my mall today and see if you've got the guts to take us on! We're CAPITALISTS dammit and we're not going to take your explosives lying down!


...explosives? I hadn't thought about that... yeesh... I don't own a gun, so... I mean, would they really blow up a mall? Hm... let me think about this... I'm armed with nothing other than a credit card and a few dollars... no, I couldn't buy them off... hm... WAIT, I've got my Swiss Army knife! No... that can't stop an explosion... uhhh...

You know, I don't really have anything to shop for, now that I think about it...

And I am really busy today. Got plenty of work to do, but what ELSE is new, you know what I mean? I am BUSY!! And I mean BUSY, with a capital "B"!!

Heheh...


Read the AP article covering this story at DailyNews.com.

Read the Reuter's article covering this story at MyWay News.

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Pictures of USMil Being Dickweeds to Locals in Iraq

From CBSNews.com:
60 Minutes II has a dozen of these pictures, and there are many more – pictures that show Americans, men and women in military uniforms, posing with naked Iraqi prisoners.

There are shots of the prisoners stacked in a pyramid, one with a slur written on his skin in English.

In some, the male prisoners are positioned to simulate sex with each other. And in most of the pictures, the Americans are laughing, posing, pointing, or giving the camera a thumbs-up.
To be fair, we don't know if the Iraqis did anything to deserve this treatment... but you've got to wonder what the hell's going on in their heads over there. You really can't do stuff like this to human beings unless you really think they are less than human beings.

No human has a right to inflict his or her own will on another person unless it's done in the interest of justice in a legal sense. What American law punishes a law breaker with forcing him to simulate sex with another?

The CBSNews.com article the above quote comes from did not include the controvertial pics. But rest assured, when they do, I'll either post them or at the very least link to them.

Just a Quick Update...

I've been very busy, as usual, but wanted to mention that I have been keeping up with TheKey. At least some amount of work on at least one of the books has been done every day this year. Well, there was one day where I didn't, but it was only because I completely forgot to do it. I didn't wuss out and just not, I was swamped that day and was dealing with a bunch of other things. That was back in February, I think... anyway, I've been keeping up since then, so that's good. I have one last polish to do on Book 1 and then I'll get it proofread. SO CLOSE!!!

More soon! :satisfied:

Monday, April 26, 2004

RICE COMPLAINS ABOUT THE OLD MAN

This is from the Sydney Morning Herald Website:
Washington: There is a buzz over a comment the US National Security Adviser, Condoleezza Rice, made at an apparently off-the-record Washington power dinner with the publisher of the The New York Times, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger jnr, and other Times people at the home of the newspaper's Washington bureau chief, Philip Taubman.

According to an account in New York magazine, Dr Rice said at one point: "As I was telling my husb . . .". then stopped and said: "As I was telling President Bush . . ." Eyebrows jumped; jaws dropped. There was a slight pause in the chatter. While the first phrase was correctly reported, there is a possibility the second one did not immediately follow. In which case, it is not at all clear whom or what Dr Rice, who is single, may have been talking about. Meanwhile, Mr Taubman is said to be put out by the publicity and told everyone to clam up.
Ups!! Ah, the inner relationships of the White House...

And people thought Clinton was bad. At least he wasn't shtupping a cabinet member! :laugh:

Swamped with Work of All Kinds...

Well, I'm just swamped. Dayjob work, book editing, news reading, and life-living sneaking in there, too. There is SO much to read about these days. It's almost impossible to keep up with every thing I'm trying to follow. Too many blogs, too many news sources, just too, too many. Actually had to turn away from an debate on a newsgroup regarding the nature of humankind. I HATE when I have to do that!!

Anyway, I need to get something to drink and then get down to work. It's damn hot in LA today, as it has been, and I don't like to go anywhere without drinking plenty of water before and after I get there.

More soon!

Sunday, April 25, 2004

SIEGE ON FALLUJAH PART 2: THE RECKONING (LITERALLY)

A few weeks ago, four Americans were killed and their bodies mutilated by a handful of locals in a small city 35 miles from Baghdad called Fallujah. You may have heard of it. The USMil and the USGov is currently trying to negotiate with "insurgents" that won't disarm there.

The common definition of "insurgent" is someone who rebels against an established authority or government.

Princeton's WordNet adds the idea that this rebellion is "in the hope of improving conditions."

Let's review for a moment - how did conditions get so bad in Fallujah, again? Oh yes, they killed and mutilated four Americans. But let's get more specific, here. These were not just four Americans, like the kind you'd see walking down the street in Small Town, USA. Were they USMil? No, they weren't US soldiers, either. The American Press refers to them as "American Contractors." So, they were Halliburton employees? Nope. Bechtel? No. Well, who the hell did they work for? They worked for a company called Blackwater Security Consulting. Security? Yes. The USMil has hired security consultants??

They have and you should remember what "security" means in the US - it means rent-a-cops. It means men who weren't qualified to be real police officers get to carry guns and feel important. The difference is when you do it abroad and work for a government, you're not a security guard, you're a mercenary.

Is that what these four men were?

Yes.

In fact, it's even likely that they weren't even American, themselves. If you read press from countries other than America and frequent the many newsblogs that are popping up around the world, you'll learn about how mercenaries come from all over the world. Most notably several who fought under war criminal Augusto Pinochet (the CIA supported Chilean dictator) were used to guard the Baghdad airport. Then there is the reportedly large contingent of mercenaries from South Africa. Those are the guys who were hired to mess with blacks during Apartheid. Both of these types of guys know all about human rights - and how to ignore them.

These are men who amount to professional killers.

Their job is not to deliver freedom and democracy to foreign lands.

It's to kill people who threaten the things they are supposed to guard.

Back in Fallujah, a handful of locals decided to do something about four of these "American Contractors." Somehow, the "contractors" ended up shot and trapped in a burning SUV. As they died, the handful of locals (and by that I mean 10-15 - that's how many were in the photos I saw) danced and cheered around the SUV hitting it with sticks and shovels and anything else they could find. Once the fire died down, these locals, who looked to range in age from their mid-teens to mid-twenties, mutilated the bodies and hung them from a bridge.

Savage? It sure seems that way.

But think about the facts for a moment.

The only facts we know for sure are that these men were mercenaries working for an invading power. We don't know specifically what inspired the handful of young men to lash out at the mercenaries. And mind you, those men were not holding their machine guns over their heads in celebration. These were not mujahadin (freedom fighters), at least not as far as I could tell by the pictures. They looked like regular people, to me.

But then, the USMil decided they couldn't just let this go. It became a quest for revenge for the USMil. They would have to disarm the insurgents in Fallujah at all costs, officially, but in reality, what they wanted to do was much worse.

The USMil's intent was (and still is) to bring the city of Fallujah and her people to their knees because of what these 10-15 kids did.

From what I've read, Fallujah is like a small American city, like Newark or St. Louis.

Would you invade the city of St. Louis, because of what 10-15 or it's citizens did?

It doesn't matter what you would do - the USMil decided it was worth it. So, they blocked off the city. No one could get in or out. They claimed that women and children could leave, but that wasn't always the case. They blocked off the bridge that led to the hospital, declared a curfew and demanded the locals hand over all of their arms.

Wouldn't gun-rights advocates in the US have a problem with this concept? If they all give up their weapons, it means they won't be able to defend themselves against insurgents.

Isn't it a God-given right to bear arms?

What's worse is that the persuasion to get the locals to give up their arms amounted to a terrorist attack. US Marine snipers were placed on rooftops and USMil patrols "kept the peace" on the streets. Oh yeah, and men, women and children were shot dead, armed or not.

I read one account of an unarmed 55 year old man who simply took one step outside of his home and was shot in the back. The same account recounted how an ambulance had been fired upon by USMil while it transported wounded to a makeshift hospital, since the actual hospital had been cut off by the USMil.

So, it wasn't enough for the USMil that they cut off the hospital - the wounded that they shot weren't to get treatment by anyone and if anyone tried to help the wounded, they would be shot at by the USMil.

Couldn't it have been the mujahadin that fired at the ambulances? Sure, if that made any sense at all. Why wouldn't they want to murder their neighbors? Also, when English speaking relief workers from the west called out to snipers to ask if they could be allowed to pull the bodies of the dead and wounded out of the area, the response was in English.

Remember, "mujahadin" means something completely different from what it meant in Afghanistan. In Afghanistan, mujahadin were train by Americans to fight the Soviets off their land.

In Iraq, the mujahadin are trying to fight the Americans off of their land and they're not trained at all. In most cases mujahadin are simply people doing what they categorize as defending their city, defending their homes, and defending those people that are dear to them.

But the USMil wants revenge for the horrible deaths of those horrible people.

As it stands as of this writing, the USMil is not happy with the limited success of so-called "civil leaders" in Fallujah to get the so-called "insurgents" to give up their arms. The weapons that have been turned over thus far have been rusted, old, and even non-functioning guns the USMil are convinced are just the tip of the insurgent armament iceberg.

If the American Military invaded your city, would you want to give up your arms?

TIP TO ANY IRAQI'S WHO MAY BE READING THIS:

REMEMBER THE NATIVE AMERICAN INDIANS WHO SAID: DON'T TRUST THE WHITE MAN.

He will break every promise he makes to you.


At this point the USMil has said there will be no more fighting there. But George W. Bush said something similar about Iraq as a whole last May. So, really, it's a countdown. We wait for the USMil to decide to attack the city again. This time with less mercy and less temperance.

As if there was much of either shown in the first place.

So, my stomach and my heart clenches as I think of all of the innocent Iraqi lives that are about to be taken by American bullets.

My stomach and my heart clenches as I think of how powerless I am to stop it.

UPDATE 4/26/4: Well, yesterday the USMil, with the "help" of the White House did declare a cease-fire. But, today, fighting erupted anyway. The BBC News website is saying that locals attacked the USMil, which certainly could be the case. The two bloggers I was following in Fallujah have both left that city. It sounds like they got out just in time. According to Raed, Najaf may be the bigger flash-point, anyway. Still, people are dying in Fallujah.

Saturday, April 24, 2004

Who Should Be Covering Whom?

So, I'm sitting here at my favorite Boba House and it's just after midnight on a random Friday night. I see two Muslim couples enter, order drinks and sit down. I know they're Muslim because the women are wearing those head scarves and very loose-fitting clothes. They have truly beautiful faces but the men they are with are frumpy, balding men.

My question is, why make THE WOMEN hide their bodies? They seem quite beautiful from what I can tell. But the men? Sheesh... cover those bellies and those bald spots, dudes! Nobody wants to see that crap!

Actually, I dated a very liberal Muslim woman once and let me tell you, she was HOT. I don't understand why anyone would want to hide such beauty in the name of Allah (PBUH) or any other god.

One woman just got up for a moment - she's literally wearing a floor-length trench coat with no belt. She might as well be wearing a garment bag.

Friday, April 23, 2004

What's Wrong with the Caskets?

Exactly.



Wow, "Soap" was a good show...

Ahhh, just thought I'd toss on an episode of that classic sitcom from the late 70s/early 80s, "Soap".

WHAT a great show! Part way through just one episode and I'm tearing up as Jessica awaits sentencing in her murder trial and hissing when Jody is dumb enough to move in with that slut and worried that Burt's son will get killed if he runs and doesn't marry the daughter of the man who forced Burt to kill his own son's real dad.

Confused? You won't be after the next episode of...

SOAP.


God, it's a good show.

I think I figured out why it hits me so hard after just watching a single 24 minute ep - all of the characters are dealing with major events in their lives and everyone around them really cares about the events in each other's lives. In real life, no one cares (I mean, REALLY) cares about each other because we're all living borning lives. Sure, we're all nice to one another and congratulate each other on our little successes, but nothing BIG happens and even when it does, it's more or less written off by most folks. I published a script not too long ago. Did my parents make a big stink? Nope. Honestly, the biggest reaction I got was from a writer acquaintance of mine that I only know because he and I hang out at the same boba house a lot. He smiled and cheered and shook my hand. That's more than I got from anyone else.

I try to tell people about these major things going on in the world. About US Marine snipers shooting at unarmed men, women and children in Iraq, but people just sort of shrug it off. There's no sign of Osama or WMD and some how America still would vote for Bush in November.

America *barely* voted for Bush in 2000!

I think this whole country needs some Soap!

FOG OF WAR

Entertaining? YES.
Technically any good? This is a documentary that essentially boils down to one big interview with former Secretary of Defense. Despite that, it's amazingly interesting and well cut. Cutting to stock footage from WWII, the Cuban Missile Crisis and Vietnam (as well as news footage of McNamara, himself) places all of his anecdotes at specific points in history so we can easily understand what he's talking about.
How did I feel as the credits rolled? Depressed about the realities of the US abroad over the last 100 years, but completely satisfied in this Oscar winning documentary. I highly recommend this one. Rent it or buy it when it hits DVD on May 11, 2004!
Final Rating? GSN (Every American needs to see this documentary to understand what America has done wrong in the past.)

PUNISHER (2004)

The PunisherEntertaining? Yes, but only in it's campiness.
Technically any good? Not really, the bad guys weren't that bad and the hero wasn't that interesting or tragic. Everyone was painted with a very broad brush that didn't allow us to feel anything for anyone. There was one really smart, interesting scene in the middle that surprised me. If only the rest of the film were as clever.
How did I feel as the credits rolled? I hope there's no sequel. Finally a movie that is bad isn't doing well in the theaters. Go figure.
Final Rating? RTV (There was that one really cool scene in the middle.)

KILL BILL VOL. 2 (2004)

Kill Bill, Volume 2Entertaining? Barely, but don't credit Quentin for that, his only wisdom is to know what other films are the best to rip of.
Technically any good? No - one good action scene and a lot of inconsistently written characters and dialogue.
How did I feel as the credits rolled? No different than I do at the end of any other film by this guy. Let down that I wasted time hoping that he would figure out how to make interesting, smart and original movies.
Final Rating? DNS (Most people will enjoy it because it's a big dumb action movie.)

Monday, April 19, 2004

Book 3 and still with Book 1 & 2... but TheKey is Coming!!

Well, despite being buried in work, I've been able to put my most important stuff first and have still managed to avoid falling behind. Man, I could really use some good old caffeine, right about now, though. I've been drinking this Boba Coffee, but the only place I can get it is this boba house I hang at all the time and I'm not there today because of low funds (and I mean low). I would just by a 6 pack of Coke or something, but I'm off the refined sugar these days and since I'm definitely better for it, there's not much I can do right this moment but drink a lot of cold water and forge ahead.

All that said, I started Book 3 of TheKey a few days ago and have been editing two entries a day, which is good. As soon as I get past my current assignment for my dayjob, I will be diving into Book 1 one last time to take care of a few character descriptions that need to be enhanced and one scene I forgot to include earlier. Book 2 just needs to be printed out and proofread. I hope my last editor will be interested in helping me with this one, too. Gotta call her and find out. Book 3 is awesome. There's so much crazy stuff going on in it and it's only getting more crazy and more dark.

Not much else to report on, if that's not enough. Gotta go edit today's two entries and then get to the dayjob stuff.

Like I said, I could really use some CAFFEINE. :crazy:

Saturday, April 17, 2004

Snapshot of a Recent Day in Falujah, Iraq

Ask yourself why is this not in the American mainstream press:
There’s no weapon in his hand. Only when we arrive, his sons come out, crying, shouting. He was unarmed, they scream. He was unarmed. He just went out the gate and they shot him. None of them have dared come out since. No one had dared come to get his body, horrified, terrified, forced to violate the traditions of treating the body immediately. They couldn’t have known we were coming so it’s inconceivable that anyone came out and retrieved a weapon but left the body.
The above is a tiny excerpt from a blogged eyewitness account of what was happening in Falujah, Iraq on April 11, 2004.

The next time you turn on the TV news and think you're getting the whole story, think again. The TV news is USELESS. Thanks to blogs written by people INSIDE Iraq, we can know the real story of Iraq. Because of bloggers INSIDE Fallujah, we can know that in Falluajah there were US Marine snipers killing unarmed men, women and children. In the account the above quote was taken from the writer is a British woman named Jo who calls herself an "English Activist in Iraq." But in this case, activism means trying to help save the wounded from dying in the streets of Falujah after they are cut down by American bullets. It also means being shot at by Americans bent on some sort of strange revenge for four mercenaries who were murdered by locals a few weeks back. Four American mercenaries dead and a town is terrorised, many of it's locals murdered in cold blood by American troops.

This has happened. American snipers murdering innocent civilians, randomly, for being out when they were told not to be - by American forces, who are still trying to get "revenge". They're a foreign occupying force and they've lost friends and allies to the locals who just want to have their country back. No American has a right to revenge in a land that is not their own.

All this has happened - American soldiers sniping at men, women and children, some armed, some not - and it wasn't on the evening news.

Thank god for blogs, is all I can say.

By the way, only men fight. Women do not. I think it's an Islam thing. I know someone who is Muslim and will ask him about this the next time I see him. Of course, I live in America, where I can still go outside any time of the day or night without anything even vaguely resembling the kind of fear those citizens of that town lived with.

One other thing that worries me (aside from the USMil sniping at innocent women and children) is that the woman who wrote that blog I quoted from hasn't updated it since April 12. I hope it's because she hasn't been witness to any more of this kind of violence and has nothing to write about. I hope it's not because she's fallen victim to some of that kind of violence.

Check out Wildfirejo's blog.

Check her post that I quoted above.

Friday, April 16, 2004

New Site Design, New Blogs for You to Visit

Okay, well, I'm getting toward a site design I think is actually nice and pleasant to look at, opposed to my last design, which I feel was cluttered and busy. I think the site is still cluttered and busy, but not as much. If anyone feels like letting me know what they think, go for it.

I also added some new links to blogs in the sidebar. If you respect my opinion in the least, PLEASE check out "Raed in the Middle," "Empire Notes," and "Memory Hole."

Raed is an Iraqi citizen living in Baghdad. He's smart, savy and funny. He's talking about the US Occupation from an Iraqi's standpoint. You know how right-wingers all talk about how most Iraqis are glad the US is there? Well, he's an Iraqi who suffered under Sadam and is now fast to point out that he's suffering under Bremer. It may be a better Iraq, but in some ways it's worse - find out the truth that the US press won't tell you, the foreign press can't tell you and the story the Arab press won't tell you in English without their spin on it. In recent days, Raed has written about the use of Depleted Uranium shells by US forces. He personally measured radiation levels around destroyed Iraqi tanks reaching from 2000% to 13000% their normal levels.

Empire Notes is written by an American called Rahul Mahajan. He's a journalist who has written books about American imperial tendencies in the world and specifically the middle east. He is currently living in Iraq, trying to get the true stories to the public. Recently he's written about US Marines in Fallujah sniping at women, children and ambulance drivers. He was an eye witness to a local woman being rushed to the hospital with a gunshot wound to the head. They told him it was from a sniper. Local freedom fighters are shooting at Americans, not their neighbors. He also posted pictures of a local ambulance that had been fired upon. Two bullet holes are visible in the windshield, right about where the driver's head would be.

The Memory Hole Blog is written by Russ Kick, the author of 50 Things You're Not Supposed to Know. He's located in America and covers loads of great obscure stories. His site is a literal library of news and resources that have narrowly escaped, well, the memory hole. Recently he's covered stories of a former FBI translator who says she translated intelligence from before 911 that essentially warned the USGov of 911. Also recently, he pointed out that the FBI has finally admitted to arresting several domestic terrorists in Texas last year. Didn't read about it in the US news? Well, I read about it at TheMemoryHole. Specifically, three white supremecists from Texas were arrested in May of 2003 when they were caught with a boatload of explosives, weapons and more. These three people are said to be just a small part of a larger group of people. The FBI has never said word one about it until recently, according to TheMemoryHoleBlog. It took them 11 months, but as Russ says, at least they got around to it eventually!

As you, I'm sure, get the inkling, these are some of the best news blogs out there. In fact, it's because of their work that I have decided to stop doing my newsblog because I was just lifting all of their topics and linking to their sources in the first place! I'll still be writing about current events in a new category called "TheBitch." It'll be an opinion category that will allow me to talk about things you should know about (much of which the above guys have already written about) but it will also allow me to be funny and opinionated and generally slam people who are responsible for the bad things I'm writing about. Which reminds me that I need to write up a position column establishing that I am a conservative liberal who calls himself an independent. I'll also mention that I am for the American Way the way it was sold to me when I was a kid - the American Way in Theory, not the American Way in Practice. The American Way in Practice is not party-specific. Both Clinton and Bush and the other Bush and Reagan before and many presidents before them treated the world like their personal plaything. The USGov controls their American Empire (i.e. the entire planet) through manipulations of the world economy, the IMF, and the WTO. This kind of corruption knows no political party, no religion and worst of all, no morals.

Man, and I'm going to be funny when talking about heavy crap like that?

It's going to only get more interesting folks! So, check out those blogs (permanently located underneath the news headlines in the sidebar) and be sure to come back here for my opinion pieces that will be slanted right down the middle!

See you soon!

Monday, April 12, 2004

Too Much News to Read, Too Much Crap to Write About!

There's a saying that is said to be an ancient curse. "May you live in interesting times."

Well, it sure seems like we're doing that, tenfold. I can't keep up with all I want to read. There's just too much to be aware of. And then most of it is stuff I want to pass on to other people. But I don't have time to do blog entires on every damn thing I read. In fact, I just read an article at CommonDreams.org about how the USMil are sniping at women and children in Fallujah. That's what this one guy, an eyewtiness to the results of said sniping, says, anyway. I mean, that's a pretty important story, isn't it? But then, there's like 8 other stories as well I think people need to know about. And I think I need to have a better understanding of these stories, too. But there's just no time. I would say that I wish I could just download all the latest news right into my head. But that would be too much like that movie, The Matrix, and I didn't like that movie.

But it sure would help us all keep up with stuff.

I've been trying to redesign my site, yet again. But all I managed to do was create a new page that looks just as cluttered as my present one, only arranged differently. So, what's the point of changing it? The categories look very cool, but there's just too much of everything else. Oh well, I guess I'll just need to take a day sometime and redo my main page... again... I'm such a tard sometimes...

My motto for thenext week, or so:

KEEP IT SIMPLE, STUPID!

Thursday, April 8, 2004

Evil Woman!

evilwoman (16k image)


Doesn't she look like she's trying to wish somebody into the cornfield?

:crazy:

Wednesday, April 7, 2004

BAYWATCH VET ALEXANDRA PAUL SEZ: REGISTER TO VOTE!

Hey, check it out, so I'm sitting in my favorite little boba house today and who should take up shop on the park bench outside the place but Baywatch's Alexandra Paul. As I type this, she's sitting out there with a sign that reads "Register to Vote." I remember her in years past hanging around on the same corner trying to get people to register. I am always happy to let her know that I am registered. The thing is, today, she had two actors visit her - both of them with SciFi pasts... :doze:

The lesser known of the two was a red-headed actor who's name escapes me. Those of you who are me remember him from the episode of the color Twilight Zone series from the 1980s where he played the obnoxious kid who's Walkman allows him to read minds while aboard an airplane when a mad bomber threatens to blow up the plane. :P

The other actor EVERYbody knows - she's Daryl Hannah and my eyes are so bad, I barely recognized her. But with my glasses on (sigh), I recognized her for sure. Good ol' Priss from Bladerunner. And there she goes again!! Wow... Westwood... who'da thunk I'd see famous people here. I mean, cripes - Hollywood's a full twenty minutes away! :laugh:

Quality Thinking from the USGov!

Got this in an email from a friend of mine:
When NASA first started sending up astronauts, they quickly discovered that ball-point pens would not work in zero gravity. To combat this problem, NASA scientists spent a decade and $12 billion developing a pen that writes in zero gravity, upside down, on almost any surface including glass and at temperatures ranging from below freezing to over 300 C.

The Russians used a pencil.

Enjoy paying your taxes--they're due again


There's just got to be a solution like this for Iraq...

I Need Something Cute

PUPPYYYY (9k image)
PUPPYYYY!!!

Monday, April 5, 2004

TheKey, TheDayjob, Editing Comics, and a Screenplay...

Wow - it's been a busy and productive week or so. I made it to the end of the 2nd draft of TheKey Book 2 - now I need to print it out and get it to my editor - if she doesn't mind working for free again. ;) In the meantime, I have to go back and do two more polishes on Book 1, which I've already begun doing. The first polish is to get all of my editor's minor notes implemented into the script. Like puncuation or grammar errors. There were some bigger notes she had, and implementing those are what the second polish will be for.

The dayjob is fine as ever. Writing for a living is fun, I just wish I was writing more creative stuff for it. When I signed on for the job of copy writer, it was really half researching/half selling products with my writing. Now, it's all research. Imagine writing a book report abotu something mundane, like pudding, and you'll have an idea of the kind of writing I do every day. It's fine and it pays, but it's monotonous as hell.

This weekend I managed to scan in a bunch of my old comics from my college days. I plan on putting them together with some new stuff (assuming I have time to draw it) and even some stuff from other people (assuming anyone is interested in contributing) and publishing them all as one trade-paperback-style comic book called "ThePete.Comic." I hope to make it into a quarterly comic and then follow it up with compilations of the various stories that appear in it. I would make very little money off of it, if any. It's really just supposed to be a place for me to have an outlet for my drawing. Hopefully other artists will be interested in contributing for the same reason.

The real surprise came today when I found I had an extra hour in my schedule to work on my latest screenplay. That was fun. I'm using Final Draft for the first time on a script. I gotta say I don't like it. It's partially because of the learning curve, but also because the damn thing takes forever to save a file. I hit "save" all the time because I'm paranoid my machine will crash at any moment. (What do you expect? I'm an ex-PC guy...) But things are good in general, writing-wise, so I'm happy about that.

Saturday, April 3, 2004

HELLBOY (2004)

Hellboy (Director's Cut)Entertaining? DEFINITELY. This one isn't just FXplosions, either - nice character stuff in here.
Technically any good? The script structure was uneven (scene of someone dying to scene of someone having a nice moment - both someones we care about) but over all, you come to care about everyone and are genuinely scared for them when things go wrong. How may action movies can you say that about?
How did I feel as the credits rolled? Definitely satisfied. This one won't end up in my DVD collection, but it missed my strict cut-off point by a hair's breadth. I really liked this one.
Final Rating? GSN

TAKING LIVES (2004)

Taking Lives - Director's Cut (Widescreen Edition)Entertaining? Yes, very much so.
Technically any good? There were a couple of things that could have been better, but over all it was a reasonable thriller. Won't blow your mind, but it should entertain you just fine.
How did I feel as the credits rolled? Satisfied, for sure. Angelina Jolie is good as always. And she does a nude scene, which is nice, but IMHO, wasn't needed. (I know, the deuce I say...)
Final Rating? SIYL (There are shots of very dead bodies and the aforementioned nude scene some may have problems with.)

HIDALGO (2004)

Hidalgo (Widescreen Edition)Entertaining? Yeah! Lots of pretty horses, beautiful scenery and beautiful people.
Technically any good? It couldn't decide if it was a fable or not. Too much realism mixed in with not enough fantasy. Also, very boringly cast. No offense to the actors, but I'm sure there are much less "western" looking actors who could have been cast instead.
How did I feel as the credits rolled? Just fine. I like horseys, but the story was a bit "eh". You never have any doubts about how things turn out.
Final Rating?SAM (The cinematography is great on the big screen.)

Thursday, April 1, 2004

MORE ON (MORON?) CONDI'S 911 LIES

"Moron" because she is one if she thought we wouldn't be able to see right through her lies, anyway...

You may recall, as do I, that Condoleeeeeza (sp?) Rice has publicly said that the USGov had no idea that terrorists would use planes as missiles. Well, if you read ThePete.Com, you know that a former FBI translator uncovered evidence that essentially proves that good old Condi was lying and FINALLY a mainstream news service has decided this story merits covering. Okay, it's not an American mainstream news source, but hey, that's something more than the blog over at TheMemoryHole.Org and this column!

This is from an article at Independent.co.uk :
A former translator for the FBI with top-secret security clearance says she has provided information to the panel investigating the 11 September attacks which proves senior officials knew of al-Qa'ida's plans to attack the US with aircraft months before the strikes happened.

She said the claim by the National Security Adviser, Condoleezza Rice, that there was no such information was "an outrageous lie".
You may be asking why she didn't come forward with this information earlier. The answer to that is simple. She tried. Why do you think she's a former translator for the FBI?

Read the article at Independent.co.uk for yourself.

Read more about this story over at the site that I first learned about it from TheMemoryHole.Org


From Independent.co.uk :

'I saw papers that show US knew al-Qa'ida would attack cities with aeroplanes'

Whistleblower the White House wants to silence speaks to The Independent
By Andrew Buncombe in Washington

02 April 2004

A former translator for the FBI with top-secret security clearance says she has provided information to the panel investigating the 11 September attacks which proves senior officials knew of al-Qa'ida's plans to attack the US with aircraft months before the strikes happened.

She said the claim by the National Security Adviser, Condoleezza Rice, that there was no such information was "an outrageous lie".

Sibel Edmonds said she spent more than three hours in a closed session with the commission's investigators providing information that was circulating within the FBI in the spring and summer of 2001 suggesting that an attack using aircraft was just months away and the terrorists were in place. The Bush administration, meanwhile, has sought to silence her and has obtained a gagging order from a court by citing the rarely used "state secrets privilege".

She told The Independent yesterday: "I gave [the commission] details of specific investigation files, the specific dates, specific target information, specific managers in charge of the investigation. I gave them everything so that they could go back and follow up. This is not hearsay. These are things that are documented. These things can be established very easily."

She added: "There was general information about the time-frame, about methods to be used � but not specifically about how they would be used � and about people being in place and who was ordering these sorts of terror attacks. There were other cities that were mentioned. Major cities � with skyscrapers."

The accusations from Mrs Edmonds, 33, a Turkish-American who speaks Azerbaijani, Farsi, Turkish and English, will reignite the controversy over whether the administration ignored warnings about al-Qa'ida. That controversy was sparked most recently by Richard Clarke, a former counter-terrorism official, who has accused the administration of ignoring his warnings.

The issue � what the administration knew and when � is central to the investigation by the 9/11 Commission, which has been hearing testimony in public and private from government officials, intelligence officials and secret sources. Earlier this week, the White House made a U-turn when it said that Ms Rice would appear in public before the commission to answer questions. Mr Bush and his deputy, Dick Cheney, will also be questioned in a closed-door session.

Mrs Edmonds, 33, says she gave her evidence to the commission in a specially constructed "secure" room at its offices in Washington on 11 February. She was hired as a translator for the FBI's Washington field office on 13 September 2001, just two days after the al-Qa'ida attacks. Her job was to translate documents and recordings from FBI wire-taps.

She said said it was clear there was sufficient information during the spring and summer of 2001 to indicate terrorists were planning an attack. "Most of what I told the commission � 90 per cent of it � related to the investigations that I was involved in or just from working in the department. Two hundred translators side by side, you get to see and hear a lot of other things as well."

"President Bush said they had no specific information about 11 September and that is accurate but only because he said 11 September," she said. There was, however, general information about the use of airplanes and that an attack was just months away.

To try to refute Mr Clarke's accusations, Ms Rice said the administration did take steps to counter al-Qa'ida. But in an opinion piece in The Washington Post on 22 March, Ms Rice wrote: "Despite what some have suggested, we received no intelligence that terrorists were preparing to attack the homeland using airplanes as missiles, though some analysts speculated that terrorists might hijack planes to try and free US-held terrorists."

Mrs Edmonds said that by using the word "we", Ms Rice told an "outrageous lie". She said: "Rice says 'we' not 'I'. That would include all people from the FBI, the CIA and DIA [Defence Intelligence Agency]. I am saying that is impossible."

It is impossible at this stage to verify Mrs Edmonds' claims. However, some senior US senators testified to her credibility in 2002 when she went public with separate allegations relating to alleged incompetence and corruption within the FBI's translation department.


1 April 2004 20:06
� 2004 Independent Digital (UK) Ltd

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highgasprices (41k image)THANKS, BUSH!