What Next?

I love it when this stuff just practically writes itself. So, I was reading an article over there at People.com about Natalie Portman and her latest movie, Black Swan. It's some sort of a ballerina thriller, whatever that is supposed to mean. (I wouldn't have thought that was even possible before this movie and since I haven't seen it yet, I'm still not convinced.) They quote the recently knocked up Ms. Portman as saying, "Everyone was so worried about who was going to want to see this movie...I remember them being like, 'How do you get guys to a ballet movie? How do you get girls to a thriller?' And the answer is a lesbian scene. Everyone wants to see that."

I can't say I really disagree with her on that one. Who doesn't like a couple of chicks making out? Every guy I know finds it completely enthralling. And I, myself, find it very enjoyable. But it turns out that every guy and myself are not representative of the commenters over there at People.com. And we are certainly not representative of one specific commenter.

Allow me to share with you the comments of a one Patricia Eation. Ms Eation commented "Sick, sick, sick. Portman needs to revise her statement to read, "only the sick minded loves a lesbian sex scene". Have the "gays" taken over the entertainment industry? Next they'll be gay rappers! Bottom line, STOP trying to force a twisted choice of couples on everyone. I will never accept a behavior that God hates". Wait. What now?

Gay rappers?! What the hell does that even mean? How is it that a couple of fictional ballerinas end up making out in a movie will lead to rappers being gay? I'm failing to see the connection, but I'm finding it absolutely hilarious. Gay rappers. OK, then. (I also don't know why she has "gays" in quotation marks. Is she implying that if Hollywood had, in fact, been overtaken by homosexuals, they would be fake homosexuals, thus necessitating the usage of quotes around 'gays'? I don't get that at all. But I find gay rappers to be so absolutely hysterical so I'm going to overlook it.)

I'm going to try to work that into conversation whenever a topic comes up that folks find simply unbelievable. I'm just going to slowly shake my head and say, "I know. I can't believe it. Next thing you know, there'll be gay rappers." It's going to be great. I've needed a new project for a while now. And I believe I've found it!

Keep Your Shirt On!

As you may or may not care to be aware, President Barry is vacationing in Hawaii, the state where he was born (NOT Kenya!). The other day, the White House issues "strict instructions" (whatever that is supposed to mean) that they were not allowing anyone to take any pictures of President Barry without his shirt on. Isn't he the leader of the "free world"? Doesn't sound so "free" if pictures can't be taken of him without his shirt on. But what if someone were to take a picture of a shirtless President Barry? Would that be so bad? Have you seen him without his shirt on before? Hell, no, it wouldn't be that bad. Behold!


See? I don't see what's so wrong with that! He looks fine! Since when can someone lay down rules about what one can and cannot photograph? In America! Don't get me wrong. If they were going to say that no one can take a picture of the President shirtless, I certainly wish they would have made that rule long before now. Do you know how many other Presidents have been photographed shirtless? Way too many for my taste, thanks. Let's have a look. We'll start with Bill Clinton. Really? Did we need to see this? Behold!

Put your shirt back on. Please? I also found the picture below of ol' Willie Jeff shirtless. I don't quite understand what's going on to each side of him, but I'm sure that he found it pleasurable. Probably in more ways than one.

Here's Ronald Reagan sans shirt. Why wasn't there a moratorium on photos like THIS?!

No, I don't know why it's in black and white. I'm pretty sure that he was President during the years of color photography (even though he probably spent most of his life sitting for oil paintings). And here's Gerald Ford without a shirt.

Not bad, but he's kind of old so it's kind of weird. And what's with the poolside robe? Was that an early 1970s trademark? Wearing a robe before taking a dip? Interesting. And again with the black and white picture. Here's Lyndon B. Johnson getting as close to shirtless as I am comfortable with, as he shows reporters his scar from his gall bladder surgery.
>

How many of us know an old guy who is just like that? They'll start telling you a story about something that happened to them and the next thing you know, they're practically disrobing right in front of you as if you wouldn't believe them otherwise. No, no! I believe that you almost had your grundle shot off by the Nazis, Grandpa! Put your pants back on!

I just don't get what the big deal is. If President Barry doesn't want his picture taken without his shirt on, as the leader of the free world (with the key word there being "free") I suggest that he keep his shirt on rather than telling folks what they can and can't take a picture of. I'm also going to say that I'll be deeply disappointing in all of the paparazzi out there if they can't manage to get a picture of him shirtless anyway. That's their job. After all, the word "paparazzi" is derived from an old Italian term meaning "A-holes who invade your privacy to get pictures that tabloids will pay for". Chop-chop!

New Year Resolutions

Calvin and Hobbs by Bill Watterson

Will you be making New Year's Resolutions? The top ten New Year's Resolutions are
1) Spend more time with family
2) Get in shape
3) Lose weight
4) Quit smoking
5) Quit drinking
6) Enjoy life
7) Get out of debt
8) Help others
9) Organize something
10) Learn something new

You can call them resolutions, goals, intentions, plans, prayer requests. Many people just make a wish list but they don't follow through. Do you seriously want to accomplish something this year? Here are some important tips to help you keep your New Year Resolutions:

* Make a list. Be specific. Don't be too broad in scope. For instance, to "Be a better person" is a nice sentiment but HOW are you going to be a better person. "Take anger management class" is a specific step to becoming a better person. Your goals should be realistic. And they should mean something to you. You won't be motivated if you don't really want to change.

* Make a plan to accomplish your goals. "Quit smoking" is a great goal. But how will you measure your success. Be realistic and measurable. Plan how you are going to quit smoking. So under the "Quit Smoking" goal, write down the steps you are willing to take to work the process. Take baby steps, one at a time. Consider adding these steps to your calendar. For example: 1/15/2011 Make appt with doctor, 1/20/2011 Have you been to the doctor and discussed weight loss program yet?, 2/1/2011 Weigh in day, 3/1/2011 Have you lost 5 lbs yet?, etc.

* Write your list of resolutions down and write down your plan to accomplish those resolutions. Have it in black and white.

* Make a "pro" and "con" list to help you stay motivated.

* Tell someone else so they can help keep you motivated and accountable. Don't tell a person who will knock you down and discourage you. And don't ask someone to help you be accountable if you don't want them to. Some relationships or people can get under your skin. You automatically tend to think they are nagging or trying to hurt or anger you. For instance if your spouse asks you how you are doing on your weight loss program and it hurts your feelings or makes you angry and defensive then don't ask your spouse to help you be accountable. For instance if my husband asks me if I've lost any weight, I automatically get my hackles up. It's an auto response. My sisters could ask me and I don't get defensive or hurt. Another example, if I ask my husband if he's gotten his shop organized, his auto response is to think I'm nagging. His friend could ask him the same question and he wouldn't feel defensive. A parent can tell their child not to smoke and they brush it off and ignore it. But a peer can tell them not to smoke and they hear it. It's just that way. So be careful who you ask to hold you accountable. Choose someone you can hear, listen to and be honest with.

* Begin to think positively about your goals. Don't allow your mind to undermine you. If you hear your mind say, "You can't do it" then immediately counter that thought with something more positive like, "I can do it." If you want to get in shape then make your plan, begin to work the plan and talk to yourself in positive ways about it. "I can get up early in the morning and walk around the block"; "I didn't lose weight this week but I'm feeling better"; "I've been able to increase my repetitions"; "I missed yesterday but I'm going at it again this morning"; "I'm loving the feeling after I work out"; etc. If you have negative mindsets that means that your thoughts have followed a negative path through the forest of your mind. If you let that happen often enough, that thought path becomes well worn and easy. But it's not good for you, so you have to forge a new path through the forest of your mind. Create new positive thoughts. If you deliberately forge and follow a new path, then eventually it becomes the well worn and easy way of thinking. At first it's very hard to make yourself think this new way. But it's well worth the effort. The Bible calls it "the renewing of your mind".

Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, in order to prove by you what is that good and pleasing and perfect will of God.

* Find alternatives to a behavior that you want to change. For instance, if your resolution is to get out of debt then look at your spending habits and try to determine cheaper alternatives. If you eat out a lot, then determine to make some less expensive meals at home, or go to cheaper restaurants. If you buy your lunch everyday, try changing your habit by taking your own lunch. Make those lunches interesting and fun. It doesn't have to be a pbj (peanut butter and jelly sandwich). That's boring and you are tempted to toss it and go out. If you're fun on Saturday is shopping, then resolve to find another way to spend your Saturday that is equally fun but not so expensive.
 
* Don't demand perfection from yourself or anyone else. It's an impossible demand. Human beings make mistakes. So give yourself some slack when you mess up. Perfectionism is unrealistic. But don't give up either. Pick yourself back up and keep trying. And remember to keep up your positive thoughts.
 
* Surround yourself with those who can help you meet your goals. If your goal is to quit drinking, then don't go out with your party buddies. If your goal is to get in better shape, make some friends at the gym or look for a running buddy. If your resolution is to enjoy life more, then cut out those who drag you down or who negatively impact your life or those who tempt you to do things you shouldn't. Social support is important.
 
* Celebrate your success by treating yourself to something that you enjoy that does not contradict your resolution. If you are trying to lose weight and you've lost a couple of pounds, celebrate! But not with a dozen donuts! Find another way to reward yourself. Maybe a new book that you've been wanting; maybe treat yourself to a movie you've been wanting to see.
 
* Track your progress. Keep a food journal or an exercise journal. I often use Facebook and my blog for tracking my progress. I like telling my friends and family what I've accomplished towards my goals. My goal today was to organize and put away my Christmas decorations. I did a blog post a week before Christmas on how to organize and store your Christmas decorations. When I started to take them down, I made an announcement on Facebook. Then, once I was finished, I updated my status on FB.  And if you see someone on FB working towards something and they announce an accomplishment, give them some encouragement and pats on the back. If you need it then they need it too.
 
* Our intentions need actions or they won't go anywhere. Once you've made your list and your plan, it's time to work the plan. Take action. Do something towards accomplishment.
 
* As a Christian, I believe the most important thing is to pray about your New Year's Resolutions or goals. Pray about what goals to make. Then pray and ask God how best to achieve your goals. Pray and ask God's help in meeting your goals. Praise and thank God when you see success and meet your goals. We can have the best intentions in the world, but without God it's a fruitless endeavor. God gives us strength, helps us overcome ourselves, and blesses our efforts. He also forgives us when we mess up. Make your New Year's Resolutions your prayer requests.
 
Here are my New Year's Resolutions:
 
1) Read at least 52 books
 
2) Find a church home and get involved
 
3) Continue going to the gym and working in the pool 3-5 times a week
 
4) Organize and declutter my office
 
5) Pay off credit cards
 
6) Try HRT
 
7) We would like to change out our windows with new ones
 
8) Fix the backyard so that our dogs can go outside
 
9) I would love to have one of my bedroom windows changed to a door to the backyard
 
10) Take vitamins

Those Places Thursday - Kindergarden Christmas Party In Iuka, MS

Those Places Thursday is a daily blogging prompt used by many genealogy bloggers to help them post content on their sites. Do you often think back to places where you lived and worked at one time? What about those places where your ancestors spent time? Post about “those places” with photos and stories on Those Places Thursday. Here is my submission.

Here is a photo of a Christmas party we had at our little daycare/kindergarden. I did this scrapbook page of our kindergarden Christmas party in Iuka, MS. Notice the old wooden desks? Yes, we sat at those in kindergarden! Also notice the door is open with just the screened in door. No coats and short sleeves. That's the kind of winter I like! Elaine is wearing the turquoise dress with matching lace pants that my Grandmother made me. It came with a turquoise blue velveteen coat and bonnet. We all had our photos made wearing it and then my niece, Jenny, has a portrait where she is wearing the same dress. I still have that dress, coat and bonnet.

RhoDeo 1013 Goldy Rhox 7

Hello, today the 7th post of the new format; GoldyRhox, classic pop rock. Most of the albums i 'll post made many millions for the music industry and a lot of what i intend to post still gets repackaged and remastered decades later, squeezing the last drop of profit out of bands that for the most part have ceased to exist long ago, although sometimes they get lured out of the mothballs to do a big bucks gig or tour.

Now i'm not as naive to post this kinda music for all to see and have deleted, these will be a black box posts, i'm sorry for those on limited bandwidth but for most of you a gamble will get you a quality rip and for the younger visitors, for certain something to confront your parents with (as loud as possible)..don't like it, deleting is just 2 clicks...That said i will try to accomodate somewhat and produce some cryptic info on the artist and or album.

They would have been the biggest selling band ever, were it not for the fact that somehow they failed to appeal to the US east-west coast media controllers, possibly these feared an enormous flood of copy cats or the whole happy husband/wife image didn't connect with their live style..who knows the rest of the world fell for them big time..they sold almost half a billion records, hmm well Napoleon sure made a big comeback, europop was never more popular thanks to these Swedes.

Goldy Rhox 7 187mb

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

Dear Uncle Bryan

You know, it's never too late to share things that you learn with the ones that you love. No matter what the time, no matter what the topic. You might be the holder of a vestibule of information that needs to be opened up so that the world might benefit from the wealth of information which it holds. I'm guessing that's what this little girl was thinking when she sent her Uncle Bryan the letter below. Thank goodness for the guy on Reddit who posted it and said, "My friend's niece sent him this letter. He thought it only belonged on the the refrigerator. I thought it belonged on the Internet." It absolutely belongs on the Internet. This is what the Internet was made for! Well, this and porn. Behold!

RhoDeo 1013 Aetix

Hello, after a week of binging on food, drink and sales it's time to prepare for the end of the year..i guess the beginning of the new year would be more apt, as many will start it with a new years day hangover... Let me accomodate some with some partymusic those 'cool' New Yorkers treated themselves with in the early eighties..elevating themselves with the term not disco haha, well not sure what Macho City does on this compilation..probably a coked up traders hit..chill out baby.



VA - Disco Not Disco1 194mb

01 Yoko Ono - Walking On Thin Ice (1981 Re-edit) 7:20
02 Liquid Liquid - Cavern 5:21
03 Loose Joints - Tell You (Today) (Vocal) 7:02
04 Ian Dury & The Seven Seas Players - Spasticus Autisticus (Version) 6:59
05 Material - Over And Over (Long Version) 5:39
06 Was (Not Was) - Wheel Me Out 7:09
07 Dinosaur - Kiss Me Again (Original Edit) 6:52
08 Don Cherry - I Walk 3:13
09 Common Sense - Voices Inside My Head 6:33
10 Indian Ocean - Tree House / School Bell (Part 1) 6:56
11 Steve Miller Band - Macho City 16:26

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VA - Disco Not Disco 2 (155mb)

01 Laid Back - White Horse 5:44
02 Alexander Robotnick - Problèmes D'Amour 6:44
03 Yello - Bostich (Extended Dance Version) 4:34
04 Can - Aspectacle (Holger Czukay Edit) 2:48
05 Material - Ciguri 6:23
06 Connie Case - Get Down 7:15
07 The Coach House Rhythm Section - Timewarp 5:51
08 Arthur Russell - Let's Go Swimming 7:51
09 Barry Waite & Ltd. - Sting (Part One) 3:11
10 Lex - Fourteen Days 5:49
11 The Clash - This is Radio Clash 4:11

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A Feast For A Fatty

Well, well, well. I knew I would hear about Donna Simpson again and I figured that it would be pretty soon, but I just didn't think that it would be in this fashion. I figured the next I hear, she would have been dead as a door nail. But that wasn't the case. Yet. Ms. Simpson, as you may or may not care to remember, is on a quest to become the world's fattest woman. That's right. She wants to be super, duper fat. Her goal is to reach 1,000 pounds. And not only is she is well on her way, but she's a whole heck of a lot closer thanks to her Christmas feast which she enjoyed just the other day.

Ms. Simpson, all five feet, two inches of her, defended what she ate for Christmas dinner by telling The Daily Mail, "'I eat as much as I want, whenever I want but at this time of year I really go all out. Christmas should give you carte blanche to do whatever you want." Interesting philosophy you have there, Jabba. See, I don't think that there are any days where you get to do "whatever you want". Seems sort of like an anarchist's guide to denial. Let's see if she says anything else to solidify that theory. "Donna, who insists she is healthy, told the Sunday Mirror: 'People who feel guilty about eating are hilarious." Let's see...five foot, two inches...648 pounds...yeah, you sound real healthy there, cupcake. I guess it's your abundance of health that is the reason that you need a Rascal to get around since you can't walk under your own power. You're barely ambulatory and you can roll there and say that you're healthy? I think you're the one who's hilarious.

I also think that she's the one who is gluttonous. Shall we take a gander at her Christmas feast? I think we shall. (By the way, if you're wondering how she pays for all of this food, you're going to be sorry that you ever wondered anything remotely like that at all when I tell you that she "...makes a living from being fat, getting paid to make public appearances and keeping a website where people can pay to watch her eat." See? Sorry.)

Two 25lb turkeys
Two maple-glazed hams
15lbs of potatoes (10lbs roast, 5lbs mashed)
Five loaves of bread
Five pounds of herb stuffing
Four pints of gravy (that's half a gallon!)
Four pints of cranberry dressing
5 lbs of chopped carrots
5 lbs of sweet corn
5 lbs of butternut squash
1 tray of mixed green salad including salad dressing
And a 'salad' made of marshmallow, cream cheese, whipped cream and cookies.

Holy. Crap.

The Daily Mail estimates that the caloric intake of her gastronomic gluttony is about 30,000 calories. That's about 2 weeks worth of food there for a regular person, strictly speaking calorie-wise, of course. It's also right around the caloric intake of all of the animals during feeding time at the zoo. While I assume that her enabling boyfriend cooked all of this for her, my question is where did he cook it all? Did he get it all pre-made? He'd probably have to. I wonder if he rented a wheelbarrow or a forklift to get it all in the house.

The thing that bothers me about this situation, other than the fact that it's incredibly disgusting and beyond selfish, is that this woman (and I use that term loosely, as I'm pretty sure that any gender that she might have been born with is fairly obsolete and irrelevant at this point) has children. She has a 14-year old son and a 3-year old daughter. She's going to kill herself with her carte blanche on life and they are going to be without a mother. Real nice, there. Too bad that her philosophy couldn't have included being a responsible parent to her children.

People On Drugs Need Sleep Too

I started this year off with a post about some dumbass who fell asleep with a meth lab in his car. Thus, I find it fitting that I end the year with a post about some dumbass who fell asleep with a meth lab in his car. Actually, this guy fell asleep with his meth lab in a cab. But really, for the sake of the argument, isn't that pretty much the same? I'm thinking that it is.

Here's the scoop: According to the Chicago Sun-Times, what we have is a one 25-year old (and old enough to know better) Joseph Hoffman, hailing from the fine Vancouver, Washington area. Mr. Hoffman, who was in the Chicago area for some unknown reason, decided to take a cab. I guess it must get tiring walking around a city carrying your possessions. I guess it must get really tiring if your possessions that you're carrying happen to be your meth lab. That's when Mr. Hoffman decided that it would be a good idea if he and his meth lab took a cab. (By the way, that's Mr. Hoffman over there on the right. He looks about like you'd expect him to.)

The cab driver took him somewhere (where isn't exactly clear because the media sucks) and when the cabbie went to collect his fare, he encountered a problem. The guy didn't pay up, but not because he had a problem with the fare or bolted or anything like that. No, he didn't pay up because he was asleep. SOUND asleep in the back of the cab. Yeah, it's problematic when you're trying to get money from someone and they aren't conscious. It makes it a little tricky.
The cabbie decided that he'd just take his slumbering passenger to the police station and see what they could do about it. Well, they couldn't get him to wake up either. Not knowing who Rip Van Winkle really was, they decided to search his bag for some identification. They found some, all right. He is now known as "Guy who fell asleep in a cab with a meth lab in his duffle bag."

Yep. They found three pounds of meth (which the cops claim is about $448,000 worth), and "chemical bottles holding a clear, crystalline" substance, wired to a power source." Again, it's unclear what the "power source" was because the media sucks and that was not addressed. The story goes on to say that "Police said the duffle bag included a "mobile meth lab". Wait. What was the substance wired to the power source? Wasn't that the meth lab? Are these separate things? Was the power source an alarm clock, powered by a liquid methamphetamine? I'm so confused.

But I'm not as confused as Mr. Hoffman. After he "... was taken to St. Francis Hospital in Evanston for treatment...when he woke up he allegedly gave police permission to search his temporary residence". What in the world is a "temporary residence"? Hotel room? Back alley? Pup tent at the KOA? Hard to say. Because why? Because the media sucks, that is correct. But I digress. Inside the "temporary residence" "...officers found "a gallon-size bottle of crystal material suspected to be GHB, or the so-called date rape drug, small blue pills suspected to be ecstasy, and a bag of cannabis". Wow. No wonder he was asleep. Mr. Hoffman seems like a very busy man. Naturally, Mr. Hoffman was arrested and charged with five felony counts of asshattery and dumbassed-ness.

When in court, Mr. Hoffman "...allegedly shook his head...when prosecutors said methamphetamine was worth $448,000 on the street." And while I think that Mr. Hoffman is a complete moron, I'm going to have to agree with him on this one. I've done a little research. Three pounds of meth isn't going to get someone almost half a million dollars. I'd really like to know what street that's on. According to the Department of Justice, "...methamphetamine prices nationwide range from $6,500 to $20,000 per pound, $500 to $2,700 per ounce, and $50 to $150 per gram." It's unclear to me when this was written, but even if we assume that prices have tripled since whenever and is now $60,000 per pound, they would still only be looking at $180,000. That's a far cry from $448,000. By their estimation, a pound of meth is $149,333. That's $9,333 per ounce and $333 per gram. A gram isn't a whole heck of a lot. I'm having a hard time that meth users are coughing up over $300 for a gram of stuff. I'd really like to know how the prosecution arrived at their estimate. I'm sure that Mr. Hoffman would too.

Why does one need a travelling meth lab? Is he like the old timey Fuller Brush man or the Hoover vacuum people? They just show up at your door out of the blue and start demonstrating their product right there on your porch? That seems like an odd way to run an illegal drug business. Then again, falling asleep in the back of a cab with your illegal drug factory in your duffle bag seems like an odd way to do things as well. So what do I know?

Happy Kwanzaa + East Coast Blizzard

HAPPY KWANZAA! Habari gani.
Photo courtesy of the Official Kwanzaa website.

Kwanzaa, which has been around since I was a year old or so, is not a holiday I've regularly celebrated, though occasionally I have participated in friends' and community-based Kwanzaa observations in the past. More than anything I try to take its seven principles (the Nguzo Saba) to heart, and not just during the designated holiday week. The principles are ones I remember memorizing as a child: Umoja (unity), Kujichagulia (self-determination), Ujima (collective work and responsibility), Ujamaa (cooperative economics), Nia (purpose), Kuumba (creativity), and Imani (faith).
These were concepts I not only memorized, but steeped in growing up in the 1970s, an era when various strands of political and social "liberation," collective economic principles, and cultural nationalism and resistence were in the air.

While this new decade marks a distinctly different moment, I continue to believe that many of these principles remain aluable not only for African Americans and for black people across the globe, but also for people of all races throughout this and other societies, especially now that we face sustained economic, political and cultural assaults particularly from those who already have most of the power and money.  Even if you don't celebrate Kwanzaa, do consider how these principles might apply to you and how you can apply them in your life and to the communities you belong to.

For a bit of comedy (or outrage, depending) around Kwanzaa, there's always Food Network star Sandra Lee's (in)famous Kwanzaa cake (which food writer Denise Vivaldo apparently created out of the air), in all its awfulness (and yet I'm strangely drawn to it):


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I've been scoffing about the hoopla surrounding the current East Coast blizzard, since Chicago has already received multiple snowstorms, including a severe one that delayed my return a few weeks ago, but it really is coming down here in Jersey City. And it's cold, almost Chicago cold. Earlier today it was 24°F and now it's 21°F. It was a comparatively balmy 27°F in Chicago.

When I peeked out back, I saw easily over a foot of snow, and a view from the front door confirms the same.  According to the news, over 14 inches have fallen not too far south of here.  All of the local airports are closed, as are Amtrak from Maine to New York, and the Long Island Railroad also has been shut down.  The Philadelphia Eagles even canceled tonight's game against the Green Bay Packers, though I seem to remember teams playing in blizzards in past years, and even played in snow myself as a teenager, but perhaps the winds truly were too strong, and players, who make a lot more than they once did, have it in their contracts that they won't play in snow bowls if they can help it.

The trains that allow people to ride "in a hole in the ground," the MTA subway, are running, however, as are New York City's buses, but people all across the metro area have gotten stranded in snowdrifts. (I assume the PATH trains are still running, perhaps on the reduced schedule that the New Jersey Transit trains are.)  As I finish this entry, it's still snowing and the snowfall is forecast to continue until tomorrow morning, which means a day of digging out. Since early December, I've more than enough practice.

East Coast snowstorm, at night
Snow in Jersey City, tonight
East Coast snowstorm, at night
Snow in Jersey City, tonight
East Coast snowstorm, by day
Snow in Jersey City, late this afternoon
East Coast snowstorm, by day
Snow in Jersey City, late this afternoon
Snow in Chicago
Snow in Chicago, December 6
Chicago snow
Snow in Chicago, December 9
Chicago snow
Snow in Chicago, December 9

Earth Search 1013

Hello, now the Xmas bonanza has settled and digested it's time to continue the quest..

The Setting

Some years before the story opens, the huge Earth starship Challenger, on a mission to find Earth-like planets for colonization, encountered a meteoroid shower that killed all of the adult crew and seriously damaged the ship. The only human survivors were four babies - two boys, Telson and Darv, and two girls, Sharna and Astra.The four have been raised from childhood by androids and tutored by two disembodied voices called Angel One and Angel Two.

At the end of Earthsearch, the crew of the starship Challenger settled on the Paradise planet, having never seen their original home planet that they called Earth. They left the Challenger's control computers, Angel One and Angel Two, in charge of the ship to continue the search for Earth. Four years later, the crew have settled into their life on Paradise, despite many hardships they are suffering. Then suddenly, one of their children is killed by a 'monster' that appeared from the sea.

It transpires that this 'monster' is actually an android from the Challenger, which has returned. When the sea level begins to rise, the crew are suspicious of the Angels. They notice a large amount of radiation coming from the southern horizon, and they fly to Antarctica in their shuttlecraft. There they find hundreds of towers embedded in the ice. The Angels are using terraforming equipment from the Challenger to melt the ice and thus raise the sea level in an attempt to get the crew to rejoin them on the ship.The crew are adamant that they will not leave Paradise. The flood gets worse and worse, and will clearly soon submerge all the land. They load breeding pairs of animals into the shuttle cargo bay, and when the water level gets high enough, the shuttle floats. The crew are surviving, barely, and have beaten the Angels for the time being



EarthSearch II - 13 Surrender (11mb)


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Just watched this excellent interview with one of my favourite writer/researcher Graham Hancock, its 100 min and it gets better all the time....



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Sentimental Sunday - My First Baby Doll

Sentimental Sunday is a daily blogging prompt used by many genealogy bloggers to help them post content on their sites. To participate in Sentimental Sunday we simply create a post with the main focus being a sentimental story or memory about an ancestor, or maybe even a touching family tradition.

This would be my 2nd Christmas and I was 16 mos old. I'm sitting on the couch with Aunt Judy. Notice that I'm already in total "mother mode" with the baby doll. As Beth Moore said, "I could mother a fence post.", well, so can I. Mothering, nurturing, loving and kissing were hardwired into me! Once Elaine and Melinda came along I started mothering them. Then their children and now little Brett. I look forward to mothering on Luke's baby girl, Savannah Marie, when she's born!

Going Completely Bonkers On Christmas

How was your Christmas? Good? Did you get that one gift that you were really hoping for? The one that you didn't know what you'd do if you didn't get it, but that you thought was so elusive that you'd never actually hold it in your very own two hands? Then when you did finally get it, did you completely flip out as if you had just won the lottery? We're talking going completely berserk. Well, the kids in the video below did go completely berserk. It's amazing how a simple item like a Wii or (back in the day) a Nintendo 64, could cause the vocal range of children to reach supersonic levels that only dogs can hear. I guess it's nice to see kids that excited about something that they've received. It kind of makes you think that they appreciate it and are grateful to have received it. Thus, their odd way of celebrating becomes amusing. (Though the kid who ran all the way down the hallway just to run all the way back and simply jump in the air was disappointing. I was expecting him to slide down that floor in his socks or do some cool dance or something. Nope. He just jumped. Once.)


Merry Christmas 2010!


I'm sure I could come up with something ludicrous to put here today. But I think I'll pass. It's Christmas. It just wouldn't seem....right. You know, kinda like one of those inflatable, lit up, manger scenes in someone's front yard? You know that the people mean well, but it just doesn't translate into the "feeling of Christmas" all that great.


I don't know if this is going to translate into the "feeling of Christmas" all that great either. So to make sure that nothing gets lost in translation, I'm keepin' it short. (But just in case it does get lost in translation, I really am shootin' for the whole "feeling of Christmas" thing here. Just so you know.)

I'm grateful for this day because it's kinda where it all started or where it all starts. Without the historical events which took place on this day, I wouldn't have a chance to be forgiven for all of the times and all of the things that I screw up. And there's a lot of 'em. Trust me. And it's not just me that has that opportunity. It's everyone. Including all of the morons that I mock incessantly. They too can (surprisingly) be forgiven for all of their evil-doings and their oh-so moronic ways.

The whole Christmas thing just makes me happy. And I try to share that happiness with others when given the opportunity. (And in forms other than this blog. Hey. Why are you laughing?) And this year I had an excellent opportunity to spread my own little version of happiness and I totally took fully advantage of said opportunity (seemingly to the delight of others, which was the point). I also try to enjoy those around me and those in my life and give them just one day where their obvious shortcomings don't annoy me. That's my way of spreadin' the joy. That alone makes others grateful as well. Give it a try is all I'm sayin'.


And you know, I really do have more heartfelt feelings about people in my life than I either care to admit or am capable of expressing without either scaring the other person or becoming inadvertently engaged to four different individuals when I'm done. And at the risk of doing either or both of those things, I'd like to let those of you that I know personally know that I think you're all just great. Some a little greater than others, which means there are a few of you who really need to start pulling your weight a bit more, but I still love ya. Usually. And for those of you whom I don't know personally but who read this blog (and don't leave jackass comments), well, I think you guys are just swell also and I appreciate all of the reading. I know it's not always easy and that's why I really appreciate the effort.

So Merry Christmas. Now go spread some cheer. Or some love. Or both. You've got the whole rest of the year for complaing and mocking all of the other crap. Today? Love, cheer, and thanks. Spread a little of that around, will ya? It's Christmas, for cryin' out loud!



Sundaze 1013

Hello, today on Xmas day i choose some classical tones to the Sundaze, i hope it will help you digest all that food , abundance of alcohol and the decibels of table discussions..let it slip and take in some sublimely organised notes..

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Philip Morris Glass (born January 31, 1937) is considered one of the most influential American composers of the late-20th century and is widely acknowledged as a composer who has brought art music to the public where his big breaktrough came with the movie score Koyaansquatsi (Life out of Balance) . Thus he followed illustrous precursors such as Richard Strauss, Kurt Weill and Leonard Bernstein. Although his music is often, though controversially, described as minimalist, he distances himself from this label, describing himself instead as a composer of "music with repetitive structures". Although his early, mature music is minimalist, he has evolved stylistically. Currently, he describes himself as a "Classicist", pointing out that he trained in harmony and counterpoint and studied Franz Schubert, Johann Sebastian Bach and Wolfgang Mozart with Nadia Boulanger.

Glass is a prolific composer: He has written works for his own musical group which he founded, the Philip Glass Ensemble (for which he still performs on keyboards), as well as operas, musical theatre works, eight symphonies, eight concertos, solo works, string quartets, and film scores. Three of his film scores have been nominated for Academy Awards.

Since the late 1980s, Glass has also written works for solo piano, starting with occasional piano pieces which are associated with his friends, such as Witchita Sutra Vortex (1988). This piece was followed by two piano cycles: Metamorphosis (1988) Solo Piano (1989) is an album of piano music composed and performed by Philip Glass. It was produced by Kurt Munkacsi. Its first track, Metamorphosis One, was featured in the Battlestar Galactica television episode "Valley of Darkness".Its second track, Metamorphosis Two, formed the basis of one of the main musical themes in the film The Hours.

Besides working in the classical tradition for the concert hall, for theater and film, Philip Glass (b. 1937) also has strong ties to rock, ambient music, electronic music and world music. Early admirers included musicians Brian Eno and David Bowie, who acknowledged the influence of Glass's minimalist style. Years later Glass, who had become friends with Bowie, orchestrated certain pieces from Bowie and Eno's collaborative albums Low and Heroes .

According to Philip Glass, the Low Symphony, composed in the Spring of 1992, is based on the record Low by David Bowie and Brian Eno first released in 1977. "My approach was to treat the themes very much as if they were my own and allow their transformations to follow my own compositional bent when possible. In practice, however, Bowie and Eno's music certainly influenced how I worked, leading me to sometimes surprising musical conclusions. In the end I think I arrived at something of a real collaboration between my music and theirs." (Philip Glass, New York City, 1992)

Following the success in 1993 with his Low Symphony, Glass repeated the experiment with another Bowie/Eno collaboration, Heroes, an album that drew its inspiration from the then-divided city of Berlin. The six movements of Heroes Symphony function as independent pieces that, between them, gradually build into a self-sufficient musical work. Like Low before it, Heroes was one of David Bowie's most experimental and avant-garde records, so it made sense that Philip Glass would follow the Low Symphony with the Heroes Symphony, adapting Bowie and Brian Eno's original, minimalistic synthesized sketches for full orchestra. The new arrangements emphasize the icy allure of the original compositions, and the shimmering, glassy textures sound coldly beautiful.



Low, Heroes Symphony (93 180mb)

01 - Subterraneans (15:08)
02 - Some are (11;20)
03 - Warszawa (16:03)
04 - Heroes (5:52)
05 - Abdulmajid (8:57)
06 - Sense of Doubt (7:22)
07 - Sons of the Silent Age (8:22)
08 - Neukoln (6:43)
09 - V2 Schneider (6:52)

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Keith Jarrett (May 8, 1945) is of Hungarian and Scottish extraction, grew up in suburban Allentown, Pennsylvania, with significant early exposure to music. He possessed absolute pitch, and he displayed prodigious musical talents as a young child. He began piano lessons just before his third birthday, and at age five he appeared on a TV talent program. The young Jarrett gave his first formal piano recital at the age of seven, playing works by composers including Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, and Saint-Saëns, and ending with two of his own compositions.
In his teens, as a student at Emmaus High School in Emmaus, Pennsylvania, Jarrett learned jazz and quickly became proficient in it. In his early teens, he developed a strong interest in the contemporary jazz scene, so much so he turned down classical training in Paris. Following his graduation from Emmaus High School in 1963, he moved to Boston where he attended the Berklee College of Music and played cocktail piano in local clubs. After a year he moved to New York City, where he played at the Village Vanguard.

Jarrett started his career with Art Blakey, moving on to play with Charles Lloyd and Miles Davis. Since the early 1970s he has enjoyed a great deal of success in both jazz and classical music, as a group leader and a solo performer. His improvisations draw not only from the traditions of jazz, but from other genres as well, especially Western classical music, gospel, blues, and ethnic folk music. In 1973, Jarrett began playing totally improvised solo concerts, and it is the popularity of these voluminous concert recordings that has made him one of the best-selling jazz artists in history. Albums released from these concerts include The Köln Concert (1975) which became the best selling piano recording in history;and Sun Bear Concerts (1976) - a 10-LP (and later 6-CD) Box Set.

Preliminaries to the concert were not auspicious. The concert was organized by Vera Brandes, Germany’s youngest concert promoter. Brandes had selected a Bösendorfer 290 Imperial concert grand piano for the performance, but the stagehands did not realize that the piano was stored in the cellar of the building. Instead, they found a Bösendorfer baby grand backstage and assumed that it was to be used. This piano was intended for rehearsals only, and was in poor condition.

Jarrett had not slept in two nights. He arrived at the opera house late and tired after an exhausting hours-long drive in a Renault R4. He rushed to finish a hasty meal just minutes before the concert was to begin. After learning about the substandard piano, Jarrett nearly refused to play. Brandes, who just turned 18 years old, had to convince the 29-year-old Jarrett to perform nonetheless. Almost as an afterthought, the sound technicians decided to place microphones and record the concert, even if only for the house archive. The instrument was tinny and thin in the upper registers, so Jarrett concentrated on ostinatos and rhythmic figures. Despite the obstacles, Jarrett's performance was enthusiastically received, and the subsequent recording was acclaimed by the critics and an enormous commercial success. With sales of more than 3.5 million, it became the best-selling solo album in jazz history......



The Köln Concert (75 145mb)

01 Part I (26:01)
02 Part II a (14:54)
03 Part II b (18:13)
04 Part II c (06:56)

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Happy Holidays & Merry Christmas

Happy Holidays - Merry Christmas - Happy Hanukkah - Happy Kwanzaa - Best Wishes For This Season and Always!

Rhodeo 1012 Happy Xmas

Hello, Happy Xmas to you all, another year has gone and war is not over..there's just too much profit in it...for some..and yet there are 75 million more of us this year. Good thing US and Russia agreed to scrap a lot of nukes..these things are useless anyway, alas admitting to that is a step too far still. Secrecy still rules, despite Wikileaks, in fact most of that is useful destraction of the real evils. Unfortunately we've seen many an american company bend over backwords to accomodate the Washington puppet theatre ..only goes to show the puppeteers are playing more stages. And the gullibles screaming for the head of Assange..complete morons. Meanwhile the internet and Google keep growing. Facebook..hmm reminds me of "I'm not a number, I'm a free man" anyway wouldnt invest in it..dodo service, the fickle public will soon face up to that...enough. I'm here today to offer you a gift, something that i think most visitors would enjoy...


A book of treasure, a book of discovery, a book to open your ears to new worlds of pleasure. 1,000 recordings guaranteed to give listeners the joy, the mystery, the revelation, the sheer fun of great music.This is a book both broad and deep, drawing from the diverse worlds of classical, jazz, rock, pop, blues, country, folk, musicals, hip-hop, world, opera, soundtracks, and more. The entries are arranged alphabetically, to break down genre bias and broaden every listener’s horizons. And the writing is passionate, informed, opinionated. Includes indexes for every mood and occasion. But wait There's more ..NME asked artists about albums they considered having slipped to the cracks-undeservedly..some didnt slip thru here btw..plenty to read and enjoy whilst listening to great music.



Happy Xmas 110mb

or you could buy the Hardcopy



ps a short note- i re-upped some dead mediafires and skipped over ducky's..if you come across a dead link please make a comment so i can keep this site as live as possible.
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Merry Guitar Hero Christmas To All!

Side note: I've been swamped all day. Baking crap holiday goods to give to people for Christmas takes a lot more time than just ambling about in the mall. It is more delicious than stuff you can get at the mall (with the exception of, perhaps, Cinnabon), but it's definitely time consuming. Therefore, I'm revisiting an awesome post from last year. It still find it awesome because I still love Guitar Hero. And I'm only a day away from new games to play.

Fine. I'll admit it. I love Guitar Hero. It's the funnest damn video game I think I've ever played. Better than the entire Tony Hawk series (which was the reason that I ever got a PS2 in the first place). Probably better than any of the games that I played in the arcades as a young hooligan. Definitely better than Pong. I love it. Granted, I am constantly mocked by my non-playing friends (Translation: all of them), but they still love me, so I'm good with the mocking.

That being said, if I knew where the folks responsible for the video below lived, I would move in across the street from them. That's right. I would leave the self-imposed isolation (to protect me from the morons of society) of my walled-off compound and be someone's neighbor for the holiday season. That's how cool I think this is. I realize that the majority of you won't think that it is as cool as I do. That sounds like a personal problem. Perhaps witnessing how video games and the Christmas season can come together as one and spread tidings of joy throughout the land will change your mind over the coolness.

I give to you (courtesy of those guys who posted it on YouTube) a Christmas Light Hero. Behold!