Thursday, October 13, 2005

Friggin' Spammers

forcing people to work before commenting


By Frater Bovious
9th Level Adept, THOOTR
This basically chaps me, but there are apparently spam bots that throw random comments everywhere they can. So, now if you want to leave a comment, you have to work for it. Sigh.

Go ahead, give it a whirl.
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Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Spirituality Lite

Stream of Consciousness Blogging


By Frater Bovious
9th Level Adept, THOOTR

The following riveting exchange was posted by Uncle Buck to the wrong article, and consequently did not have the hoped for response from the teeming masses still reading this blog (That being me, my mom, and strange people leaving messages about cigarettes and real estate opportunities, which I have mostly deleted from the comments section, and of course Uncle Buck and Occasionally, Knecht.)

So, here.
Uncle Buck said...

as the Archangel of SouthPark, are you the keeper of the gates of the Vatican? how can i comment on the transitional Pope? am i too stoopid, or do you want no comments?

11:24 AM
Frater Bovious said...

Why can't you comment? You commented here. Is this some kind of zen koan?

7:13 PM
Uncle Buck said...

I commented “here”, about something “there”. I didn’t expect “here” and “there” to be the same place, so i suppose there is a zen-like element to this (or do I use “zen-like” inappropriately as a label for an unexpected result?).

I digress…I commented “here”, counting on your comprehensive knowledge of your own blog territory to hear my small voice lost in the wilderness. I expected direction to “there”, imagine my surprise to find out I was “there” in the first place. Now I have to collect my thoughts all over again.

8:34 AM
Uncle Buck said...

Regarding: “Why is the Pope a Rock Star? I have a theory…”. Well so do I!

“We have a new Pope…”

“Sayings of the Dalai Lama…”

“Good karma/Bad Karma”

“Confucius say…”

These are all a kind of “Spirituality Lite” - The warm fuzzy feeling that comes from thinking about someone or something that represents the sacred, the holy, the divine without investing in any actual spiritual development of your own.

Very popular (tastes great! Less filling!)

I am not being high-and-mighty. I speak from experience.

4:10 PM


Wednesday, October 05, 2005

NaNoWriMo 2005


Finally, I have an excuse for not Blogging


By Frater Bovious
9th Level Adept, THOOTR
Because I will be pounding out another 50,000 word novel this November. The last novel I wrote had rave reviews from my mom and one of my sisters, so I am filled with delightful anticipation. If you wish to track my progress and read snippets of the novel, go HERE after Nov 1.

Wish me luck!!

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Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Haiku

Gesundheit


By Frater Bovious
9th Level Adept, THOOTR
Gulf Coast pounded flat
Disaster fueled by hot air
Politics again.

Friday, August 19, 2005

A Small Tribute

Antonio Fernandez-Vina


By Frater Bovious
9th Level Adept, THOOTR
For those that know us, you know that Rosie's father passed away last Friday, the 12th. He had Alzheimer's and had been in the memory unit of a managed care facility in Dallas called The Veranda. During one visit I wrote some notes about what I was seeing, and then fleshed it out a bit after another visit. I sat down and wrote this the morning before he died.

Saint Veranda (God's Porch)

Bits of trash. Shiny metal, feathers, discarded wire. Beads, mono-filament line, and patience. Fishing lures. He was keen to try his latest creation, kind of a spoon lure that should have just the right action.

He couldn't quite get it all together just so. Interruptions. Sometimes he could just ignore the nuisance, and keep focused on the task at hand. This time he was mostly successful, and he made his way to the pier. It was a pretty day, no humidity. His spoon lure forgotten, he was going with the ones he seemed to always find. He admired his Abu Garcia rod, and noted the leader he was using, and absentmindedly wended to the pier.

He was there. It always seemed to surprise him. He'd be wandering about, and then, like a trusted friend, it would be there, looking out over the water. He stood on the pier, squinting in the reflected light. His eyes weren't so good anymore, but it didn't really matter. Here was his chair, his personal seat on the veranda, as he came to think of it. Part porch, part pier, part salt sea spray, part chills, part heat; it wasn't home, but it was familiar. And of course, there were the angels.

Bending forward, he looked for the right lure in his tackle box, and began the arduous task of attaching it to his leader.

“Hey Papi!” The voice startled him, and he dropped the lure. Looking around for the source of the voice he noticed how crowded and noisy was the pier. Too many people, too much noise, and no idea if anyone really addressed him. Dismissing it as yet another irritant, best ignored, his fingers stretched to finish some task, and fumbled around in his lap. Looking out over the railing, he lost himself in the rhythm of the sea. In and out, in and out. The familiar swooshing sound retreated in his ears, the susurration taking him back in time. He was quite young, and heading for the water to fish. He cast himself like a lure, a particular memory took the bait and there he was, hip deep in the ocean, where he wanted to be.

With an accomplished flip of the wrist he whipped his line far out beyond the sandbar, out to where the big fish swim. Spanish Mackerel. That's what he was after. Two or three, and dinner would be served. “Hey Papi!”

The pole dropped from his startled hands, and he reached vainly, trying to regain it. It was just out of his reach, and as he strained toward it he was knocked backwards and off his feet by a surge of water. Regaining his footing, he stood in the surf, someone tapping him on the shoulder. He needed that pole. Where was it? Turning toward the tapping, squinting in the tropical sun, he muttered “Eh?” and tried to see who was standing over him. The sun was in his eyes. Always in his eyes.

“Papi! Tu no recuerdas?

He considered that for a moment. Remember what? What remember what? What was he doing? There, the tug, the bait had been taken! He reeled, catching a glimpse of his prize. Oh it was putting up a fight. This was a worthy combatant. He might even land it this time. It was something to do with whoever was tapping him on the shoulder. If he could just get it in. If he could just say what was right there. Ah. Lost it. What was it? Casting, he struggled in the waves and the undertow, striving to re-capture... What what? He cast again. Maybe he could even land it this time...

“He's off somewhere again. God, this is so hard.” The lady stood looking, watching the fumbling hands that used to fix everything. Mr. Fix-it he had been called. With a clever wit, always a laugh, always some pun. One of the staff walked up, the Cuban one named Ana, and asked, “How you doing today?”

“I'm fine – just sad. This just isn't fair.”

The older lady looked up at her. “No dear, it just isn't. He ate real well today though. And I've got him walking some. And we talk and talk. Sometimes he thinks I'm his wife. Sometimes maybe you. He plays his bongos some, and we all dance. It's been a real blessing, him being here.”

The younger lady just looked down at her father. Sadness whelmed her being. “He was a chemist you know,” she said to no one in particular. Leaning down, she hugged the old man. “I miss you Papi.” She blinked against tears.

The nurse patted her shoulder. “I know dear, I know.” Turning to the old man, she said, “Hey, you have a visitor! Let's get up and show her how you can walk.”

Walk. Walk, walk, walk. That angel wanted him up and walking again. She has a sway on him, he owed her some courtesy for some reason, something she did - he needed to get up and get to the pier. He stood, grabbing for his tackle box. The sway, the rhythm took him, and enraptured by the sound of the sea, the pull of the tides, he was there, hip deep, where he wanted to be. (August 11, 2005)



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Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Finding



By Frater Bovious
9th Level Adept, THOOTR
“Ernest Hemingway is gay.”

“Ernest Hemingway is dead,” corrected Steve.

“Ernest Hemingway was gay, and is presumed dead,” amended Mark. He was slouched on the couch, watching Luche Libre, his current method of studying Spanish.

Steve looked up from The Half-Blood Prince and considered for a moment. “Whaddya mean 'He's gay?'”

“I just think he was gay, and at this point, I'm fairly certain he's dead.”

Steve closed his book almost sat up in the easy chair. “What do you know about Hemingway?”

“He's gay.”

“Have you even read any Hemingway?”

“I read Hills like White Elephants. It was interesting to me, mostly because it never much mentioned what the story was about, but it was clearly about abortion. I was kind of impressed with how he managed that. But I only read that because I had to for college.”

“You never read anything else?”

“Nope.”

“Why not?”

Mark turned away from the set and looked directly at Steve. “He killed himself.”

“So?”

“Isn't he supposed to be this man's man? This rugged individualist, or some shit like that? Bullfighting in Spain, drinking rum and cokes in Cuba, smoking cigars, The Old Man and the Sea, blah blah?”

Steve looked at him, mouth partially open. “I thought you said you didn't know anything about him!”

“Didn't say that. I said he's gay.” Winking conspiratorially he added, “And when you know a man is gay, that's something.”

“What is with this gay obsession? You homophobic or something?”

“Non sequitur.”

“Huh?”

“Look, so there you are, this manly man, fighting in wars, writing novels of hopelessness and how Men are Men, then BANG! you shoot yourself in the head. What's that all about?” Mark turned back to watch this generation's Mil Mascaras do a flying suplex on his erstwhile opponent. It was his signature closing move, and usually ended the match.

“I don't know why he killed himself. Who can know such a thing?”

“People leave suicide notes. He left novels. It's all there.”

“Novels you never read.”

“Don't have to. He kind of summed himself up, didn't he.”

“How so?”

“He's gay.”

“Godammit, quit saying that!”

“Okay fine.”

Mark became absorbed in the next bout. Steve just looked at him. Finally, “So, you don't read him because he's gay?”

“Never said that. He killed himself. I don't think I want to hear anything he's got to say. People that are tragic can be rather compelling.”

“So, you just decided to not read anything by him?”

“Yeah, BANG! sudden like.”

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Thursday, April 21, 2005

Transitional Pope?!

"We Just Need a Breather."
Heard in Conclave


By Frater Bovious
9th Level Adept, THOOTR
We have a new pope. Interesting word 'we'. The pope is the Bishop of Rome, and basically an elected official 'serving' the Catholic Church. But several people that I work with, that are not even overtly religious in any way, told me with a smile that 'we' have a new pope. Why is the Pope a Rock Star? I have a theory, but it is a secret.

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Thursday, April 14, 2005

The Pope

Should he be news?


By Frater Bovious
9th Level Adept, THOOTR
A lot of people have asked me why I haven't written anything about the Pope. Naturally, I thought of the Prince song "The Pope" but recently found out that people are actually referring to The Pope of Vatican fame.

So, I shall write about the Pope.

Later.

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Friday, April 08, 2005

Me the Archangel


me the archangel
Originally uploaded by FraterBovious.
Frater Bovious IS the Archangel of SouthPark

Be concerned. Exhibit extreme consternation.

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Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Dallas Wine & Food Festival

Everyday Wines For Everyday People
April 2, 2005


By Frater Bovious
9th Level Adept, THOOTR
Frater Bovious, Madame Bovarie, along with J & J, family friends, attended this event Saturday morning. 9:30 am to be exact. Tasted six wines, and took notes from various wine judges and wine representatives. It proved to be diverting and educational, and provided some new flavor comparisons to use when out dining. The following bolded comments were all actually heard from these various wine commentators. The rest is just information about the wine, or my own commentary:

Principessa, Gavi DOCG, Gavia 2003, the grape is cortese, a minor grape grown in the Piedmont region of Italy and used to make the "Gavi" - (e.g: Cortese di Gavi), white wines. This feisty little entry won a bronze at some obscure tasting.

Commentator, Fran Baker: Light, honeysuckle note, acidic backbone, great with shell fish, sitting on the patio or beside the pool. The high acid content gives it a cleansing effect. I actually found it somewhat watery, yet a good counterpoint to the morning's Crest Toothpaste. I rated it an "I like it."

Gray Monk, Okanagan Valley, VQA, Pinot Gris 2003, a Canadian offering, the grape is pinot gris, a mutant clone of Pinot Noir. Has several synonym names in France, eg. Fromenteau (Gris) or Fromentot in the Champagne region where it is used in a sparkling wine blend along with Arbane and Petit Meslier wines), Malvoisie (Blanc) in the Loire Ancenis region (an alias not to be confused with the Malvoisie synononym name for the Bourboulenc variety found in the Languedoc), fresh from garnering a silver at the aforementioned obscure tasting event.

Commentator, Larry White: Crisp & clean, citrus - fruity - light finish, good Texas Hot Weather Wine. Don't over think it, just drink it. Does not step on any food, pair with fish, cheese. I found it somewhat more 'there' than the Principessa, really nice, more complex flavor and rated it a "Really Wonderful."

Crios de Susana Balbo, Mendoza, Rose of Malbec 2004, from Argentina, the grape is malbec, a Semi-classic grape grown in the Bordeaux region of France and in other areas under the names Médoc Noir, Côt or Pressac, while in the Alsace it has the local name Auxerrois. This also won a silver, which is a delightful coincidence, as Argentina derives it's name from Argent or Silver.

Commentator, Amy Atwood: New World style - 'fruit forward'. Rose is a year round wine, refreshing & fun. It is what it is. And, it is not a White Zin. Nice acidity on the finish, no Jolly Rancher effect. Argentina, keep your eye on it - affordable quality. Argentina will be next year's South Africa. Picnic fare - sunshine, mid day, good with chocolate mousse. I actually thought of strawberries as I smelled and tasted this wine. I rate it an "I like it."

Graham Beck, Western Cape, Pinno Pinotage 2003, From South Africa, the grape is Pinno Pinotage, Cultivar widely grown and successful in South Africa since its release in in 1925. Also currently grown in Brazil, Canada, California (USA), Virginia (USA) and Zimbabwe. Derived from the crossing of Pinot Noir x Cinsaut. Used to make a popular, hearty red wine that ages well - (and often requires it). By this stage of the tasting I was losing track of what medal which won, but I think this won a silver at whatever tasting had happened sometime previously.

Commentator, James White, Wholesaler: Pinot Noir is a difficult finicky grape, very challenging to wine makers, and there are lots of really bad pinot noir wines out there. Every winery seems to think they will make the 'great pinot noir'. The pinno pinotage grape is a sub species of the pinot noir, crossed with cinsaut, and had only truly been successful in South Africa. They have managed this wine by limiting the yield to 4 tons per acre, and harvesting before the grape is overripe. It is fermented in a stainless steel pump over - well, the important thing, as the vintner from the winery told me, is that he had "learned to take the wet monkey on fire out of the wine." I found it to have a flat start, almost tasteless, but possessing of a very interesting finish. It was a bit of a surprise with smoke notes. I imagine it would go great with a sidecar of Liquid Smoke. Seriously, I want to try this with a nice rib eye. I rated this an "I really like it."

McPherson Cellars, Texas, Tre Colore 2004, I have not a whit of an idea what grape, other than 'red mediterranean blend', disclosed I suppose by the tre color name. I did find this description of a 2002 year Tre Colore, so am assuming the grapes are the same: "a terrific red-wine blend made from syrah, carignan and viognier. The first two provide sturdiness, while the third somehow makes it all work out." - from an Aug 2004 Fort Worth Star Telegram article. This won a bronze.

Commentator, John Bratcher: Going to be visiting wine country? Great, we're in Lubbock, where are you staying? Texas is suited for Italian, Rhone and High Plains wines. Texas and McPherson Cellars have a long wine history, and in fact Communion Wine continued to be made in this region during Prohibition. This is a blended wine, soft, great fruit notes, chill it a bit for a Hot Texas alternative to Pinot Noir. This is a young wine, but you don't want to age it - drink it now! I rated this wine a "pretty good."

Wyndham Estate, South Eastern Australia, Bin 555, Shiraz 2002, the grape is Shiraz, an alternate name for the french Syrah clone grape grown in Australia and responsible for very big red wines that are not quite as intense in flavor as the french Rhone versions. In the past it was also known under the alias name Hermitage. This won a silver at the same wine tasting referenced above, i.e., that one I don't know about, but that happened this year in Dallas.

Commentator Zelijko "Ziggy" Blagojevic: Wine is about enjoying wine & food with good friends. Serious wines are drunk by serious people. Everyday wines by everyday people - great concept. This grape came from the Northern Rhine to Australia in Hunter Valley (Dalwood) in 1830. This area is now known as Wyndham Estate, and consequently we are the birthplace of Australian Shiraz. This is the perfect wine for 'I just want a glass of Red.' It is aged one year in oak barrells used 2-3 times before. This has that Aussie Berry Shiraz Flavor. Nice, warm, inviting. I rated this an "I like Shiraz."

Other interesting things learned or heard that morning:

Flavor note: Sweaty saddle.

Bin numbers: Supposedly, for non-criminals living in Asutralia, someone owning an estate or ranching endeavor had one criminal allotted for every 100 acres of land. Or something like that. Anyway, these folks were educationally challenged, and so could not read. So, someone got the idea of just naming the various wine lots by the bin numbers, i.e., Bin 1 was called Bin 1 etc. They don't have a Bin 666. This story while entertaining is not true.

On Blended Wines: Nothing wrong with blended wines. In fact most bordeauxs are blended, as are all good champagnes.

Pinno Pinotage: Comes alive with veined cheeses. I have experienced this to some degree with Port and Stilton, about which Winston Churchill said, "Port and Stilton are like Man and Wife. What God has joined together let no man put asunder."

On stemware: The finest of glasses, Reidel, is pronounced reedle, not rydel.

On youth: "These wines are like our host, young at heart."

Decanting: Decant wine to add oxygen and add flavor - up to an hour. But in the proper vessel, one that allows for a large surface area. Simply opening a bottle and letting it stand won't do it. Not enough surface area is exposed.

Room Temperature: 63 to 68 degrees. So, on a typical hot Texas day, if you want your red at room temperature, you know that one in the bottle rack over there by the window, pop it in the freeze for 10 minutes. Perfect.

On the whole we all really enjoyed the outing and learned quite a bit. Wine drinking has a certain allure, that is after you've outgrown the 'pound beers until you are snot-slinging incoherent' phase. Once you have a few wines and phrases and grape names under your belt, you can engage in a little tongue-in-cheek snootery with your friends. Nothing like a little faux haughtiness around the pool with family and friends. I highly endorse this type of activity, rating it an "I really like it."

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Sunday, April 03, 2005

Underinformed Wal*Mart Exec Says"Ooops!", followed closely by "Br-r-r-r."

Attempted Hostile Buyout Has Serious Repercussions


By Frater Bovious
9th Level Adept, THOOTR
Waldo Marmaduke, a high ranking executive at Wal*Mart suffered a serious career setback recently. The Global Exclaimer caught up with him at his new post, a Neighborhood Store in Yakutsk, Sakha (Yakutia) Republic of Siberia. He agreed to answer a few questions.

Glob: "So, tell us how you got here."

Waldo: "I was just doing my duty, identifying potential revenue streams that it appeared offered Wal*Mart serious penetration opportunities. We sacked and burned the Grocery Industry, effectively owning the stomachs of North America. At first glance, it didn't seem there was much left to acquire. Then it hit me. We owned their stomachs, their hygiene needs, their kitschy crap needs, etc. So, what's left? Exactly. Their souls." Stops talking, stares wistfully out the window at the featureless white snowstorm currently raging.

Glob: "Waldo - Waldo, I have a deadline..."

Waldo: "Oh! Sorry. Well, anyway, Religion seemed an obvious target. Seriously, (eyes glowing) this religion thing had huge potential. I mean, the revenue stream is Tax Free!!! Our survey team then began to look at likely targets, finally narrowing on the Mormons, and Scientologists. We set aside the Mormons for later, as they are rather high profile, and it was not clear that their faithful would swallow this new direction. Ahh, but Scientology looked primed and ready for the picking." Heavy sigh. "No one told me that my target for takeover actually owned Wal*Mart."

Glob: "Yes, that was quite the oversight, wasn't it. So, then?"

Waldo: "So, here I am, Store Manager here in this Godforsaken backwater town. I don't know if this proves there is a God, or disproves it. - Look, I got work to do. I'm done talking. Get out of here."

The Glob next found Security Chief Terl, of The Church of Scientology, for comment.

Glob: "Security Chief Terl, tell us about Waldo."

Terl: (Laughing dismissively) "Stupid human."

The Glob was then hustled out of the room without ceremony.
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Thursday, March 31, 2005

Ignorant and Meaningless Soundbites

Heard on Fox Just the Other Day


By Frater Bovious
9th Level Adept, THOOTR
"Should we fight to keep her alive, or let her die with dignity?"
What the Hell does that mean?

Now that she is not just merely dead, she is really most sincerely and dignifiedly dead, maybe we can spend a little time reflecting on media manipulation of our emotions, and wonder if we should continue to let our minds rot slowly to death watching TV, or turn the goddam thing off and live with dignity.

Rest in peace Terri.

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Genius

As reported by a random 10 questions test. Surely, that is enough.


By Frater Bovious
9th Level Adept, THOOTR
Results of the 10 Puzzle IQ Test

Click here to learn more about this test.

Your score

Number of puzzles solved: 9/10

Puzzles you had wrong: 1

Estimated IQ: 150+

Estimated Percentile Ranking for the General U.S. Population: 99.9+

According to your score, you are GENIUS

Now, here's the deal. The one question I got wrong, was the first question, which should be the easiest one. There was one question where you were supposed to read this paragraph, and then determine what it had to do with Joan Jett. One of the answers was "I love rock n roll" the only song that I know she did. So I guessed. The final question I used a solution that was not general, and would not have worked for a different set of numbers. So, I missed the general rule, that all the numbers were a multiple of some other number. In other words, I guessed.

So, I guess I'm a genius.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Not an Onion Article

Those Wacky Christian Scientists


By Frater Bovious
9th Level Adept, THOOTR
Sperm donors no longer bank on anonymity screams headline. (Good thing I caught the typo where I left the 's' off of screams before I published this.)

This is an article that I arbitrarily decided to use to discuss some current societal issues in view of "The Law of Unintended Consequences." If you are uninformed regarding such a law, I invite you to peruse this Wikipedia entry.

The law of unintended consequences is interesting to me because I labored under the misconception that I had invented the concept, until I decided to Google it. But it is also interesting to me because it seems that many of these consequences are foreseeable. Others are not, but, in certain areas, the Law should be considered before rushing headlong into acceptance of some new fangled change in society.

For example, I remember as a child watching a made for TV movie about teenage pregnancy. Now, at the time, that was something that we had heard did happen, to certain people in certain parts of the world, but it had not happened in my school, and I did not know anyone who was even having sex. This particular movie showed some really uptight folks dealing poorly with their daughter's pregnancy, and the poor girl being ridiculed etc., by her peers and the school system.

The message was clear. This poor girl was a victim, and was being mistreated, and why can't people care more, and why does everyone have to be so uptight, and why doesn't everyone just be nice? I mean, Gawd, she didn't kill anyone. I remember, at the age of 14 or whatever, thinking what a bunch of small minded people, and if they could only watch this movie they would see how hard they were being on this poor sweet innocent child, and her poor sweet innocent child.

Fast forward to when my daughter was in high school, and her high school had a nursery, and she knows several girls that were nursing while in high school.

And you got to wonder, is it better today, then back when that movie was made? The unintended consequence of trying to take away the stigma of having a baby while you are a teenager has been scads of babies born all over the place into non-stable environments. You go and interview 100 people in prison, and I will wager that the largest single common denominator will be single parent households. Is society better off?

There are a few other things I remember that were thought to be good, but have not had beneficial effect. The concept that manners are somehow 'fake'. Leading to 'honesty' in communication. Or that 'guilt' is a bad thing. "I ain't got no regrets." "No point in feeling guilty about it." "What ever." etc.

Here are some current societal issues that are being argued about which no one (I feel) is interested in reviewing in light of the law of unintended consequences:
Political Correctness. Hyphenated-Americans. Gay Marriage. Violent video games like Grand Theft Auto.

You may look at that list and think WTFO? How can Hyphenated-Americans be a bad thing? Or, "Oh, you're one of those homo-phobic right wing religious wack-os." But I think all the above have or will have consequences that may not be desirable. I can even give some examples, but shan't for now, in the interest of trying to stimulate debate.

Some unintended consequences are good. Like deep sea oil platforms becoming ecosystems. But, we're not really worried about the good things, are we?

Unintended Consequences happen. They are somewhat foreseeable. There should be some social debate, sans emotion when possible, to get a handle on whether or not some things that seem like a good idea at the time, actually are.
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Friday, March 25, 2005

Expiation

I am forgotten like the unremembered dead;
I am like a dish that is broken.


Psychiatry, the Early Years

Thoughts From 75 Years Ago


By Frater Bovious
9th Level Adept, THOOTR
I've always been a bit skeptical of any psychiatry or psychology espoused in a magazine or in the common press. The field is thought of as science, yet to me it fails the first basic test of science: reproducible experimental results. That and the fact that concepts are extrapolated from 'the lower animals'.

No, I am not trained in these fields, but most people spouting the crap they spout about psychiatry are not either. So, I feel comfortable spouting an attempt at a voice of reason. For example, the simplistic uses of the Skinnerian model of behavior, wherein human reactions are extrapolated from the reactions of poultry will become more valid to me once it can be demonstrated that a chicken will at times just do whatever because it is waiting for that opportunity to peck your eye out.

Regardless, I ran across this quote, which is very interesting for many reasons, not the least of which is how long ago it was said.

A little less worry over the child and a bit more concern about the world we make for the child to live in; an inclusion of the child in a life of which the aim is not merely to earn money so as to become independent of the job; more love for whole-hearted, creative work and progress that will make possible what we all can share in; with these conditions, the adult and the young both will have a better chance. -- Adolf Meyer, What Can the Psychiatrist Contribute to Character Education, May, 1930
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Thursday, March 24, 2005

Republican Porn Peddler Kicked to the Curb

Next Stop: Playboy Centerfold


By Frater Bovious
9th Level Adept, THOOTR
(With a hat tip to Ala.) I noted with interest the rather HOT editor of Playgirl, Michelle Zipp (er...) having been term'd apparently for being Repubelickin'. (Sorry.)

Clearly this demonstrates that Republicans are not a protected category, because WE'RE THE MAJORITY! HAH! IN YOUR FACE DEMOCRATS!!

However, after my initial guilty glee over Republican dominance, I must report that my finely tuned BS indicator, set to vibrate and held between my knees, is going off most pleasurably.

See, I find it difficult to believe that a competent magazine editor would be terminated for being a Republican. "Criticism from the liberal left ensued", she states in a reputed email to The Drudge Report. Shortly after, she reports, she was fired.

Hmmm. Does this mean only the liberal left reads Playgirl? Well, if you think about it, think HARD, it does make a kind of sense.

But, I wonder if this just wasn't a convenient way to move Ms. Zipp along. That seems much more likely to me then being ousted for voting Republican.

On a completely different free associative note; speaking of BS detectors, something is just plain strange about the Schiavo case. She is just now 41, and went into this vegetative state, what 15 years ago or so? So, she had a heart attack at the age of 26? Kinda young, don't you think? If this were a made for TV movie, it would be about time for someone to consider the possibility that this heart attack was not a natural phenomenon. I haven't seen any discussion regarding the cause of the heart attack. Could this actually be a case of attempted murder? With the desire to get the job finished? Especially before anyone figures it out while she's alive?

Yeah, I know. Lifetime TV. I just wonder.
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Monday, March 21, 2005

Meanwhile, this guy is NOT an Intellectual coward.

See previous post about IMAX for definition of Intellectual Cowardice.

Go here to learn about Real Ultimate Power!!

Now, this is Intellectual Fortitude!

Imax 'shuns films on evolution'

Interesting that I didn't see this in any of the local papers.
This is very much not a good thing. The Bible is NOT a science book. I don't recall anywhere in the Old Testament where God says anything about turning off our brains, and ceasing to study and learn what we can about our physical universe. That also seems to be missing from the New Testament. NO, I haven't read the Bible cover to cover. So, I am prepared to stand corrected.

But I am fairly certain the Bible does not teach quantum mechanics, calculus, thermodynamics, or advance any theories on evolution, or lack of evolution.

This all seems to center on the concept of the Universe having been created in 6 days, therefore evolution is non-Biblical.

Somehow, I don't think that is the point of Genesis. I will fault the Scientific Community on one point however. It is in reaction to the charge that 'the Earth was not created in 6 days, therefore the Bible is crap" that has created all these sad efforts to legitimize the Bible through pseudo-science, such as Intelligent Design, etc.

I'm sorry, but you don't look in a calculus book to learn how to bake Irish Soda Bread, and you don't look in The Joy of Cooking to cipher out differential equations.

Meanwhile, the Fort Worth IMAX folks are intellectual cowards.

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Saturday, March 19, 2005

Who am I?

Aside from the fact that
I'M A MAN BABY, YEAH!

I'm OK with this:


Which HP Kid Are You?

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Death as Rehab

What is The Age of Reason?


By Mark Connolly
Editor, Dallas Bureau
On one of the blogs I frequent, I saw a thread on capital punishment, and the recent Supreme Court decision. No more capital punishment for murderous children. There was a pretty strong difference of opinion.

I got the idea somewhere once upon a time that if you could hold two opposing views in your mind at once, somewhere in the resultant mental tension you might glimpse the truth.

Death and Rehab. Two approaches to a problem. The problem of murder.

Children and Culpability. What is the Age of Reason? For the Catholic Church, age 7 is when you are supposed to know right from wrong. Within that context, at that age, you can decide to sin. Prior to that age, your actions are not Sin, as Sin is a conscious decision to do wrong, and separate yourself from God.

So, death penalties for seven year olds? Well, I should hope not. But, if not at age 7, then what about age 10? Or 15? Or 18? Or ever?

And, why is it necessary to even consider such an awful concept?

Some questions worth pondering: At what age should someone know that it is wrong to kill a fellow human being, and what should be done about someone who knows better but does it anyway? And how relevant is age to that question?

I think by the age of 7 you should know that you should not kill people. And you should know there are consequences to the decision to kill. But that means we really aren't talking about crime and punishment, we are talking about raising children. And we are also talking about whether or not there should be a consequence to bad decisions. And we are talking about at what point is an action a bad decision and at what point is it a simple mistake?

If we are talking about how children are raised, and, if it takes a village to raise a child, then is the village culpable? If so, then how do you rehab society? Is capital punishment of the individual an attempt to rehabilitate society as a whole, by teaching in the grimmest of fashions that murder is wrong? And that there are consequences to bad decisions? If so, is it working? If it is not working, then what? A pat on the head and a Snickers bar?

Death as Rehab. Somewhere in the consideration of these opposing concepts there may be a truth worth figuring out.

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Stress Relief

The Use of Recording Random Thoughts as a Front Line Defense to Stressors Elsewhere


By Mark Connolly
Editor, Dallas Bureau
I am curious to know if this is a random and particular to me, or common. When life is great, and lots of fun things are happening, I am not driven to write anything. When I have had bad jobs, or life sucked for whatever reason, I would scribble notes about the most random crap, and admire any small word smithing success.

I guess that is the root of the tortured artist mythos.

Not that all writing has to be a result of outwardly imposed stress. I wrote that novel in a month thing as a response to the self induced stress of committing to writing a novel in a month. It strikes me that stress can bring out the best in people.

At work, where our company has been sold, I have been too tired at the end of the day to write anything. Hence the long absence from the blogosphere. I didn't even log on for days at a time, and didn't read all my usual favorite blogs or anything. Work is still stressfull, but apparently I've passed some critical point because while I am still stressed at work, I now have the energy and the desire to spew out this crud. And read all my old friends (so to speak) people I don't really know but have communicated with or argued with. They are over there in the list of blogs.

It's been interesting to pick up threads of life again, and see where people are vs then, at least in terms of the blogosphere.

Which takes me to a random follow up to my last random post about Michael Jackson. What would the King Of Pop be like if he had used the science fiction novel Dune as his escape, instead of Peter Pan?

Would he have built a desert land/amusement park named Arrakis? Would he go out in public in a stilsuit? Would he have taken up knife fighting? Would he be more able to deal with the world, or would he be some kind of scary demigod wannabe?

Any thoughts from whoever reads this would probably be quite interesting. So, What Novel Should Michael Jackson have patterned his world view after???

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Thursday, March 10, 2005

Never Land

When Fantasy Collides With Reality


By Mark Connolly
Editor, Dallas Bureau
Disregard the following, as I have nothing to base it on but the zeitgeist that, if nothing else, Michael Jackson is weird.

Who knows if Mr. Jackson is guilty of fondling young boys? I don't. It sure draws a lot of speculation, and would, I believe, crowd out similar accusations against The Pope as far as front page news. After all, the Pope never moon danced. From that respect, he is very boring.

Jackson, on the other hand (the one without a glove) is simply fascinating. The talent, the music, the plastic surgery, the bolt on nose, etc. It's like watching a train wreck in slow motion with THX surround sound. But what strikes me, when I do see some glimpse of him on TV, is that he is nearly as fascinated with himself as the rest of the world is. As if he is an actor on a stage, and this is all some sort of adventure, where bad press is good press.

Sadly, I think he may lack the emotional maturity to realize he is in trouble. I'm guessing none of this seems real to him except in some kind of Grand Adventure kind of way. I wonder what will happen when it sinks in that he's in trouble. Sadly, I predict suicide in his future.
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Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Über*Mart "settles" with DOL

As Reported in BrownWatch
- Wal-Mart settles child labor cases


By Mark Connolly
Editor, Dallas Bureau


I just found this fascinating. Wal-Mart is caught violating child labor laws designed to safeguard folks under the age of 18, and as part of the settlement, they get to have a 15 day advance notice before the Department of Labor investigates any other potential violations.

It seems like an article from The Onion. But, it's not.

Now, I will state for the record that some of these DOL laws seem silly. Basically, anyone under 18 cannot work with any equipment that has a motor on it. That includes floor buffers, bailers, deli slicers, etc. But, the bailer is the thing that really is silly. They don't even want 16 year old people throwing cardboard into the bailer. Granted some 16 and 17 year olds would probably crush themselves in a bailer if allowed within 10 feet of one. So, I can understand not allowing them to push the crush button. Sort of.

Regardless, that is the law, and most companies abide by them. Companies the size of Wal-Mart certainly employ enough lawyers to know better. I guess they just thought they could get away with it. Hmmmm
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Thursday, January 20, 2005

Mass Migration Phenomena

Where Have All The Homeless Gone?


By Mark Connolly
Editor, Dallas Bureau
Each year I am fascinated by the sudden arrival of the cold and hungry shortly before the fourth Thursday in November, and their equally precipitous disappearance on the 26th of December. For approximately one month these roving bands move into my city, scarf up on freebies, and then fade away into the collective backgrounds of our minds, like a mist vanishing on a sunny morn. I suppose they return to their vacation homes in Flordia.

How do they travel around? You'd think there would be some kind of reports or something. Hell, they track Santa on the radio on Christmas Eve. Why don't they track the migration of these gypsies that swarm into towns like locusts, living off the good will of the residents, and then, apparently fattened up enough to last a full year, dissappear once again to where ever they came from? You'd think the migration would be tracked on National Geographic TV or something.

In the old days, these folks would have been tagged and tracked by Jim from Mutual of Omaha. "And now Jim, having darted a big male, will install the painless ear tag - Ka-snick. Never mind the reaction of the homeless man. He was not harmed, only alarmed by the sound of the ear clamping device going off so loudly next to his ear. There, now he is running off to join his band."

Those were the days of real science. FB

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Hello dere!

Been away. Back now.


By Mark Connolly
Editor, Dallas Bureau
S'up my bruthus?

I have been occupied most intensely at mi trabajo. We were sold by the family, and bought by an investment group, and much drama has ensued.

Including a voluntary severance package of most epic proportion, which did'st have me contemplating a change in jobs. However, I most probably shall remain at my current place of work, and see if we can't turn this bitch around.

And of course, I shall divert myself by blogging once again!! yay.

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