Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Turning a Negative into a Positive

I do believe there are some psychological theories which are important to remember when dealing with these situations. I suppose this would relate the closest to personality based psychology, with the study of the differences and likenesses of everyone's personalities. You can also tie in some social psychology as well.

Are people talking in a negative way to garner attention?
Are the people simply venting and need an outlet?
Is the reaction proactive or reactive?

There are variables to the persuasion as well. Think, who said what to who and how.

You have Communicators who uses credibility, expertise and trustworthiness to persuade. You have the Message using reason, emotion (e.g. anger or fear), arguments, and other types of informational content. The Audience, what is the message targeting? And the Channel or how it's being presented, via print, speech, etc.

If you can use some of those theories to help dissect the problem and in turn come up with a solution, it may turn a negative persona into a positive one.

How do you approach someone who is hostile, well simply put you can't meet them with hostility. You'd need to approach them with some sort of understanding, almost like a hostage negotiator would.

Respect what people have to say. Even if they can only voice concerns with negativity. If they really don't care they probably would look to discuss their concerns somewhere else. If you approach the person with respect, the chances are this will be reciprocated. Sometimes you have to give a little respect to get some respect.

Listen to what has to be said. Don't look to talk over or point out the bad things, try to listen and understand how something is affecting that person. How is it making them feel? Sometimes regurgitating what's being said shows signs that you are listening. Try using what they have said in a response back to them.

Be helpful. If someone is negative because they are frustrated that they can't find the answers they are looking for we should try to help them find the answers. Making sure that their voice is heard and providing the help that we can, helps soothe dejected feelings.

People have names. Try to use their name when applicable. Online especially when you can easily fade into a crowd, having a face and a name can make a difference in diffusing a bad situation. You won't be on a first name basis with everyone but if you say "Hey X, I was wondering why you were doing X" it comes across as being much more personable than "I was wondering why you were doing X". Typically you'll have a greater chance of having a positive reaction after making such an effort. You shouldn't use someone's name to call them out in a situation however; this will only drive a wedge between you and that person. It can also lead to some very jaded feelings.

Follow through on what you say. This is simple but time and time again we fail to deliver what we promise. Following through on what we say can only build trust in a community. It's especially true when the negativity comes from distrust. No, we're not politicians, but a promise is a promise, and we should respect players enough to follow through on our promises.

Exude calm and positive solutions. If we stoop to a level where we don't show that we're calm and positive it will only feed the fire. In a virtual world where you can easily misread something, having clear and concise answers that are worded appropriately is imperative. Positivity counts too, try talking about a positive instead of a negative. Think of it as what you can do as opposed to what you can't do.

Thursday, August 24, 2006


Ok, first everyone say it with me re-spon-si-bil-i-ty. Need help trying to pronounce it?
ri-"spän(t)-s&-'bi-l&-tE. Responsibility, so what does that really mean? The quality or state of being responsible: as moral, legal, or mental accountability. My friends over at Miriam-Webster were kind enough to provide that bit of help with this early segment.

Now it’s really simple be accountable for your actions, more and more we’re just not seeing people in society live up to the expectation to be responsible. Be it kids not picking up their toys, to grown adults not taking care of their paternal responsibilities, this sort of social dysfunction isn’t healthy.

This strikes me as an interesting topic as someone I know is going through a difficult time. She is with child yet the person who is supposed to be there with her elected to not marry her due to pressure from his family. This is not a young gentleman either, he’s past his 20’s and frankly the guy doesn’t have his life together.

So let’s rewind just a tad. The gentleman lives at home with his parents, doesn’t have a full time job, and from what I understand does not have a degree yet. He’s cordial and seems like a nice guy but it just seems as thought he can’t make a decision for himself. His parents run his life and when he was pressured by them to not get married, he buckled (from what I understand they were going to withdraw financial support, food, and lodging).

Now when in the course of human events (we’ve heard that one before…) there comes a time in which you have to bite the proverbial bullet and just get it done. That takes some courage but it’s also you being responsible. Only you can make the right choices for yourself, but considers others first. It’s almost like the “Golden Rule” but sometimes that impact reaches much longer and wider than just worrying about what happens to you.

Be responsible, be considerate and maybe just maybe the world will be a little brighter for everyone.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Super Size Me - Super Review

Since it was required in class to write a review on Super Size Me I thought I would post it just for fun...Keep in mind I did have to answer a few questions as asked by the professor.

To start things off Super Size Me was a compelling story told by Morgan Spurlock who takes a McDonald’s eating binge for a month to show off its negative side effects.

The film provided a very real and educational look at what can happen if someone partakes in the indulgence of 3 square meals a day at a friendly neighborhood McDonald’s. The movie hit home for me due to the nature of the content and it’s something we see every day. It does make you realize that not only is the food unhealthy for you but it also is something that can shorten your life by many strides.

The realistic nature of Morgan being an average guy who was in good health before eating all the McDonald’s meals shows in shocking detail what can happen and that’s what makes the movie so profound.

All this was not met without some negatives, the lack of detail on some of the situations and scenarios left me a little disenchanted. It would have been nice to see what exactly Morgan did to get back on track with his healthy lifestyle that he once led. By showing others what exactly he did could provide a glimpse on what can be done to reverse the negative effects of the binge eating that occurred.

Now what 5 things stood out in this movie? Well for starters, yes fast food is bad for you! The marketing campaigns that these fast food companies run do target the youth of America which is heartbreaking in a way because they are the future of this country and you don’t want the future to be unhealthy. The education is not out there in America on how to eat healthy, all the while big companies who promote fast foods can spend many times more money on their ads. Contrary to popular belief not always is a salad good for you, as shown in the premium salad at McDonald’s. And finally, portion control is well, out of control. The fact remains that portions were a great deal smaller in times long past. Add to that fact that in other countries the portions are quite a bit smaller for soda, fries, and other items on the McDonald’s menu and that just emphasizes the American term “Super Size Me”.

The film did leave short the long road ahead of Morgan, where we could have seen what he had to go through just to get back to his ideal weight. Knowing how easy it is to pack on the pounds is one thing, but something more compelling might have shown how hard it was for Morgan to loose that weight.

The film is something that could bring to light the cold reality of the eating habits we have here in America to our most important asset, the nation’s youth. By showing the youth of America early on the problems associated with eating unhealthy food as shown in this movie, we can help educate them into making better, healthier, food choices when presented with unhealthy options. I mean, when was the last time when you heard a child refuse a Chicken McNugget?

So in all I would recommend this film as required watching for anyone who is overweight or even those who eat out many times during the week. Helping educate the nation on healthier eating is something that will only benefit our society. It’ll allow folks to lead healthier happier lives, and may cut down on the road rage just a bit since less people will be on the road attempting to cram into an overcrowded drive through.

Monday, July 10, 2006

So where the hell have you been?

Ive been asked this a couple times from numerous people and contrary to popular belief I havent vanished from the face of the earth. Well simply put Ive been busy with quite a few things and simply havent had the appropriate time to dedicate to making a blog worth reading.
Im thinking of updating less frequently than I did before (once a day on the weekdays) but more frequently than I have in the past month (none). So finding a happy median shouldnt be too hard to find.
What have I been up to for the past month you ask? Well aside from work, Ive been working on some video editing projects, which I will say are fun but codec problems with media players are the bane of my existence at the moment. Oh and Im taking some online college courses to further my studies.

Now what else was there, oh yeah 4th of July. What a bright idea it is to only have a few firework places where the mass public can gather around and cause massive traffic jams, drink publicly, and generally act unruly. If you cant tell the sarcasm in reading that then my apologies and I was being sarcastic. I was traveling through downtown when the fireworks started to go off (yeah I know not the brightest thing in the world). I ended up in a parking lot which I thought I could get out of. Needless to say there ended up being a wall of cars blocking off the exit of the parking lot with all the occupants of the cars either inside or even outside of their cars oogling over the fireworks.

No, this wasnt as fun as I thought but what comes next wasI took my car a sedan mind you off road backing out, since the geniuses behind me decided to park and jump out of their cars to observe the fireworks. Backing out was touchy at times with 2 wheels off road over a curb and 2 on the paved road. I was able to back out and get going home just as the final barrage of fireworks dissipated in the nights sky.

Driving home there was some traffic but not too bad. Unfortunately the person in front of me upon attempting to merge onto the freeway got cold feet and stopped right there. I paused for a moment and thought What would possess someone to just stop in the middle of the onramp? Well as soon as I saw a break in the traffic I stomped on the gas and took off like a bat out of hell, sorry lack of creative verbal expression there.

I made it home safe and sound seeing as I am typing to you all now. And the moral of the storywell I cant think of one but Ill let you know when I do...

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Just Because...

I decided to make this post just to check in and say that I haven't forgotten about blogging, it's just been busy!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Flashback Friday: The Princess Bride

There are few movies that I can watch more than once that I truly enjoy; The Princess Bride is one of them. This movie really has something for everyone, action, adventure, some comedy, and romance. Now you may not recall watching it when it was first released back in 1987 but I’m sure you remember watching it more recently…Yes it still qualifies for Flashback Friday…

A young Fred Savage pre-Wonder Years offers up a little child like humor to the movie as his grandpa reads the story. With every mention of a kiss the cut seen would come up with a cringing face of Fred Savage groaning eeew.

There are so many moments in the movie that you just have to stop for a moment and laugh, like the part with the Sicilian who thinks he could outsmart anyone in a game of wits. The Dread Pirate Roberts quickly pops out poison in the form of white powder and Vizzini provides the wine. Needless to say he was mistaken to think he could outsmart the clever Dread Pirate and the poison ended up in his cup.

The Ending of the story is what I would recall as a happy ending putting everything in it's place where it needs to be. Inigo has his date with revenge, Westley his duel to the pain, and he ends up with the girl. I won't go further into the details incase you would like to relive memories.

With the memorable moments abundant and the popularity of the movie still gaining with new generations watching the tale of The Princess Bride will always be pleasurable. The movie to me as well as many others will remain a classic in our media libraries for many years to come. So since I probably piqued your interest why wait? Make Friday a movie night and watch it today!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Driving Manners

All too often I find myself wondering why people are so anxious to get from point A to point B, C, or even D. In the midst of the swerving, finger waving, and general taunting we make our ways to our destination sometimes more frustrated than relieved. The unfortunate circumstance of over crowded areas and lack of general mannerisms taught.

There really is no good reason why you should not respect other drivers, in other countries this isn’t a problem however in America this seems to be a growing issue. One look at the news from Los Angeles and the threat of road rage is all too apparent. It’s an unfortunate circumstance when tempers run high and patience runs low. It’s true everyone has somewhere to go, hence the reason why they are on the freeway but wouldn’t it be a more pleasurable journey if others exhibited decency and mannerisms while driving?

I’m one to think that there’s just too much stress and people get detached from knowing what relaxation is. Everything nowadays seems to ultimately say hurry up and stop. If we were to stop for a moment, take a deep breath, relax, and just appreciate things for a moment, I know things wouldn’t feel so hectic.

Perhaps we just need more time off, as it is in other countries there are more break times and vacation days available for working. Is America comprised of a bunch of work-a-holics? It quite possibly could be, but it’s important to know your limits both mentally and physically. Take a break once in a while, enjoy the finer things. As Bruce Lee said “It is like a finger pointing away to the moon. Do not concentrate on the finger or you will miss all that heavenly glory.”

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


Yes Wednesday is here, it’s halfway to the weekend and in some cases it’s the start of your weekend…College maybe? What better to talk about on Wednesday than something exciting, something controversial, something like…Responsibility.

Don’t you wonder sometimes when you go to places and you see someone who blatantly breaks the rules just because they know they can. It concerns me in a sense knowing that it’s happening all too often in society and perhaps degenerates good will to others because it happens rather frequently. If everyone was to break the rules would that make it right? No, it would make you irresponsible.

Being responsible isn’t exactly limited to following the rules; it also could be a responsibility to yourself to follow your dreams. Within certain boundaries and limitations (I.E. not harming others and such) you should do something to fulfill your dreams, you are here for a short time so make every day count. Not always will you have a second chance so do the best you can with what you have and don’t give in.

I may not be that old but I do know something about responsibility or the lack there of in some cases. All too often we see people who disregard responsibilities for selfish gain and utterly hurting others in the process. In other words, it’s your responsibility to be…well responsible.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


It’s funny how I look back at all the changes in technology in the past 5 years or so. I’m studying a bit for an A+ exam (just something I want to get for the heck of it) and have found myself thinking back upon all the new innovative things that have come to pass recently.

I’m sure many of you recall your first computer, perhaps it was a 386 SX with a whopping 4MB of RAM. At the time that was pretty good. Maybe it was a Cyrix chip computer? Needless to say that was maybe 15 years ago and it really puts things in perspective as to how fast computer technology develops.

I recall about 5 years ago we were just breaking into the 2 GHz barrier with Intel chips, AMD was up and coming, and 512MB of RAM was more than adequate for most applications. About that time was also when the graphics wars started to heat up with ATI and Nvidia.

Now when you look at what technology we have available to us it’s simply mind boggling. 4 GHz computers, 2GB RAM, dual core everything…even my toaster is dual core. Well you get the picture, we’ve made some serious leaps and bounds.

I even look at the internet and see how it’s grown. We have high speed internet all over the place with new technology such as FIOS sitting there on the wing just waiting to take over. FIOS if you haven’t heard is a fiber optic network set up by Verizon that promises extremely fast network speeds, I’d wager it’d be faster than a T1 network.

Wondering what the next 5 years will bring? Who knows, but I’m along for the ride…right after I install my RAM drive that is…

Monday, May 15, 2006


Avast matey, ahoy, and all that other pirate jargon that I’m still getting a grasp on. I’ve found myself on a history binge as of late and with the resurgence of the “Pirate vs. Ninja” debate I found myself looking more and more into both from a historical standpoint.

Now ninjas are great you know…mystery and stealth, but in all honesty I’ve read more on ninjas than I have on pirates so I needed to catch up. There is however an elegance about the pirates that I find astonishing, living on the high seas, going where the wind blows, and taking what is needed from those who pass by.

Pirates in media seem to be popping up all over the place as well. This could be caused by the upcoming Pirate’s of the Caribbean movie, or it could be caused because you got a little “Capn’ Morgan In Ya”. Heck even the WWE has their own pirate, yes I do watch from time to time.

Pirates have an interesting history, and the fact remains there are still pirates today only they don’t seem so grand anymore. I’m still reading up on the history of pirates mind you and I’m waiting on a shipment from Amazon but there’s some great information on the internet if you’re truly interested in pirates. I’ll write more on pirates in a later blog and after I read a bit more on them.

Did you hear about the new pirate movie?
Yeah…it’s rated “Arrrr!”

Sorry…had to leave you with a corny pirate joke…

Friday, May 12, 2006

Flashback Friday: Nintendo 8-bit

Seeing as how we’re enjoying all the things that have been going on with E3 I thought it would be appropriate to celebrate Nintendo on this Flashback Friday. This console was what got me really into gaming so let’s take a little trip back.

We all know that the Nintendo Company was around before the consoles however 1983 was the year that they got their hit product the Famicom on the market in Japan. 2 years down the line in 1985 Famicom production went world wide, only under the name of Nintendo Entertainment System or NES as it’s affectionately known as. The design of the system also changed to suit a more global market and thus my addiction to gaming would truly start.

I’ll be honest here; I was a Super Mario Bros. junkie. I would spend an eternity mastering the nuances of all the levels in Super Mario Bros. I still recall sitting for hours in stage 4 hopping on the turtle on the stairs at the end of the level for pretty much unlimited lives. Mario 2 soon followed, as did many other games.

I even recall the movie specifically made to plug Super Mario Bros. 3 called “The Wizard”. The movie starred Fred Savage, known for the kid in “The Wonder Years” and “The Princess Bride” among other things. I still watch that movie from time to time just because it makes me smile.

There were some great games that my buddies and I would play till the end of time. Let’s see, Castlevania, Contra, Double Dragon, Double Dribble, Excite Bike, Final Fantasy, Ice Hockey, Metal Gear, Metroid, Ninja Gaiden, The Legend of Zelda, RC Pro Am, and so many others. Remember the Konami code? Yeah that’s right, I brought it up…UP, UP, DOWN, DOWN, LEFT, RIGHT, LEFT, RIGHT, B, A, START.

The Nintendo really started it all for me as well as many others, I’m sure. It’s good to remember your roots, especially when you see the freakishly real graphics that are available on the next gen consoles. It really does make you appreciate where you have been and where we’re going, especially when you see the pixilated images of Link saving Princess Zelda.

Recall some of the Nintendo past with these links of NES related goodies:

Game Genie http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game_Genie
NES Advantage http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NES_Advantage
NES Max http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NES_Max
Power Pad http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_Pad
Power Glove http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_glove
R.O.B http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R.O.B.

….And don’t forget to blow on the cartridge.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

A Note And A Song

I don’t know what it is about music that brings your spirits up with a rush of memories of times long passed. I suppose it’s the memories of what you were doing at the time when that music was playing. The anthems of summer, the ballads of the fall ball, and so on, all bring back some sort of memory both good and bad.

When I think of some of my favorite songs that I frequently play it’s almost like a time machine taking me back in time. Although there are some great newer songs that I listen to on my iPod I have a wide array of older songs from my teenage years that get a bit more listening to than the new. Perhaps it’s that whole reminiscing thing that I can’t get over but then there wouldn’t be stations dedicated to 60’s, 70’s,80’s, and even 90’s music if I were the only one that felt this way.

I know there’s a radio in your car for some reason, and with the recent boom of satellite radio stations focused listening to your tastes are much easier. For what it’s worth focused listening to what you really want to hear seems to make for a more enjoyable experience much more than simply listening to top 50 music on the local pop station, or the random oldies that brought the house down…before your time. This seems to be a good alternative route to throwing down cash for an iPod or any other iDevice of the sort.

It’s also interesting that music is something that can even bring back bad memories, remember that one song you dedicated to your “Ex”, but that was when you were together yet now it brings back things that you would have rather forgotten. Subliminal messages? Maybe, but it seems more of a trained thought with association.

I like to think of the better times, crank up the volume to “11” and relax. I know you do the same thing no sense hiding it, so put on your favorite tunes and just smile.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


All too often we tend to find a way to say things in public arenas and then think we can get away with whatever we say. Next thing we know what we have said has been squelched one way or another, then next thing you know we’re crying that our first amendment rights have been violated. To that I say it depends…

Many times you’ll see people go on a tirade about one thing or another, it’s ok to do that in most cases but when it crosses certain boundaries then by all means it should be censored especially when what’s being said is on a privately owned and operated service.

We (as in the general masses) put up blog reports here and there on different services and in all people can choose what they want to talk about and all is well. We even go to different forums and newsgroups across the internet’s far reaching boundaries and talk about varied topics.

Key word here that we need to consider is that you’re using a service and they have a “Terms of Service” agreement that you usually have to agree to prior to using their service. So if someone talks about something that violates a “Terms of Service” agreement on one of these services, that company has every right to squelch what’s being said. No first amendment backlash there, period.

Now on the other hand if you have your own server, and make your own forum or blog I’m pretty sure you would be free to say what you want to say and not violate any agreement. This is where you do have a right to say what you want. Heck even standing on a soapbox on the corner you have that right.

If you would like to learn more about freedom of speech feel free to check out this link. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_speech

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Mind Over Matter

Every so often we press ourselves to the limit of what we feel is humanly possible, then we get a second wind pushing us farther than we thought we could go before. The mind and its abilities are something we tap into when fatigue sets in, it’s the mind that helps get us that next mile or that extra weight repetition. What we’ve seen recently by magician David Blaine is a true testament to what the mind can accomplish.

David Blaine has an impressive internal fortitude to say the least, without the proper mindset I doubt that he would be able to accomplish the things that he has been able to. Imagine yourself encased in a block of ice, how long would you last? I know I probably couldn’t last very long…He lasted 61 hours 40 minutes. That’s an incredible amount of time, a little more than 2 and one half days…very impressive.

How about hoisting yourself on top of a pillar 90 feet in the air, now once you get over your fear of heights you realize you have nothing more than 22inches to stand on. I’d try to balance up there, but I’m sure I would fatigue in 3 hours which is a pretty reasonable amount of time. He did 35 hours without food or water, and without anything to lean on. Again that’s pretty darn impressive

Now what if you decided to fast for a day, or maybe there’s the prom or some other social event that you need to get in shape for so you fast for a couple days. How about 44 days? Not possible you say, well you guessed it he did that too in the confines of a box smaller than a prison cell. He also lost about 54 pounds.

His latest feat is also a true testament to one’s mental stamina, staying submerged in a sphere of water for more than 170 hours. I can’t stand being in water for more than 1 hour let alone 2, my hands look like raisins and it just gets a little uncomfortable. He did have a nightcap for this accomplishment as well, trying to hold his breath for 9 minutes. He fell about 2 minutes short of his goal but 7 minutes is not shabby by any means.

In all this is the extreme of what mental stamina can do, we use it in daily tasks to overcome adversity in different ways. Having a healthy mind can help you overcome many obstacles and having a calm inner being truly does help.

Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.” - Henry David Thoreau

Monday, May 08, 2006

The Family Dinner

Now and again I think back at things that at the time didn’t seems significant but now I wish that these occurrences happened a bit more often than they did. Family dinner for one is something that I wish happened more often way back when and I think it’s something that many people, kids and adults alike take for granted.

We’re fortunate enough in this country to more or less have dinner every night in one way shape or form. All too often though we see the kids grab some grub from the stove and head off to sit in front of the TV while mom and dad munch away off on the side.

Why is it that families don’t sit together more often and just be a family? I’m not so sure, everyone’s agenda is always pressed, and everyone always has something to do. Family dinner is something that as a kid you can care less for, I mean it’s not cool to sit with the old folks and eat, right? Well when you get older you start to appreciate that time that you got to spend with your “old folks” because it’s time that you can’t really get back once they aren’t around any longer.

I’m fortunate enough to have both my mom and dad still around but I’m not able to have a simple meal with them any time I want since they are far away. I do however remember how nice it was to sit with them and just talk about how my day was, even if it did stink.

So please, put down the remotes and gather around the table. Sit with your ma’ and pa’, just for dinner. It’s time that you will remember later on, and it’s time that you can’t get back once it’s passed.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Flashback Friday: Inspector Gadget

Imagine that you’re a lanky sort of fellow, grey suit, mechanical body parts, obsession to save the day but you aren’t too coordinated, what does that make you? You guessed it, Inspector Gadget. Cut scene to the shadowy image of Dr. Claw stroking his pet Madcat after another foiled plan …”I’ll get you Gadget”… Who can forget that?

Now what would Gadget do if he didn’t have his mission, and none other than Chief Quimby would give him the mission on an exploding piece of paper. Gadget would quickly read the message which at the end would always state “This message will self destruct…”. Gadget would then turn and toss the paper away only to blow up the Chief, poor guy.

Inspector Gadget didn’t solve his missions alone, heck he never really solved the problems but somehow managed to get credit for the save. Gadget was fortunate enough to always be accompanied by his too-smart-for-her-own good niece Penny and trusty dog Brain. The combination of Penny and Brain usually led to the problem being solved and the troubles investigated, while Gadget’s hijinks only led him astray from the real problem until finally stumbling his way into the solution or nabbing the bad guy.

Now Gadget did stop the villains, however he wouldn’t be so effective if he didn’t have his slick gadgets that popped out of every place imaginable. Magnifying glass, pen, laser, you name it he had it available in his arsenal. You never know what he would pop out with next.

There was also a more recent resurgence of the Inspector with some movies that appeared in 99’ and 03’. The movies looked ok but neither of the movies translated the original cartoon just right.

You can check out that famous intro music in the follow link.. Inspector Gadget TV Intro.

Until next time…Go Go Gadget Copter…

Thursday, May 04, 2006

American Phenomenon

It almost seems as though you’d be living in a bubble if you haven’t at least heard of American Idol. This rating juggernaut was something I tried to avoid for one reason or another but have found myself smitten by this years cast of singer hopefuls.

From the beginning of the show season I was checking out the hopefuls from the different cities. I guess what captivated me most about this portion of the show was the awkward and brutal way Simon would violate these contestant’s confidence when they couldn’t “bring it” when they had their chance. Thankfully there wasn’t a “William Hung” guy in the show this time around, it’s cheesy enough that he actually had an alblum and we don’t need another…please.

The following 2 rounds after the city search leave something to be desired really, it’s just a waiting game until you get to the real meat of the show. The big stage as it’s been billed is the better part of the show since you’re saved from hearing karaoke renditions of songs you once thought were good, but not so much anymore because you can’t look at it in the same light after watching the show.

It is rather interesting to see the big stage in full effect mainly because the “idols” can train with some of the world’s best singers and for the most part it does show. Some of these idols can actually sing pretty well and it’s enjoyable to see those you feel did well succeed as well as hearing those who didn’t up the ante get ripped for not leaving it all on the table. It makes for a good show and the elimination factor does put an edge to the “must see TV” moniker.

I typically don’t buy into the hype and just watch what I enjoy watching. Now I don’t know why I didn’t really enjoy watching Idol before, perhaps it was the fact that I didn’t care to watch it that made me indifferent to the show. Needless to say I’ve changed my tone this year and find a good amount of entertainment in watching.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Internet Fads

We’re in the information age and sooner or later you’ll get smitten by the latest internet fad that’s sweeping cyberspace. Faster than a boy band gets shown the stage the fads are here and gone. What’s the deal with all the crazy fads? All your base are belong to us? Chuck Norris? You’re the Man Now Dog? Leeroy Jenkins? Star Wars Kid?...There’s just too many to list but we’ll go ahead and break down a few.

Ok now some of the fads are funny, All your base are belong to us now that’s just tacky. It’s just a bad translation that someone thought would be funny to show the rest of the world. It was only relevant in the UK since US never saw that horrible translation of Zero Wing for the Sega Genesis. It’s a bad translation no more no less, watch a dubbed Kung Fu flick and get over it.

Did you know Chuck Norris can divide by zero? No not really, but in the magical world of internet phenomenon people believe he can. I don’t want to dispel any myths or rumors about Chuck Norris but it seems as though Chuck knows of his new found internet fame and posted a response on his website which can be found here. Although, if you want to see where all this crazy talk came from you can check it out here

Leeroy Jenkins, probably the most famous online game player this side of Fatal1ty. Best known for his antics while in a group in game and on team speak. The group is devising their master plan in order to combat a difficult area and he just rushes in without rhyme or reason. It’s one of those scratch your head moments but I suppose it got enough people’s attention since Leeroy is a fad in itself. Heck he was even featured on Jeopardy in a question. I don’t know about making heads or tails of it but I did get a laugh out of watching the famous clip…once…

In all, the internet gives society a new ground to base our information assaults on the masses. Sometimes these trivial thoughts, ideas, and concepts turn into huge fads because of the mass of people who think it’s the new hotness. Thankfully just as the boy bands faded into obscurity these fads will as well….And not soon enough…

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Everyone Is An Immigrant

I woke up Monday and finished my normal morning routine, got on the road and it just felt different. The roads in San Diego were quieter than normal, but I couldn’t put my finger on why. I looked at the calendar when I got to work and realized that Monday was “A Day Without An Immigrant” day dubbed by immigrant right activists against the planned immigration bill.

The reasoning that I have been hearing all too frequently is that illegal immigrants work the jobs which no Americans will work. I don’t believe this to be true at least not 100% of it, there’s too many homeless, starving, and unemployed people in the United States to say this is true. People who are in those types of situations, who are U.S. citizens should get a first chance at jobs that illegal immigrants work (farming, food service, etc.).

If I recall correctly, Mexico has a free border into the States. People can come and go as they please and we don’t exactly stop those who are illegal from entering our States. Why is it that if we see a boat full of Chinese coming from abroad we intercept that boat and turn it around? That sounds like a double standard if you ask me.

Now it’s everyone’s right to immigrate to any country, humans are almost nomads by nature but if there are rules, regulations, and prerequisites prior to earning your right to be in a country then those rules should be followed. Some may feel that these rules are unfair and unethical but in reality everyone had to go through it at some point in time.

It’s an inalienable right that everyone should be treated with decency and respect legal or not. The line is crossed however we point fingers at those who are illegal, however those who are illegal however should respect the country which they are trying to be a part of and get proper paperwork to allow their stay in the United States

We’ve all had to go through it at one point or another, maybe not you in particular but someone in your family. Allowing anyone who is in the country to stay illegally and gain legal status on a whim as many propose just isn’t acceptable. It discredits the things that our mothers, fathers, grandmothers, grandfathers, and so on believed in when they worked their knuckles raw to get an opportunity for a better life in the United States.

Everyone in the United States migrated here at some point in time. I don’t recall looking in my history book and hearing of human civilization in the Americas prior to the land bridge allowing Chinese and others from the Far East to cross over. So we’re all immigrants in some way shape or forum. It’s ok to be an immigrant, just follow the rules and do it the right way.

I'll leave this entry with a quote...

"Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortunes; but great minds rise above them." - Washington Irving

Monday, May 01, 2006

Summer’s Breeze

Spending the weekend in mid 70 degree weather and partially cloudy skies reminds me that summer isn’t too far away. With that in mind I have to mention that summer is an enjoyable part of the year that many of us look back on with fond memories…

Summer’s rolling in so let’s go down the checklist…



Alcoholic Beverage…CHECK

It’s a great time to get an early jump on some of the must haves for the summer, but I’m sure that many of you have these items already. And let’s face it, what’s summer without the BBQ. The beaches littered with the sizzling sound of various meats and veggies on the grill with plumes of white smoke sending signals of “come and get it”.

Summer grilling is one pleasure few can pass up. Gathering around the pit with the resident grill meister (I.E. Me), some friends and occasionally a beer or 5 isn’t a bad thing. Spending time with friends and summer seem meant for each other, it definitely feels like a social time of the year which could be attributed to the weather. Although in Southern California we’re blessed with mid 70’s weather all year round there just seems to be a different aura about summer in So. Cal.

As I recall some of the most fun I’ve had in summer hasn’t actually come from being outside per se, but in a car. No not in that way. I mean road trips, yeah you know…the ones that send you countless hours in a direction that you don’t quite remember but you just keep driving anyway. I think it’s the camaraderie that occurs with friends after the countless hours behind the wheel that’s the best. Put in those songs of summer that you remember so well and just drive…

So be safe and put on some sunscreen because I already got burnt…

Friday, April 28, 2006

Flashback Friday: Lite-Brite

Does this jingle ring a bell? "Lite-Brite, Lite-Brite, Turn on the magical shining light!"…No? Perhaps this one might? "Lite-Brite, makin' things with light. Outtasite, makin' things with Lite Brite."

Ahh…Lite-Brite, that wonderful invention that kids just can’t get enough of. It’s simple in design really, black peg board that’s backlit. You place simi-translucent colored pegs into the board, and wait till its night time to really see that Lite-Brite magic.

Lite-Brite itself was introduced to the market in 1967 and it’s pretty impressive to see it still around when many toys fall out of fashion soon after its release. Furby anyone?

I can’t speak for everyone but I know there were a good many youths that got stuck playing with Lite-Brite for hours on end. Is that a bad thing…No. It actually allowed for kids to be creative and make something without creating a big arts and crafts mess. The only down side really is that you’d have to clean up all these little pegs…well then there’s that occurrence when you ran out of that one color of peg that you really wanted to finish up your sweet artsy picture. But other than that, all was well in the world.

Those were good times looking back on the Lite-Brite days. Sometimes I wonder why we enjoyed such a simple little contraption then I remember it could have been that I just enjoyed being a kid, then again I still think its fun…

If this blog has piqued your interest to relive some of those old memories, or perhaps start some new ones try out Lite-Brite online at the following link.


If you would like to learn more about Lite-Brite then check out Wikipedia:


Thursday, April 27, 2006

What's In The Numbers?

""If we could shrink the earth's population to a village of precisely 100 people, with all the existing human ratios remainingthe same, it would look similar to this: 57 Asians; 21 Europeans; 14 from theWestern Hemisphere; 8 Africans; 52 would be female; 48 would be male; 70 wouldbe non-white; 30 would be white; 70 would be non-Christian; 30 would beChristian; 89 would be heterosexual; 11 would be homosexual; 6 people wouldpossess 59% of the entire world's wealth and all 6 would be from the UnitedStates.; 80 would live in substandard housing; 70 would be unable to read; 50would suffer from malnutrition; 1 would be near death; 1 would be near birth; 1would have a college education; 1 would own a computer: When one considers ourworld from such an incredibly compressed perspective, the need for bothtolerance and understanding becomes glaringly apparent."

Really when you break down those numbers it’s rather staggering what all that really means.

So we really don’t see these types of imbalances living in America. I can definitely see this as plausible though when factoring 3rd world countries, which we don’t really hear about the majority of the time.

Now living in America we’re fortunate enough to allow every child an equal opportunity to succeed, what if it wasn’t that way? What would America be like if only a few privileged few kids got to go to school? That doesn’t sound too fair to me.

That’s the everyday reality that some of these kids out there have to deal with, sometimes it really can seem hopeless when you really don’t know your place in the world. What’s even worse is that from the information that I’ve seen the majority of the uneducated are females.

In many parts of the world females are still considered only good enough to do housework and raise kids. A woman’s value far surpasses this, and while it’s their culture and in some cases their religion. However since this is my show I can say what they believe is the truth is a veil of archaic beliefs that cloud the true beauty and potential of a woman.

What’s even more shocking in those numbers is that only 1 would have a college education and only 1 would own a computer. These things are something that we take for granted without a blink of an eye.

In America college doesn’t always seem to be of importance to many people however when people put their lives on the line just to get an education, we should feel more fortunate. Yeah, you don’t always need college to make something of yourself but it sure does help. Sure, many people are confused when they get there but that’s part of the journey as a person…it only makes you stronger.

College may not be all for education in essence, it could be more about the travels your take, and the experiences that you’ve gained. Be glad we live in a society in America where you can partake in that. It’s not something that should be taken lightly.

In all, cherish what you have, be fortunate for where you are, hope for a better tomorrow, and make a better today.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Nuclear Effects

Today marks the 20 year anniversary of the worst nuclear disaster, and possibly one of the worst ecological disasters in recent times. Yes, it’s been 20 years since that faithful day in the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and we’re still feeling the effects of what happened.

What can you really say about what happened?

The short term consequences of what happened led to the hospitalization of 203 people of which 31 died, 28 of which were from radiation exposure. This also had an adverse effect on living conditions in the area causing hundreds of thousands of people to evacuate their homes.

We’re only starting to see some of the long lasting health problems the people in the surrounding areas are faced to live and in some cases die with. Thyroid cancer is fairly common amongst those who live in the surrounding areas touched by radioactive fallout and future generations may have health problems as well, this however remains to be seen. The Ukrainian Health Minister suggests that more than 2.4 million Ukrainians suffer from health problems related to the disaster

San Onofre, nestled snug between Los Angeles and San Diego, is home to a nuclear power plant. This hits a little close to home when hearing about Chernobly because the fallout from the coast will probably hit both Los AngelesSan Diego, two huge metropolitan areas. and

It’s a scary thought to think that if a meltdown occurred in San Onofre, how would a large scale evacuation work…would it even work? I can recall with vivid recollection what the evacuation was like when the coastal cities along the gulf, it wasn’t a pretty site. The highways looked like parking lot for miles, and it would take hours upon hours to go one mile due to stalled cars, cars with no fuel, and a myriad of other planning problems.

No, I don’t believe Los Angeles, San Diego, or any other city in America is really ready to up and leave with the populations the way they are, and the real lack of good freeways away from the major metropolitan cities. Going eastward from the bay cities of California is a pick your poison of 2 lane freeways.

Sometimes the numbers don’t always tell the tale, paper doesn’t show the emotion, and nor can it give you the profound images that linger in the minds of those who were affected by this. I found the images in the following links a somber reminder of what remains and I was humbled by them. Feel free to visit them if you would like to check them out as well.

And with that I'll leave today with this quote...
"Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall." - Confucius

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Mondays and there after

The day has come to an end and frankly I think everyone tends to get a “case of the Mondays” sometime or another. A bad day isn’t really avoidable but persevering through it ultimately makes for a more fulfilling day, much more so than focusing on the negativity that it instills.

Getting up in the morning isn’t so bad, you know what to expect and in general you’re ready to go without too much of a problem. Take your morning shower, get dressed, and a pick your poison shot of your favorite energy drink and off you go.

Making it to your destination is sometimes a chore in itself that’s more fatiguing than some people think. Yeah I’m talking about morning traffic. The majority of us aren’t fortunate enough to wake up and get to work down the street, yes the majority of suburbia has to get up and make that dreaded 7 letter word a reality…C-O-M-M-U-T-E.

Some sadistic, masochistic, or some other “stic” type person may actually enjoy the commute. I can’t speak for them but when you have see people in L.A. and other places getting into road rage over trivial things you know the commute is getting to them.

I’m not going to sit here and preach about “road rage” and on road mannerisms, or lack there of. It’s a huge discussion and deserves its own write up. Now Back to Mondays…

Once at work things get flowing pretty well and the day is over before you know it.

I suppose most people get a “case of the Mondays” because they enjoy not having the responsibility to be somewhere at a certain time with certain accountabilities associated with that. It’s all well and good since it’s only once a week and before you know it, it’s Wednesday and you realize the weekend is no more than a few days away.

Try to look at Mondays and everyday for that matter with a positive attitude; be fortunate you can do the things you love to do. Every day, every moment, every breath, be thankful. Cherish what you have, for every day is special.

The best way to prepare for life is to begin to live.” - Elbert Hubbard

Monday, April 24, 2006

Saluting Earth

Earth Day has come and gone, but have we really learned from it? There’s a multitude of factors that play into if we’ve really learned anything, but I would have to say unequivocally no.

Just one look at the gas stations around and you can tell, we’re using up natural resources and fossil fuels like there’s no tomorrow. These fossil fuels and such do burn, and last time I checked things that we burn end up in the air. Part of what Earth day is for is to appreciate where we live but the unfortunate circumstance from burning all these fossil fuels is that we’re making that wonderful place where we live uninhabitable.

If you’ve ever had the pleasure to drive through Los Angeles or any other major metropolitan area, you’ll see a great deal of cars sitting idle during rush hour traffic. We rely so heavily on fossil fuels to just sit idle while we’re burning them all away. What if all those cars in LA were converted to Hybrids that, when idling they burn no gas. I’m sure we’d see some improvements in air quality and fuel consumption.

Earth day may not have as great of an impact on people perhaps because many live in metropolitan areas. The sight of nature is few and far between now a day and oftentimes we’re only fortunate enough to come across a small patch of land once in a while in the form of a park. Then there are those lucky enough to live in a coastal region and aside from having to weave your way through the multitude of beach front properties, it’s genuinely a nice place to be…when there isn’t a surf advisory for raw sewage (as we frequently see living in San Diego).

I’m not innocent either; I drive a car like pretty much everyone else when I could be carpooling or taking public transit. I don’t always recycle because it’s not convenient, and the last time I checked I didn’t save any trees by using that fresh white paper to make some great looking airplanes to toss around the office.

So in all we really can’t put the blame on any one person, when it’s everyone’s problem. Earth day is a start, but we should be reliving Earth day every day. Last time I checked good old Earth wasn’t complaining because it wasn’t convenient to have billions of people around. Maybe we shouldn’t complain so much when it’s not convenient to do something out of the way to help Earth out.

If you would like to read more on Earth day check out:


Friday, April 21, 2006

A walk in the clouds…

I like to think of the weekends as a time to renew and rejuvenate your spirit and your soul. We focus so much on the here and now that we tend to forget about our self in the normal pandemonium that we consider a daily routine.

Now I’ve always thought that it’s important to remember the other parts of your well being such as mind and soul, but what’s truly remarkable is how big of a difference it really makes to take that extra time to refresh. When you hear that saying “Mind over matter” you quickly think of someone thinking their way through a problem, but I also see it as your mind’s strength to do something.

We really only use a fraction of what our brain can mature to be, why is that? What have we not tapped yet, that our brain can do? Some of the greatest thinkers ever may have only used 10% of their brain’s capacity, so there has to be more that it can give. Is this possibly the “Mind’s Eye” that lay within untapped potential?

I suppose you can sum it all up with a bunch of questions but little answers, but I do know that without the mind and soul you’d never see people realize full potential. From observation athletes tend to push themselves not only to their physical limits, but mental limits. Often times you’ll see people fatigue more mentally and make mistakes whitest the stronger willed person will prevail.

Taking a look at martial artist who break boards, stones, and various other inanimate objects you normally couldn’t break, isn’t only training of the body, but a training of the mind and soul. I recall the term “seeing through the object” coming into play where you don’t focus purely of what’s in front of you but what’s behind as well. I suppose you could use that saying for life as well, but that’s another discussion all together.

So what I propose that you treat yourself, sit without too much distractions, turn on some soft music, drink some tea or a hot beverage of your choosing, and just sit for a while. Close your eyes after a bit and just enjoy not having to do anything, it’s a rare pleasure in this day and age to sit and reflect upon the melodic harmonies strung through the air.

"Happiness is not achieved by the conscious pursuit of happiness; it is generally the by-product of other activities." - Aldous Huxley

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Knowing your role?

I thought I would start this entry off with a little inspiration in the form of a haiku that I wrote

Staring into moon
Thinking what tomorrow brings
Im not lost anymore

Now that we got the introduction out of the way I had an interesting day to sit and lament over knowing your role. What does that really mean? Im not sure, and Im probably not qualified to tell you what your role is but why is it that society puts roles on everyone just to pass judgment on them. For one reason or another someone got the bright idea to give everyone a once over looking at them and say thats where you belong, which in turn puts a check mark next to your name and who you are to be.

I disagree with how society judges people for various reasons but its shameful that we think we give everyone an equal opportunity when thats far from the truth. Why are there shows on TV that interchange Caucasian and African Americans with each other, pigmenting their skin and having them live a life on the other side of the fence?
If that doesnt tell you theres obviously something askew with societys labels then perhaps I can open some eyes.

I'd like to think that I myself give everyone an equal opportunity at showing me who they really are. I guess were all quick to judge, but in time you learn to have a little more faith in humanity and let people show their true colors to you. Many times first impressions, while always important, dont genuinely show you who that person really is. Give them a chance to come out of their shell a bit and express who they are and what they like to do. Theres nothing worse than telling someone who they are before theyve said it for themselves.

I've seen plenty ladies out there who love to participate in kickboxing and even quite a few who weight lift. Im not sure who really passes judgment on them but I notice they get some strange looks. Why is that? Why is that lady whos bench pressing as much as any guy getting those looks as if you swallowed a lemon?

Now I applaud those efforts because not only are they doing something they love to do, but they are doing it despite what society believes is acceptable for them to do. So next time, when you see that lady in the gym, give her a thumbs up.
Oh, and it doesnt stop there. This is more of a male stigma towards women but just listen for a second. Remember that one girl that you see all the time, you know the one that all the guys stare at and think shes gods gift. Well ever stop and think what shes all about? What if shes a med student at a prestigious university, most people (READ: guys) dont see past that, which is a shame.

This type of stigma happens to me quite often in fact. I suppose I dont look like the type of person who enjoys cooking, museums, and some classical music. Sure I have some A-typical traits, but when I share what I enjoy doing with other people I get some strange responses. You get the Oh no way to the Yeah right answers typically, however some are more accepting than others. What happens all too often is people are hesitant until I start popping off answers to their barrage of questions.

There was a time in which I recall mentioning I cook to someone, in which they quickly snipped back So what did you have for dinner? I suppose at this point they were expecting a candid answer of Mac n Cheese from a blue and yellow box. That wasnt the case at all as I simply replied Well I got home and made herb crusted pan seared lamb with a red wine vino sauce. The look I got was priceless.

Now what does that say about the society that we live in? Well I can tell you that were all quick to judge a book by its cover and we rarely take the time to read its pages. Last time I checked that book on the shelf, it looked a little worn but I use it every Sunday.

So Ill close this entry out with a simple quote..

"I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." -Voltaire

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

A day to remember...

Seeing as this is my first genuine attempt at creating a blog or something even close to it, dont expect anything fantastic as I wouldnt want to let anyone down.
I thought I would start off with simply rehashing something that happened in history today April 19th.

The siege at Waco, Texas, ended when FBI moved into the Branch Davidian compound with tear gas and cult members set fire to the compound killing over 80 people.

The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Okla., was destroyed by a car bomb. 168 people, including 19 children were killed in the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history up to that time.

Germany's Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI.

So it seems as though today really has some violent recent history as well as a rebirth of sorts for the Catholic Church. I hate thinking that the only news we hear is bad news but this is typical of what we tend to see on the evening news while flipping through the channels.
In 93 I recall seeing the Waco standoffs but little did I know all the meaning behind it. I looked at the situation as little more than a crazy cult of religious nuts gone askew.

Now looking back and actually reading up about the situation there were many lives that were affected many of which were negatively affected. When you think about all the aspects in which the whole ordeal touched individuals, from those sitting in front of their TVs shaking their heads in disgust as the complex is ablaze, to those who were actually there trying to negotiate with irrationality, it seems disheartening in a way. Why is it that you cant stop time and help, or just try to do something differently?

Take a moment and think, now how many lives were lost through the whole ordeal, especially the younger victims. Its mind boggling to really think about that, but you have to think that they could have been something in this world, but all theyre now known for is their name attached to such a negative piece of time.

Taking a quick little trip down to 1995 when pogs were the hot commodity, not Pokemon or Yugi-Oh. Pop in some Hootie and the Blowfish I Only Wanna Be With You and just take a step back for a moment. Oh, you dont like Hootie? Well perhaps in the vast archive of music theres something 95 that will get you in that time frame.
Ok so in 95 we see a disgusting terror attack on Oklahoma Citys Alfred P. Murrah Federal building. This attack killed 168 people. Frankly it takes your breath away when you imagine each of those people as babies, walking and chatting amongst each other, then their life ending in a blink.

I recall seeing the pain that all the families went through during this time, its even more vivid in my mind than that of which occurred in 93. I hate to think that society breeds hate but what can you really say when you mindfully go out and make a bomb to blow up a building. This hits a bit close to home as were still reeling off the 911 tragedy in 2001.
I cant speak for everyone but I know that I try to look at things in a different light now. I mean what is really a suicide or terror attack, perhaps a failed cry for help?

Not everyone will get along but you can always hope that by you doing something different that one day that you can touch a person in a way that theyll consider doing something just a little different. Talk to that neighbor thats right next door, maybe they lost their job today and could use a friendly hello. Say hi to that stranger on the corner as you make your way to Starbucks, what if thats the only nice thing hell hear that day?

Were not all perfect but I think we can all make a difference in each others lives, I know I feel that if I can have a positive effect on just one person that my life isnt in vein. If I can help one person Ive done something right in the world, in society.

Speaking of righteousness today, last year to be exact a new leader of the Catholic Church was selected. Pope Benedict XVI became the 265th reigning Pope and took over for the only Pope Ive really known much about, Pope John Paul II.

It was an interesting occurrence to see thousands of people make their way to the Vatican to take part in all of the ceremonies for the Papal election. I should also say that it was even more touching to see the lines to wish and pray for the deceased Pope John Paul II a safe ever after.

I suppose this would be the best time to wrap things up and until next time Ill leave you with a quote that you can take with you.

The only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible. - Arthur C. Clarke