Where Do My Readers Come From?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Dec 27th, 2010

I hope all of you are recovering from your Christmas festivities. I went to bed about 11 or so last night which is early for me and I woke up at about 3:30 am. I am not sure what that means but I am not overly thrilled about it that is for sure. So I am writing this at about 5 am after playing several games of Football Manager 11 followed up by a losing effort in League of Legends. I saw basically two movies this weekend. Well more like 1 and a half. I went on Christmas day to see "The Kings Speech" with my parents and I have to say that I really enjoyed it. There were a couple of things that it did for me. It highlighted an area of history that I have always been a little bit interested in as well as showing me some new aspects of what was going on that I had not learned about in school. So if you are looking for a relatively cerebral film that tells a good story I would highly recommend it.

The other film that I only watched part of was "Inception" now I realize that is was kind of the hot film from last year. There were several stories written about it and many of the webcomics and blogs I read wrote about it. There was a big twist at the end that was supposed to be surprising and it dealt with what is really reality and how do we perceive it. I think maybe the idea that if I feel it is reality then it is reality even if in truth I am in a tube being fed paste kind of like "The Matrix" or if your actually intelligent or well read Plato's The Cave. But enough of my snarkiness. So after about 20 minutes or so of Leonardo DiCaprio fiddling around in peoples dreams along with some things in real life which I suspect were actually Leonardos dreams. (Spoiler) I realized that I just did not care about this story. It has been told and retold and retold better and in a far more interesting manner then this film.

I think that both reality and the nature of Free Will are big deals and important questions for those of us who care about that kind of thing to process but it is not done well in this film and it doesn't need to be redone by another ham-handed director. In this case the only good thing being that it wasn't a film directed by M. Night Shamaladingdong because he is a hack of the highest order. I believe that I will say that again just because it makes me feel good. M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN IS A HACK OF THE HIGHEST ORDER!!! Ahh that feels nice. Say it with me. I feel better and I think you will also.

A different sort of film that I would highly recommend is "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" it is pure escapism but oh so much fun. I love that you basically take a seat and then are along for the ride and if, like me, you have grown up playing video games or reading comic books then you will enjoy it even more. Check it out. You will not be sorry and if you are then it is possible that we may not be able to be friends. I am sorry but that is just the way it is. There are some things that are to much for me to get past. So you think real long and hard before you give me your two cents concerning this film. Because if you do not like it my wrath will come down upon you like Thor's hammer with the wrath and fury of two suns colliding!!!!


Monday, December 20, 2010


Hello again my friends, I hope this Monday finds you well. We are moving closer to Christmas and then New Years I would love to say I am excited about this but in all honesty it is just not that big of a deal to me. These last two years the holiday season has just kind of blended together in a lump and have not been either the most satisfying or the most fun. Not that they have to be and apart from a few peaks during time spent with friends it has been overall a pretty bleak couple of years. One benefit is that at least at this point I can only hope things began to get better.

I have made some new friends in this last year and gotten re-acquainted with some old friends and that has been a good thing. But this is really not where I expected to be at 41 years old. "Ouch" I know it shouldn't hurt me to write that down but it does. I think I had some unspoken expectations about what it would mean and look like to be 41 and I am certainly not meeting them. I realize that this isn't the end of the world it is just the reality of what I am dealing with. I am fully aware that things could be far worse.

That being said. One of the things that I do miss most of all is riding the train on a daily basis. I wish I had the money to just get up in the morning and drive to Wilsonville and hop on the train and ride it back and forth. I really used to enjoy the time I spent both riding the train and writing on it. I am really hoping for a job that will allow me some of that again. I think it was good time well spent and better time then sitting in my car on 217 that is for sure.

It has been an odd experience being unemployed for this long. I wish I could be more productive in terms of my writing but it is hard to motivate myself to be angry about things or feel that excited or upset. I think part of my defense mechanism so I do not freak out about money getting tighter is to not allow myself to feel super emotional about anything and keep myself locked down which we all now is not a healthy way to live and not how I have ever lived my life. There are some pretty important things going on in the world politically right now and I just am unable to bring myself to be excited about them. Oh sure, there is a feeling in the back of my mind that I really should care about that and that this is a big deal but I just do not feel the urge to be either righteously indignant or really happy about it.

I know there are people who think that I am depressed and I should go visit someone but that is not an option right now. I hope that one day it will be and perhaps I can continue to use this blog as a way to process some of what I am feeling but also I am not sure if this is the correct forum for such a thing as well. Talk to you later folks.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Dispatches From the World of Film

So I just finished watching a film called Pirate Radio and I have to tell you. I really, really enjoyed it. As anyone who knows me can tell you I am a sucker for a film that uses music in a good way and if it is a film that is about music as well then I am pretty much locked in. One of my favorite films of all time is Almost Famous and I have touched on that here before. But I want to encourage all you to check Pirate Radio out. The trailer is below

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Pretty crazy wild weather day yesterday. I know that we on average in Oregon get a couple of tornadoes a year but wow. The one that hit Aumsville yesterday was a doozy. The air temperature alone has been really higher then normal I think for the last week or so. I tend to wear shorts given a choice even in the winter time but I often have a long sleeve shirt on or a light jacket over it but Monday I was out doing some things and I just had on a t-shirt and shorts. Even for me that is a bit extreme in December but I wasn't uncomfortable at all.

I did read an interesting thing this morning. I do not know if all of my readers, or any for that matter, will remember this but right after President Obama was elected there was a huge rush on handguns in America. You couldn't turn on the television or radio or read a political blog without someone talking about the shortage of both guns and ammunition. Well it seems that times have changed again. The ammunition shortage is over there seems to be plenty of that to go around. Also Obama has made no significant moves to control or outlaw guns. Because of that along with some other things both societal and economically related. A large amount the guns purchased in the post election surge are being resold in the used market or private person to person sales. In fact gun manufactures Smith & Wesson actually posted a loss this last quarter. I am not sure what it all means other then that I think that people are not running as scared as they used to be running. They seem to be scared about other things but not about guns being taken away or ammunition being outlawed.

I think the people that actually benefited from this whole thing was the National Rifle Association (NRA). The annual revenue for the NRA is around $250 Million. Which is fine people can give money to who they see fit. I just find it interesting that what drives such giving is pure abject fear. I know that we try to rise above the emotional and like to think that we are rational beings but in our core the reptile brain freaks out and pushes us to do things that are emotionally based and may not be in our best interests. I find that fascinating.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Not feeling super inspired this morning. But on the plus side I am not feeling really cynical either so I suppose that is a good thing. I am just trying to keep the wheels turning. You folks have a good day.

Monday, December 13, 2010


So, I, had an interesting thought this morning as I was getting ready to head down to the coffee shop. It came about because of a discussion that my house-mate and I had yesterday during the Pittsburgh Steelers game. They were showing basically the same Toyota car commercial over and over during the breaks. It was a national commercial and the point of it was that you never know who you will see buying a Toyota. What my house-mate commented on was that it also seemed that you would never see any African-Americans at the Toyota dealerships and very few Hispanics other then Eric Estrada, but I do not think famous people count, because in this case it was special because he was Eric Estrada not because he was Hispanic. When my friend pointed that out I countered with "Well perhaps African-Americans do not buy Toyotas. Maybe it is a demographic thing?" Now, I was being factitious but it made me think. I have grown up in Salem, Oregon. It is a small to midsized town in the heart of the Willamette Valley and on the west side of Oregon. I am within a hour long drive or less from the Pacific Ocean.

Now, I grew up here and Salem is a pretty white town. It is possible that we are now more then 50% Hispanic I do not know the exact numbers but I know as a child the few people of color in my grade school all the way through to high school were usually Asian of some sort. There were just not very many African Americans. But what I wonder is...should I care about that? Should it bother me when I see a commercial that is obviously whitewashed or conversely been run through some sort of committee that said well we need a rainbow so lets get one of every race. To me that is not realistic.

Now, do not get me wrong I have no problem with integration and the more people of differing backgrounds and experiences the more exciting a place can be to live and I think the food in those places will be better by far then a place that is predominately one race or the other. But, I am unable to control who moves where and I tend to feel like these things happen organically and do not happen smoothly or well when done artificially.

So should I be concerned about something that I really have no control over other then that I in my own personal life can be welcoming to all peoples. I am not in a position of authority. I am unable to make laws that will impact societal mores one way or the other. So should it bother me if notice a commercial is racist? Does it make me a bad person if it doesn't bother me?

Just some thoughts that are bouncing around in the old noggin this morning.

Friday, December 10, 2010


So I watched The Office last night or actually this morning on the DVR and I do not remember Michael Scott being so detached from reality. I realize he has always been a little out there. But last night seemed like he really is just detached from reality. I enjoyed the show but I wonder how much longer it can go on. It seems a little stale to me.

Thursday, December 09, 2010


Blah, blah, blah.........I got nothing today. perhaps I will post something this afternoon.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010


Today is Wednesday. I need to keep repeating that because I woke up thinking it was Saturday. I am not sure why. I went to bed between 10 and 11 and slept until 7:30 so I am not really sure what this new schedule is doing but it feels like my body clock is adjusting to something. I am just not sure what it is adjusting to.

I am still trying to figure out some sort of thematic theme that I want this blog to operate under be it entertainment or politics or just whatever pops into my head. I realize that is what it is right now but it worries me that the random nature of the writings will drive some readers away. Not that I am trying to make money off of this but you know that kind of thing is always pretty cool. I think my ultimate goal is to get rich enough that I can complain about the Government taking to much of my hard earned money. I doubt that will ever happen though.

Oh!! I did hear something last night that I found really interesting. I was half listening to the Daily Show and they had a retired general named Hugh Shelton on who has just released a book detailing his 40 years in the U.S. Army. That alone might make for some interesting reading but what I found even more interesting was that after the general walked out. Jon Stewart said "I heard you just recovered from an injury?" The general went on to detail how he had fallen out of a tree or off of a ladder and been paralyzed. He was ultimately taken the military hospital in DC and they elevated his blood pressure to, in his words, "dangerous levels" for about 8 hours and he was cured. I am sure the actual procedure was far more complicated then that but I still thought it was pretty amazing that some one figured out if we can really get blood around the injured areas maybe the human body can fix itself. I think that is pretty neat and I am constantly astounded at how the human body can repair itself.

That is all for today. Keep on rocking folks!!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Tuesday for Tea

Well day 2 of trying to get myself on some sort of reasonable schedule started bright and early. I went to bed last night between 11 and midnight and I woke up this morning at 4 am. I am not sure if this is good or bad. If I fall asleep in the middle of the afternoon I am pretty sure it is a bad thing. But all that aside here I am awake and typing and drinking my second cup of black tea which I have sweetened with some tasty blackberry honey.

So I sit here listening to several different morning shows on NPR and trying to figure out the best way to get a job. They just did a quick blurb on the radio about people working longer in life because they will not have enough in savings to retire on and I thought "oh boy. I also have that to look forward to." I do not say that to be a downer it is just the sad truth. I need to find a job that pays the bills as well as allows me to save a little bit and has some form of health insurance attached to it. Or, pays enough to allow me to purchase my own health care.

Today is also Dec 7th. Which is Pearl Harbor day. I would be remiss not to acknowledge that. I have a far older 3rd cousin I believe who was in Pearl Harbor I have never met the man but my mother has always talked fondly of him. I am thankful for the service he did for the country and for servicemen and women who do an extraordinarily hard job as far as I am concerned and all personal politics aside I am not sure that it is a job that I could do.

Well that is it for today. I do not have any real tidbits of wisdom for you but I hope that will happen as I continue to progress in my daily writings and try to find some form of theme to work under. I have some vague ideas about using a book on writing that I have as some sort of a catalyst for my daily writings so we will see if that idea comes to pass or not.

Have a good day.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Foggy Groggy Monday

Well it is Monday morning as usual and I am not typing well. I am feeling a little foggy this morning. I am not sure why. I thought I slept pretty well. I mean sure I stayed up probably later then I should have but that is nothing strange for me. But, when the alarm went off this morning at 7:30 I lay there in bed trying to get a handle on what day it was. That is not the norm for me at all. I am even one and a half cups of coffee down and still not all together there. I am torn because I feel like I need to be productive and find five new jobs to apply for. As well as work on updating my resume and trying to find the perfect sounding phrase that will make a prospective employer say "Wow! This Lance is the right person for the job. I will call him up right a way." Or just calling today a wash and curling up on the couch wrapped in my comforter and watching movies on the Lifetime channel.

I am really feeling the need lately to get myself on some form of schedule that is like having a job. I have been unemployed since July and I am starting to fall into staying up to late and wondering around the house in my pajamas kind of behavior and I know that is going to make finding a job that much harder. I think I am going to start working on fixing this by pledging to you my faithful reader or readers as the case my be and trying to post daily. I hope that will help me actually focus my time on the internet as well as allow me to sharpen my research and my writing skills. As usual I am not sure what path this will take in terms of form of blog posts or what particular topics I might be addressing but rest assured I will be blowing your socks of with the power and majesty of my writings.

So be prepared for the losing of your socks!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Coffee Monday

It is Monday and I am at the Broadway Coffeehouse enjoying my job search and my coffee and marionberry (sp?) scone. I find that even though I do not like being unemployed and I do need to find work soon. For reasons both economic and social and mental. I really do like having a Monday morning free to step in to the coffee shop have a cup or two or three and do some writing and some searching. It gets me out of the house and allows me to listen to people around me and to marvel at some of the things people say and how people act. I would again recommend the Broadway Coffeehouse to those of you who have not tried it out. I do not believe you will be disappointed at all.

I had an interesting past week and weekend. It was Thanksgiving and so I did all of the usual family stuff. I went to my Parents house and there were several members of the extended family there all from my mothers side of the family. Aunts and Uncles and Cousins and some assorted second Cousins it is always good to see them. But what I did this weekend that was different was that I took a drive out to the Brigittine Monastery in Amity, OR. The initial reason for the drive was because a potential wine tasting trip fell through and I had heard that the monks sold some very tasty fudge out there so I convinced or to be more accurate once they were in my car I just drove people out there. I found that I really enjoyed being out there. I live in a world of almost constant noise of some sort. It is either people talking or it is music or electronics of some sort and it is always around me. When we pulled up to the monastery there was a sense of peace and quiet all around me. We went into the main building which houses the gift shop and met a monk there who answered some of our questions and gave us a fudge sample.

(The fudge is amazing by the way. I purchased a pound of it for $10. It is really very tasty and I am sure that I should not be eating it. But I believe that since it is fudge made in a monastery it makes it Godly and I also understand that Godly fudge or chocolate has no calories to it. So eat away.)

The origin of the Brigittine order is an interesting one.

"The Order of The Most Holy Savior, popularly known as Brigittine, was founded in the year 1370 by St. Birgitta of Sweden to give praise and honor to God. Elements which characterize the Brigittine Order include a deep love of Christ, especially in remembrance of His sufferings, the fullness of liturgical worship, a respect for learning and authentic devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the holy Mother of God, all incorporated into a simple monastic life style."

The comes from their website. But I am in the process of reading about the group and St Birgitta herself. I am finding it pretty interesting. I hope to share more about that in the future. But, all that being said I would encourage people to take the trip out there and check it out. The level of calm it can bring to you is simply amazing.

One last thing. I turn 41 tomorrow. I am in a completely different place this year then last year. I believe that is a good thing and as soon as I get this job thing taken care of then everything should be looking rosy. I do not mention my birthday to get attention I just want to make note that I am in a better place now then I was last year at this time. Well better emotionally and mentally if not fiscally but that is another issue. I just know that I wouldn't be in the better place I am in if not for the support of my friends. I will not name names I believe most of you know who you are and what you mean to me and I will probably be talking with you in some form or another as the week progresses but I just wanted to make mention of that and say thank you to them on my blog. You all mean the world to me.

Have a good week folks.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Hunt Continues

So last week as I was sitting in the coffee shop writing my weekly post. I was reminded that a friend had said I should apply at T-Mobile for there call center here in Salem. So I decided to check it out. I filled out the online application in what was a pretty painless process but then I noticed that there was a sort of assessment test as well. I headed home and took the test and sent it in. I didn't give it much thought after that.

Well about a half hour to an hour later the phone range and it was T-Mobile telling me that I had passed the assessment and they would like to do a phone interview. I said of course and they set it up for the following Tuesday. Wow, I thought, I have never had a response to an application come so fast before that is really a good sign. Moving forward in time, Tuesday rolled around and the phone interview came. It was pretty simple just some questions about job history and what kind of skills I had and what I would do or have done in specific situations. As the interview wrapped up the lady told me that they would like to set up a face to face interview and that I had passed the first two steps of the process. I was pretty pleased about that and even more pleased when they called the next day and told me that they needed to set up a background check. So, for me, when the background check process started it made me really feel like I had a shot at this job. I mean why would they spend money on a background check if they were not serious about hiring me and it really felt like to me that things were going to end well.

Thursday morning dawned bright and clear and I awoke nervous. That isn't that uncommon for me as I am a little prone to butterflies in stressful situations. I used to get almost sick to my stomach before slowpitch softball games and I have come close to throwing up before public speaking. But I spent the morning getting myself ready for the interview and settling myself down and off I went to T-Mobile's Salem call center. When I got there I was shown a 5 minute DVD extolling the virtues of working for T-Mobile and how great it was there. It was almost like they were trying to sell themselves to me. When that ended I let the desk person know and I went and sat on the couch out front.

And I sat. And sat. And Sat. The interview was for 1 pm and I believe at about 1:15 out walked the person doing the interview. We went off and he proceeded to ask me pre-written questions from a sheet that had question choices for him to pick from. I spent most of the interview looking at the top of his head as he wrote down my answers. It really could have been an interview administered by a computer for all of the personal interaction that there was. We got done and he told me that I would hear from them on Monday or Tuesday. Well, that is that, I thought as I was driving home. I had heard back from an old employer that he had received a call from the background checkers so I thought that was good. Well on the drive home my phone beeped to tell me that I had an email. When I got home I checked it because as we all know it is illegal to check your phone while driving and I am a super safe driver. *wink*

Well the email told me I would not be getting the job. Now, that is fine. I am a little upset by that but I have not been hired for things before. But, what hurts I think is that I got past the first two levels with I believe just the background check and face to face interview left to go and was starting to feel really confident that the job was going to be mine. It was more the speed of finding out. It felt like he sent off the email as soon as he had returned to his office. It seemed like the response was so quick because his mind had already been made up. I realize that they are well within there rights to not hire me. But I think the process in which they let me know could have been a better one.

So the search continues. I hope I find something soon. Or something finds me.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Pizza Thoughts

I went to have pizza last night at my friends house. It is always a fun time and there is usually some form of pleasant discussion. The basic model is kind of cool the host makes the pizza dough and supplies the sauce and cheese and people bring whatever kind of toppings they want and they just start cranking out the pizzas. I throughly enjoy it most of the time.

Some of the conversations last night ranged from the Meyers-Briggs test on personality to politics both local and global and what motivated people to run for office and the different tools used by companies to sell things. It was a good evening and I usually enjoy pretty much anything that has an interesting conversation and an intelligent one. Well, last nights had both so that is always a good thing. I do not really have any profound nuggets of wisdom to share but it was a good evening non the less.

That being said. I just want to encourage my readers to get together now and then with friends in person and have actual conversations. I mean keep them civil but actually discuss things that have some depth. It is better for everyone to have to do a little bit of thinking about why they think like they think. I do not mean condemn them for being wrong or calling them stupid if you disagree I just mean have a conversation about it. Who knows you may even find that you agree on more then you think you do. I know I am often pleasantly surprised that I agree with someone when on the surface it looks like I would not.

Give that a thought at Thanksgiving this year when your crazy uncle starts going on and on about his latest Big Government theory. Take a moment, take a breath and actually have a conversation with them. You might be amazed at the result.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Post Election Blues

The election is over and America does not seem to have fallen apart. I am surprised. I thought after seeing all of the commercials during the campaign season that if the wrong candidate was elected the whole country was going to burst into flames. I am waiting for it to happen but so far everything seems to be running like normal. I know my life hasn't changed really at all. But in reality my life has never changed following an election. Even after the election of Obama nothing in my life has really changed as far as politics go.

I find it so interesting that we get so worked up about the elections and yet basically things seem always the same. I realize it may change for other people but I am not sure who. I like to vote and I like to be invested and to pay attention to what is going on in the world. But I have really felt like on a personal level my life has been all that affected by whoever the President is. I realize I might feel a greater sense of fear or urgency if I listened to Glenn Beck or Rachel Maddow but I don't. I like to think that this keeps me a little more grounded and less likely to be all worked up about things that that are past my level of control and in some cases, honestly, my understanding.

One example that pops into my head is from either last year or the year before. There was a gentlemen running around named Lord Christopher Monckton and he went on Glenn Beck to talk about the one world government that was coming as soon as Obama and the United States signed on to the climate treaty in Copenhagen. Well it has been a year since he was on Beck and since the meeting in Copenhagen. Well what has happened in this past year? Well, in short, not much. It seemed like last year at this time amongst some of my conservative friends there was a real sense of fear and almost panic that Obama was going to be giving away our Democracy by signing some sort of world government treaty in Copenhagen.

This just did not happen. But. No one seems to want to talk about the predictions that Beck throws out there to make people scared and angry. The man makes millions and millions of dollars a year from radio and television and books by spreading fear and distrust and people continue to swallow it like pigs from a trough. I just do not get it.

It is the same on the more liberal stations as well. The more agitated the audience is the more likely they are to purchase books or give money to campaigns to fight against the so called opposing side. I do not think that politics in America need to be trench warfare. It doesn't benefit us as a people or humanity in general to be so angry about things that basically most of us have no real control over and actually may not even happen.

I do not think that Oregon is going to be setback by Kitzhaber being elected. I think that things will basically continue like normal. But, I am sure that all of the usual suspects well continue to spread fear and anger all for the sake of making themselves even more wealthy. I am not sure how they sleep at night but they probably do it on a very expensive mattress and in a very expensive home.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Voting Day

Tuesday November 2nd is election day. Things are a little different in Oregon because of our vote by mail system. So rather then going into your local precinct headquarters we get a ballot in the mail a few weeks before the election that we are supposed to fill out and mail back in. If we do not mail it in early enough then you can drop it off on election day at different drop points all around the state.

Earlier this month after I had filled out my ballot and mailed it off I raised a question on my Facebook page about purchasing a stamp to mail in my ballot. This made for an interesting discussion and one that I want to bring over to the blog. So first I will put in some of what people said on my post and then hopefully we can get some comments to address the different points people made.

So what I said was this

"Lance Cummins has voted and now would like to begin the conversation about the vote by mail process in Oregon and why he has to use his own stamps to mail it back in."

I received several different comments some from people letting me know that I didn't have to mail that I could go drop it off. Which was already aware of. On a personal level it doesn't really bother me to buy my own stamp and I like the flexibility of doing my research and being an informed voter and then mailing it in as opposed to going to the HQ and voting in the booth. I mainly was just wanting to see what people thought.

My friend and regular commentator on this blog, Joel, had this to say:

"if they wish to use the VBM process, make the ballot postage paid. It in essence a poll tax. I do understand that if we had to go to a polling place we would have to expend resources to do so as well."

I felt like that was a valid point. By buying a stamp I am in effect paying for the privilege of voting.

Another friend and regular commentator Macy had this to say:

"for me, I just am not seeing how a stamp is more expensive/intrusive than the old system of having to show up at the ballot box at a specific day, taking time out of your schedule (and maybe hours off work) in order to stand in line. It seems I never turn my ballot in early, so I always drop it by a drop-site, which isn't inconvenient as they have them all over the place and I can just combine it with another errand."

I thought she made a good point that is does come down a little bit to what it feels like for each person. Some people really felt like going to the HQ was a hassle and too to much time out of the day. I have heard stories about people voting in other states, never Oregon, and having to wait 4 and 5 or more hours to vote. Now for me that is unacceptable. I like to vote I enjoy it. But I can't imagine that I would wait that long to cast my ballot no matter how important it was. I mean lets just be honest. How many of us would wait that long?

My friend and fellow blogger Christopher closed with this thought:

"If I were king for a day I'd burn the vote by mail law and go back to the old system. I really liked going to vote at the local voting booth, it made me feel like a citizen."

I can understand where he is coming from. I do not agree. I like to vote by mail. But, I also like feeling like a citizen and right now with politics the way they are it is very easy to feel unconnected to government and to feel like your vote really counts for nothing. Which is really to bad. In Australia and Venezuela voting is mandatory and I do not think that is a good thing. As much as I think everyone should vote I also like that in America I am able to not vote if I feel so inclined. Though I also think you void your right to complain if you do not vote. I know it is easy to be cynical and say that special interests control government and I do feel that the Supreme Courts ruling about the person hood of corporations does not help things. But voting is the only way I have, you have, to be heard. I am not going to use violence to get my message across. So for me being involved by voting is how I say part of the solution. So get out and vote people!! Do it for me.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Direct Democracy

There was an article in yesterdays paper. The Oregonian to be exact that I linked to above. It is written about Direct Democracy in Oregon and asks if it is a good thing for the state. I think the author asks some good questions but his overall position is one that after 1912 all the good that the initiative system brought to Oregon politics was done and now the system has just brought us a bloated constitution and a budget that is out of control because state legislature is handcuffed by the whims of the public at large. In the interest of full disclosure I must add that I have been employed in the past by a signature gathering firm and will do so again if the opportunity presents itself.

I have to disagree. I realize there are problems with the system in Oregon. But, there are problems with every states system and nothing is going to make every voter happy. But DIRECT DEMOCRACY is what makes Oregon special. It is what allows the average voter to have a voice. I may disagree and often I do with where the money is coming from or what the particular issue is that we are going to be voting on. But, I get to vote. In other states I am not afforded even that. There are laws passed without any discussion or input from the voters who put the politicians in office in the first place.

To get rid of this would take the state backwards to a time when the elite where the ones voting and they liked it that way. Yes, Democracy is messy and ugly and that is how it should be. In truth if you want things to be run smoothly then we should install a benevolent dictator. Because, believe me, then things would run smoothly. The budget would be balanced, trains would run on time, and most likely Oregon would be a much quieter place to live. But, this idea goes completely against the so called origins of the United States. I believe that Direct Democracy serves the people best as messy as it is. It allows the people a voice and that voice is loud and sometimes unorganized and ugly but it is a voice.

As far as I am concerned, I would not have it any other way.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Back in the Coffee Shop

Well it is Monday morning and I am drinking my cup of coffee and reading the news and trying to figure out what jobs I want to apply for today. Overall it feels like a pretty good morning. One thing that I do miss though is the drive to Wilsonville and then the train to Beaverton. I always enjoyed the fall and winter mornings and watching the leaves change color and looking at the fog as the train moved along.

I got nothing else you folks have a nice day.

Monday, October 11, 2010

What to write.

Well it is Monday the 11th of October. I am sitting in my coffee shop and trying to decide what I should write about this morning. It seems like there is always some political issue I could get fired up about or perhaps a new movie or television show that I want people to know about. But, I sometimes do not feel led to go in that direction. The problem is that while I may not be led to go in that direction I am not led to go in another so I just sit and my mind spins its wheels.

My last post that I did about the argument I had on the Facebook really got me thinking about why I post and why I find political things interesting. It isn't that I like to upset people or to make myself upset. Sure there is some energy that goes along with being fired up about something and making myself righteously indignant about an issue. I will freely admit that it can be kind of fun to put myself in that position. But, really, I do not like being upset. I do not enjoy hurting someones feelings or having mine hurt which I think is often why I try to be dispassionate in my discussions about politics and social issues and why I think the talking heads on television (I. E. Beck, Olberman, Riley, Maddow) tend to make me so crazy.

I realize that they are entitled to their opinion along with everyone else but it feels like there opinion is given so loudly that no one else can get a word in edgewise. I do love a good discussion and listening and being able to join into a good intelligent conversation about politics or religion or entertainment is really one of life's great joys for me. I think that is one of the really great things about the Internet because it allows for people from all over the world to meet in a sense and just talk. Take my tiny little blog for instance. I do not have a lot of readers I get a few a week but according to my tracker thing I have had readers from Europe and South America as well as all over the United States. I mean that just blows my mind. I would like it even more if everyone would comment so conversations would develop but I also understand that often a person needs to be really upset to reply to a post.

That is where a problem can start for me because in my desire to get a response so I know people are reading I sometimes feel like I need to post things to get people angry. It isn't that I want to be a "muckraker" but it feels like that in my attempt to generate conversation.

Well that feels like it is about for today. I need to do some job searching so off I go.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Facebook Fight

Most of my regular readers and really anyone who knows me or who has taken the time to read my blog or any of my writings know that I tend to lean toward the liberal side on some issues. But I do not think of myself as a super liberal. I am a registered independent and I feel like if things in American Politics were a little more balanced then we would not have the amount of anger and fear that infects both sides of the political realm. That being said I wanted to share with you a little conversation I had on Facebook last night. I will give you a little bit of background and then post the conversation in its entirety as it appeared on my friends comment page.

Okay here goes. Well my friend Teresa Lucas works for the Chris Dudley Gov campaign and she really is a nice girl. I had classes with her at Western Oregon and worked with her during my time at Vote Oregon. She is more conservative then me but she also is open to discussion which is really all I ask of anyone. Well she posted as her status "Don't forget to register to vote or re-register before Oct. 12". Now that is a pretty innocuous statement and one that I totally agree with. People should register to vote and or re-register if there party affiliation has changed or they have moved. The very first comment on her page was by a fellow named German A. Vanegas. He wrote:

"IF you hope for a real POSITIVE change you have to vote. We have to take control of Congress to stop Emperor Obama from reigning basically unopposed! ON NOVEMBER 2nd WE THE PEOPLE WILL SHOW WHO REALLY IS IN POWER... US!!!

Now I noticed that and thought well that is just silly. Obama was unable to get his health care reform passed and he has been unable to do really hardly anything that he has wanted to do. This is when he is a President that has had Democratic control of both the House and the Senate. So to call him an Emperor just seemed so silly to me and I let German know what I thought. What I will post below is exactly as was written with no editing on my part I copied and pasted it straight across.

German: "IF you hope for a real POSITIVE change you have to vote. We have to take control of Congress to stop Emperor Obama from reigning basically unopposed! ON NOVEMBER 2nd WE THE PEOPLE WILL SHOW WHO REALLY IS IN POWER... US!!!"

Lance: "@German, Really emperor Obama? He had full control of the house and the senate and was unable to pass health care reform his pet issue. It is silly to even call him that."

German: "‎@Lance, Obama's reformed health care ill-bill was passed and became LAW! And IF you know anything about what is in it, then you owe to know Obama made false promises concerning what was in the health-care bill before it was approved, proving what a liar he really is. Among the many lies, the truth is, it will very costly, even though Obama assured the people it would actually "save money"... Last, I couldn't care less for your personal opinion!"

Lance: "Let me get my stick so I can keep poking the bear, I seem to have stirred something up. Love it!!"

German: "‎@Lance, other than you showing you are a liberal progressive, who believes in social medicine, you haven't stir up anything. You don't even know what is in the bill, let alone how Obama screwed YOU! LMAO!!!"

Lance: "‎@German, Well despite you denying it you are still talking about what I said. It seems like you do care about my personal opinion. Thank you for your noticing little old me. I love when those who are smarter then me and who really understa...nd all of the secret goings on in American Govt can fill me in on how much I am being screwed. It really isn't that I believe in social medicine but that I do not think Obama has been nearly as effective as the Democrats hoped and the Republicans feared. So that is why I think it is silly to call him am Emperor he has basically done next to nothing in office."

German: "I don't care about your opinion, Lance. I am just expressing my own, which counters your love for Obama. I know exactly what YOU mean, to you, Obama hasn't move far-left enough as desired by his supporters, like you. Tough luck! LOL!!!

Hey, ...a friendly advise, lose some weight Lance, because under Obama health-care you may not be cover for certain ailments originated from being overweight ;>)"

(Now I must admit that I got a little upset here due to what I felt was an uncalled for attack on my weight issues. I feel like I controlled myself and gave a pretty decent response.)

Lance: "Wow! Now a personal attack based solely on seeing a few pictures of me. Without any knowledge of who I am or what I could possibly have going on in my life. Classy, very classy, and I believe pretty typical of your ilk.

Please tell me what ...political party I am registered with? You seem to have such an insight to my character. I await with anticipation your I am sure most clever retort. Perhaps you could lock me up into some sort of verbal anaconda choke. May trap me with an intellectual knee bar. Please fill me in on all of the things I need to do to fix both the American Govt and the world."

German: "‎@Lance, I tell you who you are. You are the kind of "man" you present in your profile picture, hiding in fear, "behind the scenes." You pretend to be the "intelligent one" with pseudo-intellectual remarks, but are not worth much as an opponent; other than innuendos and being full of shit, you don't state anything of substance! LMAO!!!!"

Lance: "WOW! Speaks for itself I guess. *shrug*"

German: "‎@Lance, you are truly an ignoramus, just like your idol Obama."

Lance: "Keep it coming. I love it. Every sentence just proves your point."

(At this point another person jumped in. A conservative who I went to school with who knows me personally.)

Andre: "Wow German, your baseless, idiotic attacks coupled with an inability to spell make me embarrassed to be in any way associated with you; even if it is only on somewhat of an ideological level."

German: "Who says I want to be associated with you Andree?! You are another "pseudo-intellectual" coming across like a buffoon! LMAO!!!"

I just had stopped replying at that point because I figured what was the point. I guess I am telling my readers about this because I want to know a couple of things.

1. Was I out of line? I really feel like President Obama has been ineffectual and at this point may be not get a second term.

2. Do I come across like this sometimes in my writings because I do not want to. I want to have reasoned debate and civil discourse.

So please fill me in. Where did I go wrong?

Monday, October 04, 2010

Oct 3rd, 2010

I had an interesting conversation with a friend last night about political campaigns and the shape that they are taking right now and have taken in the last few years. He contends and I tend to agree with him that it has become an issue of marketing not of policy. That while people give lip service to policy and facts about the issues that often voting is such an emotional response that we are led more by the marketing of the candidate or issue as opposed to the actual reality of the situation.

As we talked and as I look back on both the Obama campaign as well as the angry health care summer it seems even more true to me. The Obama campaign was masterful in its use of catch phrases, "Hope and Change", and visual imagery. So much so that you can see the present Republicans parroting some of the same lines in the campaigns going on right now. As I watched Chris Dudley give his closing statement during the Oregon Gubernatorial debate I was struck by the similarity of his plea that Oregon couldn't handle four more years of the same and that we needed to join with him to move to a new future. A future of Capital Gains tax cuts and Corporate tax cuts and where I believe we will all get a pony. So how can you not want a pony.

I feel like the truth between Dudley and Kitzhaber lies somewhere in the middle but I am not sure either candidate is going to be allowed or able to achieve that. One of the problems being the nature of the primaries and how to be able to win in the primaries the candidates must often out liberal or out conservative their opponents. Which can be okay if the middle independent voter base is so disgusted by the partisanship and craziness of the fringe on both sides that they decide not to vote at all. I admit I have been there in years past.

I do not know or have answer that is for sure. I wish I had a magic wand that could solve Oregons budget shortfalls. But, I dont. The truth is I like Kitzhabers temp jobs plan to weatherize some of the buildings and get back savings from the lowering of the energy bills. I also understand that that could be some tax cuts in Oregon to bump the spending up a little. But I do not see either candidate enacting the plans of the other and probably to do so would be the death of them politically. Only time will tell what is going to happen in the future. I am not convinced that Kitzhaber will be business as usual for Oregon or that Dudley will be a complete mess as a first time Governor.

For me though....admitting that I am not sure about something is often a success.

Monday, September 27, 2010


Good morning folks. I hope you all had nice weekends. So far other then being a little bit humid and muggy, which may be the same I am not sure, we have had some spectacular fall weather here in the Valley and I like it a lot. One side benefit of looking for work is that I have had the freedom to play a lot of disc golf and I really do enjoy getting out and walking the different courses and enjoying the outdoors.

I really am surprised at how much disc golf has gotten under my skin. I really am liking it. I find the process of figuring out what disc I should throw and what type of throw both interesting and intellectually stimulating. I used to make fun of the disc golfers and all of their many discs. While I still make fun of the guys that carry 15 or 20 disc which is just silly I think even if you are a pro. I know it may be hard to believe but there are professional disc golfers. But, I digress, I use three or four discs. I have two drivers and a mid range and a putter. The reason I use two drivers is because one actually falls off to the right and the other falls of to the left so depending on where the pin is I use a different driver. But my other discs I just use whenever I need them and that is totally based on distance.

But enough of my disc golf lecturing. I will talk to you later. It is time to continue the job search.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Monday Mania

Good late morning folks, I hope you all had a good weekend. Mine was actually pretty nice. I went up to Portland on Saturday evening to hit some of the local game and music shops with my buddy Bossy T and his young ward Spunky Andrew as they are calling themselves these days. But the highlight had to be hanging out at the Hawthorne pods enjoying some tasty Whiffie pies and watching the rain poor down. It was just plain crazy.

Then the following day I headed north again and the three of us went to Guardian Games for their board game day. I would highly recommend it to all. Not only do you get to play some board games but if you do you get 20% off of board games and that my friends is a sweet, sweet deal. So we played a little Killer Bunnies which turned out to be pretty fun and then picked up a copy of Wings of War which is an amazing WWWI and WWII flight game. Then following that we went to the Portland Retro Gaming Expo which was, in a word, AMAZING. There was a vast collection of old school game systems. But, what I found most fascinating was that older game systems prices had dropped. You could find a totally functioning "Dreamcast" for instance for $40, the prices of the games themselves had gone up mainly due to it being hard to find some of them anymore. All in all it was a great weekend.

I am still looking for work so if anyone hears anything please let me know. I would love to do some writing for money so keep you eyes open people!!! Catch you all later.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Well I am starting the search for a new job as I mentioned on Monday. This is not something I particularly enjoy or am even looking forward to but we will see what happens. I have given some thought to graduate school but I am already in debt from my bachelors and I am not sure that more debt on top of it while I continue to look for work is the answer. I do like the idea of going to perhaps law school or maybe looking into teaching Political Science or Philosophy but that may have been a better idea at 30 or 20. I am not sure I can bring what is needed to the table in terms of long employment for a company.

I am not sure what all this means. One of the things I know it means is that I continue to apply for work as I try to think through all of these things. We will see what happens. Maybe I will get lucky.

Monday, September 13, 2010

To Begin Again

Well, I realize that it has been over a month since I last posted. I believe it has actually been over two months. But, things have changed and as such I need to begin blogging again. The job I was doing is now basically over and I am not sure if it will actually start back up again. My money is on no it won't. I will not go into all of the issues behind the scenes suffice it to say that matters beyond my control made this happen.

I loved working both for and with my friend and I know I will most likely do so again. Had he been in control the job would still be going strong and we would be continuing to serve the Oregon Voter and helping to make their voice be heard. But, as of now, I began looking for work again. If I am to be effective in this endeavor I need to set myself a schedule and treat it like I am working at a job so for part of the time I am going to be blogging just to put myself into a schedule. I think that will make things easier for me. As most of my regular readers know, if there are any of you left, I tend to not have a topic in mind and I like to flow as I write. So some posts may be about the job hunt and others will be about film or politics or whatever else strikes my fancy.

So until tomorrow I will talk to you folks later.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


Good morning folks. It looks like another pretty day in Oregon. The temperature has finally dropped to a more comfortable level, at least for me, and I am enjoying it. Right now I am enjoying by typing this blog, watching Community on Hulu which I love. One of the things that I like doing when the weather is nice is to either read or work on the computer with the windows open and the fresh air coming. Do not believe those laptop commercials on television!! I know from experience that it is next to impossible to work on a laptop outdoors.

Oh, sure they want you to think you can take your work out to the park. But, that just isn't true. I am not sure why the marketing people behind these commercials seem to think of this as a selling point. For me the selling point is the ability to go someplace and have a cup of coffee or tea and do your work there. I think people refer to these places as coffee shops. But, anyway I just do not think that working outdoors on a computer is that big of a deal. If I wanted to work outdoors I would be a lumberjack.

Now, that would be fun. I would stride around my mountain top wearing my red checkered flannel and my orange suspenders. I would sing jaunty logging songs to myself as I cut down trees and cleared my land. Then, after putting in a hard days labor I would return to my cabin, hang up my double-headed axe, and sit down to a hearty dinner. But, wait, why is my half-wolf and half-mastiff dog Goliath barking. I better check my security cameras. Oh, I see it is a black sedan probably government agents coming to drag me back in. Damn it!! I left that life behind me when they left me to die on a hillside in Vietnam. I won't go back to it. I am a logger now. The only person I answer to is Mother Nature she tells me what trees to cut down.

I begin each climbing up onto the roof of my cabin, that I built from fallen logs, and I take an air bath. There I listen as Mother Nature whispers to me of which one of my tree brothers needs to be culled from the group. The weak and the sickly, the ones that are holding back the strong from rising up. These are the ones that must be cut down. They must be toppled so that their brothers can grow strong and tall. That is what will continue to make tree society safe.

I shall now retreat to my bunker so that the government agents do bot bother me. If you need me please leave a message with Mother Earth I will receive it upon her winds.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


I realize that I normally do not use this blog to trumpet what I do for work but I felt like I had to share this and this seemed to be the easiest way for me to do so.

This is from an article on Oregon live that I have linked in the title

"Attorney Ross Day, the executive director of Common Sense, also runs the petitioning outfit set up by the group. And he proudly noted that their measure - which would establish a non-partisan process for redrawing legislative district lines - had a high validity rate of 80 percent.

That's the highest rate of any initiative so far this year - and one of the highest in the last 12 years. My colleague, Kim Melton, compiled the validity rates stretching back to 1998 and found that it is well above the average rate of 73 percent. And it's a better validity rate than many initiatives from back before tougher petitioning laws were approved by the Legislature in 2007 and 2009."

The section that I put in bold is the key 80% validity!! This is huge and something as the article said that hasn't been done in the last twelve years. I wanted to post this because this is what I have been doing for the last year.

Now, for myself, all politics aside in the case of citizen initiatives, I do not care if it is a liberal or conservative issue. I care if Oregon voters get to have a choice or a vote on the issue. Now, it is true that I may not agree with the end result of the choice or I may not agree with where all of the funding is coming from for some of the issues that are moving around the state. But I think one of the things that makes Oregon a special state is the fact that we have this process. It, I think, makes us a better state then most of the states in the country.

But, what I am most excited about is the fact that we at Vote Oregon have been working to make sure that we run a clean system. There is a reason why our validity rate is the highest in the state. The biggest reason is my friend Travis and how important it is to him that we are a company that has integrity. He pushes this to the employees and they know that this is important. I believe that we could have gotten more total signatures had we wanted to cut corners like some other companies. But in the end that would not have benefited anyone and would have been, in my opinion, immoral. That is one of the things that I like most about doing this kind of work. I feel like I like it even more because in the past integrity was not a word that you heard with the petition process. I honestly feel like given time we can change how people think about the process and we can make it be the tool that it supposed to be and we can help people forget about the dark years when special interests and fraud seemed to dominate the process.

That isn't to say that everyone in the business runs as clean as we do because they do not. There is a reason why other firms had such low validity rates and did not qualify. I am totally confident that if someone wants an issue on the ballot in Oregon and they come to us with enough time and money we can get in on the ballot and we can do it clean and correctly with a high, high validity rate. This has been proven by the last few campaigns I have been involved in. I am hoping this will continue.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Good morning folks. I hope you had a good day yesterday. I did not do a whole lot. One thing I did do was look into lowering the cost of my cable/internet bill. Now there were a few ways that I could do it. I could cancel one or two things and lower the price by $10 or so a month. Or I could lose Showtime(not a problem) and add Starz and a land line. Thus saving close to $40 a month. "Excuse me!"

I am adding a service that I do not need because I have a cell phone and that is going to drop my cost despite the fact that I am never going to use it and in fact I will never have a phone hooked up to the phone line. I was a little surprised, in fact, as I write this I have the internet and the cable but I have not even called and activated the phone. I have the correct modem for when and if I ever get a land line but I do not think that is ever going to happen.

On a plus side. Comcast was easy to deal with both on the phone and in person despite the ludicrous nature of the deal involved. So that was a good thing. It is interesting for me to note that I have seen Comcast evolve from a company that was extremely hard to deal with, to a company that due to the competition basically that the Internet and satellite television represents has become pretty accommodating. I really enjoyed their High Definition television signal during the World Cup. The quality of the picture was incredible. I am looking forward to the beginning of American Football to see if the picture is a nice.

Well that is all for today. I am thinking about heading out to Cascade Gateway park and playing a little disc golf. Catch you later.

Monday, July 26, 2010


Well I realized that my break from blogging really became quite an extended one. I did not mean for that to happen. But, I think, as I have mentioned before that often what fuels my blogging is me being righteously indignant about something and I just have not been feeling all that worked up. I suppose that is a good thing. I think it is good for my blood pressure at least.

I am on my vacation this week basically so I am going to try to stay busy writing and I hope that means I can do some stuff on here that may be topical and news related with out me ranting away about something though there are no guarantees. What is funny to me is that having said that I do not feel like I have anything to add to that right now. I may try to look up some experimental writing techniques just to see what they are like and if I am able to do them. So stay tuned dear readers I hope I can actually do some work on this during the week.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Thursday (Film as Life)

I am going to try to do some writing late on Wednesday night since I do not feel all that sleepy. I am not sure why. I did go to bed very early one night this week and I think I may have filled up my reserves due to that. But what I wanted to write about was a movie that I finished watching today. You see I go out in to the garage everyday after work and I sit there for anywhere from 1 to 3 hours. No, I am not meditating, what I do is take care of my two Ferrets. I get them out of their cage and clean it and feed them and play with them for a little bit. What I also do is sit and relax and often if I am not reading I will watch a movie on my laptop from my vast collection of DVD's. So I thought why not use this as an opportunity to let my readers know what kind of films I like and why I like them.

This week I have watched just one film and that was Cameron Crowes Almost Famous now he wrote and directed this film. It is basically a loose autobiography of when he was a teen aged writer for Rolling Stone magazine. This is also a very dramatized version of his first tour experience I believe with the Allman Brothers. Now, I enjoyed the movie in the theaters but when it was released on DVD it was released in a directors cut bootleg version that is 162 minutes long. So I often watch it in a couple of sittings. Not because it bores me because it does not. But I just like to use my time a little better then sitting through a movie that long in one sitting.

I love music. I love movies. When I was younger I worked in a movie theater and I gave serious thought to attending film school. That dream never came true but I still love a good film. (Or even a bad film, I.E. Con Air) But, this movie tied it all together for me. It had music and film and I am a sucker for a good movie that can blend the two. I feel like it is very important for a movie to have the right combination of the two because the wrong music can absolutely destroy a film and the right music can take that film to a completely different plane. I realize that not everyone feels this way and I may be guilty of liking some lower quality films just because I enjoy the music that it is surrounded by. Often if I have enjoyed a film I will also buy the soundtrack because listening to that will often take me back to the place I was when I first enjoyed that film.

I just realized that I have gone on for quite some time just giving you the background of why I like movies and music together so I think I am going to stop here and I will discuss more about Almost Famous on Friday. If any of you who read this think this approach is going to be interesting please let me know. I always like some feed back. Or even if you have some films you might think I would like please feel free to tell me about them.

So I will talk to you on Friday about Almost Famous . I do not know about you but I am looking forward to it.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

7-13-2010 Tuesday

There was an interesting piece this morning on NPR about the Supreme Court this session and all of there rulings. I am going to address it tomorrow. So, you folks get a day off from my rantings. I suggest you use it wisely.

Monday, July 12, 2010

July 12, 2010, Monday

Good morning folks and a happy Monday to you all. I hope you had a good weekend. I had a relaxing one to some degree. I did some running around on Saturday. There was a small birthday get together at some of my friends parents home. That was nice. I have known the family since high school and they have always included me in family functions which I enjoy attending. Following that, I grabbed my friend Nick and we headed up to the Portland Timbers game. They were playing Miami FC and it was a good match. The Timbers managed to hold on to win 2-0 and that always makes for a good time. The evening finished up with a quick trip over the food pod on Hawthorne St. Once there I had my usual Whiffie Fried Pie and I headed over to the Potato Champion cart for some tasty spuds. So the evening was a gastric and sporting success.

Sunday was a nice relaxing day as I watched the World Cup final and worked on my World Cup sticker book. I am nowhere near getting a complete set but it is kind of interesting and keeps me occupied while I am watching television. So overall it was a good weekend and the temperature dropped so that was a plus as well. I do not have any pithy news or political thoughts today other then I noticed that President Obamas people were on the Sunday morning talk shows because he has taken a drop in the polls amongst Independent voters. Well my response to this is "BIG SURPRISE"! This is happening because most of the Independent voters, myself included, actually made the mistake of thinking that he was being serious and honest about being a different kind of politician. That he might actually bring some change to the office.

Well as far as I am concerned what he has done in office and what he is doing is not all that different then what has gone on before. Now I know that some of my more conservative readers will argue that he has brought lots of change and none of it is good. But in my humble opinion I just disagree. I do not think he has brought enough change and it is really business as usual in Washington D.C. and as far as these people being concerned that Obama is turning us into a Socialist nation. Come on!! Take a look at a real Socialist nation a good hard look and you will understand they have not reached that point and I do not think we are ever going to reach that point. The corporate and military interests in this country are to entrenched to ever let that happen.

Well, I guess I did have something to rant about. I hope you have a nice day.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

July 6th, 2010, Wednesday

Hello again everybody. I took a little break last week because work was getting pretty hectic but things have settled down and I hope to get back on board pretty soon. I know Joel has been on pins and needles wondering when I was going to return to spread more of my wit and wisdom around like Country Crock on a toasted bagel. Like Jiffy Super Crunch on a piece of toast my knowledge covers your brain and makes it super tasty.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

From Russia...Love Withheld

Pretty interesting news yesterday, it seems that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as arrested 10 people. The Washington Post has a story on it as well as most news agencies.

While I am very interested in this story. I am not surprised by the news at all. Vladimir Putin is the current Prime Minister of Russia but that is only because he had already served two terms as President. So, when he ran up against a term limit issue he hand picked his successor, Dmitry Medvedev , and became Prime Minister a position that I believe has no term limits. Putin is old school KGB he joined up in 1975 and, I feel, is Cold War all the way. I think that America has not been as diligent as they should have been in dealing with him. For us to think that just because the Soviet Union fell apart means that Russia wants to be our friend is short sighted and really dangerous. The international world is not a safe place and these countries that have long been our enemies, Russia and China, to name just two, are not going to sit on their hands while we devote all of our time and considerable resources to the Middle East.

Now, I realize that part of the problem is that the Middle East is sitting, due to no fault of ours, on our oil and we need it to run our cars and big machines. But I think if we continue to act like Russia and China are countries that we do not need to be concerned about we are going to be in big trouble in the next few years.

I believe that there has been an 11th arrest in the Russian spy case and I bet there is going to be more. This case is going to be something to keep an eye on and I am sure that both sides of the American political coin are going to be spinning it for all it is worth. But, I do not think these arrests are intended to discredit President Obama, this is a far bigger issue then mere political maneuvering and if that is the sole intent of these arrests then we as a country deserve what is coming to us.

Monday, June 28, 2010

A Little Break

Hey everybody, I know my posts have been a little spotty lately but things should be back on track soon. I am in the middle of kind of the busy season at work so that is the reason why. I hope by next week I am back on pace. I will try to post a couple of times this week but I am not sure when I will be able to find the time. Thanks for sticking with me.

Monday, June 21, 2010

6-21-10 Monday

Good Monday to you folks. Today is the first day of Summer and in Oregon at least the sun is shining and I had a nice drive to work. I believe that it is supposed to be in the seventies for most of the week and that is good enough for me.

There was a interesting piece this morning on the radio about one of the myriad of business in the gulf of Mexico that are being affected by the broken oil pipe. It was one that I had not thought of but it was an ice making plant. The Huey Ice Company located in Dulac, La. They make blocks of ice for the boats to carry to keep their shrimp and other seafood catches cold. Well in the height of a normal season they might make as much as 90,000 pounds of ice a day. But, since the shrimp season has been canceled they are just kind of creeping along. It was interesting to me and not from a political point of view in terms of the pros or cons of drilling or anything like that. But, it was pretty even handed discussion of how business in the area are being affected. I was aware that shrimp fishermen were being affected but it just did not occur to me to think about all of the other things that were going to have problems as well. The people who repair the engines on these boats and lots and lots of other maintenance kind of things that are really going to not need to be done if the boats are not in the water actively being worked.

I found it interesting to me because it highlighted for me the amount of stuff that I take for granted when I think of how something impacts the area. I just hope that one good thing that comes out of this mess down there is that these oil companies will update and really take seriously their methods when it comes to safety and clean up. I think this has really highlighted the fact that they have let this lapse for far to long.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

6-17-2010 Thursday (Glenn Beck & Soccer)

I want to write something really witty and pithy here but I am not feeling it today. That concerns me a little bit because I like writing but if I need to be all worked up about it then I am not sure it is very healthy for me to be writing.

I would really like to get fired up over the that fact Glenn Beck is just being a bozo about the World Cup.

“It doesn't matter how you try to sell it to us, it doesn't matter how many celebrities you get, it doesn't matter how many bars open early, it doesn't matter how many beer commercials they run, we don't want the World Cup, we don't like the World Cup, we don't like soccer, we want nothing to do with it.”

But, I mean it is Glenn Beck and I honestly think that he doesn't have a filter. He just seems to riff on the radio and I am not even sure if he writes anything down. His commentary on Soccer is much like his commentary on most things in the world and America. I just do not think he gets it. I hope one day that I could have a radio or television show and just say things to get people fired up. I would really enjoy the amount of money that I could make from such an endeavor. There are lots of things that I know absolutely nothing about but I would not let that stop me.

I will have my voice be heard!! Now, who wants to pay me?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

6-15-2010 Tuesday

Aaargh!! Shake fist!! Big Government!! How dare they? Dirty Liberals!!! Why I oughta!!

I got nothing today folks you have a good day.

Monday, June 14, 2010

6-14-2010 FLAG DAY

Today is Monday the 14th of June, 2010 and is Flag Day. The resolution for Flag Day was adopted by the second Continental Congress in 1777. Then in 1919 President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed officially June 14th as Flag Day. Following that in August 1949 National Flag Day was established by an Act of Congress.

The isn't an official federal holiday and the only U. S. State to celebrate it as a state holiday is Pennsylvania. So if you notice more American flags then usual flying around your cities and neighborhoods this is the reason why.

All simple patriotism aside, I like the American flag I like the stars and stripes. But, I also really like flags in general. If I could I would like to have a collection of different flags of the world as wall hangings in my house. I think they make for a pretty distinctive look and most countries have pretty nicely designed flags and emblems. That is one of the reasons that I like the World Cup so much. It feels like to me even more then the Olympics that the fans are often very proud of the country and they show that in so many different forms of clothing and banners and the like.

I also really enjoy maps as wall hangings. When I was a kid my parents had a subscription to National Geographic and one of the things that I absolutely loved about that magazine was the maps that they would insert periodically. I still have some of them tucked away and I really wish in retrospect that I would have saved more of them. I need to get those hung up.

There was an interesting piece this morning on NPR about Medical Marijuana. Now, all politics aside as far as the moral issues of Marijuana as a drug. I like that more and more states are deciding for themselves if they want to legalize this as a medicine or not. I know I am probably beating a dead horse her because I have already written in length about my pro federalism feelings but I really do like the idea that more and more states are stepping forward and using the citizen initiative process to effect change. To me this is true democracy in action and truly the power of the voter being heard. This isn't big pharma or the Government controlling the testing of and controlling the access to a pretty effective pain killer.

Have a good day folks, take some time to look at some flags and look at some maps and just be nice to each other out there. I vow to do that regardless of political persuasion.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

6-10-2007 (Thursday)

I am still waiting for Adam Smiths "invisible hand" to fix this oil leak problem.!

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

6-8-2010 (Tuesday)

Hey folks, I hope Tuesday finds you well. I do not have a lot to rant about today. I am mainly writing to listen to the sounds of the voices in my head and the click of the keyboard. I sometimes wish I was a little more angry so that I could really get fired up and go off on some sort of nonsensical rant about fluoride in our water or the Government seeding our clouds. But I am not feeling it today.

It is almost like there is so much going on in the world that my sense of outrage is spread out and diluted. I would love to really narrow down and focus it like a laser on something but right now I am just not feeling the need.

One thing I am excited for is the World Cup. The first game is this Friday and it is Mexico against the host country South Africa. I realize that not all of my readers are interested in the World Cup and to them I say tough beans. I shall be writing a little bit about it as the tournament progresses.

You folks have a great day.

Monday, June 07, 2010

6-7-2010 (Monday)

Well I went to the Timbers game last night. It was a good game up to a point. The team looked good. The passing was strong and they seemed to actually be looking to attack and to force the other team to react to what the Timbers were doing offensively. That was the first half and part of the second half. The Timbers started the game running a 4-4-2 that isn't set in stone because one of the players. Alex Nimo by name is allowed the flexibility to roam pretty much where ever he want's to on the pitch. This works extraordinarily well for the Timbers. The game was still a 0-0 tie after the first half and after a very heavy rain shower during halftime the Timbers came out looking just as strong in the second half. The end result of the action was a Timbers goal by Ryan Pore off of a nice pass by Nimo to Bright Dike who then led Pore into to the open and Pore just basically slid it past the keeper into the corner.

At that point it seemed like the Timbers decided to close up shop and not attack anymore. Then a few minutes later they subbed Dike out and switched to a either 5-4-1 or a 4-5-1. I feel like that was a horrible, horrible mistake by the Timbers. They had the Carolina Railhawks on the ropes and they stopped punishing them. Had the Timbers continued attacking they could have score another 1 or 2 goals easily. But, they didn't they took their foot of of the accelerator and soon after the 90yh minute in stoppage time the Railhawks scored to end the game in a 1-1 draw. It was an absolutely terrible way to end a ball game.

I think it was a game that the Timbers gave away due to a very bad coaches decision. I am concerned about how the team looks so far this season and I really hope they can get it together enough to get into the playoffs. I would love to see them win the title before they move to the MLS next season. But, the way they look right now I am not sure if that is going to happen.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

6-6-2010 (Sunday)

Today is a match day for the Portland Timbers. If you do not know they are the minor league soccer team that I support. But, next season they will be moving into the Major League Soccer (MLS). I am so excited for it. I look forward to a good season and so far this season has been very fun. I should be back later tonight with an update for you as to how the game went and as to how many hipsters I saw. Oh yes I have not forgotten about the new Theocracy and the "Electric Hug-suits" .

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

6-2-2010 (Wednesday) Selling Space To the Highest Bidder

This morning on the float ride to work I was listening to NPR and they did a piece about the Falcon 9 will those of you who do not know the Falcon 9 is a rocket that was built by SpaceX a private company that hopes to be part of the future privatization of space travel. Now I do not have a problem with this in and of itself and I understand why the idea might seem appealing to an administration that is trying to cut costs in some areas.

But, I am wary of privatizing anything after the fiasco that was the privatization of the military during the latest Iraq war. While I believe it is possible to make a case that there was a slight amount of savings for the American military during the war. I think overall the fiscal cost as well as the way that the American military was changed using this model hurt far more then it helped. Things have to be weighed on a scale that is made up of far more then dollars and cents. There is an emotional cost to things. There is a societal cost to things and our actions in Iraq or I should say the actions of private security firms like Haliburton and Blackwater have hurt America and will continue to hurt America for generations to come.

But, my ranting on that aside. Here is the link to the story NPR FALCON 9 give it a listen and then swing back by. Am I wrong to be concerned about this? I really think that this in the end could cost America far more then any savings we are gaining right now. What do you think?

Monday, May 31, 2010

5-31-2010 MEMORIAL DAY

It is Memorial Day today. So go visit a military cemetery and take a moment to think about those who died so that we have the freedoms that most of us take for granted today.

Friday, May 28, 2010

5-28-2010 (Friday)

Happy Friday everybody. I hope those of you that are able to get away for the weekend have a good one.

I do not really have anything today. I am sorry about that. I have not lately been inspired by anything. That isn't to say I am in a funk or anything but I just have not really felt the need to complain about something or been so excited about something that I felt like I had to tell you about it. I sometimes wonder exactly what the purpose of this blog is for me. Am I using it as a form of therapy to get out my crap? I do not think I am because I am very careful about what I write and I do censor myself. I know it may seem like I just vomit out things but that is not true at all. Do I write because I feel like I am smarter then everybody and I need to educate you all to my wisdom? While I will freely acknowledge that there is a small truth in that. I do think pretty highly of myself. But I think anyone who writes for free must think like that otherwise why would I bother.

I think I mainly write because I enjoy it and this allows me to write in short bursts when I can find the time. I do wish that I could stick to a type a little more. I realize I veer all over the place from pieces on news to entertainment to my personal life to me just rambling on and on about things that most of you readers could really care less about. Which I am doing write now as a matter of fact. I am not planning on stopping writing I am just trying to process what my reasons are for writing. It was easier by far when I was in college because there were topics just handed to me to write about on a daily basis. Maybe, I need to go to graduate school? That might be kind of cool. I could go to law school and be the next Perry Mason or perhaps just get my PHD and start teaching by the time I am 50 and be that crazy wild haired professor who shakes things up.

Well that is about it. I hope my ramblings were a little bit entertaining for you today. I will talk to you on Monday.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

5-26-2010 (Wednesday)

I do not have much going on today folks. The radio was all of the usual stuff really this morning. The oil spill, the chance that North and South Korea are going to start shooting at each other again.

A couple of farmers in kind of southern and eastern Oregon got permission to shoot at Wolves if they catch them eating their livestock. I didn't realize you needed permission to protect your livestock from a predator. It might be that way only for Wolves actually. I do not know about Bears or Cougars.

The state of Idaho is trying to lure business from Oregon and Washington. The biggest reason they are giving is because voters passed Measures 66 and 67 in the last voting cycle. I imagine that there are parts of Idaho that are nice. I have not seen them. I have been to Boise and was really unimpressed and the only stories I have heard about Coeur d'Alene is that a nice lake is there. But also that white supremacists had compound in the area for a long time. I believe that with the election of President Obama that the Arayan Nation group has returned to the area. I know longer just believe it according to their website the head quarters of the group is in Coeur d'Alene. So feel free Idaho to continue to try to lure in business to your state. Good luck with that. I myself have no desire to live there.

I will talk to you later folks. You have a good day.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

5-25-2010 (Tuesday)

"I want to say one word to you. Just one word."
The Graduate

If you are not aware of this by now. I live in the Pacific Northwest. In Oregon to be exact. I mentioned last week the anniversary of the MT ST. Helens eruption well that isn't the only active volcano in the Pacific Northwest.

That graphic above from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) shows the volcanic eruptions in the last 4000 years in the part of the country that I live in. As you can see there appears to be a fair amount of seismic activity. My question, for the big brains amongst my readers, is why do we in the Pacific Northwest not use more thermal energy. Below is what I found from the state of Oregon website

"The city of Klamath Falls uses geothermal energy directly to supply heat for a district heating system. Geothermal heat sources in several other Oregon counties supply heat to buildings, swimming pools and resorts and industrial uses.

There is no generation of electricity from geothermal sources within the state of Oregon. However, there are several sites where geological data suggest a resource sufficient for power generation may exist. The potential for production of electricity from Oregon´s geothermal resources has been explored at three sites in Oregon.

In 1996, CalEnergy Company received a site certificate from the Energy Facility Siting Council to build a 30-megawatt geothermal power plant near the Newberry Volcanic Monument in Deschutes County. However, despite considerable investment in exploratory drilling, the company did not find a source of heat and steam sufficient for generating electricity. The company canceled the Newberry project and is now pursuing a similar project in northern California.

Other exploration has occurred near Vale and in the Alvord Dessert near Borax Lake. The latter site is no longer feasible due to the risk of harm to the endangered Borax Lake chub. The exploration at the Vale site failed to locate a geothermal source adequate for generating electricity.

Resource uncertainty as well as high development and exploration costs are substantial barriers to future development of geothermal sources for power production. The location of potential geothermal sources in environmentally sensitive areas has been a barrier to siting geothermal power facilities in the state."

That pretty much answered my question but I also wonder if we should be pursuing this more then we are despite the cost of it. I know that part of the reason I like the idea is because it just sounds so cool to me. I like the idea of Oregon getting a good chunk of its energy from geothermal. I am also a big fan of Hydroelectric as well. So any thoughts folks on why we are not looking even deeper into this?

Monday, May 24, 2010

5-25-2010 (Monday)

My head is hurting today so no writings. I hope to be back on track tomorrow.

Friday, May 21, 2010

5-21-2010 (Friday)

Sorry about yesterday folks. I was in the middle of something of a project at work and I never got around to writing anything. As far as today goes? I am not sure. There is not anything right now that really has me fired up. I am sure I could do some sniffing around and find something that could get me going but I am not sure if I want to.

So that is it for me today folks. Have a good weekend.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

5-19-2010 (Wednesday)

I just wanted to say a quick thanks to those of you who responded yesterday. I found your memories about the eruption to be very interesting reading to me.

I am writing today's post on a new keyboard so this is an interesting experience. I was writing on a laptop before and this is going to take some getting used to that is for sure. But I will give it my best shot.

Well the Oregon primaries are over and as expected Chris Dudley won for the Republicans and John Kitzhaber won for the Democrats in the Oregon Gov race. I think the run up to the main election is going to be an interesting one. The basic movement around the country yesterday seemed to be really an anti-incumbent one. So I wonder of that feeling is going to continue into November and if Dudley can use that to propel him past Kitzhaber to the Gov seat.

My friend Chad posted something yesterday on his Facebook wall that caused a little debate. One that S (regular commenter here) and I promptly took into the real of Free Will and Determinism but I wanted to put what he posted here and see if we can get any more conversation going.

"You will not solve the problems of the poor by helping them become middle class."

Now, for myself, I am just not sure. I do not have an answer for this issue. I think poverty is something that has been an issue all over the world. One thing that I am aware of is that sometimes what I as an American see as poverty in another country may not seem like poverty to the people who are actually living and dealing with it on a regular basis. I know it is hard to believe but everyone may not want a 60 in plasma television and wall to wall carpeting or the latest cell phone. I also am aware of what we consider middle class is not what was considered middle class 10 or 20 years ago. I am just not sure how to really address this statement. So, what do you guys and gals think?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

5-18-2010 (Tuesday)

Hello, hello ladies and gentlemen. I hope this Tuesday finds you well. Today marks the 30th anniversary of the eruption of Mount St. Helens.

" At 8:32 Sunday morning, May 18, 1980, Mount St. Helens erupted.

Shaken by an earthquake measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale, the north face of this tall symmetrical mountain collapsed in a massive rock debris avalanche. In a few moments this slab of rock and ice slammed into Spirit Lake, crossed a ridge 1,300 feet high, and roared 14 miles down the Toutle River.

The avalanche rapidly released pressurized gases within the volcano. A tremendous lateral explosion ripped through the avalanche and developed into a turbulent, stone-filled wind that swept over ridges and toppled trees. Nearly 150 square miles of forest was blown over or left dead and standing.

At the same time a mushroom-shaped column of ash rose thousands of feet skyward and drifted downwind, turning day into night as dark, gray ash fell over eastern Washington and beyond. Wet, cement-like slurries of rock and mud scoured all sides of the volcano. Searing flows of pumice poured from the crater. The eruption lasted 9 hours, but Mount St. Helens and the surrounding landscape were dramatically changed within moments.

A vast, gray landscape lay where once the forested slopes of Mount St. Helens grew. In 1982 the President and Congress created the 110,000-acre National Volcanic Monument for research, recreation, and education. Inside the Monument, the environment is left to respond naturally to the disturbance"

So I was wondering those of you who are from the northwest or really anywhere. Where were you when the mt blew? I was in grade school and I remember being pretty aware of it but I do not think I really realized the enormity of the damage it caused. I still haven't been up to the viewing center despite having driven past the area numerous times.

What are your thoughts and memories about the event readers?

Monday, May 17, 2010

5-17-2010 (Monday)

Hey there and welcome to Monday. Thanks for stopping in and visiting my little corner of the internet. There is some coffee in the pot and feel free to pull up a chair. We talk about what ever comes to mind around here. On some days that might mean a robust debate about politics on others it may mean a friendly disagreement about what might be the top 10 films of all time.

I like it that way and I hope you do as well. I really like having the flexibility to talk about whatever I have found interesting and what I would like to bring to peoples attention. That being said I do not have really anything right now that has got me fired up.

The primary elections for Oregon are finishing up this week and we will see who the two major parties are going to put up for Gov. I think that for the Republicans it is going to be Chris Dudley and for the Democrats it is going to be John Kitzhaber.

With that being said. I am well aware that Kitzhaber is a returning Gov and a favorite to win the election. But, I wonder if the unrest and dissatisfaction that voters are feeling are going to translate to a Dudley win. I think that most Oregon voters have good memories of when Kitzhaber was in office last time and think that he will be able to lead Oregon back to those good times.

Dudley on the other hand is in a good position as an outsider with ties to Oregon due to his basketball time that people like as well. He may very well be able to ride the Tea Party wave to victory.

So, for sake of argument lets say that for the first time in 30+ years Oregon gets a Republican Gov. Well that change anything in the state? I think it may a little bit. But unless the election of a Republican Gov cause there also to be sweeping change in Oregon's Legislature I do not think thinks will be all that different in the state. I am going to wait and see on this one.

I think I would like to see Dudley win. I would like that because I would like things to be shaken up a little bit in Oregon. I do not have super high hopes that were he to win Dudley would do that. I think at best he will be a centrist and will do things like all the other politicians do them. It isn't that I want there to be a huge amount of political drama in Oregon but I like it when Oregon pushes the Federal Government on things. I love when we as a state exert our right to govern ourselves.

I like Federalism and I like when Oregon tells the Federal Government to mind their own business. That doesn't matter to me if it is a Republican or Democratic Fed. I think states should be free to do whatever crazy thing it's residents want to. If people do not like it then they are free to move to a different state or work to change things within the state.

So...enough rambling what are your thought precious readers on states rights?

Friday, May 14, 2010

5-14-2010 (Friday)

The Timbers lost 1 to nothing last night. Today shall be spent in mourning. SO it is decreed. So it is done. Amen.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

5-13-2010 (Thursday)

I went to see "Iron Man 2" last night with some friends and while I enjoyed seeing a movie with a group of people I was not all that impressed. I am not really sure what the problem was. I really liked the first "Iron Man" but this did nothing for me. I think one reason might be that when I went to see the first one I did not have very high hopes for it and I was surprised by it. I think that for the second one my expectations may have just been to high.

I really like Robert Downey Jr and I would see him, and have, in most everything. He, as usual, was amazing but even that was not enough for me to say that I enjoyed the film. It just did not do anything for me. There were some pretty cool set piece action sequences and some very good visuals but it just was kind of blah for me. I am willing to consider though that part of the problem for me may have been the group of young woman behind me who seemed to have a hard time following the film. I mean it isn't like it is a hard movie to follow at all but they way that they were asking each other questions made me wonder if they had even heard of Tony Stark before.

But, part of the problem might have been that their higher brain functions must have been tied up in keeping them breathing. Because they seemed pretty dim, if you know what I mean.

I would have to say for me as far a good popcorn shut your brain off kind of movie that "Kick Ass" was a far better film. I will not be seeing "Iron Man 2" again and I will be seriously considering if I want to see the upcoming Avengers movie as well.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

5-12-2010 (Wednesday)

Hello, hello, hello. I just have to tell everyone that I enjoyed yesterdays discussion. I find that when I can actively discuss something (even over the internet) it really helps me to refine and sharpen up my thinking process.

I am well aware that despite my best efforts sometimes my positions on certain issues do not always make the most sense or even follow a logical path. So, I feel, that it is better for me to get them out there so I can discuss them with others rather then just keeping them to myself and assuming that they are correct. I am not afraid to be wrong. I do not particularly enjoy it but I am okay with it. There are always going to be people in the world who know more about some things then I do. I, for instance, am always going to know more about "The Brady Bunch" and "Buck Rogers" then anyone in the world. That information does not do me a lot of good and has never made me any money. But, you never know.

I really have nothing else for today. I hope you are well and I intend to see you tomorrow.