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Tuesday, December 9th, 2008
11:51 pm - Prop 8 and Gay Marriage... another take
I hadn't really thought about it this way, but this CNN blogger has an interesting point.

"I fully support the rights of every person to form partnerships with whomever they please. But I think the concept of gay marriage is a sad case of gay people trying to be as stupid as straight people... reminiscent of the misguided elements of the women's movement that were subliminally demanding the right to be as stupid as men.

A better (though even more daunting) approach would be to de-legalize marriage and relegate it to a spiritual commitment among those who desire to practice it. Let everyone be equal... on the proverbial level playing field... by *removing* the special status of marriage -- not expanding it.

The implications are overwhelming, but so are the implications of trying to bring gay people under the legal umbrella of traditional "marriage." By de-regulating marriage and allowing anyone to enter into property ownership contracts or insurance beneficiary status, the entire billion-dollar marriage and divorce "industries" [rackets] would be put out business.

I know it sounds outlandish, but it would represent a deeper solution to human inequalities than gay people imitating straight people... or women imitating men... or one race imitating another... etc., etc., etc."

current mood: contemplative

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Monday, April 28th, 2008
8:47 pm - So very very bizarre...
Just found out about this strange little oddity.

Check it out.

http://www.rockabyebabymusic.com

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Friday, April 25th, 2008
4:37 pm - Pan's Labyrinth Director Goes to New Zealand!
This, straight from Variety... Pretty exciting news!

"We have had multiple rumors going on that Guillermo Del Toro is going to direct The Hobbit as well as its sequel, but we had never heard anything official until now.

Executive producers Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh have announced that Del Toro has signed on to direct The Hobbit. Del Toro will move to New Zealand for four years to work alongside Jackson and WETA. He will direct the two films back-to-back, with the sequel focusing on what happens between The Hobbit and The Fellowship of the Ring.

We do not have word on who is going to star in these two films, but Sir Ian McKellen has announced his interest in reprising his role as Gandalf.

We will keep you informed on the latest information regarding The Hobbit and its sequel as it becomes available to us."

current mood: excited

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Thursday, October 26th, 2006
3:35 pm - Nukestock starts today!!!
Set up is proceeding fairly well; nikrss and I have set up the bar (improvisation is not my strong suit but I think it will do). Both trivia games are done, Del & Fred and hard at work on the lagoon, and the green chile is pureed and ready to be made into enchiladas. Vaughan and Christina have done the Sams run and are off to Albertsons right now for more supplies.

To add the excitement, nikrss brought down a bottle of my favorite scotch, Glen Rothes Speyside single malt. Very yummy. I'm not much of a drinker but this weekend is the exception; might as well do it with good stuff.

The trailer is hitched, the hounds are resting, the house clean and need (at least for now). Everything is going s well as we can expect. Now, nap and showder time before the beer tasting, pizza, and enchiladas begin.

current mood: sleepy

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Tuesday, October 24th, 2006
8:09 am - Stalled out...
Well, the meteorologists haven't let me down. Sure enough, I woke this morning to rain. And rain. And then some more. It appears to have settled in for the day, like a comfortable old friend or a meddling neighbor, depending on your point of view. And Del will be less than thrilled when she sees that her large tent has died, fallen in the front yard.

Actually, I'm grateful its happening now and not three days from now. Still, it does put me at odds with my original plans for today which was a short hike in the desert with the pups and pulling grass in my backyard (the constant part of my life this last week). So it looks like indoor prep today. I need to finish the trivia game, run errands (Mark's b-day is today so its time for steak this evening, at least for him). Add to that a trip to the dentist (ah, Nitrous!) and the Allergy doctor (ew, shot!) and I have a full day planned.

Still, this morning should be more productive than it likely will be.

current mood: complacent

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Saturday, October 21st, 2006
3:44 pm - The Week of Nukestock
Hippybear inspired me to create my own "to do" list for the week leading up to the party, starting retroactively with Thursday evening 10/18, where I attended my first training for the X Prize Cup. For those of you who don't know what this is, it is our own little slice of space out at the minuscule Las Cruces airport, where private companies compete for design ideas on future commercial space vehicles. it is also an opportunity for rocket heads to launch hordes of model rockets, not the typical ones from the store but rather *large* ones that tend to have minds of their own or, for novelties sake, hover then fly then hover then fly some more.

Friday was midterm day at school, where I administered two tests as well as graded something like 200+ papers.

Then there was the 4:15 am alarm this morning because my X Prize volunteer work had me working the site from 6 am until after Noon. During the very fast 6 hours, I:

1. Worked the will call booth
2. Set up chairs in the learning center
3. Was part of the first rocket retrieval team
4. Walked 1 mi. + from the retrieval team staging area, where I was abandoned along with some of my fellow recover team
5. Handed out posters and other print material at the Information booth
6. Ate a burger
7. Took the shuttle back to the parking area and remarkably found my car, all the more remarkable because it was pitch dark when I parked and it wasn't exactly easy to find in the 5000+ cars I found there after my shift.

A short nap later, I now wait for ewbliette, my dad, and Billy to show up for the homecoming game between the Aggies and Hawaii this evening.

Tomorrow is more Nukestock setting up.

Monday I give two more exams, which means upwards of 100 tests to grade this week.

Tuesday is errands day, plus dentist & allergy doctor appointments.

Wednesday people start to arrive, specifically nirikrss and the hounds! That is going to be one of the big set up days; its also cleaning day.

Thursday everything begins and the bulk of the out of town crowd arrives.

It's a wild & crazy trip and, I have to admit, I wouldn't have it any other way.

current mood: tired

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Wednesday, October 18th, 2006
9:41 pm - A memory of a dream from 15 years ago...
Strange to have thought of this right now, although I think it was a result of seeing Madonna dance around while singing "Open Your Heart." I used to have these completely non-sexual dreams about Madonna and myself, ourselves best of friends, hanging out clothed in bed, and engaging in girl talk (or philosophy, depending on the dream). In some cases, I would wake up, unaware that she wasn't in the room with me, sometimes for up to a few seconds.

This lasted for much of 1991 and some of '92, right up until the point at which I purchased her "Sex" book, after which time the dreams left me forever.

Of course, I have plenty of theories about what any of this means, especially in hindsight, if in fact they mean anything at all.

So, pop psych me! Or really psych me! I'm ready.

current mood: curious

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Tuesday, October 17th, 2006
5:44 pm - Over a month?
Damn, I'm a slacker. It's been over a month since I posted, only some of which time is justified. From early August to September 20th, I had my home computer mostly at the Mac Doctor due to two (!) bad logic boards and a bad power supply. It seems I have a working machine again but luckily Apple will now replace it with a new machine if anything blows up again.

Of course, the other thing that has kept me absentee from posting is Nukestock, the omnipresent part of my life during October. This is combined with a full time, tenure-track job that I actually have to pay attention to now, and you get the picture. Still, no excuses.

The house is almost ready for the big shindig. The front yard is weeded, the yard sale has happened (wet tho it was), and I've cleared my class schedule for most of next week.

Set up hasn't happened yet but it will. We have bamboo fencing to place, lagoons to fill, volcanos to explode, and caves to explore. And that's just for the party. In the meantime, I have my sweetie to entertain me (and vice versa) and two wonderful dogs snuggled next to me.

Apart from the inevitable stacks of grading I have to do, life couldn't be better. I've even taken to exercising a minimum of 45 minutes a day and have lost 13 pounds in the process (much more to overcome; these last two years have not been the best, weight wise).

So, there's a quick and dirty update. Now, back to the party prep....

current mood: content

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Thursday, September 7th, 2006
4:48 pm - How Liberal or Conservative are you?
Your Political Profile:
Overall: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal
Social Issues: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal
Personal Responsibility: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal
Fiscal Issues: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal
Ethics: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal
Defense and Crime: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal

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8:31 am - Our idiot Congressman, NM 2nd District
Read up on our idiot representative. Man, someone has got to remove this fool from office.

http://www.ontheissues.org/House/Steve_Pearce.htm

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Tuesday, September 5th, 2006
9:07 pm - Bureaucracy, Floods, Pups, Santa Fe, et al.
Greetings from the desert southwest, where we have experienced over 10" of rain since the first of August. That's right. You read it right. 10". Crazy shit down here. And who says we aren't altering our environment? Granted, these cycles are naturally occuring but geesh, this is getting ridiculous. I went hiking with Raz last week and we found a wetlands, friggin wetlands, just east of the Jornada Experimental Range and the Dona Ana Mts. Not typical. Cool tho! The valley is seriously green like now, something that used to happen all the time in the 80s (you know, back when it actually snowed in New Mexico); nevertheless, it was never like this.

So this post follows TS John blowing thru here, flooding El Paso and Juarez for the third time in 5 weeks, even as T and I made our trek to visit N&V in Santa Fe. It was gorgeous, mostly cloudy and *cool* up there, a reminder that 60 degree highs are just around the corner for us in Las Cruces. N&V were fabulous hosts, treating us to all sorts of tasty goodness at several of the very yummy places to eat in the state capital. The doggies got a chance to run at the office leash park after a long and beautiful walk thru a large portion of downtown with V as our guide. We managed to drag N&V out of their lovely city long enough for a hike thru the Tent Rocks, just southwest of Santa Fe near the Cochiti Pueblo. Very cool and somewhat treacherous, especially towards the end, a steep climb that stopped T & myself because the dogs couldn't jump the climb (I'm okay with this; non-jumpy dogs is usually an asset).

Today was a return to routine, which is to say school, something I still haven't got the hang of this semester (I'm missing those Fridays off!). The most frustrating thing, however, has to be the meetings. Division meeting today, 1 1/2 hours which seemed to go on for 5 because we RECEIVED ABSOLUTELY NO USEFUL INFORMATION. Bleh. Jumping thru hoops can be very frustrating sometimes.

Good news tho! I have yet another "personal chef" gig, the fourth this year. This could get to be a habit!

current mood: sleepy

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Wednesday, August 30th, 2006
8:25 am - Finally, some time to post!
Damn, I have been *so* busy since my last post. Starting with last week, the new school year has begun!

So on Monday, 8/21, I started the day with our "convocation" followed in the afternoon by four hours of advising, followed in turn by the adjunct "convocation" that evening.
Last week was mostly meetings galore with classes starting last Thursday.

Friday was my first of many "long Fridays" with two one day a week classes; luckily, it was followed by a lovely walk/hike down an active stream off of Baylor Canyon Road. For those who know little of Las Cruces, there is also never running water across this road but thanks to 7+" of rain this month, it was flowing well, up to four feet across at its widest point (I even saw a big ass SUV driven by a moron get stuck in the stream which made me laugh).

I signed up for a class on Saturday morning, one on Adobe In Design; not sure how often I will attend this however; the instructor seems pretty useless. However, Saturday was also my fourth professional "personal chef/catering" gig of the year, which was wildly successful. Perhaps too much so. I now have so many people wanting me to cook for them that I can't even keep up. Ironic eh? Just as I get on as a tenure track facultyat DACC, I start getting bites on a side business.

Sunday was mercifully free of responsibility. :-)

Monday was hellish, however, largely because scheduling classrooms at DACC is a bit like a giant, perverse rube-goldberg machine. My Dept Chair consulted last week with our scheduling guy at main campus to get me a computer lab at East Mesa, only for me to find that it had long been already slated for another class by the controlling department at that campus. There is apparently no central scheduling program that everyone on campus uses to schedule classes so there are constant overlaps and inconsistencies, especially at the remote campuses. Utterly idiotic. So I spend the first 30 minutes of class on Monday running around East Mesa campus trying to find a classroom for my students. Remarkably enough, I actually found one.

Yesterday proved much smoother, with just one class and then a lovely hike with the dogs & Raz to the Dona Ana County wetlands, a stretch of seasonal marshland and lakes just north of US 70 on the east slopes of the Dona Ana Mountains. I have never seen so much water there! There were even migratory water fowl that are usually reserved for the Rio Grande Valley or other more permanent wetlands. Did I mention that it is very wet in the desert right now? In fact, I would say that our hike yesterday was more humid than my hike through the Louisiana swamps I took four years ago. Pretty weird.

So now I am here with three dogs (Juno is visiting for the day), enjoying the leisurely morning, hoping that East Mesa will be kinder to me today than it was on Monday. I'm sure it will be.

Football tomorrow night (silly me; four season tickets, one lousy team). Santa Fe on Friday.

Busy? Not me!

current mood: busy

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Thursday, August 17th, 2006
1:31 pm - Celebrity Name?
Your Celebrity Baby Name Is...

Scout Memphis

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Wednesday, August 16th, 2006
10:06 pm - David Gergen on Stephen Colbert
According to this US News & World Report Republican (a self-described moderate republican), Richard Nixon was our last liberal president. EPA, Detante, China, NOAA, SSI, Affirmative Action, SALT I, all under Nixon's watch.

Maybe Gergen has something here. Moreover, he also points out that Nixon was way too "pinko" to get elected today, let alone be part of the Republican Party of today.

Something to ponder.

current mood: curious

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8:32 pm - Here's for you, Hippybear!
You've be harping on me for being guilty of bullshit lately which is, annoyingly, another way of saying that I have been intellectually lazy. Fine! Be that way!

I'm a rhetorician, not a librarian! :-)

But here's some info for you. Sounds like someone with an anti-Israeli agenda, not a "Blue State" voter.

"Reuters withdraws all photos by freelancer"

LONDON (Reuters) - Reuters withdrew all 920 photographs by a freelance Lebanese photographer from its database on Monday after an urgent review of his work showed he had altered two images from the conflict between Israel and the armed group Hizbollah.

Global Picture Editor Tom Szlukovenyi called the measure precautionary but said the fact that two of the images by photographer Adnan Hajj had been manipulated undermined trust in his entire body of work.

"There is no graver breach of Reuters standards for our photographers than the deliberate manipulation of an image," Szlukovenyi said in a statement.

"Reuters has zero tolerance for any doctoring of pictures and constantly reminds its photographers, both staff and freelance, of this strict and unalterable policy."

The news and information agency announced the decision in an advisory note to its photo service subscribers. The note also said Reuters had tightened editing procedures for photographs from the conflict and apologized for the case.

Removing the images from the Reuters database excludes them from future sale.

Reuters ended its relationship with Hajj on Sunday after it found that a photograph he had taken of the aftermath of an Israeli air strike on suburban Beirut had been manipulated using Photoshop software to show more and darker smoke rising from buildings.

An immediate enquiry began into Hajj's other work.

It established on Monday that a photograph of an Israeli F-16 fighter over Nabatiyeh, southern Lebanon and dated Aug 2, had also been doctored to increase the number of flares dropped by the plane from one to three.

"Manipulating photographs in this way is entirely unacceptable and contrary to all the principles consistently held by Reuters throughout its long and distinguished history. It undermines not only our reputation but also the good name of all our photographers," Szlukovenyi said.

"This doesn't mean that every one of his 920 photographs in our database was altered. We know that not to be the case from the majority of images we have looked at so far but we need to act swiftly and in a precautionary manner."

The two altered photographs were among 43 that Hajj filed directly to the Reuters Global Pictures Desk since the start of the conflict on July 12 rather than through an editor in Beirut, as was the case with the great majority of his images.

Filing drills have been tightened in Lebanon and only senior staff will now edit pictures from the Middle East on the Global Pictures Desk, with the final check undertaken by the Editor-in-Charge, Reuters said.

Hajj worked for Reuters as a non-staff contributing photographer from 1993 until 2003 and again since April 2005. Most of his work was in sports photography, much of it outside Lebanon.

Hajj was not in Beirut on Monday and was not responding to calls. He told Reuters on Sunday that the image of the Israeli air strike on Beirut had dust marks which he had wanted to remove.

Questions about the accuracy of the photograph arose after it appeared on news Web sites on Saturday.

Several blogs, including a number which accuse the media of distorted coverage of the Middle East conflict, said the photograph had been doctored."

current mood: high

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Tuesday, August 15th, 2006
12:10 am - Bullshitology 101, Part III
Usually when I discover bullshit, it seems to come from the Neoconservatives these days. And why not? These guys spout bullshit so often they can't even keep track of their own lies as they sink deeper and deeper into piles of feces.

Nonetheless, the left is remarkably good at undermining themselves by engaging in bullshit as well, usually so transparently and incompetently that they lose all credibility before they even get any. For example, take these recent Reuters photos from Lebanon, which were digitally manipulated by reporters to make the destruction after an Israeli bombing look much worse than it really was.

WHY? Doesn't the horror and destruction speak for itself without bullshitting the public? This sort of manipulation reduces those critical of US/Israeli policy to a parody who will never sway undecided and/or thoughtful people who might otherwise be persuaded to be critical of these policies.

ARGH!

current mood: angry

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Sunday, August 13th, 2006
10:41 am - Michael Barone, idiot columnist
If anyone ever gets a chance to read this fool's columns in neoconservative fav US News & World Report, you will enjoy his flair with the English language, his expertly chosen obfuscation of truth, and his unerring loyalty to George W Bush, most recently proclaiming the latter the Harry S Truman of today. Moreover, he non-ironically uses the term islamofascist to refer to terrorists, a term that W himself has been caught using lately.

Is it just me or is this term a complete contradiction in terms? These talking heads use the term in reference to Hezbollah and other terrorists who may arguably be supported by states such as Iran, but who do not themselves represent states. Fascism is a system whereby government, in cooperation with private enterprise, seek to achieve power and prominence by propagating their exsistence in lieu of the general public. Therefore, this term doesn't make sense because these aren't governments that Barone and Bush are referring to! How wonderful! The Neocons continue on their butchering of the language to justify their own ends (remember the "Healthy Skies" initiative? The "Healthy Forests" initiative? Euphemism is alive and well.

current mood: aggravated

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Friday, August 11th, 2006
5:00 pm - It's a start...
Well, it's just a start but here are the URLs for my first creations for the ministries. Things will get more extensive soon. Maybe we'll even do Nukestock shirts this way this year. :-)

http://www.cafepress.com/brotherkurt
http://www.cafepress.com/brothermark

current mood: determined

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11:56 am - Summer Movie Yawnfest
Here's a capsulized review of the summer movies I've caught. But a quick observation first: why does Hollywood continue to insist that mindless, script-by-committee, plot less, one-action-setpiece-after-another movies are the model by which they must make films? Bleh...

DaVinci Code: Enjoyable adaptation of Dan Brown's entertaining but preposterous, poorly-written schlockfest. Don't take it too seriously. So what's all the controversy about? The usual reactionary nonsense, reacting to unsubstantiated historical fiction. Get a grip, people! BTW, Tom Hanks was seriously miscast.

X-Men 3: Very generic action movie; never boring but uninspiring with so many plot holes of the "super powers by plot convenience" variety.

My Super Ex-Girlfriend: Silly, cute, harmless. Worth a bargain showing. But why does Luke Wilson get film roles? He is so bland he makes Little House on the Prairie revolutionary TV.

Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Probably the biggest disappointment of the summer. I spent 3 days watching this 2 1/2+ snore fest (literally... somewhere around the 2nd hour I fell asleep, only to be awakened again moments later by more loud, headache inducing crap). No plot, no intrigue, no character development... just one action set piece after another, some of which repeated ones that happened just 1/2 hour earlier! If this had been 45 minutes shorter, I would have liked it, I'm sure, in a summer movie, bubble gum, mindless way.

Clerks 2: Very funny addition to the View Askew line up. Well worth the price of admission but only if you have a strong tolerance for very adult yet juvenile humor. Which I do. :-)

current mood: complacent

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Thursday, August 10th, 2006
2:00 pm - Bullshitology 101
It's time to start on my latest endeavor, which is to deconstruct rhetoric (that is, my profession). In layman's terms, it's time to start ticking off all those things that are bullshit. Please! Contribute to this cause. I'm interested in statements made by yourself or others that, on hindsight, you recognize as bullshit.

This is going to be fun!

I'll start the ball rolling, rather obviously...


1. Most comments coming from Donald Rumsfeld in regards to Iraq. The latest, and I paraphrase, "I never once painted a rosy picture of our involvement in Iraq. I always used nuanced and careful langauge." This was to a Senate panel! He went on to say that he was always careful to point out that we could be there for a very long time. Wow, is this guy full of shit! In fact, in April of 2003, to the American public and the American military, he laughed off that idea that we would be in Iraq six months from then (that would put his timetable for withdrawl sometime on or before October 2003). Damn, Rumsfeld makes George Bush look sincere.

More to come, from me and others!

current mood: mischievous

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