Friday, August 11, 2006

They Call This Vacation?

Some days start out with a billing of "I shouldn't be that busy" but wind up just the opposite.

This morning I went downtown to see my parents. Having been on vacation these past 2 weeks, my schedule has been a bit off, and I moved my usual Monday morning breakfast with my dad to Friday.

When I got to my parent's house about 9am, I found my dad sitting in his easy chair, looking a little tired, and my mom sitting in the chair next to his taking his blood pressure. Now, this is not all that uncommon (he is 80 years old, and has had a heart by-pass, after all), and he'd spent the last three days doing mentoring duty with the local blind society.

But, upon talking to my mom, I come to find out mom called 911 last night and had an ambulance take my dad to the hospital because his blood pressure last night had become perilously low. They were at the hospital for about 3 hours, after which my dad's BP stabilized, and they came home.

Did my mom call anyone? Any of my brothers or sisters in town?

No. She didn't seem to think it was all that important. Sometimes she astounds me.

Anyway, neither of them were worried about it, so I didn't want to add my worries to theirs. Dad was tired, but still up for the task of drinking coffee and eating breakfast, so off the Denny's we went.

Ya, Denny's. I dunno about your neck of the woods, but Denny's around here as improved their game immensely! The Denny's restaurants around Sacramento are pretty darn good restaurants, and I have yet to be disappointed by a breakfast meal there.

So, we ate and drank and talked, then went over to Radio Shack where dad picked up a digital-recorder (so he can leave himself voice notes - can't read the notebook anymore, ya know), and the hardware store for a light-socket switch. I got him home about 11:30am, after which I needed to sit down at my mom's computer and figure out why her Outlook Express suddenly stopped sending e-mail through her account.

It took me a few hours, but I found a forum online that gave me an alternate "outgoing port" (instead of 25, I used 537, and it worked just fine - for those of you that don't do techno, just know I was very happy!). I let out a whoop of joy when I sent an e-mail and told mom is was fixed.

After that, I went and picked up my daughter Lindsey and took her to the DMV for a 2:30pm appointment to get her California ID card, and her learner's permit. I also had to pay the registration on my car (which was, of course, late and I had a few parking tickets) to the tune of a whopping $454. After choking out the check for that, Lindsey sweated through her learner's permit test, missed 7 of the allowed 8, and passed on the first try! She was so happy.

Flush with newfound permission (the way she put it was, "I now have the permission of a faceless and souless bureaucracy to drive legally on the streets with an adult hovering next to the wheel"), we went to the back parkinglot of the high school where she proceeded to drive my car around in circles for about 15 minutes, getting the feel of the ol' girl. Then I told Lindsey to take her out on the street.

Yeah, the public street. Lindsey looked at me, swallowed, sat up a little straighter, and off we went.

Never passing the 25mph barrier, Lindsey tooled us through the neighborhood with ease, stopping at all the appropriate stop signs, and turning at all the required turns. After about 40 minutes we went back to the high school where she, with much bolstered confidence, told me this driving thing is kinda fun.

I dropped Lindsey back off at her mom's about 5pm, got home at 5:30, where I picked up Cameron (who'd been home at my apartment alone all day and was BORED to tears), and took her out for a quick bite of dinner before heading over to church for worship team rehearsal, which ran until a little past 9pm.


So, home now, and having watched my required Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis, I find myself taking a moment to recount my day to you, the intrepid reader. I think this is the longest I've sat in one place all day.

Well, aside from meals.
And the seat of my car.
And the Stargate fest.

Wonder what I'd be doing if I wasn't on VACATION!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

More Media Madness

More and more evidence of media manipulation just keeps pouring in.

Left & Right has a good blog detailing the photo-shop work done on a picture of a smoky Beruit skyline, in an effort to make it look worse then the reality.

The Jawa Report details fake smoke trails and fake "bombs" added for dramatic effect to detail missiles being fired from an Israeli F-16.

The kicker on this last one is that the caption run by Reuters on the doctored photo read

"An Israeli F-16 warplane fires missiles during an air strike on Nabatiyeh in southern Lebanon, August 2, 2006. (LEBANON)".

Any military expert can tell you the smoke trails in the photo don't come from missiles, but from defensive flares being popped out of the airplane in an effort to confuse Hezbollah heat seeking SAM's.

So, not only did Reuters not catch the very basic problem with the facts of the story that the photographer provided,(missiles vs. flares) but they didn't catch the fact that the photos were doctored until the blogosphere ignited and began screaming bloody murder!

The news agency was either complicit in the conspiracy to lie to it's readers, or duped by Pallywood reporters and photographers with an agenda to sell. My bet is on being duped, because (everyone say it together) the photos are more compelling and sensational than the truth because they have been doctored to be such, and Reuters wants to (let's all say it again) sell papers and footage to make money.

Finally, after hearing the masses demanding honesty, Reuters fires a Lebanese freelance journalist for providing photo-shopped pictures.

This was Reuters, folks, not some little small town newspaper. Reuters is one of the worlds leading new agencies, with a reputation for accuracy and integrity. They have fact checkers, vetters, and copy editors all over the world, and they missed these very important, widely publicized photos.

How many more get through? How often is the media selling you and I a bag of lies? This is scary stuff folks, and just the tip of the iceberg.

They can't even agree on the facts. says in their story that "Since the fighting began, at least 689 people have died on the Lebanese side of the conflict. The Israeli toll stood at 100 killed - 36 civilians and 65 soldiers. "

But the Independent Online says "....Israel's war with Hezbollah fighters that has cost around 1,000 Lebanese and 101 Israeli lives in four weeks."

ABC.NET says "At least 961 people have been killed in Lebanon in the conflict, with dozens more still missing and presumed dead. 98 Israelis have been killed since Hezbollah's capture of two Israeli soldiers on July 12 touched off the war."

(Even that last paragraph is incomplete in it's reporting. Don't forget that Hezbollah captured the two Israeli soldiers after attacking their small convoy unprovoked, killing 8 Israeli soldiers in the fighting, THEN captured the two that they KIDNAPPED.)

So who's telling the truth?

You'll notice the Israeli death totals are very consistent, +/- 3 in the stories, while the Lebanese count ranges +/- over 300 or so. Is Israel being more truthful? Is information harder to get out of Lebanon since that's where the fighting is going on? Does Hezbollah or the Israelis have an agenda to sell to the west? Are reporters willing to take the most dramatic numbers available and run with, since it sounds more... hmmm... sensational?

Who's telling the truth?

I don't know, I can certainly tell you some people are lying to us, and it plain makes me sick.

Ok, back to my 5-hours of Star Trek and Deep Space Nine on SpikeTV in the afternoons. I need to keep my blood pressure down.

And Now For Some Fun

My kids have always loved video games, and one of their favorites used to be The Legend of Zelda. My daughters boyfriend found this video. Here's some other kids with just too much time on their hands.

The Legend of Zelda - Quantum Link Trailer Parody

Monday, August 07, 2006

I'm Tired Of The Lies and the Lying Liars that Lie To Us

We're being lied to, and I can't hardly stand it any longer.

I try hard not to keep myself inundated by our Media, mainly because none of them tell us the truth. It's so hard to know what to believe, what's truthful, what's spin, and what's outright lying.

Don't trust any of the news coming out of the Middle East that you see on TV. We are being played so badly it's sickening. Watch this video that can be found on (and a dozen other places), then do a search for Pallywood, and see just how badly you are being lied to, and how the Western Media is feeding you pablum and lies every single day.

Remember, the Western Media thrives and survives on what's sensational. Houses burn down every day in American, but good lord, catch one on video, and it'll be national news. If there are no images, no video, no emotion tied to the story, then its NOT a story.

If you don't believe there's more staging and media spin going on in the Middle East than you are being told, read up a bit.

And that's just for starters.

I'm gonna go back into my little hidey-hole, stick my head in the sand, build by 14' X 14' shack in the wilderness and husband weapons now.

Just don't take what the media is feeding you at face value. We're being lied to folks. Acknowledge that, and you're on the way to some true news.