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    Thursday, May 29, 2008

    The Thursday Night Quotes

    Patrick: On Iron Maiden: "Look a giant robot zombie walks out, he's like 10 or 12 feet tall - now that's musicianship."

    Patrick: On British Railways: "British Railways - Wouldn't you rather drive?"

    Frank: On flirting with beer girls at Renaissance fairs: "I make it a point of a honor never to flirt with a beer girl who won't fill up my wife as well."

    Pete: On Frank: "I'm the COMMANDER. I'll COMMAND things around here!"

    Pete: On Gina: "Well she is a movie star now."
    Frank: "Yeah ... and you've never seen a bigger diva in your life."
    Gina: "What!?"
    Pete: "Oh no, you're right, the other Diva's are much bigger."
    Patrick: "Well, . . . it's nice that this couch is reupholstered."

    Wednesday, May 28, 2008

    Phoenix Mars Lander

    Phoenix Mars Lander site

    This is the good stuff right here.

    For me the question is not; 'is there life on Mars?' or 'was there life on Mars?'. I strongly suspect that there is or was.
    In any case, as our artifacts are currently there, one can safely say, there is now.
    The real question for me is, if we find life elsewhere in our own solar system (Mars, Europa, or wherever), is that life the result of a separate genesis? If we find that life throughout our solar system is all related and therefore the result of a single genesis event, that will tell us something about the robust nature of life and it's ability to proliferate. If we find, however, that life occurs in our own solar system as a result of more than one, completely separate genesis events, that will tell us something entirely different about the likelihood of life existing elsewhere in our galaxy and the universe beyond.

    The question after that will be, if life is abundant in the universe, how rare is intelligence?

    Which of course kicks off that old conversation about what intelligence really is?
    What if an alien life form conceptualizes the universe in a completely different way than we do? How would we be able to recognize each other as intelligent, let alone communicate? After all dolphins and whales are widely regarded as intelligent and are related to us, but we can't even really communicate with them yet. So the question then becomes, if life is abundant in the universe, how rare is intelligence that conceptualizes the universe in a similar manner to the way we do?
    My feeling is, probably very rare indeed.
    On the other hand, look at it this way, we begin here, extending our reach through our solar system, first with machines and bacteria, and then later with ourselves, as we surely must. Add to this our increasing ability to adapt ourselves both technologically and genetically to the environments we discover, and through our increasing mastery of nanotechnology to alter those environments to better suit us. I believe we will one day see alien life forms, bred from the life around us and ourselves, living everywhere we can reach.

    Thursday, May 22, 2008

    Thursday night quotes

    Patrick: On people who say that they know Barack Obama "says" he's not a Muslim, but that they don't believe him.
    Patrick, "I'm sorry, I can't continue this conversation, I never discuss politics with Buddhist."
    Hypothetical Ignoramus, "But I'm not a Buddhist."
    Patrick, "Sorry, I don't believe you."

    Patrick: on the recent Kentucky and West Virginia Democratic primary voters, "Hee Haw Democrats!"

    Here's a link from Collins:

    Patrick: on the Clinton Campaign.
    Their new strategy is, their going to go independent, and then try to win the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes. It's called the Clinton/McMahon ticket - also the the Mega Millions guy will be the new campaign spokesman.

    Indiana Jones and the something or other

    "Oh my god . . . did that suck!"
    - Frank Cross (Scrooged)

    Right after I watched it, I was like "Hey, that really wasn't very good."
    The more I think about it though, the more upset I get. This was really just terrible. A CG extravaganza, action packed and total waste of time. I like a good adventure film as much as the next guy. I have no problem suspending my disbelief for the sake of a little entertainment, but this was just ridiculous. Not just the endless CG but the characters as well. Seriously, I'm not going to put any spoilers in here but really, if you're thinking about spending money to see this, go see Iron Man again or something.
    Speaking of which, I didn't review it at the time, but Iron Man is my new favorite super hero movie of all time. That was good stuff.

    Monday, May 19, 2008

    "Wow, Wow, Wow . . . ."

    UPDATED: with Video.

    Yes, We CAN!!!
    From the NY Times

    "Senator Barack Obama drew the largest crowd of his campaign so far on Sunday, addressing an estimated 75,000 people who had gathered here on the banks of the Willamette River."

    Friday, May 16, 2008

    The death of the Conservative Repulican Party in America.

    It has been coming for a while now, and if there was ever a moment that defines the beginning of the ultimate end of the right wing policies, that have all but destroyed this country over the past eight years, this is it. Although I have nothing but respect for Mr. Olbermann and his efforts, I do not mean to say that he alone, through this one broadcast, has brought this about. This has been brought about, inevitably, by reality reasserting itself over the shared delusions of our so called leadership. However this broadcast, this commentary, is the clearest, by the numbers, black and white illustration of what is finally, and at long suffering last, beginning to happen in this country.
    This is the price of belligerent, willfully ignorant and incompetent leadership. This is the price of placing misguided, fantasy based policies over common sense and basic human decency. This is the reality brought about by placing doctrine over justice, and racist, jingoism over true patriotism.
    It seems that, finally, we are approaching the end of a long, dark, shameful chapter of American history.
    This is the beginning of the end of the Republican Party as we have known it.
    Good riddance.

    Tuesday, May 13, 2008

    Facing Racism

    Excellent article on the racism that the Obama campaign is facing behind the scenes.

    Now let me ask a question and I'm really going to try to keep things friendly here.
    In the article linked above several people express that they would never vote for a "black" person. My question is this; if you are someone who feels this way, what does that say about you?

    You see, I would argue that if you really feel that you cannot vote for a person based solely on their color (or gender for that matter), that you are really quite backward and out of touch with reality. I would further argue that you are not really an American at all. This country is founded on the principle that all people should have an equal opportunity. This kind of fear based, anti-reasoning, ignorance and prejudice is not merely wrong (and it is! and you know it!) but it is also, quite simply, laughably out of date.

    We have learned, on several different fronts (anthropologically, genetically, and so on) that the whole racism thing is, and always has been, a lie.
    We are one species, one race; Human. Whatever our visible or cultural differences, this is the underlying truth. We are one people and this applies to all humans - everywhere.
    Everything else is mere tribalism, regardless of its scale.

    Do you really feel that the lives of children lost recently in China or Myanmar are somehow intrinsically of less value than the lives of children recently lost to tornadoes here in the states? Or is it only the "white" children recently lost to tornadoes here in the states? And how do you define white? Is a child's life less valuable because one of it's grandparents or great grandparents was part African or Asian. Where do Spanish or Indian or Native American people fall on your 'color to value' chart? How many generations backward do you look? (Because if you look back far enough, you're in for one hell of a surprise.) Have you ever really given any thought to your position at all? Must our country be denied an American President with outstanding character, who stands up for reason and integrity, simply because you are afraid of people who don't look enough like you?

    I urge you to really think about the cost of such a world view to your own well being. What kind of person are you? What kind of person do you aspire to be? Is this really the limit of your understanding, your compassion, your humanity?

    Perhaps it is not entirely your fault. Perhaps you also do not believe in evolution. Perhaps you are also against gay relationships, sex for pleasure, a womans right to her own body, and so on. Perhaps you are the victim of your local environment, caught in an echo chamber that tells you that it is acceptable to hold these views.
    If that is the case, I have some bad news, you are wrong - on all counts.

    You see, the world is rapidly changing and, to borrow a phrase from some popular books you may have heard of, you are the ones in real danger of being "left behind".

    I urge you to reflect on these views most seriously. Consider their implications to you, and to the children in your life. Reach out beyond your current, limited experience and educate yourself as to the true nature and beauty of the world, it's people and the universe at large.

    Sunday, May 11, 2008

    Champagne and Yard Work

    Good news! Gina and I have the house back to ourselves. Talia and the kids (and almost all of their stuff) are all safely relocated to their new house in NC. We celebrated with Champagne and by doing a lot of yard, house and pool work. Things are coming along nicely and we are really enjoying our rediscovered privacy. Don't get me wrong, we love the kids and the grandkids, but it's a real pleasure to put something down and come back later and find it . . . exactly where you left it.
    We are cleaning out and fixing up two rooms to use as guest rooms and making some big plans. As usual our plans are bigger than our budget, but we're getting by.
    As a result of all this, for the moment at least, no one else is moving in.
    Also, new rule, if your coming over you probably want to call about twenty minutes beforehand. Very probably!

    Meanwhile, as we clean up and redesign our living space, I'm looking forward to reinventing myself a little. I have several projects that I have started, and want to finish, or at least work on a little more.
    There is just not enough time to do everything I want to do . . . but I'm looking forward to trying.

    Friday, May 9, 2008

    Thursday Night quotes

    Patrick on St. Christopher: "St. Christopher got a lot of the jobs no one else wanted. He was patron saint of Travelers, Policemen, giraffes on ladders . . . "

    This one is from Collins on the recent story about a teacher fired for Wizardry after performing a magic trick: "Only Charlie Daniels can save us!"

    Wednesday, May 7, 2008


    Gina is now a member of AFTRA, as well as SAG, and has been working steadily.
    Which is good but it makes things ever more hectic around here.

    Talia and the kids are moving to their new place in NC any moment.

    Work has been brutal.

    I'm worried about a close friend.

    I'm really glad Obama is winning and really disappointed that Hillary can't figure out that it's OVER!
    It's over Hillary!
    There's being a fighter, and sticking it out, and going the distance . . . and then there's just being a braying jackass.
    She's like a the Black Night in "Monty Python and the Holy Grail".

    Thursday, May 1, 2008

    Patrick's Thursday night quotes

    On the Bush Administration: "The most important thing . . . is that the getaway car is running. January 20, 2009 11:58 AM - Start the car!"

    On Television: "Think about it though, if I could go back in time to 2000 and tell you that in 2008 your favorite shows would include "Dr. Who" and "Battlestar Galactica" . . . you guys would have tarred and feathered me."