Thursday, May 31, 2007
I'm Back, and Ready to Take On the World
Monday, May 21, 2007
I can't even begin to put into words how the time up in Alaska was spent. When I wasn't walking around lakes or driving along the coast, I was locked away in coffee shop after coffee shop, writing a screenplay I started years ago but never finished... until now.
The weather in Anchorage was very nice for this time of the year. High 50s to low 60s. Sunny. The sun went down about 10:45pm, but the sky stayed light until the sun came back up about 4am.
I was lucky enough to watch Spring arrive. When I showed up, the trees were grey and lifeless. When I was driving back to the airport at 11pm a week later, the trees were covered in leaves. A by-product of lots of sunlight and the reality that the summer warmth only lasts for so long. Spring itself really only lasts about 2 weeks in Alaska. After that, Summer stays around until late August/early September. Fall lasts about 2 weeks, followed quickly by Winter.
The following are some pictures I took while driving up to Portage Glacier, just outside of Anchorage. I'm not sure what the inlet is called. When I lived in Alaska I was stationed up in Fairbanks, directly in the middle of the state. I had to take this drive at least once while I was there.
Writing the screenplay, which grew from 38 pages to 146 in 3 days thanks to gallons of Starbucks coffee, has been a goal of mine since returning from my Iraq deployment in Fall 2004. It combines a lot of personal experiences with a story I watched on CNN about a deployed surgical unit in Iraq. I wasn't planning on doing anything with the script, but after talking to a few encouraging people, I'm going to try and get it out there. Odds are always stacked against turning it into a film, but I'd never be satisfied if I didn't try. I think it's a good story.
The Bathroom......................... Is Finished
I started this project in November of last year. Here's what the corner of the basement originally looked like before I got my hands on it.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Loose Change Versus Popular Mechanics
I watched some interesting videos on YouTube not long ago in which the program Democracy Now! featured a debate between the makers of Loose Change and Popular Mechanics.
Loose Change is a film made by a pair of college students questioning the events of Sept 11, 2001 and who is responsible. Although no explicit statement is made, Loose Change strongly implies that the U.S. government planned and executed the aircraft hijackings, suicide strikes, and demolition of the World Trade Center Towers and parts of the Pentagon. The film asks many questions regarding unreleased footage and bases many of its assertions on footage from the network news services. Needless to say, Loose Change has gained quite a following of conspiracy theorists accusing the U.S. government of attacking its own country and detractors debunking the film's assertions.
On the other side of the debate are Popular Mechanics editors that worked on PM's articles explaining and debunking numerous 9/11 conspiracy theories. PM gained quite a bit of attention for their articles which was escalated after their rebuttal to Rosie O'Donnell's scientific challenge on ABC's The View. PM has been praised for their articles as well as accused of being stooges for a government cover-up. On PM's side is also an author of a 9/11 conspiracy theory debunking book.
I found videos of the debate on YouTube here:
Loose Change and Popular Mechanics Debate
The series is in 5 parts and they are well worth watching. I find it interesting how the debate starts off rather civil and articulate. However, tempers begin to flare at the end and the rudeness, sarcasm, and volume picks up. There seems to be more inpolite behavior on the part of the Loose Change creators. The Loose Change guys do make some good points about unreleased footage from the Pentagon attack. However, PM overpowers them after the priceless look on the Loose Change guy's face after being told Underwriter's Laboratories do not certify steel. I also wonder just how much the Loose Change creators really know about the physics of a plane crash. Therefore, I think the overall debate goes to the PM side.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Hello everyone! Tumbleweed here again. I found a website with a bunch of unusual computer case modifications. Some of these guys have gotten pretty creative. You can find galleries of these functional pieces of art here:
A college roommate I had put together a computer using a milk crate as the case. Kept it pretty cool but dust was a bit of a problem. In the meantime, here are some previews:
Yes, this IS a working computer
Harvey the Wonder Hamster's Home?
This goes right up there with the beer keg headstone.
How am I supposed to make popcorn now?
Gets better gas mileage than the original!
Hey, this PC feels a bit too warm...
All you need is some fish.
Sunday, May 13, 2007
Happy Mother's Day!
Remember to let your mother's know how much they are appreciated. Moms should be appreciated everyday of course but especially on this day. Not only is it a way to keep the greeting card, floral, confectionary, and stuffed animal industry in business but it's not so bad to have a day set aside especially for mothers now is it?
In the spirit of Mother's Day I wanted to share this story that I found on Fark.com about a West Virgina mother who saved her children from a horrific house fire. She was also pregnant at the time and gave birth to a pre-mature baby while still recovering from her injuries. Truly an incredible story that you can find here:
There is also extensive video footage from the news outlet that covered the story and tracked the family's progress as they healed.
On behalf of El Capitan and myself, Tumbleweed, we want to give a salute to all those ladies out there that put up with all the rollercoaster ups and downs of motherhood. Hoo-aahh!!!
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Paris and the Loss of an Angel (Unrelated Topics)
Greetings everyone! El Capitan has me sitting in for him while he away on TDY to beg for funds for his pet project. For those of you who follow are aware of what he is working on, it really is an important piece of equipment. I have a colleague I fly with out here who will be going back to the aircraft El Cap is working on and all he can talk about are those pods and what they can do. I wonder if he knows that there is no money for them....
I apologize for not posting on the blog sooner, I just started an alert rotation and things have been a bit busy. But without further delay, let's get started.
Paris Hilton just can't keep out of trouble. The following article details her DUI, probation, subsequent repeat violations, and sentence:
First of all she is driving drunk which shows incredibly poor judgment. Then she continues to drive on her suspended license which shows even worse judgement. Then she gets cited two times for driving on that suspended license. Her publicist releases a statement that she was unaware that her license was suspended. How can she claim ignorance and not knowing the terms of her probation? Is California's state justice system so screwed up that they don't explain punishments? How can this woman possibly mount any credible defense for her actions? Finally, she is late to court. I don't think she had a good reason for that either. That kind of behavior shows blatant contempt for the court and she is lucky she wasn't penalized for that either, even if it was just rescheduling her court date at the state's convenience. Then she fires her publicist, blaming him for allowing her to drive on her suspension:
It almost defies belief that this girl is so delusional that she believes it is someone else's fault that she violates her probation multiple times and her sentence is "cruel and unwarranted". Her lawyers even claim she is being singled out for unfair treatment due to her celebrity status. Maybe it is all the people around her filling her head with these ludicrous notions. It is time for one of Paris' entourage to tell her that her money is not enough to buy their complicity and it time for her to grow up and take responsibility for her actions. For the sake of the Hilton Corporation, I hope she expresses no interest in running the company.
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Leaving On a Jet Plane...Turning East, Then North
"So, you don' wanna gif me any money for my little friend??!!"
Sometimes I wonder how we ever got off the ground as an Air Force. "Gee Orville and Wilbur, we really like your flying contraption there, and we desperately need it for our Army, but we don't want to pay you anything for it."
After that I'll be running away to Alaska for 5 days. Taking the laptop, so I should be writing some interesting stuff and taking lots of pictures up there as usual. Not going to be too much fun since the wife and kids couldn't make it with me this time.
If for some reason I get taken out by a moose or a rabid bear, Tumbleweed... you've got the helm. Treat her well, and give her a tune-up every couple hundred posts.
Ahhh, too bad it's not salmon season yet.Cheers!
Friday, May 04, 2007
MilBlog Conference & The End of Military Blogging
Since I couldn't attend the MilBlog Conference going on this weekend in D.C., I created some MilBlogging OPSEC posters for the MilBloggers out there who now face tougher standards thanks to the new Military rules on Blogging. Black Five considers it the End of Military Blogging.
Since the new restrictions were enacted due to OPSEC concerns, I think we need to double our efforts to police our MilBlog sites along with convincing the military that MilBlogs are vital weapons in combating the Propaganda War we face on a daily basis.
Please help get these out to everyone.
**Note, these are just ideas on some ways we can get the OPSEC message out like we did years ago, and are no way intended to infringe on the original works of art.
Iran Is Afraid of Girls!
This latest episode of the Iranian Foreign Minister walking out of a state dinner because the violinist was wearing a red dress that was too revealing is the final straw.
I hereby recommend that the US Special Operations Command develop an elite fighting unit of women. Their mission, to scare the crap out of the Iranians if and when the crap ever hits the fan between our two countries. This elite group of women will be the tip of the spear, and they'll be backed by a complete takeover of Iranian TV communications, which will be broadcasting pirated episodes of Bay Watch and the Hooters Hawaiian Tropic Swimsuit competition.
Next, cause a diversion to scare the freak'n crap out of them.
And wrap up the invasion with the Marines.