Unemployment, losing people, and oh yeah, Judgement Day…

So, as of today, I have been out of work for 3 weeks. This is the second longest stretch of being without a job I have gone through in my working life and it’s really starting to get to me. I go through phases of enjoying the time off, sleeping in, staying home with the dogs, and I absolutely hated my job and boss. But then I look at my bank account, or think of something fun to do, and I get depressed since I have no money to do those ‘fun’ things right now. I’m stressed out about my fiancée paying for everything right now, and it sucks. I REALLY hope something comes along soon.

In other news, I’ve lost my grandmother and a good friend in the last couple months. I feel terrible about not seeing either of them as much as I should have before they were gone. Luckily, I was able to take some time and see my grandma before she passed, even if the Alzheimer’s made it so she didn’t even realize it was me. My friend on the other hand called me last week to go out, and I kind of blew it off. Little did I know that would have been my last chance to see him alive and laugh with him. He was the kind of guy that no matter what was going on he could make you crack up. I hope if there is a heaven that he’s found my grandma and told her a couple good jokes. She loved to laugh. I miss them both, and really hope they are in a better place.

So tomorrow is supposed to be ‘Judgement Day’. I guess tomorrow we’ll find out who was naughty and who was nice according to some higher power’s list. I’m pretty sure I’ll still be here after the ‘rapture’ goes down. Im not a terrible evil person, never killed anyone, really don’t try to intentionally hurt people, but I have definitely committed a few sins in my time. I really think that the mass majority of humans will still be here if or when this whole Judgement Day scenario plays out. I mean really, what human being is completely innocent? Sure, kids are innocent, but everyone I know has committed at least a few sins in their time. The only beings on this earth that I could see suddenly disappearing tomorrow are small children and animals. I guess maybe that’s part of the ‘torture’ part for us sinners. I can’t imagine a day without my pets to keep me sane. I can’t imagine a week going by without seeing my ‘niece and nephew’ either. Without those things in my life,  it really would be hell on earth. Plus, I don’t think traffic is going to get any better since we’ll all still be here. Either way, I’m going t get ready to go looting in Leawood, just in case. Be safe my friends!

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Book Rant: Jesse Ventura’s ‘American Conspiracies’

I’ve just finished reading American Conspiracies by Jesse Ventura. Let me preface the following by stating that I do think of myself as a bit of a conspiracy theorist. I’m not running around in a foil hat paranoid that people are following me like Mel Gibson in that movie, but I do believe that there are lot of things in the world that just don’t fit the ‘official’ explanations. Ventura’s book delves into some of the more popular conspiracy theories in American history and also points out a couple that most people probably have no idea of, I didn’t. The book starts out with an investigation of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. We all know the ‘official’ story, Lincoln was shot in the back of the head at Ford’s Theater by lone gunman John Wilkes Booth. Did you know that there were actually quite a few more people involved, and that no one truly knows what actually happened to Booth’s body? The book then moves on to talk about an attempted ‘corporate takeover’ of the US Government during FDR’s presidency, the assassinations of Malcom X, Martin Luther King, and the Kennedy brothers. Ventura points out how strange it is that every time there is an assassination in the US, the media always picks up on the shooter’s first, middle, and last name, John Wilkes Booth, James Earl Ray, Lee Harvey Oswald. We’ve seen this again recently with Jared Lee Loughner and the shootings in Tucson, AZ. I learned quite a bit about these assassinations from this book. JFK’s assassination was really the only one I had any prior knowledge of. Another thing Ventura points out throughout the book is that a lot of the same names seem to pop up surrounding all of these situations. Many of the same political players are still around and in power to this day. Guys like Henry Kissinger, the Bush’s, Donald Rumsfeld, and Dick Cheney have been involved in many questionable acts in modern American history, and many have aspirations of starting a ‘New World Order’. Ventura’s book then takes a look at Nixon’s Watergate scandal, the Iran Contra affair, and the ‘October Surprise’ surrounding the release of hostages in Iran coinciding with Ronald Reagan’s first Presidential term. Ventura points out many questionable acts and policies surrounding our government, the intelligence community that violate of our civil rights and ultimately throw out the Constitution in the name of Homeland Security. Ventura doesn’t distinguish between political parties with his points and criticisms, he basically lets us know that our government is corrupt, and is beholden to nothing but the almighty (though almost worthless) dollar. Ventura talks about multiple discrepancies between the ‘official’ 9/11 Commission Report and the findings of multiple scientists, engineers, scholars, and eye witnesses to what happened on that fateful day. 9/11 was a ‘false flag’ operation to justify Bush’s war mongering in Iraq and Afghanistan. There are too many pieces that do not fit the ‘official’ story for it to be true. (I also suggest watching ‘Loose Change’ if you also feel there is something not right about what we were told about 9/11.) Ventura also talks about the stealing of elections by the Bush administration, and what really is behind the financial crisis the United States is in the midst of.

American Conspiracies is a book that I feel most people should read. Most may not agree with the content of most of the book, but hopefully many would get enough out of it to realize that we need to start asking questions about what goes on in this country. We also need to start holding our government responsible for its actions. Watching what is going on in Egypt right now with their government shutting down all internet and SMS communications makes me scared of how easy it was for them to just turn these things off. Granted, Egypt is a much smaller country with nowhere near the complexities of their internet backbone as the US has, but is it really that farfetched to think it could happen here? Ever since 9/11 our government has tried harder and harder to make it easier to track, see and hear everything we do. The US government and intelligence agencies have suspended many of our privacy rights in the name of security, and to stop the threat of terrorism. The plans are in place for the government to suspend the Constitution and install martial law any time they see fit, whether it’s a chemical attack, disease outbreak, or civil unrest. People need to wake up and start asking questions. Jesse Ventura’s American Conspiracies is a great place to start the conversation.

 

American Conspiracies

Jesse Ventura with Dick Russel

2008, Skyhorse Publishing

Jesseventura.net

 

Skins Outrage… seriously?

While I have admittedly not seen an episode of MTV’s Americanized version of the British show Skins, I can honestly say I’m outraged by all of the outrage it’s causing. For those who do not know, Skins is a scripted TV show following the lives of a handful of diverse teens growing up in suburban America. The show is being criticized for it’s content, including sexual, drug, and alcohol related themes. In a form of passive censorship, companies at the urging of ‘The Parents Television Council‘, such as H&R Block, Taco Bell, Subway, Wrigley’s, and GM have been pulling their ads so as not to offend America’s tender sensibilities and push MTV to cancel Skins for not getting enough ad revenue. I watched the first 2 seasons of Skins on BBC America and felt it to be a pretty accurate depiction of teen life. While the clothes, music and setting were quite different from my own teen years, the old stories and situations were much the same. Here’s a NEWS FLASH folks, teens experiment with sex, drugs and rock and roll! I did it, I know my parents did it. This experimentation is very healthy in my opinion, it teaches life lessons. Not all of these lessons are easy, and not everyone passes the tests. If we did, then there could be nothing learned. From my viewings of the BBC version of Skins, I felt that many of the characters learned a great deal from their experiences. While there were some who may not have learned anything, those are the people we come across in life who never learn, and usually become rich and powerful and try to get shows like Skins off the air. The people out there who are so worried about what their kids are seeing on TV should realize that the kids are THEIR KIDS, and they are responsible for controlling what THEIR KIDS see on TV. Parents nowadays are way too quick to point blame at society, rather than admit their shortfalls as parents. The government SHOULD NOT be babysitting your children for you. Look at the what the government does and prioritizes, someone needs to babysit them. Our country has so many problems right now that take a backseat to the agendas of the Neo-Cons, and the Religious Right. People like Sarah Palin, with her pregnant out of wedlock teen daughter is the exact kind of person who would rather spend time and energy getting a show that employs people, and creates and economy, than actually take a look at her own parenting skills and spend time PARENTING her children. With our economy, and wars, and the beginnings of social unrest in the US, you would think that our elected officials would spend more time answering the requests of the citizens, and stop trying to force conservatism on us. I find it extremely ironic that out forefathers left England all those many years ago to escape tyranny. England, the country where a show like the original Skins, with it’s foul language and mild nudity intact, is on the air, and has been for a few years. Our country needs to spend more time focusing on what truly is wrong with the US. Energy needs to be spent on truly investigating the causes of our economic downfall, who really runs the government, and a FULL independent investigation of what really happened in the 9/11 attacks. We are a country of people who seem to just believe what the talking heads on TV tell us, and take it as the only possible story. We are a country that finds it easier and more acceptable to let someone else do our thinking, and just want to be spoon fed. We are a country that never wants to take responsibility for our wrongs and always needs a scapegoat. Our government does it, so why shouldn’t we? We need to wake up, take responsibility, and get over all of our Puritanical issues. This country was founded on the idea that people were free. Free to create, free to express, free to consume. What real freedom do we have when our government tries to censor and listen to everything we say and do? Wake up America, your collective eyes have been closed for WAY too long. Skins is far from the problem.

Where Does the Time Go?

Wow! I just realized it’s been almost a month since I last wrote on here. It’s been hectic lately. Well, Miranda and I are engaged. We’ve been doing some early planning for the wedding and it looks like it will be next October in Vegas, followed by some time off in SOCAL just wandering around, and a party back here in KC sometime in November. More details on that later. We went to Rochester, MN over the Labor Day weekend and had a great time at Miranda’s cousin’s wedding. Congrats to Nathan and Cathy!!! We are also in the beginning stages of buying the house we have been renting for the last year, wish us luck! I’ve been working a lot, and learning something new everyday. I have been told that my contract will be extended, and I will hopefully go permanent around the first of the year. Keeping my fingers crossed! I’m trying to teach myself some programming, and have been working with the Google Android App Inventor to do a couple of small practice applications. I have a long way and a ton of reading to go. I’ve also been doing some writing and have started on a ‘book’ that maybe I’ll finish this time. My friend Scott and I have also started a fun new Twitter account where we share some of the lessons that we learned growing up with 80’s Pop Culture. Follow us! twitter.com/80sWisdom I’ve also been doing some tweaking of my Android phone, and I am loving the Cyanogen mod of 2.2 Froyo for my HTC Hero. I still can’t wait to get a new phone, but this is keeping me occupied in the meantime. Other than that, just been hanging with the fiancee and the dogs and cats, and watching HUSKER football. GO BIG RED!!

I will be writing more soon.

Hey you, you little punk!!!

I'm walking down the street, and who do I meet? Me when I was a 16 year old 'punk kid'. What would I tell me?

I would tell my 16 year old self not to worry so much about status and wealth. Money is important, but it's not everything. I would tell him that, while I didn't stay in college, he should because his life will be alot easier with that stupid piece of paper. I would explain to him that now I understand why my parents were tough on me, and I can see the value in the lessons they taught me now that I am struggling with helping to raise an intelligent, hard headed 12 year old. I would tell him not to stress so much about finding love, it happens when it happens, and when it does for real it's amazing. I would tell him to focus on his dreams, but not live with his head in the clouds. I would tell him to learn to play guitar, and keep his singing voice in shape, because it was really pretty good back then. I would tell him that he is going to lose a lot in his life, be it money, posessions, or people he loves, but it's OK, it all happens for a reason. I would tell him that those 'reasons' are very often not apparent for a long time after the fact. I would tell him not to discount the extraordinary in life, and that keeping an open mind can yield some pretty incredible things. I would tell him to get more interested in computers and learn to hack, being a geek can pay off, and I waited too long to embrace my inner geek. I would tell him to invest in Google the first time he hears the name, even if it's just a few bucks. I would tell him to not be afraid to take a leap of faith. I would tell him that moving to California in his 20's might be a great idea. I would urge him to take care of his body, and spend time in the gym while he's young and make it a habit so that he doesn't end up a fat old man like me. I would tell him to cherish his family and spend more time with his Grandma while she still can remember who he is. I would tell him to always be kind to animals, and that having a pet can change his life. I would tell him to remember the name Miranda, she'll be pretty pivotal in his life down the road.

He probably would have stopped listening about 2 sentences into my spiel, he's such a hard headed kid.

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Loving this new song…

Solo stuff from Brandon Flowers of The Killers. Crossfire from his upcoming CD, Flamingo.

I love The Killers and definitely hope they make more music, but this will tide me over. Very mellow, but driving. Kind of sexy, starts out with the ‘toy piano’ vibe of  Sam’s Town, my favorite Killers album. I love Brandon’s songwriting, great lyrics. Plus you have to love a cameo from Charlize Theron in the video. So HOT!

Flamingo is set to release on September 6th in the UK, and September 14th in the US.