The ongoing prattlings of a lifelong geek and his random luck with love, work, children and rediscovering himself.


TV: Face Of Jesus (History Channel)

During my ongoing Insomnia situation, recently, I watched the History Channel's special on revealing the face of Jesus Christ via computer-assisted reconstruction from the Shroud Of Turin (I only knew about this from Martin Atencio who mentioned wanting to see it).  It was a fascinating documentary showing how scientists can extrapolate just about anything they want with evidence that they do *not* know the end result of (as opposed to proving and re-proving "facts" as they already know them).

Brought up several times was the fact that the Shroud in question has been "carbon dated" previously as only being a few hundred years old.  Then "facts" surrounding the pattern of the weave in the Shroud, drawings made in other countries that have to do with the Shroud supposedly, and most interestingly to me, how Man's Bible documents the opening of Jesus' tomb, Mary and the Disciples' interpretations of what they say, and best of all, analysis of how light and/or radiation could (by man's definitions) produce the infamous imprints of what they believe to be Jesus onto the cloth.

I don't have a real opinion either way as to whether this really is the burial cloth of Jesus.  I see no reason for it to be important, personally.  It's *fascinating* from a scientific view, which was the point of this TV special, certainly.  Scientists constantly make discoveries which constantly get debunked as "better methods" come about (was the carbon dating wrong?).  Historians connect the dots of things that could very well be unrelated, or could be misinuterpreted (drawings of someone in a shroud found in other countries).  And then there's the Catholic Church, which many believe to be manipulators of historical fact to promote their own agenda (or other denominations which paint the Catholic Church in a highly negative light - including the one I was raised in).

In any case, the scientific methods and "proofs" presented in this special were fascinating, as well as the end result - a full-body representation of what they believe Jesus Christ looked like.  I guess if He had been portrayed in a way vastly different than the many paintings/drawing already seen for two centuries, maybe this would have been "even more fascinating".  Comments on the eye brows and lashes were funny (to me).  The extra "rag" possibly used to wrap the face of the person in the Shroud also presented interesting ideas (though I felt that it was not explored fully - how could his face be so clear in the head-area of the Shroud if it was double-wrapped, yet the rest of his body was not, and was less-visible in the Shroud?).

Anyway.  An interesting show.  I agree completely with the gentleman who repeatedly stated that we will "never know" (at least on this plane of existence) whether this is truly the Shroud that He was wrapped in after death.  Barring time-travel (oops, many people think that's impossible - oh well).


Too Many Things Happening At Once

This must be the year for everything to hit me.  The only thing not happening this year is the graduation from high school of my youngest child, Chris.  It's been really hard not being depressed over the lost of my job of 12.5 years, and the departure of two of my kids to real life, one of them now scheduled to be going to Germany later this year, the other possibly being back in the local area in several months.  I've made a commitment to do everything in my power to stay in the local area so Chris does not have to change schools so late (as happened to me) but the job prospects here are just not great versus the monies needed to survive where we are.

I just need something to lift my spirits.  I really do.  The hits just keep on coming and I feel like I have no one to really confide in any longer outside of the kids.. and they don't need that baggage; they have their own lives to handle.  I don't know what else to say.  Even posting this is just me babbling, but I don't know what else to do.  I feel utterly alone now.  :-(


MOVIE: How To Train Your Dragon (in 3D)

I had been really looking forward to this children's book turned movie for a few months now, and it did not disappoint.  It's very obviously aimed at kids around the 9-15 age range (by my estimation), but can certainly be enjoyed by all.

Above average animation (for today's standards), good quality 3D, a great storyline, lot's of funny moments, and a pretty solid script overall.  I really enjoyed this movie!  Go see it!!

MOVIE: She's Out Of My League

I saw this flick when it first came out.  It wasn't stellar.  It was a decent matinee movie to check out.  Not rocket-science material.  Can't really say much about it since it's been a few weeks.  Oh well.

Roundworm = Bad

Boomer ended up with a case of roundworm.  I can imagine very little that could be more disgusting than finding a worm twisting and turning while sticking out of your cat's... anus.  Sick.

Medicine seems to be quickly helping.  He had been throwing up after every meal, and his stomach was very firm.  In two days since the administration of medicine, he's been "going" regularly.  Kosh is also grooming him more frequently for some odd reason (perhaps sensing that Boomer is "recovering" or something).  We seem to have caught it early as I've not found any further evidence in his stool since the initial medication (he gets another dose in 8 days).

Apparently humans can get this from the animal as well.  So, yeah... no cuddling with Boomer for at least a couple weeks.  Bleargh!!


Computer Storage - Then And Now

I came across this graphic yesterday and found it interesting, showing how far we've come in electronic storage since I was in high school.   Wow.

There's also news that Commodore USA is  bringing "back" the Commodore 64  (this link sometimes has a hard time loading)  using a quad-core Intel processor.  However, it appears all it is will be that the computer will be in a similar case (it will apparently run Windows and Linux).

I'm imagining that if they were to include C64 emulation via hardware (tons of software emulators exist already), that would at least give it a small niche market.  Otherwise, it's just a computer in an all-in-one keyboard (been done already, but mainly for industrial purposes).


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Unemployment Levels - An Eye Opening Animation

I stumbled upon some interesting statistics for the US during a "class" I attended today (part of a set of "classes" I'm required to take for aid during my unemployment which began February 17th, 2010).

It shows, by months, the unemployment levels in the US starting in January 2007 and moving forward. It's obviously an "overview" and does not give any detail by job type, ethnicity, gender, etc... but it does give a sobering look at what's been happening for the past few years.

The original Flash animation is found here, while there is a YouTube link to a copy that is faster to load and watch, but at the time of this posting, is only through December of 2009.

I've been theorizing for years that, as technology advances, and as population increases, we will need less and less employed individuals to service "everyone".  I wonder what the "final unemployment numbers" will be once everything has settled.  Will they be even higher than they are now?  Lower?  Hmm.


Time To Delete MySpace?

A story today on Slashdot makes me think it's finally time to just shut down the MySpace account that I have (plus those that I host for local schools).  The story links to more information about the fact that MySpace is now planning on selling data on it's users to agencies that want it.  It's not exactly a new practice, but it's enough for me to think I may be done checking for messages that I very rarely get there any more.

I'm far more interested in William Shatner's new website anyway.


Daniella Turns 21

March 14, 1989.  My first child is born.  She's about six weeks early (all of my kids were early to varying degrees).  She's barely a football in my arms.  I'm about 10 minutes late to her birth thanks to traffic on the 10 Freeway as I race from Pomona to Monterey Park.

She's the first born Malena child, "One of Four" for those who are Borg-inclined.  One of the "Mighty Four".  She is also a fast learner, and even at an early age, starts establishing patterns of behaviour that you can see in her for many years to come.  She loves swinging, to skate, and helping her sister and brothers like a big sister should.

Her every accomplishment is something she proudly displays and shares.  She knows she can do just about anything, and she's ready to prove it at any time.  Teachers love her.  She spends her early years in one bedroom with her siblings in "those bunk beds".  She tends to feel like she has to take control to make sure some things get done right (not sure where she got that from....).

Middle school comes and she's playing the trombone.  She smiles a lot and is coming into her own, becoming a true band-geek and doing well in school.  She has a few pet peeves, and could do without a couple teachers, but she survives 6th, 7th and 8th grade and a brand new middle school, not to mention two moves of the family (to our first house, then to our own home)

Boys start catching her eye.  You'd never be able to find consistency in those she ends up liking, so I gave up trying to figure out what "her type" was.  She doesn't really date until she meets a young man who she is still very close to even today.  She's an uber band geek while at Spruce Creek High.  She finished high school, and life after high school hits like a brick.  Some time is spent away from home briefly.  She starts working, eventually making her way to management at local restaurants.  A car, another car, lots of rims, stereos, and eventually a car wreck (as a passenger) that comes very close to killing my baby girl (19 years old, almost 6 feet tall, very mature looking... my baby girl).

Now she's 21.  "Legal".  She's an adult "in every way" as far as the law is concerned.  How can that be?  She was just born a little while ago... wasn't she?

My little girl is all grown up.  She's becoming a CNA.  She has her own money and her own plans with her own friends.  I love her, she loves me.. but she's moving on.  It's very... hard to take.  But at the same time, it's what happens, and as much as I will miss her when she ends up on her own (soon, too soon?), I also can be happy that I have a lifetime of memories with her.  The good, the odd, the weird, the uncomfortable, and even the "bad".  It's all been a learning journey.  She'll always be my first-born, my little football, Danigurrrl, Mighty 1 of 4, that wench, that beautiful woman, the "male version of me", the entity who stole my heart on March 14, 1989.

I love you, Dani.


Religious Zealots Promoting "God's Hate"


Why would any church want to promote such a thing? How can any group feel that promoting such horrific ideas will either (a) uplift a benevolent God, (b) unify people for a "good cause", or (c) allow families to grieve for their dead children who are defending "the American ideal"?

Please note the well-informed,highly intelligent, proud CHILDREN holding the signs in this particular case.  Thank goodness they have the right to choose to be part of this "noble cause", eh?   (somebody smack their parents, very hard, please...)   Sad.

I'm shocked we haven't heard that this "church" has been destroyed, burned down or otherwise obliterated from the face of the planet. I know that some feel that America and/or the Catholic Church and/or any number of other labeled groups are "the great Whore" or "Babylon" or whatever other hateful names people have come up with, whether through a book that people claim is "without error" (the bible), through appointed pastors and priests, or just through hear-say that gets blown out of proportion. And of course, we have "freedom of speech" here in America (which I'm enjoying right now by posting rhis, right?). But just as bad as any Nazi proclaiming "purity reasons" for murdering untold numbers of people is repugnant, this makes me utterly sick.

It's no better than racism, hating "homos", or even something as simple as southerners versus westerners or blonds and brunettes. This is a good example of why I choose to be labeled an "Agnostic Theist" (and one I think my father probably would have shared if he'd cared enough to label himself while he was alive). I have never felt "organized" (hah) religion was a good thing. And though I will certainly not hold "all religions" responsible for this one idiotic Baptist group, I am thoroughly disgusted as a Christian and a person who chose to be "Baptist" in my formative years to have any association, present or past, with a group promoting this. Perhaps someone should show up at their loved ones' funerals and hold up signs that will upset them, cause them more pain, and generally promote hate and disdain. It's free speech, after all... right?

When did God start *hating*?  Someone's verrrrry confused.  No wonder so many people hate "organized religion".  :-(   How can we spread any message of God's love when things like this are happening?  This is surely a more public display, but it's something that happens everywhere.   It's not just "an opinion".  It's the active spreading of ideas that get planted into people's heads, especially impressionable young people, which cause ongoing strife and intolerance.   (oops, I used a word that I know many religious leaders hate - "tolerance")

I look forward to the day when we are enlightened.  Unfortunately, we have to wait until we "pass on" (go to the next plane of existence, or as it's known more simply... DIE) to gain this knowledge.  Right?  (sigh)  And, if I need to say it... I'm not a homosexual (or black, or Jewish, or handicapped, or part of an organized religion any longer - just an average Sicilian-American).

Tron Legacy Trailer Released

For some, it's geek nirvana revisited from the early 1980's.

Watch the trailer.  It's pretty cool.


"More" by Mark Osborne (revisited)

I was bored enough last night (it's now early the next morning) to be watching the Oscars on TV (apparently "The Hurt Locker" is a movie I need to see) that my mind was drawn back to a short film from the late 1990's called "More". 

If you have not watched this short video yet, you need to do so ASAP.  It is one of, if not the, best short story/film I have ever seen.  To this day, I can watch it and still get goosebumps.  It has no dialogue.  It is simple and to the point, yet every time you watch it, I challenge you not to come away with just a little more than the last time you watched it.  Do so without distractions or a cluttered mind.  If it does not move you, I don't know what would...

Watch it here at this link.  Then share it with those you love, like, or barely know.  It's truly a work of art that should be enjoyed by all.


MOVIE: It's Complicated

If you're a teenage guy, you're very likely not interested in this movie.  It's certainly a "romantic chick-flick" type picture, meant for the 30+ crowd.

That being said, I loved it.  Sure, I'm 42.  Sure, I've got a sappy side.  Sure, I'm divorced.  So perhaps I'm conditioned to be receptive to the story line.  Whatever the case, I thought it was good (and quite funny).

I'd say,  if you're 30+, or divorced with children(?), or are into Romantic Comedies, this movie is a good bet.   I may even go see it again at the cheap-o theater, who knows.


MOVIE: Legion

I went to see Legion at the local "cheap-o" theater.  The storyline wasn't really thought out very well, or even complete.  The basis of it (biblical Armageddon) was poorly scripted in my opinion.  I did enjoy a few vague references that you'd only know if you had ever read Revelation in the bible (such as the horn, and other references), but really.  Angel comes down, rips off his wings, becomes Rambo to save a pregnant woman's bastard child and teach God a lesson of what He wanted versus what He needed...  *yawn*.   It had a couple decent action sequences, but really it was barely worth $3 to see.  It was on par with another recent semi-flop, "Daybreakers".


It's not Life, The Universe, And Everything (that's 42, anyway), but it still helps clarify things for me.  :-P


Driver's License Photos Do Not Lie (unfortunately)

Knowing I had lost some weight was one thing. Getting my new driver's license was quite another. Wow. Scary different from a few years ago...

It's hard to believe that's me.   :-/