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Giftless BirthDay party

October 31, 2009 Leave a comment

So soon Doro and I are headed out to the fabled Pizza Parlor, Chucky Cheese for a Birthday party. But this Bday is a little different from the last few that we have been too, the invitation specifically states No Gifts Please!!! Double underlined, bolded and very emphatic.  So I asked D why no gifts and she answered back a little puzzled, cringing “Because the mom doesnt want anymore mess in her house.” This is per the Birthday Boy.

Now maybe its true and maybe its not but for a kid I have to think its hard to have a birthday party and not get presents. I mean isn’t that the point. The stacks of brightly colored gifts celebrating 1 more year survived, one more notch on the belt, another step closer to adulthood where birthdays lose there luster and flair.

I just thought it was odd, its kind of a trade off. The birthday party provides my kid something to do, something to celebrate and in thanks I give your kid a gift. Seems fair enough to me.

I dont think this is the political birthday position i will be running as long as D as any say in the matter. I believe I would tank at the poles.

Categories: Drivel, Family, Just about me

Nook vs Kindle 2

October 30, 2009 2 comments

this is an older article, if you want the latest and greatest check out this one.

So I am just kinda drooling over an Ereader. I was pretty much all set to get a kindle until a pal o mine made mention of the new Barnes and Nobles Nook that is coming. It’s going to be released in late November for the same price as the Kindle 2, $259.00. Ereaders are sweet. I really think down the road once OLED gets going this is the future of communications. The biggest differences are listed below.

The Nook is a little smaller than the kindle but the display size is the same and its a little thicker.

Nook Kindle
Height: 7.7 inches 8 inches
Width: 4.9 inches 5.3 inches
Depth: 0.5 inches .36 inches
Weight: 11.2 ounces (317 grams) 10 ounces

1. You can lend books on the Nook. You can not do that now on the kindle. That rocks- But alas there are going to be caveats, some publishers may turn this feature off and books may be able to only be leant out once.

2. You can view any pdf on the Nook. You cant do that on the kindle without a little fee.

3. Nook has a Color Touch Screen – 3.5″ TFT Color LCD – this is at the bottom and is used to control all the nifty stuff the nook  does. Nook also has a replaceable battery, Kindle does not.

4. Both can defaultly hold about 1500 titles but the  Nook has a memory card slot that can increase that to 17000.

5. You can browse the book covers in color. They are making a big deal about this. I dont really think there is anything overly compelling about browsing small still pics in color or in B&W especially when I am just trying to find a book i am going to read in B&W.

6. You can put pictures on your Nook and “personalize” it. Blah. Meh. I dont care about this either. Its an ereader. I have 10 other devices that I can put pictures on. Mabey link to Flickr would be cool but really its an Ereader-you read shit on it.

7. Battery power goes to the Kindle, it lasts 14 days with one charge with wireless turned off. Nook only lasts 10.

8. It has wifi and 3g. Kindle only has 3g. (Wifi is the wireless router you have at the house)- And Barnes and Nobles wants to make sure you know that they have free wifi at their stores  for ya.

9. Barnes and Nobles has over a million titles ready to roll and amazon has 350k for the kindle. You can preview any of the books on both devices.

10. Word docs dont work on the nook and do on the kindle. Epub and ereader formats supported on the Nook.

Categories: Reviews Tags: , ,

Parenting

October 29, 2009 Leave a comment

The parenting thing freaks me out. I sometimes feel trapped. Not by being a parent I love that. But by knowing what to do next and is it the right thing to do and how screwed up is my kid gona be if I do this and how much will therapy cost. its like a barrage. And i enjoy the constant challenge but man i wish we I could see who she was gonna be at the end. Kinda.

D is old for a 7 year old. Not like old maid old or serial depressed killer old but heck she is almost more mature than I am. You should see D and I teasing each other with her mom in the middle  trying to maintain peace.

I don’t know, there is some weird residual guilt for raising my kid the way I do i guess, maybe because we are friends, Really good friends. And why not, chick loves Cool movies(Although really good PG movies are not the easiest to find), and good music. She is begging for Sar and I to take her to Next Big Thing. But there is a weird discipline between Us. If you have been around us you know how D is. She owns her mistakes. For the most part.  She listens and respects us and I think that is because we listen and respect her.

Its a truly powerful thing when you have the ability to totally mold someones world view. I have seen 3 year old racists. Its  a crazy powerful thing, and its one that I want to make sure to consider in all my actions.

Categories: Drivel, Family, Just about me

The bane of society…….

October 28, 2009 Leave a comment

Its TV. Plain and simple. Its the mind numbing vicarious experience offered up by the High def gods to pacify the populous., and the people’s willingness to injest the utter garbage that is on television. It drives me insane.

Folks watch a program that shows huge problems being resolved in half an hour and then are dissatisfied when things in their life don’t happen like the show. And most Never realize it. They watch shows with actors that don’t look like normal people and feel bad about not being pretty enough or buff enough. It is just something else that we can sub consciously judge ourselves against and always come up lacking.

I see so many people complain about their lot in life and then find a way to spend 2-3 hours watching TV. They are not proactive, planning how to make their life better because they can have a shitty day and go sit down and watch what ever crap show is on the tube and feel a little bit better about their personal situation because the folks that are on the screen get treated like rubbish and bounce back with no after affect.

I believe it also heavily hinders communication. there are multiple articles that refer to a decrease in communication and intimacy when a TV is present in the bedroom. Its because it presents another option other than spending time with your partner. Critical time. Some of Sarah and my most favorite moments happen in bed. And no not all of them are involving a swing or horse whip. We talk, for hours at a time in bed.

I believe it perpetuates complacency and contentment in accepted misery which a lot of people accept as normal.

Most shows are strictly a vehicle for advertising and as soon as ratings dip a newer flashier version of the same crap comes out. Read a book. Talk to your partner. Surf the web. Watch a movie. There are a million better things to do than sit in front of the TV being force fed crap.

The morning after…

October 28, 2009 Leave a comment

Thomas L. Friedman wrote a great article in the New York Times yesterday about our plans in Afghanistan. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/28/opinion/28friedman.html?_r=1&hp . His main point is we can’t make peace but we can help countries that want to make peace. He cites several cases including the surge, where we were successful because of the native populaces desire to change things in their countries. In all the cases that we were successful, we were the helper not the pusher of our agenda.

Its refreshing to see respected members of the press give logical reasons why we shouldnt be nation building in countries that may not be ready for it. I especially like his point about waiting for the morning after the morning after.

He says :

” In the Middle East, all politics — everything that matters — happens the morning after the morning after. Be patient. Yes, the morning after we shrink down in Afghanistan, the Taliban will celebrate, Pakistan will quake and bin Laden will issue an exultant video.

And the morning after the morning after, the Taliban factions will start fighting each other, the Pakistani Army will have to destroy their Taliban, or be destroyed by them, Afghanistan’s warlords will carve up the country, and, if bin Laden comes out of his cave, he’ll get zapped by a drone.”

If our history tells us anything, we are not very good at seeing the morning after the morning after. We dont ever seem to think ahead to how our action or in this case our inaction would help or hurt the situation in the long run.

Targeted Killing

October 27, 2009 Leave a comment

There was an interesting article in the New Yorker this week by Jane Mayer. It was about our predator drones and their use in Targeted Killing. The article is actually pretty darn good. Here is a link to the except: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/10/26/091026fa_fact_mayer .

The general gist was Targeted Killing is bad, but targeted killing using Predator drones with our folks well out of Harms way is way way worse.

So my first thought is- Is targeted killing bad? What’s the alternative.  Non-Targeted killing? or Not killing at all? Which of the 3 will bring the least amount of harm to the US in the long run. We have never been very good at planning ahead militarily, take Afghanistan in the 80’s.

So lets take our 3 options and dissect them.

First lets set our scenario. Mr. Pink. Mr. Pink is a bad guy. He kills americans. Lots of americans. He is always surrounded by family or friends in an area that is hard to pin him down in, hard to find him. But he can be found if we work hard enough at it.

Now we go through our options-

Targeted killing- to me the question has to be do we use targeted killing or not, Not do we use the best tool available for the job. If you are a doctor and you have a scalpel you are not going use a damn butcher knife. You are going to use the best tool available.

What’s wrong with Targeted Killing? One of the main point of contention about the use of targeted killing as government policy is who is choosing the target and how it is chosen.   Two of the fears are, that it may get abused or the policy for choosing the target might keep expanding to include others that were not considered when Targeted Killing was initially started.

Why would we use it? We would and do use it to kill high level officers and masterminds behind what most of us hope is enemy activity, people that in one way or another would kill or help kill americans. And that we use tools to do it with the least collateral damage as possible while trying to keep our soldiers as safe as we can.

So lets take our Mr. Pink. He is driving in his car with his family and we decide we need to kill him. Boom predator fires, car blows up everyone dies. Say 5 people.

Non-Targeted(or conventional good ol blood and guts) killing: This is where it gets interesting. This is where the powers that be have to decide that MR. Pink is worth pursuing with ground troops, ground troops that can be killed. So we send in the 101st and they stay in the area for months and they finally kill Mr. Pink-a lot of times they will stay and not find Mr. pink. But this time they found him and killed him. Was it a clean kill? What was the overall collateral damage done with the occupation. How many of our troops were lost, how many innocent civvies died? I would venture to say more than 5.

And that brings us to our last option. To let him alone. To leave him be. So Mr. Pink organizes attacks or bombings and more people die.  And why do we leave him alone? Because we might kill people other than the target. Of course the fact that he went on to kill more folks because we didn’t act never goes noticed because its a damn hard metric to collect.

In looking at these scenarios, the targeted killing option starts looking pretty good.

Then you have to ask what if it took 15 cars to get to Mr. Pink. 15 cars filled with innocents that the drones were mistakenly used on, would it still be worth it. I think it is. No matter how hard we try you can not civilize war. If we cant fight the way we need to then we need to get out of there. Which may be my entire point. I don’t think the American public has the stomach for us to do what is needed to do to win(we sure didn’t in vietnam) so why half ass it and keep getting our folks killed with crazy rules and laws trying to humanize war. Lets just get out of there. We are screwed if we are killing bad guy and not having our guys getting killed and we still have folks bitchin. There is no nice way to win a war.

Grumpy

October 26, 2009 Leave a comment

I feel grouchy tonight. Grouchy, grumpy, depressed and sad. I think it is a mild case of Sarah withdrawal, because pretty much it is the same every Monday night. Yesterday i was with the person that really does complete me as corny as that may seem and tonight I am not. Youd think I would be used to it but I am not. I miss my bud, sharing my day getting a kiss and a little more if I am well behaved. We got about 18 months to go before we are back together again. Sometimes that seems like nothing and sometimes it seems like forever. Tonight is a forever night. O well I have my little devil spawn, the apple of my eye with me to keep me company and keep me busy.

Its just funny to me. We bust our ass(we the human race) to find a way to hang out with the people we love, or at least i would like to think that is why most of us do the crap that we do. To be secure financially so we can play when we are post 55 or now post 65. So that gives us about 10 years to enjoy the fruits of the last 6 decades. By that time though it seems like we are spending more time in proximity to our doctors than anything else. So when we finally get to that mythical place of financial security and we have the time to hang out with the people that make us happy our bodies are falling apart. Someone some where is laughing at us. Sometimes I think there has to be a better way.

Categories: Drivel, Family