Friday, September 30, 2005

Long Nights...

I just finished up transferring four DV tapes to my 80GB external hard drive. They chronicle Anthony's last 18 months, and take nearly 60GB of space. I could have easily copied them to my new computer's hard drive but I didn't want to take up all that space on it just yet. This process took three nights of staying up past midnight and since DV transfer is all real-time, it must be monitored. Ugh.

The next step is to edit out the crap--not sure if I'm up to that--then transfer it all to DVD. The tapes will then be archived.

Oh, and I officially began Christmas shopping! Sounds weird, I know, but I'm actually late this year. Ann and I make it a habit to do our shopping year-round so come Christmastime, we're not struggling for gift ideas. But I found a deal today that will make someone pretty happy. I can't post what it is since said person--my brother--reads this thing. So he'll have to wait until Christmas to find out, or his birthday in November.

Off to bed. The DVD burning begins tomorrow. At least that can be done without me watching over it.

Thursday, September 22, 2005


Did ya hear about this? A JetBlue plane leaving from Burbank's Bob Hope Airport had to make an energency landing at LAX today shortly after takeoff. Turns out its front landing gear was all funky.

There was much speculation over where it was going to land and when. First it was Long Beach but its runway is too short. I could have had a front-row seat if it were there as I live in the flight pattern. Then the landing times changed from 5 minutes to 15 minutes to whatever.

I actually saw the plane from the backyard when it began its decent after circling for more than 3 hours, burning off fuel. But here are some stills from my video camera, taken from CBS2.

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Thumbs-up to the pilot and crew for a great job getting this thing back on the ground safely.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Me Play Joke!

So we were leaving Target today and I noticed a sign at their Pizza Hut/Taco Bell restaurant (which was called Food Avenue when I worked there). It had a familiar ring to it.

It was advertising to thirsty Target guests--yes, they call them guests ala Disney--that they now have more beverages to choose from. It read:

We've Got Pepsi
We've Got Coke

Not funny? It was to me.

It seems to me that the marketing geniuses may have borrowed a line from an old joke which contains:

Me Chinese
Me play joke
Me make pee pee
In your Coke

For more insight, check this out.

So either the line was an homage to this old joke, or my mind is that twisted.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Yield to This

Ann left me a voicemail message today that she told me was blog-worthy. So here it goes.

Seems she was stopped at an intersection waiting for traffic to clear when she noticed a duo of joggers approaching from the right. According to Ann, she left the pasta-eaters plenty of room to pass.

But it wasn’t good enough for one of the fitness nuts.

“Helllooo! Joggers here,” one of the ladies exclaimed as they hopped by.

Ann wasn’t impressed.

“Why don’t you watch where the fuck you’re going, you asshole? You don’t own the goddamn road!”

One of them looked back at Ann and kept jogging. With the mood Ann was in today, I would have made like the Activision Decathlon and shifted from a steady pace to a serious sprint if I were either one of them.

And that leads to this. Why do these morons act like they do own the road? Most of the ones I pass always seem to be in the middle of the street. And forgive me if I’m wrong, but unless there’s a marathon happening, streets are usually meant for vehicles. Last time I checked, joggers didn’t have wheels or 170 horsepower—unlike my car.

You bunch of eccentric pedestrians. Don’t stare at me or give me the crazy eyes because I happened to pass you on the street—I’ve got every right to be there, idiot. And would it hurt you to stop jogging for 30 freaking seconds? You look like chihuahuas on crack when you stand there at an intersection, checking your watch, jogging in place waiting for the light to change. Go forbid you lose a precious 1/1000 of a second.

Oh, and Jim Fixx to all of you. I’ll pound down a pack of chocolate Hostess Donette Gems tonight in your honor.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

A New Toy

I’m trying out’s new add-on called Blogger for Word. It lets you compose your post in Word and then upload and publish it.

What could possibly be the advantage of this thing? The main one I can think of is being able to backup your posts to your hard drive.

Bold, italics, etc. can be accomplished without fumbling with HTML.

Here goes nothing!

Friday, September 02, 2005

What Have You Done?

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the American Red Cross is doing what it can to bring aid to those who so desperately need it.

So my question is: What have you done?

This morning I went to McDonald's to buy us breakfast. Upon entering the parking lot I noticed a local TV news van and a canopy along with two CHP cruisers. The Red Cross had set up a donation station for relief efforts.

I felt bad because the money I had in my wallet I had IOU'd from Anthony's piggy bank, to be replaced today. After breakfast I had $5 left.

So I did what was needed. I drove to the canopy, unlocked Anthony from his car seat, and gave him his $5. We approached the volunteers, all of whom were happy to see so many people donating so early in the morning.

Anthony then dropped his $5 in the bucket--the bottom was already covered with bills of every denomination--and was given a sticker by the CHP officer. He's officially been branded as a Junior Officer in the California Highway Patrol. I will integrate the sticker into a graphic later to put in his keepsake album.

I don't think anybody outside the area is really aware of the sheer magnitude of this event: the desperation, the frustration, the uncertainty of what tomorrow brings--if tomorrow comes. I know this is the case with a friend of my mother-in-law's hairdresser.

The family was out here on vacation from the disaster-riddled area with their 3-week-old baby. Like everybody out there, they have no idea what to expect when they go back, if they go back. They are now one of the many who have been displaced.

We had just gotten Anthony's big boy bed and have his crib sitting in the house, disassembled. We also have tons of his old baby clothes in the garage. We held onto all of those for some reason.

And this was the reason. Because their home is alomst certain to be gone, Anthony's crib, clothes, and bassinet will be handed on to them.

It's not a lot, but it's something.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Tony Muhammad: Nation of Islam tool

There isn’t any amount of screaming, yelling, congregating, praying, or sign waving that your little ska-band of an organization can do to convince me that they are nothing more than an outdated and useless gang of decrepit hateful old thugs which you believe represents the voice of the African American community. In reality, only you believe what you are saying. The majority of African Americans don’t care about your group. But you never hear from them because they are too busy making something of themselves; bettering their lives.

Being loud and obnoxious does get attention, yet it is also the way that small groups such as yours—those representing an opinion that most likely will be unfavorable by most—try to convince everybody that you are right. And like those other groups the majority of the population, race notwithstanding, don’t care about what you have to say.

While you hoot and holler over these “injustices” brought upon your fellow members by the Los Angeles Police Department, I can’t help but think to myself that they probably deserved what they got. And perhaps they deserved more. When you disobey the orders of officers, you can’t possibly expect for them to respond with flowers, candy, and two tickets to a Lakers game. That’s not to say that there aren’t any corrupt officers because I know there are. But just because you are African American doesn’t give you the right to disobey orders given to you. And when you show signs of resisting, the course of action taken is done in response to yours, not the color of your skin. But alas, the race card is always present.

I’m law-abiding Hispanic male. If I should ever be ignorant enough to put myself in the situations you do, I’d simply do what the police told me. Sure I could kick and scream, but then I’d have all of those idiot Hispanic rights groups defending my actions which were clearly intentional and meant to provoke the officers and disrupt the peace. There’s no defense to stupidity, unless you are in the Nation of Islam. And Lord knows I wouldn’t want those puerile brains at La Raza coming to defend me when I was clearly wrong. They are as bad as you.

You turn every one of your community’s misfortunes into a rally against whitey. You want to “police the police” and request that only African American officers respond to calls in your community. You believe that the world still hates “black people” and that nothing has changed in 40 years. In short, you’re angry and you want things your way, all the time.

You incite crowds and shape their opinion into what you want them to believe. It’s never the fault of the victim, no. Always blame the white devil.

What the hell gives you the right to go about spouting such ignorant banter? The only reason you believe that nothing has changed in 40 years is that you don’t want it to change. Then there’d be no Nation of Islam if you gave up hating whitey. You’d have to go out and find a real job, realizing that the time you wasted rallying against those evil crackers could have been better spent in college earning an education. But no, you’d rather go around pointing fingers at anyone who is not with your little group—and it is little when compared to those who think you look like clowns. The police aren’t killing the young African American male; they are killing each other. But it’s easier to blame the police rather than the mother who didn’t raise their sons responsibly. And don’t give me the single mother jive because that’s no excuse. Go crying to my mother about it and she’ll tell you a thing or two about being a single mother raising two sons.

You are a minority by every definition of the word only because you choose to remain one. You and your fellow members have every right to make something of yourselves but because you still believe that you are being oppressed—you’re actually prisoners of your own mind—you use that as a mechanism to make the world feel sorry for you.

Well, I don’t. And there’s a good chance that my boss doesn’t, either. A former gang member, he’s been a successful magazine publisher for the last 25 years.

Oppressed? I don’t think so.

Yet the sad thing is, the media buys into this nonsense. It’s good ratings. It’s not that they believe you; if they ignored you, you’d be the first to call them racists. Seems you can’t win either way. And in the end, you never have anything to say except the same old biblical rhetoric that elicits shouts of AMEN and GO ON and MMM HMM from your followers.

So to Tony Muhammad, Danny Bakewell, and any of these attention-whoring, so-called community activists, a fancy term for “non-working troublemaker,” the world owes you nothing. I owe you nothing and I don’t want anything from you. Your group is only a blip on the radar of life, a blip that I wish would somehow get lost in the Bermuda Triangle and never be heard from again.