Thursday, March 31, 2005

Progressive Talk Radio

This is a really good article on the growing market for progressive talk radio ... specifically Air America:

Message Received

Here in the Valley, listen to Air America on AM 1010 KXXT.

Speaking of talk radio, one of my favorite movies is the Oliver Stone move Talk Radio, starring Eric Bogosian.

Ah, Baseball ... my favorite time of the year

Checked out the Surprise baseball park for the first time today, courtesy of some free tix from my brother (thank you). The Royals played the Rangers in the last game of spring training for both teams. A gorgeous day (just a bit windy). Click on the image to see more pictures:

Here are the results from my AL ESPN Fantasy Draft a few days ago:

Randy Johnson, NYY
Octavio Dotel, Oak
Freddy Garcia, ChW
Zack Greinke, KC
Tom Gordon, NYY
David Riske, Cle
JJ Putz, Sea
Jamie Moyer, Sea
Scott Elarton, Cle
Frank Francisco* , Tex

Victor Martinez, Cle
BJ Surhoff, Bal
Ron Belliard, Cle
Eric Chavez, Oak
Alex Gonzalez, TB
Aaron Rowand, ChW
Randy Winn, Sea
Raul Ibanez, Sea
Alex Sanchez, TB
Laynce Nix, Tex
Alex Cora, Cle
Ben Broussard, Cle
Carlos Pena, Det
Juan Rivera, Ana
Gary Matthews Jr, Tex
Mark Teixeira, Tex

And my NL ESPN Head-to-Head League draft from today:

Carlos Zambrano, ChC
Kerry Wood, ChC
Guillermo Mota, Fla
Jason Marquis, StL
Doug Davis, Mil
Luis Ayala, Was
Tim Worrell, Phi
Brian Fuentes, Col
Ramon Ortiz, Cin

Michael Barrett, ChC
Todd Helton, Col
Luis Castillo, Fla
Sean Burroughs, SD
Clint Barmes, Col
Corey Patterson, ChC
Jason Bay, Pit
Geoff Jenkins, Mil
Brady Clark, Mil
Jeff Conine, Fla
Placido Polanco, Phi
Jeff Bagwell, Hou
Nick Johnson, Was
Hee Seop Choi, LA
Chris Burke, Hou
Wes Helms, Mil

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Hypocrite of the Day

Our dear friend, Rick Santorum, senator from Pennsylvania, and champion of tort reform.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Easter Egg Hunt

There was a great kids event at the Washington Adult Center downtown that we took Alex to, called the Great Eggosaurus Hunt. They had an egg hunt in the sand, various crafts tables, food, etc. Click on the image below to go to a page with a few pics from it.

Here are some pictures form Alex's Easter here at the house:

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Monster -- Movie Review

Monster is the story of Eileen Wuornos, Daytona Beach prostitute who became a serial killer. This movie doesn't glorify the killings that she did, but rather gives a glimpse into the background and the possible things that lead her to those fateful decisions.

It is convenient to think of evil in terms of black and white. It is a scarier proposition to think that each of us has the seeds of evil within us and that in that right circumstances, each of us could do horrific things. Our society would be better if we tried a little harder to identify with that class at the bottom rung of the social ladder. When you grow up in white-bread America with a roof over your head and 3 meals a day, it is hard to identify with those that were not blessed with those things.

The performance by Charlize Theron is nothing short of one of the most amazing acting jobs by a female in recent memory. Even without taking into consideration the amazing physical transformation (gaining of 30 lbs and making ugly one of the most beautiful women in the world), this is still a fantastic performance.

The movie is similar to Boys Don't Cry(beyond the obvious lesbian love story angle) in several senses. It involves phenomenal female acting performances by actresses that you would not have previously thought capable of such depth: Hilary Swank in Boys Don't Cry and Theron in Monster. In addition, they are supported by equally great acting performances by the love interest; Chloe Sevigny in Boys Don't Cry and Christina Ricci in Monster. Plus,both movies effectively examine that fringe part of society that most of us don't want to admit is there.

Monster is a very good movie with great acting peformances. It is not an easy movie to watch and you'll probably want to follow it up with something a little less weighty but I believe you will be glad you watched Monster.

Super Size Me -- Movie Review

We bought a few used DVD's the other day at Blockbuster. Super Size Me was one of them. Going into watching this, I was already a big fan of documentaries, and had heard good things about this one in particular.

The gist of the movie is that the filmmaker, Morgan Sperlock, would embark upon a month long adventure of only dining at McDonald's. That means that every meal ... breakfast, lunch, and dinner ... would be items off of their menu. When he started, he was 6' 2", 185 lbs and in good health. When he finished, he weighed 210, his cholesterol had taken a major hit, his percentage of body fat had doubled, etc. The movie follows the daily adventures and steady degradation of his health. Throughout, his health is monitored by 3 doctors, a nutritionist and his vegan girlfriend.

His filming style is very similar to Michael Moore's. It is very funny and flashes back and forth between experts and man-on-the-street type interviews. He is the major star of his documentary ... a lot like Moore's movies. Even though it is funny, it is in a sad way because it is exposing a serious issue: the increasing obesity of our population and specifically, our children. It goes into how we are all indoctrinated into gross consumerism even at a young age. Who doesn't know a child that can identify the golden arches by the time they are 3? Plus, the food industry is not interested in having a healthy populace but rather just wants to maintain generation after generation of consumers.

If you like Michael Moore documentaries, you will like this film. It is irreverent and doesn't take itself too seriously. So, if you are afraid of this being some stuffy, scholarly type documentary, don't worry. I highly recommend it (and you can borrow our copy if you'd like).

Friday, March 25, 2005

Rage Against the Machine - "Know Your Enemy"

"... Come on!
Yes I know my enemies
They’re the teachers who taught me to fight me
Compromise, conformity, assimilation, submission
Ignorance, hypocrisy, brutality, the elite
All of which are american dreams ..."


Further proof that Republican shill Ann Coulter is a racist and a moron:

Ann Coulter and the Cherokee Nation

For more info about the Cherokees, read the great book Trail of Tears.

My great grandmother was full-blooded Cherokee. But you don't have to be Cherokee to see Coulter for what she is ... a bigot. This is after her statements about Helen Thomas:

  • "Press passes can't be that hard to come by if the White House allows that old Arab Helen Thomas to sit within yards of the president," wrote Coulter, who once argued the United States should invade Muslim countries and "convert them to Christianity."

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Hypocrite of the Day

Bill Frist, Senate Majority Leader had the following to say before the November election:

  • "I find it opportunistic to use the death of someone like Christopher Reeve -- I think it is shameful -- in order to mislead the American people," Frist said. "We should be offering people hope, but neither physicians, scientists, public servants or trial lawyers like John Edwards should be offering hype.

    "It is cruel to people who have disabilities and chronic diseases, and, on top of that, it's dishonest. It's giving false hope to people, and I can tell you as a physician who's treated scores of thousands of patients that you don't give them false hope."

Hmm ... public servants giving false hope to someone with a chronic disease. Sounds familiar. What a different tune he sings before and after the election. Now that they are in power, they will do anything to keep it.

"Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely" -- An observation that a person’s sense of morality lessens as his or her power increases. The statement was made by Lord Acton, a British historian of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Very fitting.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Cognitive Dissonance

There is a psychological term that best describes people that voted for Bush: cognitive dissonance.

This is a mental state of people where they find themselves contradicting themselves by doing things that don't fit with what they know, or having opinions contradictory to other opinions that they have.

Put another way, many people voted for Bush believing his lies, and now that his lies are being exposed, they still want to believe they made the correct decision. They'll strongly defend their choice and not accept they made a mistake rather than lose face.

What other explantion could there be for people continuing to give Bush and his administration a free pass? Every justification for the Iraq war has been refuted. A group of people who are supposedly for limited government, the sanctity of marriage, states' rights and fiscal responsibility have violated every one of those beliefs. Yet you won't hear other Republicans say a negative word of any of it. They'll just put some spin on it.

Bahhh, we the sheep-le.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005



Way to stop those 13 year olds with deadly weapons (eggs):

UA Young Democrat Banned from Forum

Monday, March 21, 2005

Schiavo Case Hypocrisy

I know I'm in danger of sounding like a broken record, but they're at it again (or have they ever stopped). Bucking their own constituency, Bush and the Republican bad-boys (Frist, Delay, etc.) are making a political football out of something that should be a family matter. The courts have already decided, so let it alone. For people that are supposedly for smaller government and states' rights, they are sure trying to make a case for more intervention. And Bush ... don't get me started ... is again proving how much of a hypocrite he is. He is for life when it is politically expedient for him to be and when it financially makes sense. He sure wasn't for life when he signed the Texas Futile Care Law, which would pull the plug in certain cases where the family couldn't pay for the continued care of an incapacitated patient.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Luke Air Show

Today we went to the Luke AFB annual Luke Days Air Show. Though there were a few too many gung-ho types there for my taste, but that can be forgiven considering it was on a military base. Besides, that's not why we went. We went to see the planes. For a nerd with an aerospace background, it was great. To see some pics, click here, or click the picture below:

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Skyscraper Challenge

This was forwarded from my friend Christine. I strongly encourage you to donate:

  • "I have a friend who is doing the Big Climb for Leukemia in Seattle (climbing the 70-flight Bank of America building - the tallest building west of the Mississippi). This benefits the Leukemia and Lymphoma society, which is one of my pet charities. Those of you who went to Aaron's and my wedding may remember him: he was the tall Egyptian-looking guy. In fact, 6 months before my wedding both our mothers were diagnosed with the same kind of cancer (even the samy type and class) and underwent the same exact treatment. My mother will be officially cancer-free this summer as she hits the 5 year mark; Derek's mom died three years ago from the cancer. So, cancer fundraisers are pretty near and dear to both of us, and I am sure may be to some of you as well.

    So, if any of you are looking for a good place to start your 2005 charitable donations, here is a fun one for a good cause. Personally, I think there should be a bonus option where you donate more if they puke at the top...

    Here is the link to donate. This is handled directly through the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and they issue the receipt. There is a picture of Derek on this page, so be warned. He looks kind of evil, but he is really a nice guy (he is from Prescott after all). He is an artist for Warner Bros. and works on video games. If you know anyone else who may wish to donate, feel free to pass this along."

    Derek Chatwood's Vertigo Challenge

ISU 64 Minnesota 53. Woo-hoo!!!!!!!!!!!!

Minnesota helpless against suffocating Iowa State defense

In a fit of nerdiness, I was actually updating the score on my blog from my cell phone during the game. Using text messaging, I can message to a specific e-mail address and the blog has a special address that you can e-mail to that will post immediately on the blog. Laugh if you will. I probably deserve it.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Ignorance is Bliss

"Promoting or favoring progress toward better conditions or new policies, ideas, or methods" -- the textbook definition of progressive. One would think that all people would want to strive for these things. That is, unless you had met a conservative. To all too many of them, progress and truth are things to be hidden. Yet a few examples:

Senate Rejects Birth Control and Other Proposals to Reduce the Need for Abortion. Abortions have went up under Bush. Ironic when you consider that they say they are pro-life.

GOP Boards Up the 'Town Hall'. This happened because too many people were actually asking questions. What a novel concept for a town hall meeting ... questions.

Catholics are advised to avoid 'Da Vinci Code'. While this one is not specifically about conservatives, it IS about the religious zealotry that permeates the right. Be afraid of truth ... "pay no attention to the man behind the curtain".

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Alex in Preschool

Just got back Alex's first ever class picture. Click image to see whole class:

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Alaska Drilling

If this doesn't make your blood boil, then you don't care about this world:

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

The choice that these senators made in voting for this is unconscionable. In the interest of fairness and full disclosure, I applaud John McCain for continuing his support of the environment by again breaking with his party to vote against this measure.

In other environmental news, the Bush administration is continuing the denial of the effects of global warming even in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence and worldwide agreement:


Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Reminder of Fahrenheit 9/11

This article reminded me of the scene in Fahrenheit 9/11 when Bloodhound Gang's lyric "burn motherfucker burn" was played as the rallying cry of GIs. The young soldier that describes the song was chilling in his matter-of-fact dismissal of war and death.

Extreme Cinema Verite

On one hand, you feel so angry with the soldiers for being so thoughtless of the lives that are being taken. But then you are angry at the government for putting these 18 and 19 year olds in a situation that their young minds cannot make sense of with their video game and MTV upbringing.

Free Train Rides

Has anyone heard of this place?

Maricopa Live Steamers

I saw a special on them on local access Channel 11 in Glendale. I think we're going to try and check it out this weekend. If anyone else is interested, let us know.

Judge Strikes Down Ban on Same-Sex Marriage

Well, it looks like there at least a few judges left that understand the law and that are not trying to use the courts to justify decrimination:


Sunday, March 13, 2005

Goehring Family Visit

My folks were in town staying with us this weekend. Darin and family also came out and visited. Some pics from the get-together. Click on each to get larger image.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Kain Elsen

New pics of Kain Elsen. Use the following:

password: alexalex

Friday, March 11, 2005


Let me preface this by saying that I've always liked John McCain. Even though I'm a registered Democrat, I've voted for him twice. I've always believed that he was a straight shooter and had the interests of Arizonans in mind. But something has happened over the last year. He has completely become a shill for the Republican party. He's parroting Republican talking points on TV talk shows and kissing up to a politician that assasinated his character in the presidential primaries.

The latest example was his appearance on Hannity and Colmes (I know ... hardly a bastion of enlightened thought). He had the audacity to say, "And I would remind you that countries like Sweden, Chile, England, others, all have personal savings accounts. And they have all been very successful." He was so completely talking out of his ass. He doesn't even care any more. He'll spout any unresearched, Republican talking point garbage that an aide will put in his hands.

Whatever integrity he still had has been lost. I won't make the mistake of buying anything that this man says any more.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Banner day for the administration

They're in rare form in Washington lately:

  • Bush is pushing ahead with raping some of our most pristine lands for their natural resources: Arctic Drilling . For a more detailed analysis of what they are planning: Oil on Ice

  • Republicans have this distorted view that the environment will always recover from any damage we inflict on it. Rush is one of the strongest proponent's of this view. He's right in one sense ... the environment will recover ... but long after we are all dead. "The environment heals slowly -- we are destroying it rapidly."

  • It is typical that when we are facing record gas prices, their first thought is to go look for more oil instead of getting at the root of the issue: our dependance on fossil fuels. There are many alternative energy sources that we don't take advantage of because our government is so in bed with special interests from big oil and the auto industry. And we continue to not take advantage of mass transit. Urban sprawl contributes to more gas usage, more pollution, disconnected neighborhoods, blight in our inner cities, etc. So many people and especially those in power have so little understanding how everything is related. They plan for next year instead of for the next 100 years. Countries in Europe have created test projects where entire towns or areas are given incentives for switching to more efficient/clean energy sources. And they've discovered that doing so has created benefits beyond just saving energy and the environment: whole new industries to support the new technologies.

  • It's this lust for oil that has created the problem for us in the Middle East. We're getting in the middle of ethnic conflicts that we would not otherwise do if we didn't have an economic interest. And it's this meddling that is causing the very thing we are supposedly over there fighting: Imperial Hubris

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Arizona Spring Fling 2005

My friend Eric is a major biker and is one of the organizers for the following event:

Spring Fling 2005

If you're interested in mountain biking, definitely check it out.

John Bolton

This is kinda like the fox guarding the hen house:

New UN Ambassador

West Valley View Letter

I had a letter to the editor printed in this week's:

West Valley View

The letter that it was in response to is also listed.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Bobby Fischer

Anybody that knows me fairly well know my affinity for chess (15 chess sets, over a hundred books on chess). This is just a little update on probably the most famous chess player ever, the reclusive Bobby Fischer.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Journalists as Targets?

Is there some kind of pattern here?

Shot hostage disputes U.S. account

This comes on the heels of CNN's Eason Jordan getting fired because he had suggested that the U.S. was targeting journalists. This wasn't some nutjob blogger making this suggestion but rather a 23 year veteran of the network.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Alex Birthday Screen Caps

Screen captures from Alex's birthday video. Click to get larger images.


Friday, March 04, 2005

Like Father, Like Son

This story reminds me of when Danny Ainge played at BYU and then the Boston Celtics. He was always a hothead that you hated if he was on the other team but loved if he was on yours. Austin Ainge is Danny's son and a former high school player here in the valley.

Players subject to tougher penalties in future

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Church and State

Expanding on our discussion of the secular nature of our government (which the right has either forgotten or knowingly ignored):

Our Godless Constitution

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Happy 4th Birthday Little Guy!!

Mommy and Daddy love you!


Compassionate Conservatives?

The hypocrisy of the Republican party is reaching a fever pitch. Jim Gibbons, Republican congressman from Nevada, is suggesting that anybody who disagrees with right-wing views should be used as "human shields" in Iraq. I'm tired of these hawks questioning the patriotism of people who actually care about this country.

These modern-day McCarthyites need to be called out. Of course, our bullshit media will never call them out. "Liberal media", my ass. A great book on just how right-wing media is:

The Republican Noise Machine by David Brock