Previous 20

Nov. 28th, 2012

A Different Christmas Poem

No idea where it started or who wrote it.

A Different Christmas Poem

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.

Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.

My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know, Then the
sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.

My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.

A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"

For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..
To the window that danced with a warm fire's light
Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night."

"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at Pearl on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."

"My dad stood his watch in the jungles of Nam ,
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.
I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile."

Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and American flag.
"I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home."

"I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother.."

"Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall.
So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."

"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long."

"For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."


 Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our service men and women for our being able to celebrate these festivities.  Let's try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us.

Why is my 'mood' set to Cranky?
Because Congress and the President continue to make new Veterans but keep cutting the promised benefits and services of the ones we have now.

Jul. 12th, 2012

STEAMPUNK HEROES© LEGO® Inspired Bicycle® Playing Cards Deck

STEAMPUNK HEROES© LEGO® Inspired Bicycle® Playing Cards Deck

speaks for itself.

Jul. 2nd, 2012

My brother sent along an email. Usually it is my sister that forwards stuff. She rarely checks Snopes.
This time my brother did not but it is a "true" email.

From Snopes
School Prayer

Claim:   Principal Jody McLoud of Roane County High School in Kingston, Tennessee, delivered a controversial speech before a school football game.

Status:   True.

Example:   [Collected via e-mail, October 2000]
Principal McLoud's speech was also read into the Congressional Record on 20 September 2000 by Representative Zach Wamp of Tennessee.

McLoud took this to mean that the US was failing.

But you see I take this as the constitution working.
If I was one of the non-religious people in the stands, why should I be forced to listen to a religious speech?

Besides the whole speech that the principal gave is very slanted.

sexual perversion and call it an alternate lifestyle
sexual promiscuity by dispensing condoms and calling it safe sex.
killing an unborn baby as a viable means of birth control.
involve students in activities to religiously worship and praise the goddess, mother earth
depict people with strong, traditional, Christian convictions as simple minded and ignorant

Very loaded words for someone that “do not need to add an intentional transgression”

I have worked with gays and lesbians. Most, I agree, had a choice in their “lifestyle”.
Live as a gay or lesbian, or don’t have sex for the rest of their lives.
I have also met and worked with girls who were so… degraded by the ‘guys’ in their lives that they “switched”.

I have to say that you are not going to stop kids from having sex once they try it.
Dispensing condoms is a cheap way to slow down and somewhat deal with the un-wed mothers and the financial problems the states have with supporting them. Condoms will stop the ‘oops’ and if we make sure the kids have all the condoms they might use then we might have fewer 'welfare' families.

I absolutely despise this, “killing an unborn baby as a viable means of birth control.”
But until the people that want to stop it line up to support the child or we plant birth control in the BOYS and girls, it is not going to stop. It was illegal before Roe vs. Wade and it still happened.

“involve students in activities to religiously worship and praise the goddess, mother earth”
I had to laugh at this one. Any teacher that tried this would be brought up on charges just like a teacher trying to hold a prayer in class. Ain’t going to happen.

“depict people with strong, traditional, Christian convictions as simple minded and ignorant”
I know my sister is religious. From the email it seems that my brother is too, at least somewhat.
I am more like my Dad. I believe but I am not sure how to explain it. It does not match the Methodist theology I grew up with. It is not the 'Christian' teachings I got baptized under. So far I have found no one else that believes MY way. 
Most of the “ignorant, simple minded, people with strong, traditional, Christian convictions” that I have met try to force their version of beliefs on me.

No I do not believe that the Bible is the “word of God”. There are too many inconsistencies and contradictions. Yes, I believe that the bible is a ‘good’ book. It has many ways of getting a population to live together in harmony and treating each other well.  But so do the Torah and the Koran.

In the end, all of the principal’s speech was about choice.
Choice of lifestyle, choice to have sex (protection or not), and Choice of religion (or none, which is still a choice).

As for the "one nation, under GOD." statement at the end, that was not in the founding fathers documents.
It was added to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954 at the height of anti-Communist fervor.
It was an attempt to link patriotism with religious piety.
"In God we trust" was adopted as the official motto of the United States in 1956.

Basically ancient history trying to influence current affairs.

In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash.

Jun. 6th, 2012

Goodbye Ray

'Martian Chronicles' author Ray Bradbury dies at age 91

Not his best by my way of though but lots of people loved it.

We are slowly loosing our greatest and due to the systems in place we will not see their like again.

"Ah, your an author. We will keep your biggest selling series on the shelf. Sorry, no room for any more. Back catalog of books? Can't afford to keep them printed. So Sorry, out of print."

"Music catalog? Older songs? Nah, all we got is what they play on the radio."

The same goes for movies, if it came out be fore video tape you probably will not see it ever again. Unless it was a "timeless classic".

Ah well. /rant

Goodbye Ray one of my early favorite authors.
Tags: , ,

May. 18th, 2012

Interesting Kickstarter

Tropes vs. Women in Video Games

Apr. 24th, 2012

Justin Beiber or Buster Poindexter? Can you tell the difference?

Justin Bieber or Buster Poindexter? Can you tell the difference?

Apr. 18th, 2012

Been on a KickStarter kick :-)

The Astonishing Adventures of Doc Wilde!!!
Already reached his goal but there are still 10 days left.


Literacy Hero Offer:
Supporters at any pledge level may kick in an additional $10 to donate a physical copy of any of the books to a school or public library in your name. (Additional shipping charges may be necessary at the time of fulfillment for foreign orders).

Wish I had the cash for this but no Library around that I am really involved with right now anyway. :-(

Apr. 17th, 2012

Interesting take on an Idea

I stumbled on to this person's webpages and as I was going through his 'ideas' I hit this page.

I first thought that this was a oddity but then gave it a bit of thought.

Scary how that works.
Tags: ,

Apr. 10th, 2012

Jesus was NOT a Zombie.

<a href=""></a>

I did not create this. I wish i had.

Jan. 23rd, 2012

The video you need to watch about PIPA and SOPA

Spend a few minutes and be educated.

May. 18th, 2011

Who would have thought..

A cat on a boat and a dolphin interact.

Apr. 28th, 2011

The anti-zombie house.

The anti-zombie house.

Apr. 21st, 2011

Steve Miller with Greg Allman at the Cary Koka Booth Amphitheatre

Well last night was the second and probably last concert I will be able to make this year.

Steve Miller with Gregg Allman opening.
Cut to save space, avoid rantyness )

Yes even though I rant about the venues I usually enjoy the Music.
As Steve Miller is in my top 10 (if I have a top 10, can't remember) I enjoyed the concert very much.
May have to go see him next time he is in the area.

Apr. 20th, 2011

Jimmy Buffett at the Time Warner Music Pavilion

I am not a full-fledged Parrothead but I do like Jimmy Buffett.
I have been trying to go to at least one concert of every group that I like to listen to.
So last night I went to the Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion.

It was the "Welcome to Fin Land tour" which if you know Buffett is a play on one of his songs.
got a bit Verbose. Hiding to save space. )

As noted at the beginning I enjoyed the music. Disliked the Venue

Was it worth the money? As I stated at the beginning I have been trying to go to a concert of every band I like. If Jimmy plays in North Carolina again I will make an attempt at seeing him again. Just not at the TWC Pavilion. I will NOT go back to the pavilion unless it is the ONLY site for a band.

edit: added Group Ilo Ferreira

Mar. 12th, 2011

OMG Funny The Boob Clamp

I Feel for the girl at 1:50  but you know she had to get paid for the commercial.

As one of the comments states; "Corsets are not really a "new" idea."

Dec. 23rd, 2010

Pictures of the Lunar Eclipse at Solstice

Sat outside at my apartment's parking lot. Not a very night photographer friendly place but I could not find any other that was

1. dark enough and
2. not bothered by cops every 5 minutes with "What are you doing out here?"

So anyway. I took 149 pictures. Lots of cloud cover.

Interesting thing is that the "Mark I, Eyeball" saw mainly a white moon the whole time. Yet the photos clearly show a red moon. The only thing I can figure is that at night in low light the rods which out-number the cones in the eye fed "white" to the brain. The cones which are less numerous could not get the "color red" past the overwhelming "white" signal.

I also found out that I need a better tripod if I am going to do something like this again. I would adjust the camera and Center the moon. Let go and flop the tripod would drop it somewhere else.

The pictures were taken at a resolution of 3872x2592. They have been compressed for the web. If you are interested in any specific one Let me know and we can work out a way to get you the full picture.

Whyy's Photos

Oct. 26th, 2010

2010 NC Renfair videos

Belly Dancers  Short clips

Harp players  Short clips

Just short clips of the Belly Dancers and the Harpists.
Just samples

2010 BalloonFest Pt II

Videos from the BalloonFest taken on my Canon 780i

Oct. 24th, 2010

2010 NC BalloonFest

Went to the NC Balloonfest yesterday.

For the 37 Annual it seemed very unorganized. 

Will add more later.

Pictures at

Pictures are a bit disjointed. Beginning pictures were taken with my Canon handheld as the Balloon Chase started prior to my getting there.
The naming convention put those at the end of the pics.

Oct. 14th, 2010

Google Image

It is kind of interesting how many people find the "new and improved" Google Image Search a Pain in the Ass.

I really don't like doing a search, seeing a thumbnail, clicking on the thumbnail, then getting a new page with the SAME thumbnail that I now have to click on AGAIN. If I had wanted the damn thumbnail I would have kept to the results page.

It has almost driven me from Google. I use Chrome as my browser and like it pretty well but I like Firefox just as well.

A look at the help forums to find an easy way to go back to the old version is stunning. Several hundred forum entries with ten to twenty entries each.

The easy answer is "Do it Google's way." Google did add a "Switch to basic version" button. Of course it is at the BOTTOM of the search page. Pick a popular image and you have 10 pages of 5 rows each with 7 pictures in each row. 350 picture to scroll past. Oh and keep your mouse away from the actual pictures if you are using a scroll wheel mouse. Each picture you hover over stops you. VERY BLEEPing annoying.

From the Forums

FireFox has a fix that lets it go direct to the basic version of Google Image.
IE 8 has a "compatibility" mode that you can set to force it to ID itself as IE 7 and drop to the basic version.

Chrome as a Google product has no such 'easy' work around but it does have this.

Past that in the URL and bookmark it. When you want Google Images click it and it will bring up a search for Einstein with Auto-complete turned off.

complete=0   q=Einstein

Replace Einstein with whatever you want. It is just a safe search term.

This is the same type of issue Google had with the Auto-Complete and it now has an option at the top of most screens. Why not do the same for Image search?
Who knows?

Yes, I have sent in suggestions and added my voice and vote to the forums but will Google listen? So far I have had no response and there is nothing in the forums.

Previous 20