June 19, 2010

drupal

the new host has been flaky this past week. i'm still trying to iron out an issue with a module, but here's the link to the new blog.

http://imaginationland.heliohost.org/

June 9, 2010

wednesday (maybe thursday) funny

this is something i like about the daily show. i would think most people would agree that the political leanings regarding the subject matter and viewpoints are left leaning. however the show itself will make fun of people no matter what their affiliation. when they have guests on with views that may not be in line with those of the hosts, production staff, and viewers, there is usually a lively debate without the yelling, attacking, blanket statements and intimidation found on other network's shows. anyways, this is a recent piece poking fun of our president.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Ass Quest 2010
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

punishment by lactic acid build up. really cracked me up.

i've been pretty good lately about not looking at the comment section of news articles recently... but the habit is so hard to break. especially when i read an article where i know i'll come across the most ridiculous comments. i found this gem today from a i'm guessing republican/tea party leaning person.

This is what has happened since the Democrats took over: the highest unemployment rate in decades, no private sector job growth, $1.5 TRILLION annual deficits, worst oil spill ever, $500 BILLION soon to be cut from our seniors healthcare, while the rest of us wait in long lines for a 5-minute check up.

PLEASE have Obama campaign for fellow Democrats on his failed agenda, including his government takeover of health care, his trillion dollar decifits, his failed stimulus, his mishandling of the economy ,and his pathetic response to the oil spill.

nothing happens in a vacuum. i guess the person forgot the previous 8 years where a supposed "conservative" held the top government spot in our country we entered into a period where our unemployment rate increased. seriously, did the person even bother to think WHY the current unemployment rate is so freaking high? it's not like we woke up one day to find unemployment at 10% the day president obama took over.

i don't know why this person is also complaining about deficit spending. over the past 30 years, we've had 3 republican presidents, and 2 democrats. the first of the "conservatives" had a whole macroeconomic thought process named after him with reaganomics. every single year one of the conservatives was in office, the US has had an increasing federal deficit. when clinton was in office, he was the first president to actually reduce the annual deficit in years with surpluses coming in during his last 4 years in office. with regards to president obama, give the man some damn time already! people have such unrealistic expectations of him, he's only in his 2nd year!

i have an issue with the commenter's statement where they complain about no private sector job growth. uhhhh, if you've been paying any attention at all... the financial sector shed thousands of jobs losing pretty much all of it's independent investment banks save one. one of the largest insurers collapsed, two of the biggest retail banks were flailing around. the auto industry continued to lose thousands of jobs. these are PRIVATE SECTOR jobs. yet... i'll bet anything that this individual was bitching and moaning when federal loans were given to these firms so they could keep on EMPLOYING people. while not completely out of the woods yet, those firms are on more stable footing currently and the government is divesting their interest in those companies by selling off its shares. in the end, the government will be at the very least breaking even if not making money through those loans that were given out. private sector job creation never comes during a recession and downturn. we were in a recession, having the private sector shrink wasn't a big surprise. obviously jobs saved aren't the same as jobs created... but if the alternative were to come true and the entire US financial and auto sector collapsed we'd be hoping for saved jobs rather than created jobs.

the oil spill is also not completely on the president either. the national attitude for a number of years now was to increase offshore drilling. senator obama was one of the many congress persons at the time, that cut across party lines to vote in favor of increasing the amount of drilling done. now i don't know what this person was saying or thinking at the time gas prices were sky high, but i know many people who were complaining about the cost of filling their cars up. additionally we know that with more drilling, there's a greater chance that some disaster will happen. no process is perfect, eventually something bad WILL happen. i'm not in any way giving a free pass to bp, cause recent information has found that they were pretty lax in their oversight. however, this comes down to a government oversight issue. if we can't trust private companies to do the right things, we need to government to step in. however if people like the ones in the tea party, are all about getting rid of government agencies, how is industry going to be regulated for safety? i don't necessarily have a problem with this individuals complaint about the oil disaster per say, but the burden is on more than the one person this commentor is implicating. additionally if this individual has ever complained about the price of oil in the last decade, and especially if they were pro offshore drilling... i would think that they do not have a valid complaint.

last thing that made absolutely no sense to me. the deficits as they pertain to healthcare spending. this person's complaining about a $500 billion cut to senior's healthcare? what in the what? senior's healthcare is covered fully by the federal government's medicare program. in the previous sentence they complain about a $1.5 trillion deficit. well if we cut out medicare, i'm pretty sure we can shave some money off the deficit. however i don't think this person is arguing for those medicare cuts. it's just so frustrating to me when people completely negate their argument with a contradicting statement showing they have no grasp of the issues at hand. on top of that the person's complaining about long lines for 5 minute checkups. HELLO!? we have a privately run health system. you can choose your primary care provider. you can change your pcp if you're not satisfied. i've been in offices with long wait times, i've been in offices where i'm seen with minimal waiting. just change your freaking doctor! how hard is that? the argument for a private health system in the current marketplace will shorten office visits more. if doctors are motivated by profits and revenues, they will want to see more patients to increase both. everything else about operating a primary care practice is pretty much a fixed cost. the more people a doctor sees the smaller the average fixed cost becomes. why would a provider not want to shorten office visits?

well, enough ranting. hope you have a good last 2 days of the work week.

June 3, 2010

simplicity

i've always liked the simplicity in google's homepage. you're just presented with a text box and off you go. i'm a big fan of how they switch up the doodles every once in awhile for a birthday, holiday, or big event. the recent birthday of pac-man was pretty cool, where you could play the game. i also found it funny that they changed the i'm feeling lucky button to insert coin. recently they've released their search engine site using ssl (https://www.google.com). today another new feature i noticed, perhaps it's been there for awhile? you can set a background image for your page now. while i appreciate the simplicity of the original default search page, i thought maybe i'd switch it up and put in a background image. i've always liked photos and pictures that look out onto water, especially ones that look out onto piers. it kind of looks like a bridge between land and water, and eventually sky. i think i just like the vastness of the water and sky. anyways, i'm working on a big post about abandoned churches in buffalo, concert venues in manhattan, and preservation. i hope to be able to tie everything up into something coherent. in the meantime, hope you all have a good weekend.

ps if you haven't played google pac-man, here's the link. http://www.google.com/pacman

May 31, 2010

insomnia

i can't sleep, so i thought i'd post something.

such great weather lately. here's a picture along a section of the riverwalk that hugs the niagara river shoreline in tonawanda.

i've been listening to a lot of guster's album keep it together lately. it's a good summer album to drive to. one of the things i like about it is that the instrumentation is varied. the drummer/percussionist uses all sorts of instruments from xylophone to bongos, and tambourine among others. my favorite track has changed a couple times since i first started really listening to it, but it has settled on the title track. i sure i like it cause it features different instruments, rhythms, and flourishes. two things that stand out are the bongos that come in at around 1:20 and the banjo that comes in towards the end of the track. i know i've posted before about how sometimes i like to focus on specific instrumental lines to some songs in particular. since things are all pretty much recorded in stereo nowadays, when i do this i like to use one earbud running from my ipod so i can split up the instrumentation in one channel. for me personally, it gives me a better appreciation of how a song like this comes together as i can concentrate on the rhythmic guitar line vs. the lead guitar line and the various other instruments split between the left and right channels. anyways here's a playlist with 3 songs from the album i really like, they're all a little different from each other.


Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

that's it for now. let's see if the zzz's come this time around.

May 26, 2010

wednesday funnies

i started a couple posts, but haven't really figured out how to finish them. i thought something light and funny would be better in the meantime. so here's two of my fav games, sound effects and helping hands, from whose line? the cops and ducks one really cracks me up, drew's reaction at the end is great.

May 2, 2010

census, oil, political matrix

the census it being conducted in the US at present. i remember when i was younger and learned about it in school, i was pretty impressed that people would go out and into the neighborhoods to get an accurate count of everyone, though these days it seems to be getting more dangerous. i don't know if it was just my impression but it seemed like civics and government participation was stressed from an early age in my social studies classes. hearing about how voter turnout has been pretty bad ever since i've been able to vote, i worry if kids these days are getting even less of the information that allows them to evaluate and back a position through logical reasoning? why is my generation so apathetic when it comes to politics? i love to vote. i always look forward to election day. no doubt it comes partially from some of my strong opinions on certain issues, but sometimes i wonder what it would take for me NOT to have those opinions? i can't really see how i would be able to not feel one way or another on social issues, or the environment, the economy, health care, gun control etc. anyways back to the census, i remember learning how important it was in elementary school. it allowed the government to correctly allocate resources, and representatives to the house. with each census that goes by though, i always feel a little sad since new york state keeps losing population and thus house members to southern and western states. i was recently thinking though, i know a little bit about how our system works... but i don't really know all that much about other countries. i would think that most countries would have a census to allocate resources. how often is your country's census conducted, and how is it conducted? are there problems with getting responses from people?

this whole oil fiasco is just an upsetting situation. a lot of harm will be done to the environment from different species of animals dying, to a means of living. coastlines will be damaged and those beachfront locales that count on tourism will be hurt economically. a part of me really doesn't want the federal gov't to help those states that had elected officials who supported increasing offshore drilling. sure it's possible that these oil companies could have brought increased revenues in, and i'm sure people weighed the pros and cons... but i would think normally people can't resist the temptation of going for the least costly (at the time), as in lower taxes option. all it really takes is one catastrophic accident to take the benefits away. i don't know if there's a better way to learn lessons than to go through some form of pain. we saw it with the great depression. people who lived through that period were forever changed, as are people who live through oppressive regimes then make it to an open society. sometimes i feel like we have it too easy. a part of me does kind of wish our little recession went a little deeper. it would've been interesting to watch the foundations of our markets collapse. how long would it have taken for us to recover if citi, boa, and aig didn't get any help? what about fannie and freddie mac? or chrysler and gm? i'm certain we'd learn a thing or two about how we should be more responsible. as it stands, i think the jury's still out on whether that has occurred. back to the oil spill though, i'm not a fan of hypocrites, and in this case i'm talking about current louisiana governor bobby jindal. back in 2006 when he was a congressman he supported the lifting of the moratorium on offshore oil and gas drilling over the continental shelf of the US. the house passed the bill in 2008. this increase of offshore drilling is also what prompted palin's "drill baby, drill" slogan. jindal was also one of those gop governors who opposed federal stimulus money because he believed the role of the federal government was too big. well as this oil spill has shown, he's now asking the federal government to help out louisiana. i know a lot of conservatives and gop members believe in the role of personal responsibility, as in a person should take the good together with the bad concerning their decisions. well, you voted to increase drilling, you got what you wished for. so now, instead of trying to use the resources available to you as governor to fix the problem, you ask for federal help? what happened to decreasing your dependence on federal funds? not so smart now are you? this isn't to say that mistakes can't happen. there is always a chance for error, but you shouldn't say or do one thing, then do the complete opposite of what you were championing. this doesn't take president obama off the hook either. he came out in support of increasing offshore drilling. how we're left with millions of barrels of unused oil, and who knows how much money worth of irrevocable environmental damage and unrecoverable water/land ecosystems? was it worth it to get at that crude oil just so we can pay cheap prices for electricity and gas? obviously i can't answer that for everyone, but in my opinion i don't think it was. what do you think?

i (re)found this website that i thought was interesting. i'm not sure if i've posted this in a prior entry, but if you haven't taken it before it classifies and summarizes your individual economic and social stances. i took it again, i think my scores were a little different from the last time, though i don't recall my scores exactly from the prior time. what're your scores?

http://www.uselectionatlas.org/TOOLS/POLMTX/thetest.php

Economic score: -2.58
Social score: -4.17

Your score pegs you as economically center-leftist and socially moderately libertarian.

Economic center-leftists typically support above average controls on free trade, raising or maintaining the current tax levels, but still support free trade.

Moderate social libertarians generally favor a hands-off approach to social legislation. They may believe that the government has no right to enforce morals, but may support certain controls on individual rights to avoid crime, drug use, or similar social ills.

i feel like there was something else i was gonna write about, but it's escaped me. in the meantime, florence sent me this awesome link, though i'm still not sure how i feel about the ipad.