The thoughts of a writer.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


As a volunteer park ranger in the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, I've seen firsthand how a lot of diversity is generally good for the environment. In contrast, any group that overpopulates puts a strain on the ecosystem.

Diversity in human populations is in my opinion, also a good thing. What isn't good is all of the bickering that goes on between certain groups.

Human beings were originated from common ancestors, which is why our genetic material is so similar. Likely the nomadic way of life in the early days caused geographical separations between populations that resulted in genetic separations, which resulted in physical differences. Still, some of the great societies of the past were multi-racial. With the advances in travel and technology, it seems that racial blending will only continue to grow.

That brings up an interesting question. Will the blending of the races actually reduce the diversity as the human population becomes multiracial? Perhaps, yet genetic diversity is bound to grow as people with different racial background have offspring.

As the USA is one of the most accepting societies (seriously, some societies are virtually closed), we all need to focus on our similarities, rather than our differences. There is more than one minority, and the face of America and the world is continually changing.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

U.S. Deploys Musicians to North Korea

In a wonderful deviation from what we might usually expect of international politics, the New York Philharmonic played a concert in Pyongyang, North Korea today. There were no soldiers, no guns and no politics. The orchestra played and was well received by those in attendance. The concert was televised live, which was rather unusual in the secretive confines of North Korea.

It makes me wonder what would happen to the world if countries sent "invading" musicians instead of soldiers to settle disputes. With all of the international conflicts, I was given a bit of hope today. The people of North Korea shown on the TV news were not monsters, goose-stepping to some outdated communist war march. The musicians were not kicking in doors of people's houses in some remote village. They were all just people, drawn together by music and a long overdue cultural exchange. How fantastic is that?

Friday, February 22, 2008

That's why I say hey man, nice shot.

The USS Lake Erie fired a missle at a failed US spy satellite Wednesday night. It scored a direct hit 153 miles above the Earth, at 22,000 miles-per-hour.
That's why I say hey man, nice shot.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

LUNAR Eclipse

In case you missed last night's lunar eclipse, here is a picture I took. It was a spectacular full moon anyway, the eclipse was pretty awesome.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Mind Dump

I once spoke to a friend who works in the psychology field. Both of us agreed with a recent article that surmised that nearly every human being probably suffers from some form of post-traumatic-stress.

I recently spoke to one of my bosses whom I've known for a long time. He thought I seemed happier than I used to. I told him that it was mostly an attitude I'd gotten when things looked bad and those two eagles flew over my head and the wind whispered in their wings. Right about then, I decided that I was the luckiest man alive. Realistically, I had changed my entire life to chase a dream and try to find happiness. That action, however, brought me to where I am now –which is a much happier “place.”

My band is recording some of our 150something original songs. It’s work. We can usually get one song down in an evening. Lately the recordings have been great. I think we’re learning how to manage everything in the process. Once I get a copyright on a CD’s worth (at least the ones I wrote), I might see if some music can find its way to this site.

Computer Support

I needed a power supply for a laptop. It's under warranty. I looked up the warranty to be sure.
I went on HP's website to setup a case, as I've done that before and it eliminates the language barrier.
After going around in circles on the website, I finally broke down and called HP. After being questioned and transferred in circles, I finally got "John" from India to help me.

I gave John the serial number, and I was then told the warranty had expired. I was also told it was a different model than I was calling about. Eventually, John figured out that the warranty is good for almost two more years.
Then I was asked numerous questions about the problem, which is that the power supply doesn't work but an identical power supply does work. Eventually John decided to order me a new power supply. This took another ten minutes while I was on hold.

Last week I had an onsite repair of a desktop. It took two trips each by two separate technicians and about 14 phone messages and six e-mails. Eventually I had to ask that the system board be changed and I had to fix the audio after it was replaced.

Is it because someone new handles each segment of the problem that it gets to be so troublesome, or is it so that you eventually give up?

Friday, February 15, 2008

Is it More Violent Now?

All one has to do, is look at the news headlines to ask himself are things more violent now than they used to be? The answer to that is difficult. We may think so, based on our concept of how things were a few decades ago, as portrayed on TV sitcoms. Yet is this an accurate picture?

What about the "wild west?" Didn't people get shot and hanged in a lawless society? What about the racism, lynching and wars of our history? What about the Roman Coliseum and the atrocities performed there in the name of "entertainment?" What about bull-baiting, bear-baiting, dog fighting, cock fighting and bare knuckle brawls? Can we be sure things are more violent now?

While there is a lot of preaching and pressure about kindness and tolerance, we live in a society where it seems that every few weeks some coward is in the news for shooting unarmed people in a public place. The local news in the Twin Cities recently had a story about a woman who beat a 4-year-old boy to death, while her own children held him down.

We see bits and pieces of war on the TV news, as armies invade other countries for various reasons and groups and individuals use explosives to blowup bystanders in public places. Turn on the TV and you can find "mixed martial arts" competitions, which are essentially brawls with few rules and protections, watched by rowdy, drunken people who like blood-sport. Kids beat someone up and then put the video on You Tube. This recording was something that was missing (except by word-of-mouth) years ago.

Is it really worse, or has humanity accomplished little to nothing in the time it has been overpopulating the Earth? Is the media just better at showing the atrocities and the science of discovering them better? Could it be that victims are more likely to report their victimization, rather than to hide "their" shame?

It does seem that perpetrators have more rights these days. That is good protection for those falsely accused, but what about the victims who are injured or killed because the law was concerned about the rights of criminals?

The world is more crowded these days. Many people have talents that are overlooked. Yet if they commit a heinous crime, the media will make them famous; if even for a short time. Maybe we need to make more of an effort to recognize the positive things that people do. Maybe humanity is as sick as it always was.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Cutris Breaks Sound Barrier

Cutris Breaks Sound Barrier
February 8, 2008
UnAssociated Press

A sonic boom was heard across the Minnesota River Valley early this morning, and from all accounts, it was due to presidential candidate, Cutris, breaking the sound barrier.

Apparently Cutris had taken his bicycle out for an early morning ride, and decided to put it in high gear to see how fast he could go.

"It was snowing at the time, which made it kind of hard," said Cutris to a reporter from CNN. "I just started peddling as fast as I could. Pretty soon I was going so fast that I lost control of the bike on the icy road and started sliding even faster!"

Cutris eventually recovered control of the bicycle, but not before a sonic boom rang out in the early morning, signaling that he had exceeded the speed of sound.

Asked if he would try to repeat the feat for the Guinness Book of World Records, Cutris said, "I don't think so. It was a little scary going that fast on my bike, even though it is a good bike and I got it from Erik's Bike Shop. I really don't need to prove anything. I know what I did."

Inconsistent Policies

I have more than one job. One of them has expressed a "concern" about my blog. In the meantime, the coworker with a new baby has a blog about the baby and other coworkers are adding messages to it during work hours. This, apparently is acceptable.

I have no problem with the baby blog, in fact it is a fantastic idea. I don't like the subjective nature of what is or is not acceptable. With no clear written policy (just vague policy), it allows someone to "play god" and decide what is O.K. and what isn't.

How intrusive should this get? If in the course of my job I see that an administrator has church materials on a work computer should I report it? I hate that idea. People need a little bit of freedom. If the work is getting done, what is the problem?

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Recycling: Who's Not Doing Their Job?

My yogurt cup has a recyclable symbol on the bottom, but the person on TV says only plastic bottles with necks can be recycled. So who's not doing their job? I rinse them out and put them in the recycler. I'm not breaking down the process on my end.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Super Tuesday

Presidential candidate Cutris was asked about what he did on Super Tuesday, and if he had participated in the caucuses in his home state of Minnesota.

"The caucus system," Cutris replied, "is setup to exclude third-party, or independent party candidates." It gives people a sense that they are actually choosing the presidential candidates, though out of the 300+ million people in the United States, they have the choice between 3 or 4 candidates within 2 parties. None of the candidates is particularly "average," in income or lifestyle. As far as what I did, I took care of personal business, including my laundry."

Cutris continues to insist that he is running for president and has neither pulled out of the race, nor has he endorsed any other candidates.


Sunday, February 03, 2008

Super Bowl XLII

The NY Giants upset the NE Patriots 17-14!



617-729-0931 Computer illegally called my cell phone to promote Republican Ron Paul.

Cutris will never call you during his campaign!