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Friday, January 30, 2009

Foxnews to Obama: THANK YOU

Viewership for evening of 1/28/2009

FOXNEWS BECK 2,306,000
FOXNEWS SHEP 2,299,000
CNN COOPER 1,559,000
CNN BLITZER 1,490,000
CNNHN GRACE 1,435,000
CNN KING 1,420,000
MSNBC MADDOW 1,398,000

I've also heard that Limbaugh and Hannity's radio ratings are up since Obama's election. Silver-lining............

My Zune Tunes

For Christmas my wife got me a 16GB Zune. For those that don't know, that is a MP3 player. Bascially Microsoft's version of the iPod.

I immediately began ripping my favorite CDs to MP3s. Ripping is the process of taking CDs and turning them into MP3s. I have just a few CDs left now to rip from my entire CD catalog (roughly 300 discs). I have many more albums on cassette which I will eventually need to purchase, and I will probably do that by buying them already in MP3 format.

The headphones, actually the kind of earbuds that sit in your ear, that came with the Zune are very inadequate. The quality of the music was just subpar listening to them through those. So I picked up a pair of Klipsch Custom 2s, for $99 at Guitar Center. That is roughly half off the usual price.

These Custom 2s are inner-ear buds. They actually go into your ear canal as opposed to just sitting in the opening of your ear. These things make the music really come alive! The crispness of the music is outstanding. The bass is very surprising, though not as rich as bigger speakers or headphones could produce. It would be physcially impossible to replicate the deep bass of a 15" woofer in small earbuds, but the Custom 2s actually do a decent job.

So I now have all my favorite music at my fingertips. The Zune is small enough to fit in a pocket, and the Custom 2s came with a case that is large enough to store your MP3 player as well as the earbuds themselves. The Zune itself comes with a small LCD to display the album cover art of the song you are listening to as well as the song title and the time remaining in the song. It is amazing to hold so many songs in such a small unit, and have the album art to look at if you want to. What an amazing world we live in!

So you'll have to pardon my typos in this blog. I may very well be listening to Night Ranger while I type.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

New Feature: Conservative Poetry

Several years ago I had an American literature course. Part of the course was the study of the poetry by E.E. Cummings, Robert Frost, and Langston Hughes. I surprised myself by being interested in poetry, something I had never really been into before. Recently I have started having bouts of poetic inspiration, almost all of which is Christian or conservative themed. I have begun to compile some of my prose and decided to begin to publish some of it here in my blog. So I present to you the first conservative-themed poem today. I will intersperse these poems along with regular blog entries occasionally as the mood strikes. Enjoy!


The trauma.
Two stories from the same mouth.
Obliterate the Cross.
Destroy the unborn.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Let's Talk About 3-9

Did anyone really expect me to let the 3-9 UM football season come and go without mentioning it? Come on! I am nearly 40 years-old and never in my lifetime has UM had a losing season. As a Michigan State fan you know that I enjoyed the struggles that UM had this past season. And that I look forward to more of the same next season.

Of course it all started in the 2007 football season when UM lost to Appalachian State. That was one of the greatest gifts that football has ever bestowed upon me. Never again would I have to hear an UM fan bring up the fact that MSU had lost to Central Michigan twice in the early 90s. The App State game trumped that. At least CMU was a Division I-A school!

However, the loss to the University of Toledo this past season cemented the fact that never again should an UM fan mention CMU to me. You lose to a Div. I-AA (they can call that division whatever they want nowadays, I don't care) and then to a MAC team the very next year. Revenge is sweet!

Of course, MSU beat Michigan in Ann Arbor this past season for the first time since 1990. And there was no controversial play, no clock controversy, NOTHING to save UM this time. The Spartans thumped the Wolverines in their home toilet-bowl (known as The Big Outhouse) convincingly. Not that it was any great feat considering 8 other teams also thumped UM this past season, including the aforementioned MAC school.

And as Rich Rodriguez's UM squad continues to hemorrhage not only currently enrolled players (transfers) but also previously committed recruits (decommits), they can look forward to another tough season next year. Which means that these guys running around this area in big 4x4 pick-ups will begin peeling their block M stickers leaving only a Red Wing emblem in their rear window. Ahhh, how fleeting are bandwagon fans!

In the meantime, Mark Dantonio has the Michigan State program on solid footing and headed down the right path.

Don't believe me? Then just try to remember the last time MSU had a New Years Day bowl game while UM was at home bowl-ineligible. You'd need to go back over 40 years!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Facebook Is Rotten

In my last entry I alluded to the fact that I have a serious dislike for Facebook. A disdain even. Almost a hate. There are many reasons for my dislike of Facebook. Ranging from minor issues like the fact that it is a waste of time, to major issues like it can do serious damage to familial relations. And many, many things in between.

I registered on Facebook at the request of my wife, as well as a few other family members. It started out innocuous enough. I soon was linked to family members both immediate and distant. Not to mention friends both current and former. And then before I knew it I was linked to friends of family and family of friends. I think at one point I was linked to the friends of family of friends of family. Confusing? YES!

Then came the many and varied applications and games. This was the first sign of a problem. These applications and games were like digital crack. Once you started on them you'd go through physical withdrawals to break the habit. One game consisted of letters falling in circles in a grid, and you'd have to find words in the random letters for points. I can think of one night in particular playing this on my laptop for about 5 hours. YIKES!

I also found myself logging in almost immediately after arriving home from work. Fortunately it was blocked at work otherwise I could be typing this to you from the unemployment line. What really told me I was wasting too much time on Facebook was when I started to communicate with my wife through Facebook, even though she was 20 feet away in the other room! DOUBLE YIKES!

But the letter-word game also marked the first sign of trouble with family on Facebook. Apparently, the scores are shared with people you are linked to that also have that particular game installed on Facebook. Suddenly I felt as if people in my friends list were competing with me. I half expected them to send me private messages rubbing in the fact that they had beaten my score. Or worse, putting it in their status for all of their friends, and most of mine, to see! TRIPLE YIKES!

And that brings us to the subject of statuses. From the total innane (Susie is clipping her toenails) to the blatantly braggadocio (Billie Jean is so proud that Johnny got an A on his spelling test!), statuses are the epitome of Facebook's evilness. It is through statuses I witnessed countless passive-aggressive conflicts between various members of my family, some of which I managed to get drawn into. I found that I could be as vicious in my passive-aggresiveness as the next person. QUADRUPLE YIKES!

For instance, as someone that greatly dislikes the Red Wings, I one day made my status "Steven is hoping the Red Wings lose in the playoffs." No biggie right? I logged in later that night to various statuses from "friends" and "family" like "Regina thinks people that dislike the Red Wings are buttheads!" and "Connie hopes the Wings win to shut-up certain people!" Of course, not being one to sit by and be attacked in not so subtle passive-aggressive ways, I responded with "Steven thinks Red Wing fans are ninnies!" As you can guess, the escalation ensued from there until threats of nuclear annihilation were on the horizon. QUINTUPLE YIKES!

One thing that Facebook made me realize is this: Not really knowing your extended family makes you able to stomach them long enough to attend family weddings and funerals with them. However, Facebook erases the "not really knowing them" aspect and ruins your ability to stomach extended family in real life for more than 5 seconds. We just aren't meant to know that much about them. Further, what do you talk about with people you don't really like, and that you already know everything about? Facebook makes it so you know almost every innane detail of their lives, so what do you have left to talk about in person? And, unfortunately, that doesn't go for just extended family. Due to an immediate family member's behavior on Facebook I am not real anxious to spend time around said immediate family member either. SEXTUPLE YIKES!

Another problem I noticed. Most of my family professes to be Christians. But I didn't see that their spiritual lives were too important to them based on their behavior on Facebook. I once heard that what we talk about most is most important to us. So while I saw a lot of statuses saying things like "Rudolf says 'GO RED WINGS!'", or "Sally really wants Barack Obama to win the election!", I never saw statuses like "Freida is studying her Bible School lesson", or "Gene is reading the book of Acts." It just didn't happen that way. So what I took away from Facebook is that even for my family members that claim to be Christians, politics and sports and bragging on their children are more important to them than their Lord. INFINITE YIKES!

The Red Wing incident was enough for me. I realized that nothing good could ever come from Facebook. All it would do is drive a wedge between me and family, as well as make enemies of people I had considered friends. I cancelled my account and haven't looked back. Except that my wife remained on Facebook and continues to tell me about some of the zany, ridiculous, and completely ludicrous stuff that people pull on Facebook. On the bright side, I won't have to attend as many weddings and funerals in the future!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Old Friends Going Astray

The last entry started me thinking about another old friend. This was an old friend from church. I can remember growing up with him at church, and we always competed in who could recite their memory verse. Or who could say all of the books of the Bible. Or who had studied for the lesson that week for Sunday school. We even competed together against youths from other congregations in a Bible Bowl competition, one in which we took first place!

My mom recently connected with this old friend on Facebook. (I will talk about my DISDAIN for Facebook in a later entry.) Apparently this old friend has the following quote in his Facebook profile:

Religious distress is at the same time the expression of real distress and the protest against real distress. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions. Karl Marx

How sad that someone that was raised to be grounded in the truth could go so far astray. I had heard that he no longer attended church services and that he "was holding services for his family at home". But I had also been told that he had become an atheist. This would seem more in line with having the quote above as part of his profile.

How could this happen? What could cause someone that was so knowledgeable of the truth to stray so far from it? I have some theories but it boils down to this passage of scripture:

Be not deceived: Evil companionships corrupt good morals.
-1 Corinthians 15:33, ASV

The people that we choose to be around will influence what is important to us and what our beliefs are. If we surround ourselves with people that feel that carnal intelligence is supreme, and that religious views make us unintelligent, should we be surprised if we are tempted to lay aside our religious beliefs in order to garner the affections of those around us? When we take our eyes off the prize of the high-calling, our vision can become clouded by things below.

I will continue to pray for this old friend, and for his family. He has been entrusted with three young souls and it pains me to think of how differently they will be brought up from how he was brought up. We only get one chance to lay a solid religious foundation for our children, and he is missing his.

Interesting Observation Recently Made

I recently received an email from a former coworker. I worked with the gentleman for a couple of years, a few years back. I didn't realize that like me he was a comic book reader in the 80s. He is writing a book about his recent rediscovery of comics and has made it the subject of his blog:

I also have an old friend from elementary school that is still into comics. He even writes for an online storyline tied to the NBC television show Heroes.

Here is the observation (and I will try to do this as close to my promise of staying away from politics as possible): I think I may be the only conservative-former/current-comic-book-reader ever! If you look at the blog entries for the blog I posted above from around the election, it is clear that this former coworker is a liberal Democrat. My old friend from elementary school is also liberal on the scale of Karl Marx.

Just an interesting observation, even if it is anecdotal at best.

Still, I look forward to reading his book as it sounds like he and I read many of the same comics in the 80s.

Monday, January 19, 2009

More CES 2009

In my last entry I mentioned CES 2009. Here are PC World's pick for the best products from the show:

Interesting, from the bizarre and downright unnecessary, to the practical and something many of us would want to own and use. Electronics has permeated every aspect of our lives. We recently purchased a 2006 Ford Five-Hundred. It is a nice car that is like new. However, the car has 14 onboard computers!!

Refridgerators and other appliance now have computers that are more powerful than the 8-bit computers we used in the 1980s. I guess this is why I find the CES so fascinating each year. While I do not consider myself a gadget geek (I use my cellphone to make phonecalls and nothing else!), I do like to see the direction electronics are headed into not only now but into the future.

More later........

Friday, January 09, 2009

No More Politics, and CES 2009

So I have decided that the next few blog entries will be politics free. That's right. Anyone that knows me already knows I cannot stand Barack Hussein Obama, or most Democrats for that matter. So I will keep the commentary about the gun-grabbing, baby-killers out of this blog for the next several entries. That way I don't have to pay attention to the abomination (rhymes with Obamanation) of an administration as it is sworn into office and begins its rule.

So this entry will be about CES 2009. For those that may not know what that is, it stands for Consumer Electronics Show, and the 2009 version is underway right now in Las Vegas.

I have always been intrigued by this show. This is the convention where electronics manufacturers from around the world show the general public the latest in high-tech gadgets. You can get a sense of the types of items that will be unveiled at the show by clicking the following link:

PC World's Slide-Show of CES 2009

As you can see, there are some innovative and neat products that are shown in that slide-show. However, the thing that always galls me about the coverage of the CES is that rarely do they give any mention to practical, everyday devices. Devices with a "wow" factor, but that do not have a day-to-day life application are always given the most coverage. While real tech items that we use, like external hard-drives, take a backseat.

I'd love to attend the CES one year so I could see which direction practical devices are headed, as opposed to the gadgets that have no real practical use like wide-screen headsets. (See here for what I am talking about: Vuzix iWear.)

Thursday, January 01, 2009

The First Day of 2009

Here we are on the first day of the year 2009. And while many people are sending messages of peace and coming together my message today is much different. Fight.

We must fight for what is right. Whether religiously, politically, economically, and even personally. I have never been one to mince words. If I disagree with something, I'll tell you. And I do not agree with all of the people, especially those on the left, that now want to spread a message of unity and working together.

Obama won the election. Fine. But am I supposed to take that lying down even though the man stands for everything I find vile? And he is against everything I hold dear? Am I supposed to want to work together with a man that describes me as "bitter", and claims I cling to my "guns and religion"?

Am I supposed to stand by quietly when I think Obama is the scum of the earth when Democrats and liberals slandered a good man for the last 8 years for no reason other than the fact that he is a Republican, and a social conservative? Those that were outspoken against President Bush, that now think people like me need to withhold our criticism of Obama sicken me. I don't even want to give them the time of day.

So as 2009 rings in, and as these people are demanding that we work together, I say we fight. We fight against Obama's pro-abortion agenda. We fight against Obama's pro-gay agenda. We fight against Obama's anti-gun agenda. We fight against Obama's socialistic agenda.

The next 4 years should be every bit the fight for Obama that the last 8 have been for President Bush. We shouldn't give this guy a free pass, and I am not one that says we need to give him a chance when liberals and Democrats began bad-mouthing Bush before he ever took office.

The fight for the right should never cease. 2009 should be no different. Since the liberal mainstream media are in no position to criticize Obama, those of us willing to do so vocally, in blogs, and in other avenues need to stand up and do it. I love my country too much to allow someone like Obama to screw it up.