Photo courtesy of David Putzier at Flickr.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

12 Days

The Wines Family

I am sad on this day. I realized that there were only 12 school days left in the year. The heartache is unbearable...only 12 days left until I have to deal with the boredom of 3 months off. Only 12 days left until fishing, hiking, endless poker, and whatever else I feel like doing. I'm so happy to be a teacher.

It was a good weekend, and it is not over yet. Of course I spent some time with Grandma in the hospital, but unfortunately I missed Chris and Jolene today. I was at a BBQ that I was invited to quite a while ago by 3 families from school. I was the only person from the school that was there, so I felt a little bit of pressure. They were super cool, and I had a great time. It was a bonus that I got to go home with lots of food.

Tomorrow I will spend some time grading, and just try to relax. Again, I will probably take my computer and visit Grandma with a movie in the hospital. She should be free of hoses connected to her, so that will be nice.

Alright...a late night tourney just started, and I need to play my 77. Love ya, see ya, bye.

Dave

National Treasure....Not

I must admit that I like Nick Cage movies quite a bit. For some pure 4 wheel fun I will pop in the "Gone in 60 Seconds" DVD. Char, Dave & I sat down yesterday afternoon to be entertained by "National Treasure". Now I know we don't rate up there with Roger Ebert but this movie blows.What an ill-conceived, moronic, unbelievable, piece of Hollywood trash.

The only thing that saved the wasted time was an awesome display of Mother Nature's power. We had a thunder & lightning storm that rattled, not only the house, but our nerves as well. We went out to the garage to get a clear view of the show. We are standing just inside the garage when a bolt struck not half a mile away. The pure sound of the thunder shook us to the bone and the surge in electricity caused the garage door to close. Dave and I were standing next to each other (Char had pulled up a chair) and just about came out of our skin. Of course this all happened in a split second. Now somebody should have captured that on film, would have been good for a couple of laughs!

Mike

Monday, May 23, 2005

"SITH" Goes Forth, Come In First

By Bridget Byrne
Special to the Washington Post
Monday, May 23, 2005; Page C01

"It's an international record, a domestic record, and we also set the intergalactic record I believe. I can't find the old one, but I know we set it," exclaimed Bruce Snyder.

As excited as any Jedi fan, Snyder, president of distribution for 20th Century Fox, was announcing the out-of-this world grosses for "Star Wars: Episode III -- Revenge of the Sith" which earned a record $158.5 million over its opening four days.


From its premiere Thursday at 12:01 a.m., box office records fell to the force of the sixth and final installment of George Lucas's intergalactic saga. The movie broke records for two-day, three-day and four-day totals. "Sith" is also estimated to trump any previous five-day tally.

Of course, the movie -- which provides the crucial link between the two "Star Wars" trilogies -- had the box office pretty much to itself; other studios chose not to schedule wide releases last week to compete with the 9,400 prints sent out by Fox. Still, the numbers, from the box office tracking service Exhibitor Relations, were impressive. Just for the midnight show at 2,900 theaters, the movie took in $16.5 million. That was more than double the $8 million seized by "The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King," the third and final part of the Hobbit saga, when it opened at midnight at 2,100 sites in 2003.

By the end of the day Thursday, after expanding to 3,661 sites, "Sith" was up to $50 million. That was way ahead of the $40.4 million opening-day record netted last year by "Spider-Man 2" and it easily beats the one-day intake of green achieved by "Shrek 2," which earned $44.8 million in its first Saturday last summer.

"Sith's" four-day total beat the previous record of $134.3 million set by "The Matrix Reloaded" in May 2003. But for the Friday-to-Sunday weekend, the total gross for the PG-13-rated "Sith" was $108.5 million, an estimate that will have to hold firm if it's going to beat the PG-rated "Shrek 2's" $108 million opening weekend. Even then, it would be only No. 2 on the weekend record list: The first "Spider-Man" took in $114.8 million Friday through Sunday in 2002.

Worldwide, the gross is estimated to be $303.2 million (that's counting most release territories with the exception of Japan and Korea).

Domestically, Friday's demographics showed an audience that was 58 percent male, and 48 percent under age 25.

Much has changed since the first "Star Wars" took the industry by surprise in the summer of 1977, when Fox slipped it into just 43 theaters and it earned $1.6 million in its first weekend. Since then, it's taken in $461 million domestically and $798 million worldwide; the domestic total, which includes a 1997 rerelease, is the highest for any "Star Wars" film (the worldwide "Star Wars" record, $922.8 million, is held by the 1999 "Episode I -- The Phantom Menace").

Not just the fortunes of Fox but also those of the movie industry were felt to be riding of the backs of Jedi appeal. After 12 straight weeks of diminished revenues compared with the same period last year, gloom-and-doom stories about the industry's fate had made headlines. Early Thursday -- when box office figures for "Star Wars" were still only an educated guess (but a guess made easier by the $50 million in pre-ordered tickets sold before the the film hit theaters) -- John Fithian, president of the National Association of Theatre Owners, decried the negative stories and predicted a big change a few days hence: "Everyone will write stories next Monday about how the business is back, and that's funny to us because we know it's cyclical. We know it goes down and we know it goes back up."

But even with "Sith," it turned out to be the 13th down weekend in a row. Though "Sith" helped propel the combined weekend gross of the top 12 movies to $156 million -- up 65.1 percent over the previous weekend -- that's still down 4.4 percent over this time last year, when "Shrek 2" was dominating theaters and other movies like "Van Helsing" and "Mean Girls" were holding more strongly than this year's also-ran crop. In the wake of "Sith," "Monster-in-Law" fell 38 percent, "Kicking and Screaming" dipped 48 percent, and "Kingdom of Heaven" tumbled 65 percent compared with last weekend. "It is disconcerting to have 13 down weeks, especially with 'Star Wars' opening so huge, but one film cannot turn everything around overnight."

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Yankees 6 - Seattle 0

10 in a row!!

SEATTLE (AP) -- Jason Giambi's hitting finally looks better. Throw in a complete game by Carl Pavano, and the New York Yankees surged to their longest winning streak in almost seven years.

Giambi hit a solo home run, singled twice and drove in three runs, and Pavano pitched a five-hitter as the Yankees won their 10th straight, beating the Seattle Mariners 6-0 on Tuesday night.

``The bat's coming through the strike zone a lot freer,'' said Giambi, who is back to trying to pull the ball. ``I'm not so tied up. It's definitely paying off.''

It was Giambi's first three-hit game since June 20. Alex Rodriguez hit his major league leading 13th home run, a two-run shot, and Jorge Posada had an RBI single as the Yankees collected 10 hits.

This is New York's longest winning streak since a 10-game run from June 30 to July 12, 1998. At 21-19, the Yankees are two games over .500 for the first time since they were 2-0.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Mr. Clutch...


With the bases loaded in the 7th inning and trailing 2-1 to the Mariners, Bernie Williams hit his 11th career grand slam. The Yanks went on to win their 9th straight with a final score of 6-3.

Mike

Monday, May 16, 2005

Mike Ruppert in Eugene

Mike Ruppert, the person who I personally credit with turning me onto these issues will be in Eugene to give a speech at the MacDonald Theater on May 31st. The cost is 10 bucks. Who wants to go with me, I will buy the tickets.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Who Really Runs Our Country

Any of you ever considered who finances our deficits. While the Bush crime family has pushed for endless tax cuts for the rich, our deficit has gotten deeper and deeper. Well then we must be borrowing money from somebody, right?? Yep. That somebody is China. Here's how this plays out in the real world. In order to finance our government, the treasury of the US sells bonds at pretty safe interest rates. You or I can invest in these bonds. However at such low rates, unless you have a massive infusion of cash to throw down, then the overall prospects are dim. However, if you are China then this is right up your alley, minimal risk to a currency that is directly ties to yours. Here is the game China is playing on us in a nutshell. When they opened their borders a number of years back the deal was easy. US businesses could outsource production to China at a much lower cost to the corporations because they do not have those pesky unions and health care. So the US corporations agree to fork over huge sums of cash to upgrade and put in place a sound infastructure to do business, at no cost to the chinese government. With the low cost of wages the businesses still save vast sums of money in the long run, so they can afford to build up the infastructure. This is one side of the equation. The second is where I began. Currently the Chinese governments basically owns our economy. China has bought over half of all US treasury bonds in the past three years. China is financing our massive debt. So why does this matter??? It is the perfect set up. China's currency is directly tied to ours, so it would appear that it is in their best interest to keep our economy strong. That is unless they want to knock the big boys off of the mountain. If China either tied their currencty to the Euro, or let it go on its own, then this would DEVESTATE our economy. Their have been murmurs of this for some time. In the short run this would hurt the Chinese economy, as the dollar falls so does the Yuan. However, it is the end game we are looking at here. If China pushes our economy down then they set themselves up to be the king of the hill. First, the dollar would go into a free fall, next inflation spikes, lastly the cost of our goods skyrockets because without the Chinese currency tied to ours, then this cheap WalMart shit becomes expensive WalMart shit. China's currency falls briefly, then as the cost of goods goes up their currency steadily rises, and to boot we paid for their infastructure upgrade. Could this really happen?? Yep!! Just over two weeks ago, the Chinese government let their currency run on its own for just over an hour, no longer tied to the dollar. It is claimed this was an accident, yeah sure an accident. I am guessing they wanted to see how quickly the value would change. Nonetheless, this is quite probable in the future, as oil prices begin to spike in the next five years as the reality begins to set in that our hydrocarbon lifestyles must change. Remember the US is only 250 million people out of over 6 billion, yet we consume 40% of the worlds energy. When this reality hits, it will hit us the hardest. When our economy begins to go into decline, no country in the world will want to support our economy, and the economy will collapse. And we laugh at the old fella's who want to know where everything is the world is made, cause if it aint made in the US, I wont buy it. Hmm, maybe they knew something we didn't.

Make It 8 !!!

Yankees defeated Oakland 6-4 today behind the pitching of Randy Johnson and the bat of Tino Martinez. Tino got 2 more homers ( 8 in the last 8 games), Randy pitched his 250th victory, Joe Torre got #1800 and the Bronx Bombers are back to .500. Now it's on to Seattle for 3 more!

Mike

7 in a row Baby!!


Thanks to a revived battery of sluggers, (led by Tino Martinez, pictured above) the Yanks are on a 7 game winning streak. Now only 1 game below .500 and 5.5 games behind the first place Eastern Division leader Baltimore Orioles.

Randy Johnson is pitching today, which doesn't insure a "W" but things are definitely looking brighter. The pitching staff, in general, has gotten a spark from the newly found offense. After this last game with Oakland it's off to Seattle for a 3 game stand against the Mariners. Just last week we swept 3 games from them.

And who was it that posted that Blasphemy just a few days ago?

Mike

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Oh God, I hate it when Chuck does this

I never write on the blog, but I do check it regularly. Kinda like Email for me, always checkin, never writin. YES DAVE I KNOW THERE IS FRICKINGGGGGG G's at the end of those words. So to keep the main part short, I am good, which is, of course, always relative. So by saying that I mean to say all of you are healthy, so I have it good. I have long wondered where I could make my contribution to this site. I figure I could be the guy that goes around and ruins peoples days by telling them the truth about certain things. Damn, here we go. I have decided that I will provide the political commentary for the site, among other things. I have been doing quite a bit of research in the last few months because it appeared to me that the world is on a precarious course. To those of you who want this information, then please just let me know and I will provide the info for you. To those of you who could care less, I can only recommend listening to me because the changes the world is undergoing WILL effect every one of us.

So where to start is the good question...... How about the term "Peak Oil". Sometime in the next two years, if it hasn't already happend the world will have reached peak oil. This means that at that point we have extracted and used half of the available oil in the world. Half you say, so what, quit being so alarmist. Well at that point you are working with an ever diminishing supply, therefore the cost will increase very regularly. This is because, this second half is much harder to access, and is of lower quality. It makes sense of course that we would work to extract the most easily drilled pools of oil. Most of that oil is gone, and now we are left with smaller and lower quality pools. Now we have to use extraction techniques that are both costly and energy intensive. So in many cases we are dealing with a net loss of energy, so it is not profitable to pull it out of the ground in the first place. This is besides the point. Really this whole thing just truly upsets me, because this has been staring us in the face for years and we should have been working on this for the last 30 or 40 years. We would have had time then to put in place an infastructure to handle multiple energy methods, bu no we have literally put all of our eggs in this basket. And the basket is being dropped as we speak. NOPE, we will just wait until it is too late. That time is now. I have soooo much more I can say, but I want to know who wants to hear more. I have a short essay that goes into the repercussions of this moment of peak oil. It is going to happen, and it could lead to the end of the world as we know it. Remember history. When faced with challenges to National Security, what do nations do????? Trust me, we didn't go to Iraq to free the poor people of that nation. Honestly, we would be in hundreds of countries because the better part of the world is repressed. However, the better part of the world doesn't sit on the third largest known oil reserves in the world. My point is that when faced with a matter of national security, the answer has always been war, and more war. Oil is National Security, and the US will run rampant to secure the last few drops because our political structure is so shortsided that your kids do not really play into the equation. This is why I beg all of you to follow up on this with me. I just want you to all see the web of reality that is there, so you know what you need to do to be prepared. Comment to this post if you want to know more of the story. I will keep updating events for all of you, like it or not.

This is Scary...

1,200 personal files stolen from Comcast

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) - Comcast Cable Company has started notifying some of its Lane County customers about a possible identity theft problem.

Last week, a Comcast employee's car was stolen from Valley River Center. And 12-hundred files from Comcast customers personal information were in the trunk of the car.

The files included names, social security numbers, driver's license numbers and dates of birth.

Comcast told The Register-Guard that Comcast is offering free credit monitoring services to customers whose files were stolen.

They also will offer victims a $50,000 dollar identity theft insurance policy to ensure no one loses money as a result of the theft.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Thursday, May 12, 2005


The Lego Land Website has a cute 3 part movie of, "Star Wars, the story of Anakin Skywalker," done with Legos. Sit the kids down and let them watch. Jolene was kind enough to tell me about the website.

Mike

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Go Yanks

The Wines Family
All that talk about the Yanks stinking bad...well forget it...GO YANKEES!

Monday, May 09, 2005

Mall_aise

A simply fantastic photo essay taken in the Eugene-Springfield area.

Check it out!


Mike

Friday, May 06, 2005

Buy your own LightSaber!

They have some really nice lightsabers at this website. The are pretty darn spendy but the craftsmanship looks excellent!

Mike

Why the Yankees Stink...Go Cards!

The Wines Family
The Yankees made the decision to spend an enormous amount of money on big bats. Of course you want to have big bats in the line-up, but baseball is more than big bats. What the Yankees have neglected is pitching.

The Yankees have been wise with how they have spent their money on hitters. We have both young and old players, complimenting each other. There are fast players, singles hitters, power hitters, and role players. However, the way they have spent money on pitching is just plain silly, and they are paying the price right now. The Yankees starting pitchers, who are payed very well, are OLD. Sure Randy Johnson is a great pitcher, but the man is old. He is not going to give you a complete game shutout anymore. He will give you six solid innings, but after that, his arm would fall off. The same goes for Kevin Brown...Carl Pavono is just lame...and the rest of the starting staff really.

Enter the middle relief. If you have a bunch of old starters, wouldn't it make sense to spend some decent money on middle relief? You know your starters won't make it for the entire game. Therefore, it stands to reason that you would want some really quality middle relievers to come in and finish the job. This, sadly, is not the case. The middle relievers come in and blow it. This has left the Yankees in a predicament. Should they leave these old guys in there, risking injury and fatigue, or hand the ball over to someone who can't keep the lead?

The bats haven't been great, but they will come around. The pitching however, will never be what you would expect it to be considering the dollars that are spent there.

Go Cardinals!

Love, Dave

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Worldwide Free Internet TV


Click on the link below for a website portal containing over 900 live tv stations from around the world. The stations I tested required either RealPlayer or Windows Media Player. Goes without saying that a broadband connection is required.

Earth TV