Friday, January 29, 2010

Kermit's X-Ray Reveals A Harsh Reality

After a recent doctor's visit, Kermit's x-ray appears to have revealed a congenital condition that we all knew existed, but he always refused to believe!

-- Posted from Frank's iPhone

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

New Toy?

I encountered this amazing device this past weekend. It's the Dyson AirBlade! You place your wet hands in the device, and it blows high speed currents of air on both sides of your hands to dry them quickly!

I own a Dyson vacuum, and it is awesome! The Dyson brand really has their act together when it comes to ingenuity and design!

Anyway, back to the AirBlade... I was absolutely impressed with how quickly it dried my hands! Very innovative! I instantly had to show Jimmy and told him I wanted one for the house...

Tragically, I discovered that a Dyson AirBlade will cost some $1500! My heart was broken, and I was devastated!

Oh well... No new toy for now... Just need to try my luck with the lottery!

-- Posted from Frank's iPhone

Friday, January 22, 2010

Futon Finally Fixed

This is what has become to our futon during the peak of the dogs' seperation anxiety. They tore the cover to shreds! The futon also constantly slips down due to the dogs always jumping on and off it as the window behind the futon is their favorite spot to view the front yard when Jimmy and I are gone during the day.

Just in today from the Internet, a Futton Gripper, which supposedly will prevent the futon from slipping in the future. We'll see how effective it is in the coming days and weeks.

New cover now on the futon in conjunction with the new futon gripper... Hopefully the dogs are over their need to destroy it!

-- Posted from Frank's iPhone

In My Case, Only Hindsight Is 20/20

So I finally had my eyes checked today for some new glasses and new contacts. The last time I visited the optometrist was early in 2007.

My eye sight has never been particularly good, and today’s visit certainly confirmed that! When I had my glasses off, I was asked to read the smallest line on the eye chart that I could clearly see. I couldn’t see any lines. In fact, I knew that the top of the eye chart was a big “E,” but I couldn’t even see that! It appeared to be a very blurry “8.”

It turned out that my vision had not really deteriorated much over the last 3 years, but nonetheless, it had a bit. Hopefully when it stops getting worse, I can simply opt for laser corrective surgery and be done with glasses and contact altogether.

I went ahead and chose very similar Oakley frames to the Oakley’s I’ve owned for the last 3 years. I’ve found them to be extremely light-weight and more comfortable than others I’ve had in the past. My current glasses already have an anti-reflective coating, but I also went ahead and added the photochromic transitional coating to the new frames too.

After the eye dilation, I had to run home asap to preemptively take some Frova to prevent the migraine that I was going to inevitably get after having a bright light in my eyes!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Vox Populi

Vox Populi – The Voice of the People – The Essence of Democracy!

de⋅moc⋅ra⋅cy [di-mok-ruh-see]
–noun, plural -cies.
1. government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.
2. a state having such a form of government: The United States and Canada are democracies.
3. a state of society characterized by formal equality of rights and privileges.
4. political or social equality; democratic spirit.
5. the common people of a community as distinguished from any privileged class; the common people with respect to their political power.

The Supreme Court is holding a rare Thursday session today:
The Supreme Court will meet in an unusual session on Thursday to issue opinions, raising the possibility that a closely watched campaign finance case could be handed down.

The high court normally schedules its sessions months in advance, and does not say in advance which opinions will be issued.

The decision will presumably be Citizens United v. FEC. The decision will determine whether it is constitutional to ban corporations from running electioneering ads in the period right before an election, which currently banned under McCain-Feingold. In arguments, however, the case evolved into a question of whether the entire ban on direct corporate donations to candidates (in place since 1972 under the Federal Election Campaign Act) is constitutional.

And judging how the case has been argued and the questions the justices have asked, it appears that the Supreme Court is going to side with corporations, transforming our democracy instantly. Campaign finance reform as relates to corporations will be dead, and the voice of the people will be silenced. As if it isn’t already absolutely grotesque, corporations will now have even a stronger hold on our government. They will truly “own” our country and our “representatives.”

Worst of all… most people will never know this! Our sorry excuse of news media in this country is more concerned about John Edwards’ affair and love-child with his mistress than covering this case and what the implications of the impending decision will have on our democracy. Excessive corporate power and greed is the foundation of our current economic situation. And the media doesn't cover this, perhaps because corporations own them too. That's the problem!!!

Here’s a quick excerpt from Tony E. Hansen on the power of corporations prior to this decision (not even taking into consideration how much more power they will have after the Supreme Court decision)
Why are Americans so willing to let large, gluttonous corporations run the country or willing to give those corporations incentives that small businesses do not get? The United States was founded upon principles of individual liberty and representative power. Yet, we implicitly protect the ability of companies to make decisions about our lives without them being accountable to those decisions or caring what the consequences are if we let them get too big. We are willing to give incentives to the largest of these in order to somehow generate business and presumably jobs. Yet, by giving these larger entities advantages over small businesses (e.g. tax breaks, build parking lots, or advertising their name on public arenas), we crowd out competition and virtually help to monopolize the market away from meaningful chances to have local businesses that can compete with these larger entities.

We are collectively willing to argue about trivial political issues or the “correct” candidate in Washington. Yet, many of the issues today are embedded in corporations with supra-national interests (which incidentally can fund campaigns far better than the average middle-class American). We get excited and entice large corporations that are “too large to fail” rather than local workers interests or the small businesses that keep local downtown areas functioning. Campaigns are rife with irony from corporate foundations about a so-called need for low taxes and proper business climate while the corporation continues to move jobs to foreign markets and the corporations turn downtowns into ghost towns.

If one thinks about this, we seem willing to trade our representation rights for “the invisible hand” of corporate influences. Have we been duped into thinking that we can control these entities through the election of Manchurian candidates? Seemingly, these candidates have there hands in the cookie jar from the corporations. (Think of how energy policy and financial deregulations were written by the companies that were to be supposedly governed.)

We are no longer investing in ourselves but instead we have been and are steadily funding our global competitors by helping them build manufacturing sectors, information technology, transportation systems and a middle class. As a prime example, the bridge collapse in Minneapolis shows the result of mostly unelected, elite power rings getting rich through decisions that avoid investing in their community. While they move out the resources, move out the jobs, evade their share of taxes, or build foreign factories, the infrastructure and middle class within the United States literally collapses around us since the investments (that we used to keep domestically) are going foreign. They mask the problem as government mismanagement, but instead, domestic governments have been pursued by corporations to build for foreign corporations (rather than local business) and to provide them with tax abatements rather than to encourage existing local development or to provide basic government services. We have let them shape the debate about health care, financial derivatives, energy policy and labor issues in terms that best fit their interests and their agendas rather than the public good.

The time is now to reclaim our government from interests that do not invest in our country or our society. We need to break up the largest corporations because we can not let a potential corporate giant failure mean catastrophic depression for the rest of us.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Cindy McCain Joins the NOH8 Campaign

Today the NOH8 campaign protesting California's Proposition 8 announced a new high-profile Republican supporter: John McCain's wife, Cindy McCain. NOH8 is a photo project in which subjects are photographed wearing white, against a white background, with their mouths taped shut and "NOH8" painted on their faces. McCain's daughter Meghan McCain, a vocal proponent of marriage equality, posed for NOH8 last summer.

The NOH8 website posted the following note, along with McCain's photo, expressing the campaign's surprise and appreciation that she decided to join the cause.
In the year since we've started the NOH8 Campaign, we've been surprised at some of the different individuals who have approached us showing their support. Few, though, have surprised us more than Cindy McCain--the wife of Senator John McCain and mother to vocal marriage equality advocate Meghan McCain. The McCains are one of the most well-known Republican families in recent history, and for Mrs. McCain to have reached out to us to offer her support truly means a lot. Although we had worked with Meghan McCain before and we were aware of her own position, we'd never really thought the cause might be something her mother could get behind.

Aligning yourself with the platform of gay marriage as a Republican still tends to be very stigmatic, but Cindy McCain wanted to participate in the campaign to show people that party doesn't matter - marriage equality isn't a Republican issue any more than it is a Democratic issue. It's about human rights, and everybody being treated equally in the eyes of the law that runs and protects this country.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

One Of My Favorite iPhone Apps

RedLaser is an amazing iPhone App! You to scan a UPC barcode, then RedLaser instantly searches for the lowest local and online prices. Genius!

I downloaded the RedLaser App a couple months ago, but only recently really began using it. The app itself cost me $1.99, but has already saved me $30 on just one purchase!

My dogs (my baby boys) love Greenies! I was paying over $30 for each box, but RedLaser found a website selling them for only $22! Sure, it's only $8 savings per box, but my dogs go through at least 2 boxes a month, so the savings certainly add up very quickly!

If you own an iPhone, I highly recommend the RedLaser App! I promise that you'll love it!

-- Posted from Frank's iPhone

Mass Backwards

So for anyone keeping up on politics, tonight’s the night of the Massachusetts special election to fill the late Senator Edward “Ted” Kennedy’s seat. Democrat Martha Coakley, originally thought to have this Senate seat in the bag just weeks ago, is expected to lose to Republican Scott Brown.

So why is this of any importance to anyone not living in Massachusetts? If (when) Coakley loses, it will mean an end to the Democrats’ short 60 seat hold in the Senate, making it possible for Republicans to complete obstruct nearly everything in the Senate with a filibuster. Democrats fear that this could endanger the health care bill.

Leave it to John Stewart to put this into proper prospective – "If this lady loses, the health care reform bill that the beloved late senator considered his legacy, will die. And the reason it will die... is because if Coakley loses, Democrats will only have an 18 vote majority in the Senate, which is more than George W. Bush ever had in the Senate when did whatever the fuck he wanted to."

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
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Monday, January 18, 2010

Egg in the Basket

I made this for the first time today after work for dinner. It's called an "egg in the basket," and it was fantastic! I don't know if I'll ever want an egg any other way!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Top Three Movies and TV Shows in 2009

These are the top three movies and TV series I watched in 2009, not necessarily movies or TV shows that came out in 2009.

Top Three Movies:

This film is centered on the character of Zachary Beaulieu growing up in Québec of the 1960s and 1970s. He is the second-youngest son of a pretty conservative father and a mother who thinks that he possesses a gift to cure people. Being raised with four other brothers, Zac struggles to define his own identity, and deal with the conflict between his emerging sexuality and his intense desire to please his strict, temperamental and conservative father.

Assassination of a High School President
Wanting to be a respected high school reporter, Bobby Funke's sets out on tracking down and publishing a story on a set of stolen SATs. After he suspects the school president for the crime, Funke becomes one of the most popular kids at St. Donovan's High. Funke wins the respect of everyone at the school. As Funke's popularity grows so do his suspicions. He begins to wonder if the president really stole the SATs or if he's just a pawn in a conspiracy.

Constantine’s Sword
The title page of this film shows the shadow of a cross, with "No war is holy" written across the cross. Constantine’s Sword is the story of James P. Carroll's journey to uncover the roots of war. Carroll, a former Catholic priest whose father, Joseph Carroll, was a famous Air Force general, implies that there has been a relationship between religiously inspired violence and war, beginning with the adoption of Christianity by the Roman Emperor Constantine I in 312 AD. Constantine was convinced that he had won a battle because he had followed the instructions of a vision, to inscribe a sign of the cross on the shields of his soldiers. This was also the first time in the young history of Christianity that the cross became a symbol of Christianity. In Carroll's view, this event marked the beginning of an unholy alliance between the military and the Church.

Top 3 TV Shows:

30 Rock
This show is comedy series that takes place behind the scenes of a fictional live sketch comedy series depicted as airing on NBC. The name "30 Rock" refers to the address of the GE Building where NBC Studios is located, 30 Rockefeller Plaza.

The storyline of this show centers on the residents of Jericho, a small, rural Kansas town, in the aftermath of nuclear attacks on 23 major cities in the United States.

This follows the day to day events of Dexter Morgan's life, a forensic blood splatter analyst for the Miami Metro Police Department, who also happens to be a serial killer in his free time. He was taught by his adoptive father, Harry, only to kill those "who deserve it"; mainly, other killers who have escaped the traditional legal system or were never suspected in the first place. It shows him balancing an everyday life with his secret identity all while keeping up a facade of normalcy.