Monthly Archives: August 2012

Yet another shooting. Is anyone safe?

(AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

The Associated Press: Ex-Marine kills 2, self at NJ supermarket.

Early this morning, an ex-Marine in combat fatigues entered a New Jersey grocery store and opened fire on 12 to 14 workers who were still there during the early morning hours.

Oddly enough, the shooter, Terence Tyler, was an employee of the supermarket who had just completed his shift a half hour earlier.

Tyler killed two people, including an 18-year-old woman and a 24-year-old man, and then turned the gun on himself. And yes, he was successful in committing suicide, too.

No one really knows what caused Tyler to react this way, but some surviving co-workers have described him as someone who gave off an “uneasy vibe.”

This and all the recent shootings we have experienced lately, like the one in Aurora, Colorado, convince me of one fundamental truth: No one is safe.

I hate that it’s come to this, but I urge you all to be as careful as possible in every situation. You just never know when someone is going to lose it and start taking out their problems on others, and with guns no less. Protect yourselves and be wary. The next shooter could be almost anyone.

Winona Ryder has eyelids removed

Winona Ryder, Venice Film …

Photo By Elisabetta A. Villa/Wireimage

Winona Ryder at the Venice Film Festival | Photo Gallery – Yahoo! Movies.

In picture after picture at the Venice Film Festival, where she’s been promoting her new film “The Iceman,” actress Winona Ryder looks as if her eyelids have been surgically removed.

In every photograph, Winona appears to be scared to death or otherwise shocked. And I do mean every photograph.

I love Winona Ryder and have since I saw her in films like “Heathers” and “Beetlejuice.” This is just weird, though.

Perhaps she’s grown more accustomed to mug shots being taken of her rather than paparazzi photos? After all, we know she likes to shop!

Okay… that may have been in poor taste.

Dirty and incoherent Harry?


Harry Callahan, played by Clint Eastwood

Harry Callahan, played by Clint Eastwood (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In defense of Clint Eastwood: He was weird, but fantastic | The Ticket – Yahoo! News.

I absolutely love Clint Eastwood. His films have filled my life with joy, action and pure entertainment. He is a talented actor, an amazing director, a skilled musician and an all-around great guy.

Should he be speaking in front of large groups as he did last night at the Republican National Convention? Maybe not.

If you were watching, then you likely noticed that most of Clint’s speech was incoherent. He’s 82 years old, so what can you expect?

Then he veered to the dramatic and started to have an imaginary conversation with President Obama, using an empty chair to represent our nation’s leader.

People were applauding but honestly, it was incredibly strange and surreal. Of course, the entire convention has been like that, so perhaps he was a good choice after all.

I wonder what will happen when the Democrats get together in Charlotte next week?

Bad man! Bad man!

Property of ABC News

Chicago Man Saves Daughter From Abduction Attempt – Yahoo! News.

Kelly Davis is a resident of Zion, Illinois and the father of two beautiful daughters. Occasionally, they visit Chicago at night to enjoy all the city has to offer. But things took a turn for the worst during their last trip to the Windy City.

As Davis’ daughters were playing on the slide outside the Picasso statue in Daley Plaza, a strange man named James Gates approached.

Davis noticed that Gates was paying no attention to him, but instead seemed focused on his two-year-old daughter, Myla. Davis immediately got between Gates and his brood, but that’s when Gates attacked.

He tried reaching around Davis to grab Myla and kept insisting she was his daughter, who he nicknamed Goldilocks. As Davis’ wife rushed the girls to safety, Davis took a shot to the nose moments before Gates strolled away. A bystander immediately contacted police.

Davis followed Gates for almost half an hour until police arrived and arrested him. He will be charged with kidnapping with the threat of force (a felony) and a misdemeanor battery.

I’m a fairly new parent, my son is only five years old, but this is one of my biggest fears. When he’s with me, I keep a very close eye on him, but I won’t always be there to help. And although we’ve talked about what to do when a stranger approaches, my boy is still very trusting of everyone he encounters. So I find myself in a constant state of worry.

I commend Mr. Davis for doing what needed to be done to protect his family. And given the same situation, I’m fairly certain that Gates would have received the ass kicking of a lifetime, too.

Parenting is tough and I wasn’t prepared for the constant fear it brings. My advice to all parents is to take the steps necessary to educate your kids about these types of threats. And please do what I do: commit yourself to protecting children regardless of whether or not they belong to you.

Good girls gone bad

(Photo via Twitter/Selena Gomez)

‘Spring Breakers’ Clip: Good girls Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens go bad | Movie Talk – Yahoo! Movies.

It looks like some more child stars, including some Disney goody-goodies, are transitioning into more mature fare. And I couldn’t be happier.

Check out this photo of former Wizards of Waverly Place” star Selena Gomez, along with other well-known young actresses like Vanessa Hudgens, “Glee” star Heather Morris and Ashley Benson from “Pretty Little Liars.”

The ladies will be starring in “Spring Breakers,” a film starring James Franco and written and directed by “Kids” creator Harmony Korine. And if you’ve ever seen “Kids,” you know this will definitely be an adult-oriented film with some very mature themes.

I know. I can hardly wait, either.

Clay Aiken: Racist?

English: Singer Clay Aiken

Singer Clay Aiken (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

John Rich Takes Clay Aiken To Task For ‘Racist’ Tweet | Our Country NEW – Yahoo! Music.

As if there weren’t enough reason to dislike former “American Idol” contestant Clay Aiken already, now comes a story that should definitely seal the deal.

In a recent Tweet, Aiken made the following comment while watching the Republican National Convention: “Playing drinking game with my brother now. We drink every time we see a black person on screen at the RNC convention. #soberasamormon.”

Fortunately, his former “Celebrity Apprentice” co-star and country singer John Rich chimed in to help Aiken see the error of his ways: “CLAY! You should be ashamed for racist comments like THAT! WOW.” He noted, “I wonder how long it will be till @clayaiken takes that idiotic post down. Clay, you’re better than that…I hope.”

I know Clay Aiken is only a minor celebrity, and should feel fortunate to even have that going for him, but when are these “stars” going to realize that everything they do or say is subject to public scrutiny?

I’m not even famous and I make a conscious effort to watch what I say, especially in public forums like this. Granted, no one really cares if I put my foot in my mouth, but at least I make the effort. Whether or not I pull it off is another story.

Shame on you, Clay Aiken.

Racism at the RNC


English: Racism photo

Racism photo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Race incident sees Republican convention expulsions – Yahoo! News.

Although I am a registered Democrat and will be voting for President Obama in November, I always tune in to hear what Republicans are up to. And today, I heard about this racism incident, which is “deplorable” by almost anyone’s standards. I say “almost” because I’m sure racists got a kick out of it.

Apparently, two attendees at the Republican National Convention were ejected for tossing nuts at a black CNN camera woman and declaring that “this is how we feed animals.”

And given Mitt Romney‘s struggles in receiving support from the African-American community, this is he absolute last thing he needs at this point in his presidential campaign.

Thankfully, RNC officials acted quickly and removed the racist attendees, but I’m afraid the damage had already been done.

Again, I won’t be voting for Romney in November, but I sincerely hope he won’t be judged for the actions of some bad Republican apples. Despite his faults, this is something Mitt certainly doesn’t deserve.

Good Phish, Bad Phish

Phish (album)

Phish (album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Anyone who knows me or has read my blog knows that I was once a HUGE Deadhead. That’s right. I had the ponytail, the tie-dye clothing, the sandals… you name it. And I absolutely adored the Grateful Dead. Attending a concert was like entering a state of nirvana. You were suddenly surrounded by brothers and sisters, all with a common purpose: to soak up every minute of the music and the experience. But that’s a story for another day.

Then in 1990, keyboardist Brent Mydland died of a drug overdose. Five years later, the hammer dropped when legendary guitarist and vocalist Jerry Garcia passed on. This signaled the beginning of the end, and by 1998, the Grateful Dead was no more.

Deadheads—and I’m talking about the hardcore fans that traveled with the band year-round—now had no one to follow. Their lives effectively over, they went looking for another band to fill the void and to give their lives meaning again. And they found salvation in Phish. The good Phish.

Flash to 1995. This is the year when a different “Phish”—a very bad Phish—first came into existence. I’m talking about the cyber scam where scumbag hackers obtain personal information from unsuspecting victims by posing as legitimate businesses or web sites in electronic communication, primarily through emails. Between 2004 and 2005, “phishing” robbed people of roughly $930 million. Some have estimated that US businesses alone lose several billion dollars each year to phishing. Billions of dollars.

I have been the victim of phishing before—once—and I can tell you it’s a TREMENDOUS HASSLE in every possible way. You have to change passwords, cancel credit cards, destroy checks, obtain temporary debit cards, close and reopen accounts, and basically take it up the… well, you know. Then everything resets within three to seven weeks when your new cards and checks arrive. And if you’re lucky, you won’t have to contact the credit bureaus, which is a delight, I assure you.

English: Frame of an animation by the U.S. Fed...

English: Frame of an animation by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Although I know a little about computers and can do more than the basics, I have no clue how phishing works. I envision sneaky little hackers holed up in a basement somewhere, pounding Red Bull and Adderall, and robbing people of their livelihoods. All the while spending their “winnings” on the latest hoodie fashions or blow-up sex dolls they can call “girlfriends” and share during phishing breaks. Bastards.

Someday, you a-holes will get what’s coming to you. It might not be me or even someone like me who cross your path, but someone will catch up with you and deliver our collective vengeance. And when they do, I hope you finally realize the error of your ways. It truly is a shame. Imagine the good you could do by using your hacking skills for good rather than evil. What a terrible waste.

I’m happy to say that I survived my one and only phishing attack. And I still like the band Phish, too. So things worked out in the end. Of course, we’re not at the end, are we? Eventually, we all get duped, and I’m sure it will even happen to me again. All we can do in the meantime is to protect ourselves as much as possible, mostly by protecting our personal information. Of course, there is a way to guarantee you never fall victim to cyber crime or scams like phishing.

Stop using computers. And I don’t know anyone who is willing to do that.

Get off my island!

View of the town of San Juan Bautista from sea

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Australian Government Votes Man Off Island – Yahoo!.

More than twenty years ago, businessman David Glasheen leased a third of Restoration Island, Australia, with the intention of building a resort there. Unfortunately, things didn’t work out.

The stock market crash of the late 1980s robbed him of millions and alas, there would be no resort. But that didn’t stop Glasheen.

He’s spent the last twenty years living on the island with only his dog and a freaky mannequin. A modern-day Robinson Crusoe. Not for long, though.

The Australian government wants its land back. And since building a resort was part of Glasheen’s lease agreement, he will likely be sent packing soon.

I can certainly understand where the Australian government is coming from, but I have a solution that might suit both parties. The land, of course, should be returned to Australia and thus available for development. However, a small tract of land in a remote area should be given to Glasheen so he can continue living there.

Once a resort has been constructed and guests start visiting, stories of the island’s wild resident could be intentionally circulated as a marketing ploy. Trips to his “native habitat” could also be arranged at two-hour intervals, with reservations available year-round. Furthermore, Glasheen could even be employed and provided with some basic acting training so he can really “sell it” when tourists are near.

Sounds like a money-maker to me…

Deaf preschooler asked to change his name

School asks deaf preschooler to change his sign language name | The Lookout – Yahoo! News.

Here’s a story that could go down in the “ridiculous beyond belief” file.

The Grand Island Public School system in Nebraska has asked a deaf preschooler to change his sign language name because it resembles a weapon and violates school policy.

Hunter Spanjer, 3, has registered his name with S.E.E. (Signing Exact English). When he signs it, the gesture vaguely resembles someone shooting two pistols, even though his fingers are crossed.

Come on. The kid’s name is “Hunter,” for goodness sake.

What’s worse is that other, non-deaf children can make the “real” gesture in school and not get caught unless a teacher sees them. By contrast, this represents Hunter’s identity. How can it be wrong?

School administrators are currently working on a solution with Hunter’s parents, but I tell you this: if I were his parents, I would have to sue the school. Maybe not for cash, which is in short supply in our educational system, but certainly for the right for Hunter to be himself.

After all, isn’t the poor child at enough of a disadvantage?

I sometimes have to shake my head and wonder about the world we’ve created for ourselves, my fellow humans. And I shake my head a lot!

%d bloggers like this: