Thursday, April 19, 2018

No longer funny

After seeing a poll I saw where over half did not know, I asked my daughter if she knew what Auschwitz is. She correctly guessed what it is as well as knowing what the Holocaust is.

I then showed her the pic I took at Windycon 2008 (that I posted to this blog at that time) where dressed as the Blues Brothers, we ran across a group of people in fake Nazi outfits as the con theme was military and there was an anime with a similar dressed group. When it happened, everyone was laughing and wanting to take pics of us due to the irony of the situation and it was fun.

My confused daughter asked me why I would be posting a picture with anyone looking like a Nazi. I then had to explain what happened in the movie and the crazy timing of the situation.

For most of my life, Nazis have been displayed in movies and on TV as bumbling idiots like Col. Klink, Franz Liebrind, and the unnamed leader played by Henry Gibson in the Blues Brothers or psychopaths like Dr. Strangelove and Dr. Krieger and are designed to be funny but things have changed since that November evening almost 10 years ago.

Multiple times over the last 10 years, a president was displayed in pictures as wearing the mustache sported by the Nazi leader by those who were unhappy with what he is.

Inspired by the 2016 election, people started to proudly march and rally displaying that flag along with the Confederate one proclaiming that they will overcome as well as seeing the US president attempt the same things that were done to bring the Nazi party into power in the 1930s.

Those references and events have made many including me realize that the Nazi party is not really funny anymore and thinking about it, it should have never been. Today, the encounter that happened in 2008 would likely not happen since today con staff would hopefully ask those in the Nazi type costumes to change or leave. To be honest, it is better this way.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Another reading from the book of work

It was an unusually cold early April morning and the frost on his car reminded the Madman of the time a coworker who fell hook, line, and sinker for the non plausible concepts of a creator and everlasting salvation decided to draw holy symbols on the frost of his car thinking that it would melt before he saw it.

Though a former coworker, he works for a supplier of materials and he happened to stop by the same day. To avoid confrontation, the Madman ignored him and continued with his work but while passing him, the former coworker queried,

"How did you celebrate the resurrection of ourLord and savior Jesus Christ last Sunday?"

Had the question been worded respectfully or even not by him, a courteous reply would have been given. However, the Madman, who was expecting that ignorant question, was ready and immediately stated, "My friends and I sacrificed a baby to Satan then drank its blood."

These are the words of the Madman.

There can’t be a “god”

Friday, March 30, 2018

Outthinking myself

One of the biggest things I noticed about fantasy football players who fail is their reluctance to take players from teams they despise or to play those going against their favorite team. Many times I have taken players from teams I hate and have them in the lineup against the Dolphins especially since the team has mostly not been good this century.

Due to an offer to try to get players to play other sports than football, I have a free entry for a game that corresponds with this years Masters golf tournament. My first thought is that I am only going to take right handed golfers from the northern hemisphere whose country speaks English that are not named Tiger Woods since that is who I root for in tournaments.

I then looked at the list of champions and realized that of the last 21 Masters, 18 of them were won by either a left handed golfer, someone from the southern hemisphere, someone from outside the US, or Tiger Woods. Not having any of them in my lineup would likely cause me to not win even though 8 of the top 20 players on the site (as well as 37 of the 87 in the event) fall in my preference.

I then entered a lineup with those I don't want to see win. I was seriously considering putting Tiger Woods in the lineup even though I really don't want him to win but his game cost was higher than I was willing to pay and went with a different option.

During the round on Friday, my lineup was in the top .5% of entries but by the time the tournament ended, I was out of the money barely in the top third. Ironically, the top three finishers of the event were right handed and from the US. The last time this happened was in 1998 when the top 7 (including 58 year old Jack Nicklaus) were right handed from the US and Tiger Woods tied for 8th.

Friday, March 23, 2018

christmas has changed

For a decade, the sci-fi convention known as Marscon was referred to as my christmas and I have posted in the past explaining why.

What would see to happen every year is that in late January/early February, things at my job would go haywire and there would be a 2-3 week period where everything I did turned out wrong.

Last year, that did not happen except for when I sprained my knee the weekend before the event which I did not attend.

This year, the problems that happened at that time in the past did not happen.

Last Monday, I woke very stiff in my upper right side of the back and could barely turn my head. Had another coworker not been on vacation, I would have considered calling in sick. The whole week has turned into an exercise of futility. Four of the five days, my break was interrupted because someone else needed my help with something and there are times I feel like I can't do anything right.

What does all this mean? The major disc golf event I play is in 6 weeks which is about the same time frame things happened bad before Marscon. So yes, my christmas in 2018 will be in Indiana in May and not Minnesota in March.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

How to stop those who kill many

Too many times recently have there been stories about people trying and occasionally succeeding in killing multiple people. I have realized that every person who attempts to kill others has three common facets.

1) The desire to kill. Whether the victims are random or specific, all who choose to kill want to do so. Every person who attempts to kill either one person or a group of people makes a conscious decision to do so and once that choice is made and actions are taken, there is no turning back. Many who do that have an escape plan or an alibi but that does not always work.

Preventing the desire would require a world where there is no desire to kill as well as recognition, treatment, and possibly preventative actions towards those whom seem likely to do so. That would require a complete change in society to fully work.

2) The opportunity to kill. A highly trained soldier has fallen to a person who had the benefit of surprise. There are many places where people gather in life where a person with the correct equipment could easily kill many.

Preventing the opportunity would require that all public places where many could gather be closely monitored at all times to prevent one person or a small group of attackers from being successful. Doing that fully would turn the country into a police state.

3) The equipment to kill. Many can kill one or two people quickly under the correct circumstances with only their bare hands or a simple hand weapon but killing many requires something more. Though bombs and vehicles have been used, guns have been the most popular choice in the US due to technology and availability since other methods that succeeded became regulated and more difficult to use shortly afterward.

Limiting access to guns with the capability of killing many in a short time has been done in many countries with positive results and seems to be the most easily attainable of the three solutions.

Monday, March 19, 2018

The time to post is now

I initially wrote this two years ago and decided today to edit to make it current and post.

While driving in March 2016, was listening to the Devo Spice Manic Mondays podcasts from the previous couple of weeks which included the episode featuring the Logan Award winners which were presented the first weekend of March. My daughter's mood turned sour and she later confessed that it was from the result because Insane Ian's #1 song from the Dr. Demento Show, Benedict Cumberbatch, did not win. I was also wanting it to win as well.

I then explained how I agreed with only one of the twelve winners from the previous four years and what I thought should have won instead and then explained four reasons why winners might be different since I have heard many former jurors and people who make nominations talk about their ideas with voting as well as the votes themselves with follow jurors when I was one of them.

1: A track can be eligible for a song as well as a video.

I have heard people state they would not feel comfortable voting for the video and the song it is from and have to decide which one. That situation has likely split the vote for a song preventing either from winning. I have experienced only one track from this decade which I felt was worthy of the award for both the song and the video and it won neither likely due to this situation.

2. The same artist can have multiple deserving entries in the same category.

I have also heard jurors state they feel obligated to vote for only one song per category per artist. Once again, it can split the vote among numerous songs from the same artist.

3. Jurors can vote for less than five songs in a category.

I had that issue when as a juror as I felt obligated to select five for each category and had to decide between entries that I felt were lesser than others.

Since all votes are equal voting for fewer makes those that get votes count more.

4. There is only one round of voting.

I have heard active jurors state they were waiting for the second round of voting among those in the top five.

I am not saying the winners are not deserving of their award but these points should be mentioned to future jurors to make sure their votes reflect their opinion on the nominees and not the procedure within them.

Soon the jurors will need to listen to a lot of songs and watch a lot of videos and I know how difficult that is. I wish them good luck.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Family circus driving #13

I am proud of my daughter in that she is willing to donate blood which is something that scared me when I was her age. Granted, her donations helps fill her community service graduation requirement but as someone who had to stop donating a few years ago (and wishes he would have been able to donate more than he did), I am glad she is able to do so.


The blue filled line is the GPS directed path to take to the center which is located just west of Stratford Square Mall. The yellow line at the bottom of the picture is Illinois route 64 also known as North Avenue.

According to my daughter who was frantically texting me since they were lost and worried about missing her appointment, they ended up on North Avenue TWICE.

They got there before the center closed and since her blood is on the thin side, like me, the donation went fast.

The last two days have been difficult for me due to many reasons I am not going to state. The desire to do something instinctive which can't be undone is significant. I can picture them happening as I often consciously and unconsciously have done in the past.

There are things that people do to avoid acting on their instincts. I just have to do that today just as I have done in the past without hurting myself as well.