Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A waste of years

Michelle Bachmann is giving up. She's done. She's leaving Congress at the end of her present term. This is the best news I've heard in a long time.

"the law limits anyone from serving as president of the United States for more than 8 years ... in my opinion, well, 8 years is also long enough for an individual to serve as a representative for a specific congressional district."

Michelle Bachmann, March 2013 (link)

Bachmann, in her time in Congress, leaves no legislative impact to speak of. Instead of helping our nation, she made it her mission to obstruct, obscure, and mislead her fellow Americans, all in the name of Tea Party politics and religious fanaticism.  I believe nothing she says. She can't even give the real reason that she is quitting. She is an utter failure and a disgrace to our nation. We are better off without her. 

Now… ask me how I feel about this religious nutball… I can't wait for her next presidential bid. 


Monday, May 27, 2013

Gone with the Wynns

It is a lazy Memorial Day morning here in SoCal, so instead of working, I sat on the sofa and watched HGTV's House Hunters RV Edition while sipping a good cup of my wife's coffee. I watched as the Wynns selected a $200k beast of a RV to begin a year-long road trip. The Wynns have an interesting travel blog. I spent an hour of so reading and watching their YouTube channel. I found the whole experience interesting, so I though I would pass it along.

Here is a sample:

I've owned a trailer, which we used up and down California for camping, but never a RV. My preference is for small and efficient rather than large and bus-like.  

I also found the people who lost out to the Wynns while developing the TV show. They have an interesting blog too. Go Local Chow! It's all about the food baby. 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Christian's epic political fail

“I had a revelation when I was going to give up on this race. I had a dream. I know what I saw. A figure I can’t explain told me, ‘Don’t be afraid. I am your friend. I am walking with you side by side. You are not alone.’ I felt it was from heaven. It was an endorsement by Jesus.”

Anne Pierre - North Miami Mayoral candidate

She lost. Boy did she lose, with just 56 votes…

Read the full story here:  Florida Mayor Candidate Claims Jesus Endorsed Her, Gets Only 56 Votes, Loses To Gay Man by Elisabeth Parker. 

Crazy Bachmann quote #1

“When people realize that their most personal, sensitive, intimate, private health-care information is in the hands of the IRS that’s been willing to use people’s tax information against political opponents of this administration, then people have pause and they pull back in horror.”

— Bachmann, on ABC News/Yahoo, May 20

Read the full story here: Bachmann’s absurd claim of a vast IRS health database of ‘sensitive, intimate’ information by Glenn Kessler

No bail for child-killing parents

"He is incarcerated because of his faith" - Lawyer Bobby Hoof 

Bobby Hoof represents Herbert and Catherine Schaible, who lost a second child to faith healing. This time they are charged with third degree murder instead of manslaughter.  

The Schaible were denied bail by Common Please Judge Carolyn Engel Temin who stated, "It's very clear that the law says that religious freedom is trumped by the safety of a child."

Is this a murder case? In my opinion it is. When they were convicted of manslaughter in the death of their first child, they were placed on ten-years probation with the stipulation that their children receive supervised mandatory medical care. Instead, they allowed their newborn son to die without any medical care at all. The judge was right to deny them bail. They are a danger to their children and by extension, the children of their cult. 

I demand justice. I hope the jury convicts these child killers and the sentence is at least 25 years each. I hope that their children are placed in foster care and eventually placed in a good non-cult home. I know this one is unreasonable, but I would like to see both parents should sterilized too. They should never be allowed to have children again. 

See my previous posts:

A second Schaible child dies… (2013)

Herbert & Catherine Schaible convicted (2010)

Best Reddit quotes:

"They should pray for faith based bail." - Ivanmarsh

"Their faith based lawyer will pray their defense in." - thepdxbikerboy

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Photo: Girl on Hollywood Blvd

Girl on Black  1 of 1

Another shot from my travels around LA today. I liked the way she was lighted against the black background.

A pastor and his photos

Youth pastor Travor Jacob Fortner allegedly send photos of his allegedly diminutive little Fortner to a person he thought was a 14-year-old girl. Turns out it was a cop.    Fortner was a youth pastor at the Fifth Street Baptist Church in Levelland, Tx.
The U.S. Attorney’s office says that the detective, posing as the teenager named “Katy,” provided Fortner with a phone number and a new email address, and Fortner reportedly sent text messages to the number, including a picture of his face and a sexually explicit image. Authorities claim that Fortner also asked “Katy” to send him a “dirty pic” as well.
Source: Baptist youth minister Trevor Jacob Fortner charged with attempted enticement of a minor by Cole Shooter
Levelland is 30 miles Lubbock, a city already known as the Baptist pedophile capital of the USA. 
Fortner, now a former youth pastor, pleaded not guilty. I'm predicting a plea deal and a long prison sentence. 

Update. Travor Jacob Fortner pleaded guilty to possessing and distributing child pornography. 

Photo: Social Media

Social Media  1 of 1

I shot this today at The Grove in Los Angeles. This scene was repeated in front of every store. Men and their iPhones...

A pastor and his needs

Youth pastor Chris Allen Phillips was arrested for allegedly embezzling $80,000 from the Mechanicsville Advent Christian Church. Phillips was allegedly paying an ugly prostitute hush-money to cover up a $200 blowjob. He told police he had paid Tony Farnsworth $100,000. Phillips is an idiot. 

A church elder said this week that Phillips has been placed on leave without pay as the church's youth minister but declined further comment about why Phillips was relieved. Phillips told Hanover investigators that he paid Farnsworth as much as $100,000, according to a search warrant. His arrest Thursday night on the embezzlement charge indicates some portion of that money came from his church.

Source: Hanover pastor arrested for embezzling from church

Who pays $100,000 to an ugly hooker to cover up a blow job? Who steals $80,000 to cover a morals crime? Its like shooting a fly with a howitzer. But seriously, $200 for a blowjob? Phillips is out of his mind. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Atheist Hero Rep. Juan Mendez, D-Temp

Rep. Juan Mendez is an atheist hero for delivering a secular invocation at the Arizona House invocation on Tuesday.

A state lawmaker acknowledged that he is an atheist as he gave the daily House invocation Tuesday, urging legislators to look at each other, rather than bow their heads, and “celebrate our shared humanness.”

Rep. Juan Mendez, D-Tempe, who said it was freeing to be open about his secular views, also introduced about a dozen fellow members of the Secular Coalition for Arizona who watched from the House gallery.

Source: Arizona Lawmaker: I'm an atheist by Mark K. Reinhart.

It takes guts to come out as an elected official. Thank you Rep. Juan Mendez.

A pastor and his temper

Pastor Roberto Padilla was arrested for beating his wife. Padilla is the pastor at Pentecostal Mission Church in Storm Lake.

Roberto Padilla was arrested in March and charged with Domestic Assault Causing Injury, after allegedly striking his wife several times with his hand and kicking her, according to a police official. Padilla was released on bail a day after his arrest.

Church council officials said they will be meeting with Padilla in Storm Lake to discuss his future. He is currently the church's only pastor, but a council member said that violence is strictly forbidden.

Source: Arrested pastor raises church council concern


  • Why would you meet with a pastor who beat his wife? 
  • Why not just fire him? What is the church doing to help the alleged victim? 
  • Will the meeting be public? 
  • Will church members be able to attend? 
  • Will the results be published?

Transparence helps heal wounds. Just saying.

A pastor and his gun

Pastor Jay Shuck was arrested for pointing a loaded gun in the direction of his wife, daughter and two children, plus he hit a cop. 

Authorities say when they arrived at the scene the gun had been put away, but tell us they have cell phone footage of the incident.

MPD says Shuck struck an officer while being arrested and was Tased.

According to Facebook Shuck is the pastor at Parkview and United Methodist Church.

Source: MPD says pastor arrested after he pointed loaded gun at his family


  • Why is Jay Shuck still a pastor? 
  • Why is it important to point out the Shuck is a pastor? 
  • Why does a pastor have a gun anyway?

The gun ownership thing really bothers me. Did Jesus want his representative to own guns, and by extension threaten their families with violence and possible death? 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Senator Inhofe and disaster funding

It is ironic that a tornado leveled a city in Oklahoma, the home state of Republican fiscal hawk Jim Inhofe. The Senator has a long record of voting against disaster funding. How much do you want to bet the Inhofe will seek every possible dollar in aid for his people?

Sens. Jim Inhofe and Tom Coburn, both Republicans, are fiscal hawks who have repeatedly voted against funding disaster aid for other parts of the country. They also have opposed increased funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which administers federal disaster relief.

Late last year, Inhofe and Coburn both backed a plan to slash disaster relief to victims of Hurricane Sandy. In a December press release, Coburn complained that the Sandy Relief bill contained "wasteful spending," and identified a series of items he objected to, including "$12.9 billion for future disaster mitigation activities and studies."

Read more: Oklahoma Senators Jim Inhofe, Tom Coburn, Have Shaky Records On Disaster Relief

Hypocrisy comes in all forms.

As I write this they are pulling dead children out of Plaza Tower Elementary School. I'm not sure I can watch anymore. This is heartbreaking. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Check out this new documentary, A Devil in God's House

I found this documentary via a comment on my blog which invited me to speak at the premiere of the movie on July 13, in Chicago. I'll going to try and make it. 

A Devil in God's House

  • Director L'Tisha Vaughn
  • Writer: L'Tisha Vaughn
  • Stars: Samara Smith

The documentary is about clergy sexual abuse. The victim, now 34, is unable to press criminal charges, so she opted to tell her story of abuse as a child via a documentary.

The film is produced by Tiny Production, which looks like a worthwhile community venture too.

TPAC’s Can I Live Project invites Chicagoland youth to create original & positive staged & filmed works from Plays, Poetry & Spoken-Word, Dance Productions, Music Videos, Public Service Announcements and much more!!!! Check out our Tiny Production Works page to see works by TPAC students all across the city!!!!

How can you not love TPAC?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Spirit of Jezebel is bullshit

I've said it many times on this blog. When you assign behavior to an imaginary being, concept or demon, you enable the behavior. It is like saying that the devil made me do it, which is just a way of trying to escape direct responsibility for your actions. When a pastor has an affair, he is not guided by the Spirt of Jezebel. He's guided by his penis and a lack of impulse control. He has no character. 

Jennifer Leclaire seems intent of giving pastors an easy way out despite overwhelming evidence that these pastors are driven by base sexual and monitory desires. These people are simply not living up to the our expectations for their behavior. It's a common failing, and not driven by demon possession, or the influence of some nebulous spirit.

Jezebel is essentially a spirit of seduction that woos people into sexual immorality and idolatry. Jezebel comes to kill, steal and destory[sic[ by tempting you and then escorting you, willingly, into immorality and idolatry. Revelation 2:20 clearly reveals what the spirit of Jezebel is and its sinister motives. Jesus said, “Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.” We have a responsibility to resist the devil and he will flee. Jezebel is no exception but many continue falling because they don't see the big picture. Jezebel justifies the sins of immorality and idolary[sic] with a false doctrine of grace.
Source: Why Megachurch Pastor Keep falling into sexual Immorality by Jennifer Leclaire

My explanation is for this behavior is simple. People are not what they seem, even pastors. The true measure of any person is in what they do, and not in what they believe. A pastor who preaches morality and lives amorally, is a cancer who can never be trusted again.

I have another problem with the Spirit of Jezebel concept. It is a feminine label for sexual amoral behavior and represents a subtle shift towards blaming the woman instead of the man. To be clear, in a case of pastoral infidelity, there are often two people twho should be held accountable. The pastor fell, but so did his mistress. In the case of sexual abuse, it's all on the pastor.

At least Leclaire built an interesting list:

  • David Loveless, formerly of Discovery Church in Orlando - resigned over sex scandal 
  • Isaac Hunter, formerly of Summit Church - resigned over sex scandal.
  • Sam Hinn, formerly of Gathering Place Worship Center in Sandord, resigned over sex scandal. 

I could add a few more. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Moved to tears - Same Love

I heard this song for the first time today as I left my neighborhood this morning on the way to work. I was moved to tears.

Same Love - An absolutely beautiful song. Thank you Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Pastor Cedric Cuthbert arrested

Pastor Cedric Eugene Cuthbert of St. James African Methodist Episcopal Church in Sanford, was arrested for watching child porn on his work computer while at work. Cuthbert was allegedly alternating between writing his Easter sermon and watching videos of young girls engaged in graphic sex acts. All this while working the night shift for Disney.


An employee-relations manager at Disney was alerted last month when Cuthbert tried to access several blocked websites from his work computer, the manager told Orange County deputies

Disney's monitoring system takes screen shots of employee computers every three seconds and recorded Cuthbert writing an Easter Sunday church sermon on John chapter 13 verses 1-35 and Psalm 148 while loading pornographic YouTube videos involving teenage girls.

Source: Disney worker watched child porn at work while writing sermon, cops say by Desiree Stennett

I think we can safely assume that Cuthbert is an idiot as well as an alleged pervert. Who surfs porn at big companies these days? Especially not big companies with security systems that capture a copy of your screen every three seconds. Can anyone say, "Big Brother?"

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Imam Shahid Mehdi arrested

Imam Shahid Mehdi was arrested for the attempted rape of a woman in a public park. He allegedly whipped his penis out and chased her through the park. But wait! There's more! Imam Mehdi recently went on record as a misogynist. He thinks women who do not wear the hijab are asking for it, and by 'it" I mean… well, you know what I mean. 

“Women are not entitled to respect when they walk around without a Hijab. They are to blame for it when they are attacked,” Imam Shahid Mehdi said.

“All the crimes that occur against women is because they are not covered. When they are not covered, you have no respect for them. ”

“She disobeys her master, there are two places in the Qur’an has ordered her to cover themselves (…) Women make a clean society dirty when they walk around without a Hijab. They are not entitled to respect and are not valuable as those who wear a Hijab.”

Source: Muslim Imam Claims Women Who Don’t Wear Hijabs are “Asking to be Raped”, Arrested for Trying to Rape Woman

The image I have of this man running through a park with his willy out… it really is quite disturbing. 

Youth pastor Samuel Yoon arrested

Youth pastor Samuel Yoon New Community Mission Church in San Leandro, Ca., was arrested at a Orlando youth conference for soliciting prostitution with an underage teen girl. Yoon was expecting to meet a 14-year-old girl.

Did I mention that Yoon is a Southern Baptist?

Pastor David Berman demonstrating Christian values

Watch this video of a man confronting two Robin Hood activists. It's a little scary. I actually thought the man was being too aggressive and could potentially pose a risk to the two young men he was confronting. 

The man is Pastor David Berman (cheesy website). The Robin Hoods' activism is simply dropping coins in Keene's parking meters, plus filming the meter readers. The Robin Hoods are being sued by the city of Keene for allegedly harassing meter readers. The case is about lost parking fine income for the city and is not the focus of my attention today. The behavior of Pastor Berman interests me though. I must ask, is this how a Christian should act? Is this how a pastor should act? Is this love? Is this compassion? Heck, is this even the way the issue should be handled? 

Pastor Berman is angry, belligerent, pedantic, and most of all, he's acting like a child. Is this what Jesus would do? I don't think so.

Berman originally posted his video to Youtube, but after other people noticed his un-Jesus-like behavior, he pulled it.  Come to think about it, when a pastor is exhibiting un-Jesus-like behavior, who or what is he emulating? 

The conflict that troubles me the most is Berman's insistence that the activists are somehow enabling tyranny while protesting against the government. It's just crazy. 

Berman is a fraud. He is a fraud as a Christian, and questionable in other ways too. Check out where he got his Th.D 

Monday, May 13, 2013

The coolest thing ever

Space Oddity version by Commander Chris Hadfield. Yes!

How is this not terrorism?

Terrorism: The use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.

America Blog asks the question. My answer is simple. Read the dictionary

No terrorism please, we’re gunmen. A bizarre story out of New Orleans, where two or three gunmen opened fire on a Mother’s Day parade, injuring 19 people, including two children.

Sure sounds awfully familiar, almost like a redux of the Boston Marathon bombing. But you’d be wrong.

You see, when two guys use bombs to hurt people en masse at a marathon, it’s instantly “terrorism.” But when two to three people use guns to hurt people en masse at a parade, it’s simply “the relentless drumbeat of street violence.”

What’s the difference?

Intent is the difference. There was no political motive is the New Orleans shooting, at least none that I've heard. This article provides some background. 

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Things that piss me off

Two things caught my attention this fine morning. Today's topics, people who abuse dogs and people who abuse the public trust.

In Honolulu, Andrea Fiegle cut her dog's throat because it sniffed her daughters crotch. Killing a dog for what everyone should understand to be natural behavior is just stupid. Fiegle was charged with a felony. 

A Haleiwa woman told police she slit her dog's throat because the canine would not stop sniffing her daughter's private parts.  This disturbing detail is in court documents outlining the animal cruelty charge against 36-year-old Andrea Fiegle.

Read more: Pet's throat slit for sniffing daughter's private parts

Congressman Lamar Smith took a further step towards idiocy by introducing a bill that would require research funded by the federal government to be approved by the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation before publication. Does he actually think the peer review process would improve with oversight or is he just trying to suppress information that conflicts with his political and business agenda?

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) floated a proposal last week that would require the U.S. agency that supports non-medical research to certify that its grants were only funding research that is groundbreaking, important, and original. Legitimate scientists said those conditions can't be guaranteed and contradict basic scientific method.

Read more: Science Peer Review Process would 'Improve' with Political Oversight

Lamar Smith may not be an idiot, but he sure thinks that we are. 

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Friday, May 03, 2013

Jason Collins is a Christian. Who knew?

I've heard nothing but praise and criticism of Jason Collins since he came out. All of my information came via radio, TV or online media. I did not read too deeply. It's been a busy week. At no time did I hear any mention that Collins was a dedicated Christian, in fact, his religion, or lack of it, was not part of the story. I just read Why Jason Collins' Faith is ignored. And Tebow's Isn't. I was surprised to find that Collins was a Christian because I would have thought that that this fact would have been important to the story. Silly me…

Collins and Tebow are a study in contrasts, perhaps especially when it comes to their faith. Tebow is known for game-saving theatrics and an equally performative profession of faith politicized by the culture wars. He’s positioned himself as an all-American poster child for the pro-life movement and homophobic groups like Focus on the Family. Collins, on the other hand, is a career role player who keeps his head down on the court and his devout Christian faith, rooted in family and community identity, private.

So Tebow, a man defined by his outward Christian faith is a hero to some and Collins, a man who lives his values, is ignored. It's a style over substance thing. Going with style is superficial and is wrong. Tebow is the opposite of a Christ follower, while Collins is the personification. Yet now, Tebow is a failed hero and Collins a successful villain, all because Collins is gay. It's wrong and It makes no sense at all. 

Collins is a hero to me and what he has done for America and Gay Rights is important. Tebow… I don't even think about him. He failed and accomplished little. 

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Another kid eats a bullet

A 3-year-old shot himself in the face with his grandmother's handgun. Meth was involved. So was an idiot apparently. 

A judge in Arizona on Thursday order a 35-year-old grandmother held in lieu of $500,000 bond after she was charged in the death of her 3-year-old grandson, who allegedly shot himself in the face with her handgun. In a court appearance on Thursday, Yuma Justice of the Peace Greg Stewart notified Rachel B. Spry that she was charged with reckless manslaughter, possession of dangerous drug, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession or use of a weapon in a drug offense, according to the Yuma Sun. The Yuma Police Department said that officers had arrested Spry on Wednesday after reports of a child being shot. Her grandson, 3-year-old Darrien Nez, was later pronounced dead at Yuma Regional Medical Center.

Meth-head grandmothers armed with handguns… a nice visual. I child shot in the face, even worse. Gun control? One would think that this story makes the point. 

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I'm just like a drug dealer

I had an odd thought yesterday as I spoke the words, "Come on out to my truck, I've got something special for you in the back." I'm just like a drug dealer. My drug of choice is Innova Blizzard Plastic

I meet people. We end up talking about disc golf because that's what I do. They always say something like, I play golf, or ride a bike, or jog. I always say that I play disc golf and that it is loads of fun and free. We eventually agreed to meet at my local course. I always give away a free disc or two on a first lesson. A taste mind you. A taste of the good stuff. The first taste is always free. 

These new disc golf addicts will eventually buy a few more discs, a disc golf bag, a towel, and even window stickers. Disc golf is fun. Disc golf is that kind of fun… the addictive kind of fun. If I had to guess, I'd say that I've introduced over 50 people to the sport in the last five years. Of these, at least 30 are hooked. I need to talk to Innova about a kickback. I bringing them lots of business. I should get a cut. I'm an addict too. I'll take payment in plastic. 

I introduced a guy named Tim Peterson to the sport yesterday. He had played before, but he had never had a lesson or used the right kind of discs. We played Eldo in Long Beach on a 97 degree afternoon. I gave him good plastic and a few lessons. He left after nine holes swearing that he would practice and attack the sport with gusto. I say nine holes because it was too damn hot to play. We did nine and hit a watering hole for some eats. It's all good though. I gave him his first taste. I know he'll be back. 

I set the hook with a good experience. How can he say no to a low pressure walk in the park. When they make that first long putt or throw a long bomb, I know that all I have to do to set the hook is tell them they've done a good job. If I clap and hoot too, it's all the better. Tim made a 15-foot putt on the 8th hole and followed up with a 240-foot drive on hole 9. I was hooting and hollering the whole time. I expect I'll be playing with Tim again real soon. 

A reporter's notebook

I am constantly reminded of what I do not know. While listening to David Sedaris' new book, Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls, Sedaris referenced the use of a reporter's notebook as part of his daily writing process. He carries one and jots down useful facts, quotes, and observations for use in his journal, which he writes each morning. This explains how he remembers things from 20 years ago and why I don't remember things from last week.

I did not know what a reporter's notebook was. Or, I should say, I had heard the term, but had built my own interpretation. I often do that. I heard the term used again today while listening to local news and realized that a reporter's notebook might actually be a special type of notebook, so I asked one of my employees while at work this morning. He used to be a sports reporter before I ruined him with a real career. He explained that a reporter's notebook is a special type of notebook that is bound at the top and small enough to fit in a shirt pocket. He also added that reporters have a special shorthand to go along with the special notebook. He gave me this explanation with only the smallest bit of condescension, for which I was grateful. 

I Googled it. I guess it's like a steno pad but smaller. How did I get through 52 years of life without knowing this?


Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Thoughts on Las Vegas

I visited Las Vegas last weekend. While there, I had a few thoughts. I write this blog so that I can remember things years from now. It's a journal of sorts; a journal… and a bunch of other rambling things. 

Las Vegas is considerably less kid friendly these days. Years ago I remember most of the hotels catering to kids with arcades and such, now these same venues seem entirely focused on adults. I stayed at the tower in the Luxor Hotel, all of the kid-friendly stuff was gone, and so were the kids. I miss it. I don't know why though, my kids are grown up and would likely want to gamble instead of playing video games.

I don't like to gamble as much now as I used to when I was younger. I used to play poker. I enjoyed finding a low-stakes game and playing for few hours. A $2-$4 Texas Holdem game was a lot of fun, but they are gone now. Every poker room I visited had a few $1-$2 no limit games going, and virtually nothing else. I'll play a no limit game, but they get serious fast, too fast for me. I'm not a big gambler. I never was.  I guess its time to sit by the pool and read a book.

My trip coincided with the lesbian party fest known as the Dinah Shore weekend. I saw hundreds of young lesbian couples walking the strip. I must admit, I was shocked at the level of tattoos sported by these young ladies (a few older ladies too). When did tattoos become ubiquitous? it seems like everyone except me had at least one, and most people were proud to show them off. I think I'm getting old. Kids these days. 

I don't like the new slot machines. Those new-fangled slot machines give me a friggen headache. I actually miss the old spinning wheel type, which are all but extinct in the casinos I visited. I've never been much of a slot player, so I did not notice the transition to these new story-based contraptions. I dropped $20 in one machine and played for hours. I could not win, but I could not lose either. Game after game yielded a small win or a small loss. I never knew when I won a game either. With the 30 possible win lines and endless combinations competing for my attention, it was all I could do to press the damn button. So, I simply pushed the button and mutter a prayer to the gambling gods to end my misery. I eventually lost my money, but I had to work at doing it. 

A final thought. I'm on the Paleo diet. It's wonderful. I've lost a bunch of weight and feel great. Las Vegas is the place to go if you want to eat on plan. The place is worth the cost of a visit just for the high-end buffets. Don't go cheap. Eat well. You will not be disappointed. I recommend the Bayside Buffet at the Mandalay Bay and The Wicked Spoon at the Cosmopolitan. 

All aspiring photographers need a photography project

I no longer consider myself an aspiring photographer. I happily refer to myself as a hobbyist, but that does not stop me from seeking to improve my skills. I believe to get better, one must always be working on a project.

I found BODYIMAGE(S) (NSFW) via some strange chain of events. I can't remember exactly how now. The photos at the site represent a professional grade photography project that I found captivating. I don't know much about it besides Jes of JSPhotography in Tucson takes amazing photos of woman in natural light while on a bed. I've tagged the site as NSFW, but I don't consider the photos porn, or even objectionable. They are artfully posed examples of different women, naughty bits are largely implied. I would tell you more about the project, but the "about section" of the BODYIMAGE(S) site is not available. 

I passed BOD/yIMAGE(S) along because of my believe that to improve as photographers we must have a project. Be it food photography, which I don't really like, or capturing a daily photo of your cat. Practice makes perfect. I believe it.

I'm currently between projects and looking for inspiration. Ideas are always welcome. 

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Two gun stories

The first story is as tragic as it is stupid: 5-Year-old boy shoots 2-year-old sister in Ky.

Who knew that you can buy a rifle, scaled down, for a five-year-old child? I've heard of My Little Pony, but My Little Rifle, not so much…

The manufacturer of these scaled down rifles is Crickett, which features a line of guns called My First Rifle. Crickett targets grade school aged children. It is kind of creepy in a backwood marry-your-first-cousin kind of way. What kind of parent buys a five-year-old a rifle? It makes no sense to us city dwellers. 

I understand the American birthright and heritage angle in the story. After all, Kentucky is the home of Daniel Boone. Most boys in my generation grew up idolizing Boone and men like him, plus we all dreamed about hunting and fishing and all the other manly stuff we were exposed to via the glass teat in our living rooms. We all wanted real rifles too. We all wanted to hunt deer, and possibly hunt our little sisters. A few of us got BB guns instead of real guns, but we were kids so it did not matter. As a 10-year-old with a BB gun, I managed to kill a flock of sparrows, break a few windows, dismember a thousand little army men, and to shoot the little girl who lived behind us in the face with a .77 cal pellet. I still remember the police showing up. Officer Arnold put the cuffs on me. I was so busted. If I had had a little pony rifle, I think I might have killed poor Lori. (It was an accident, but She never forgave me)

The children's mother was home at the time of the shooting Tuesday afternoon but had stepped out to the front porch for a few minutes and "she heard the gun go off," Cumberland County Coroner Gary White said. He said the rifle was kept in a corner and the family didn't realize a bullet was left inside it.

Who keeps a loaded 22 rifle within reach of a child? Who gives a five-year-old a weapon that can kill others and then allows him to play with it like it is a toy? This tragic death is just another example of stupid people doing stupid things under the banner of American gun rights. Stupid people should not have guns. Which brings me to my point; the parents in this case should lose their gun rights. Idiots like them give responsible gun owners a bad name.

Story two is another example of guns, stupidity and politics: Background Checks Died Because GOP Didn't Want to Help Obama. 

The bipartisan background checks amendment was apparently killed by Republican Senators who did not want to be seen helping President Obama. When you consider that the bill was supposed to help us keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people, I think their actions amount to treason. Well, if not treason, then they own the next violent act committed by a gun-toting nutball. We've been sold us out. I have come to expect it. 

"In the end it didn’t pass because we're so politicized. There were some on my side who did not want to be seen helping the president do something he wanted to get done, just because the president wanted to do it,” Toomey admitted on Tuesday in an interview with Digital First Media editors in the offices of the Times Herald newspaper in Norristown, Pa.

The Times Herald noted that in "subsequent comments," Toomey "tried to walk that remark part-way back by noting he meant to say Republicans across the nation in general, not just those in the Senate."

Did I mention that I hate political doublespeak too? Pat Toomey is a tool. Please vote him out of office. 

On another note, nearly half of Republicans believe an armed revolution may be needed. I wonder how many Republican Senators believe that too?

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Photography: The Dude Abides

Jeff Bridges' photography work is featured in The New York Time LENS blog. He's good.

Some photographers are drawn to dramatic events in exotic lands. Others are compelled to stay closer to home and burrow into the stories they know best.

The actor Jeff Bridges gets to do both. He photographs the world he grew up in, movie sets — each one a world never seen before. And he earns a little more than your average photographer while doing it.

Since 1984, Mr. Bridges has documented the sets of most of his movies, compiling a large collection of wide images that give an intimate, behind-the-scenes look at movie making.

Read more & check out his images. 

People tell me I look more and more like this guy the older I get. I think I look more like one of the charters he's played. I wish I had his eye though. 

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