Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Oh Brother Where art Thou?

Today is a very special day for my big brother Dave because it is his birthday. It's hard to be close to each other when we live so far away. But, because of the wonders of the internet we keep in close touch. I'm very lucky to have such a great big brother who has constantly been an inspiration to me. From when we where little and he would read me books to letting me tag along with his friends when I didn't have any, picking me up from middle school in his car even though he didn't have to and playing music together. He has built me up when other brothers would have torn me down. So here's to you big bro' on your birthday. May your day be as good as mine are when I think about the good times we've had together.

Monday, October 27, 2008

My Message Must Be Clear, Even In Bad Weather.

Having recently experienced a situation where three people I was with wore a t-shirt over a long sleeve shirt, I thought I would examine the psychology behind this type of fashion statement.

By placing your favorite t-shirt over a long sleeve your telling the world "I have something to say and it cannot and will not be silenced by chilly weather." Frankly, I see their point. It takes a lot of time and effort, not to mention money, to assemble the perfect wardrobe of shirts that express all the things you love and hate. People must know your favorite bands, movies and comic book characters if they are going to make a fair snap judgment first impression. They must know that you hate the current president, whiners and mean people. You spent years seeking out the perfect tee to say to the world "I like this" or "I hate that." You went to concerts, conventions and conferences so that you could make the statement "I have a life and can prove it." Let's not forget politics. How will people know that you have wacko political views like anarchist, conspiracy theorist or republican? How will Tibet ever be free? "Don't have a cow, man", "Did I do that?", "I've fallen and I can't get up" You need to show you're up on popular culture by sporting a shirt with a catchy popular phrase that's going around. Ladies, if your t-shirts are relegated to the mundane task of under garment, how will men know that you are "Sassy", "Cute" or an "Angel"? Your dating life may as well be over. No one could be expected to purchase all of these in both long and short sleeve varieties, so that is why I say "Cold weather be damned!" Let your first amendment rights march unabated by a slight down turn on the thermometer. Just hope that it does not get any colder or we all will be relegated to dark ages of winter coats.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

That's Right, I'm Turning Into "That Guy"

When I was younger I was really into comic books. My favorites where Spiderman, X-Men, Punisher, Silver Surfer and Night Thrasher. It was one of those hobbies that you get into as a kid because your friends, who you think are cool, are into it and then you find out that you really do like them. However, I grew up, and my affection for comic books faded. Then recently, I was watching a live episode of TRS at Comicon and they mentioned the upcoming movie "Watchmen". So, I looked into the graphic novel that is the basis for the upcoming movie and decided to check it out from the library.

All I have to say about "Watchmen" is "Holly crap, this is freakin' awesome." Obviously I'm a little late to the party since the comics came out in the mid 80's, but I loved it enough to write a review. This series for DC is what launched the genre of graphic novels. For the time period that it was written the art work is pretty good, not the most incredible I've ever seen, but good. Where this graphic novel excels is in it's writing. The premise of the graphic novel takes a completely different look at super heroes than my beloved comics of my youth. There is only one character with actual super powers and the story line deals heavily with what types of personalities would be drawn into masked vigilantism and why. Each character brings a different perspective to the table with it own quirks and baggage. Add to that with a plot of impending nuclear winter and intensive character development and you have a fantastic work of fiction. Even if you where never into comics as a kid, read this one before the movie comes out. You won't be disappointed. Reading this just might have taken my geekiness to the next level and made me "That Guy." You know the one that talks about graphic novels like there an art form that combines visual art with literature. Yeah, that might well be me now.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Perfection Thy Name Is Stupidity.

Every now and then, you hear a story containing such a perfect act of stupidity that it takes on its own beauty. In a strange way, that single act of stupidity becomes something of a piece of art in that no amount of effort could perfect it any more than it's originator has achieved. Kacie, my lovely wife, recently experience such an act. My oldest daughter wears glasses. Unfortunately, her not so old glasses where recently broke by her younger sister. Since we had already used our insurance on the first pair of glasses, we where left to our own devices to find replacements. Kacie, after much research, found that a local company could provide my daughter with two pair of glasses for around $100, not too bad. During the process of the sale the salesmen made a sales pitch to get Kacie to buy polycarbonate lenses, and Kacie respectfully declined. His reaction was to say "I don't think we can let you do that, I'll have to ask my manager". This "Manager" is the one who committed the act of stupidity that inspired this post. His reaction to my wife declining the polycarbonate lenses, at a cost of $35 per pair, wast to tell her, get this, "It's an unofficial state law that children have to have polycarbonate lenses". That's right, he took the route of enforcing "unofficial state law", apparently this law was pasted by him, our own "unofficial state governor" and his band of "unofficial state legislatures", presumably the salesman. This governing body obviously assembled by way of an "unofficial vote" by "unofficial voters" held on the "unofficial election day". I was not aware that we as Coloradan's had such an active "unofficial government" out to protect it's "unofficial citizenry". Here I am worrying about the actual election and now I find out that the real problems of our nation are being handled by this new "unofficial legislature". Seeing my own ignorance as to the existence of "unofficial governing bodies", I now implore you to get out the word and "unofficially" register as an "unofficial voter". After all, how can we affect "unofficial change" if we are not involved in the process...unofficially.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Bethany got another postcard from her Aunt Sara who is on a big trip around the world. Here you can see Bethany and the giant world map that her Aunt got her to plot the trip. Check out more pictures in the Flickr stream.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

An E-mail I wrote


Some of you may have heard of "Right to Work" some of might not have. It's a clever title that sounds like it would be helping someone to get a job or at least protect them. However, it's just a slick name tacked onto a bad idea that is detrimental to the work force of Colorado.

This year out of state interests are pushing this radical anti-middle class amendment to our state constitution. That's right, they are using aggressive tactics and clever catch phrases to fool Coloradans into voting for a permanent change to our constitution that will decrease wages across the state.

Why do they want to do this? It's simple, GREED! According to Morgan Quito Press, in so called "Right to Work State's", workers earn on average 15% less than other states. Also, according to the Institute for Policy Studies for a Fair Economy the ratio of CEO to average workers pay has gone from 46:1 in 1980 to 364:1 in 2006. What the out of state interests are trying to do it attack Unions so that they won't have to compete with Union wages
in an effort to drive down pay for working families across the state and nation. That way they can pay their non-union and union workers less and make more money for themselves. So, even if your not a union member your wages could decrease because of "Right to Work". So what they really mean is "Right to Work For Less".

"Right to Work For Less" has been introduced at various times to the Colorado state legislator over the last 10-15 years and has been voted down by both Republican and Democratic legislatures. But, they're not giving up. Every year they try some new clever tactic to force this legislation on the workers of Colorado despite the fact that it has been voted down every time it has been proposed.

The economy in Colorado is suffering from a burst in real-estate bubble, high oil prices and and inflation. We don't need some one we don't know forcing down our wages and hurting our local economy with legislation we have already voted down.

They like to paint a picture of Unions as greedy thugs that hate America. Just remember Union members aren't driving expensive cars and buying gigantic houses and using tax shelters to shield there income. We are not the ones sending jobs and money over seas to make bigger profits for ourselves. We are your fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, aunts and uncles. We are patriotic Americans, veterans, council members and activist. We fight for the benefit of ALL working people. Unions brought you the 40 hour work week, the weekend, overtime, OSHA, child labor laws, workers compensation, health care, pensions, sick pay, vacation pay, minimum wage and unemployment insurance. All we want is a fair livable wage for all working families.

Now, I'll tell you my story so you don't think this is just some wacko rant. I'm a third generation native Coloradan, My Mom has pioneer plates and served on city council in Wheat Ridge for 16 years. Dad raised our family on Union wages. I was a teen parent that struggled trying to put myself through school and feed my young family. I worked every job I could trying to make a life for myself and had to live without health care or a pension. I joined Pipe Fitters local #208 in 2001. I served a five year apprenticeship working during the day and going to school at night. At the end of the five years I achieved the highest score in my class on my completion exam. I now have three beautiful daughters and a loving wife, own my own home, feed my family, have a pension and health care thanks to my Union.

Please help me get the word out about "Right to Work For Less". Send this to everyone one you know in Colorado. If we don't fight, there will be nothing to fight for.

Daniel Worth
Journeyman Pipe Fitter Local #208

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Simplicity Usualy = Best Solution

Having just read an article on how "Privacy" is a great concern with "Cloud Computing"(A silly fad word for internet applications). It brought about a line of reasoning I have had with regards to a few of the current world issues. If your using the Cloud(Gmail, GooogleDocs, Facebook, Myspace) and have any delusion of privacy your crazy. The fact is, if your into this Web2.0 crap your privacy doesn't exist. I have a blog, podcast, flickr, facebook, twitter. All fun and accesible to anyone. You could easly google me and find out where I live(at least get pretty close), what my kids look like, what interest I have and who my friends are. So what is the solution to "Privacy" on the internet. Either stop using it or get used to a lack of privacy.

I have the same general sentiment when it comes to altenitive fuels for transportation. There has been talk that a Hydrogen Car is just around the corner for twenty years and has anyone dilivered on it. Other than a few pilot tests. No. But, what about biofuels, electric cars, solar cars and all of this kind of stuff. Each one is myred in there own drawbacks and impracticalities. The simplest solutions have existed forever. If you want to cut down on your gas usage it simple. Use public transportation, carpool and live as close to the places you frequent as possible. I know, Hi-Tech stuff right? What do I think is the wave of the future for cutting down on US oil consumtion? The low tech solution is better public transportation(Could be high tech too I guess). The high tech soulution, telecommuting. That's right working from home(Picture of one of those stupid road side signs would be approprate right here). It's simple. as more people use computers all day every day and online meeting software gets better. The solution to an energy crissis might just be... Don't drive!