Friday, June 30, 2006

A Moment in the Life of Esme & John

"Do you think I'm fat?" John asked, unexpectedly.

Startled by the question, Esme stopped stretching her legs and rolled over on the bed, still clutching the phone. "What? Are you kidding?" she asked incredulously. This sort of question only came from her girlfriends. "Of course not! You're muscular! For crying out loud, you're a soccer player!" she added.

He remained silent on the other end of the phone.

"John?" she said. "You there?"

"Yes, I'm just thinking," he answered.

"Well that was a weird question," she said. "OK, if you want to know the truth, I think you're..." she swallowed for a moment. They were just friends, and when someone is of the opposite sex, it's sometimes difficult to treat them exactly as you would treat a girlfriend. "I think you're... er... I think you could be described as sexy," she finished lamely.

"Hmmm," said John, which was not exactly encouraging. Esme winced to herself. She had flubbed it up somehow. This strange tightrope which they were walking between "relationship" and "friendship" was difficult to navigate at times.

Esme rolled back over and started stretching her legs again, pointing her toes to the ceiling as they talked.

"What are you doing right now?" asked John.

"I'm stretching my legs," she answered truthfully. "I wonder how many women do that? Lay in bed and talk and point their toes to the ceiling? Hey, do your legs get a little dent in them in the front when you do that? Do it now, and tell me if you get a dent that runs from your ankle to your knee!"

John dutifully did it. "Nope," he reported. "It's just you."

"Leave it to me to be different again," sighed Esme.

"I'm scared," he said unexpectedly.

Esme stopped pointing her toes. "What?" she asked, uncertain if she'd heard right.

"I'm scared," he repeated. "There are some days I don't even want to speak with you again. Did you know that?"

"What?!" she said, in surprise. "Why?! Is it my B.O.?"

"Oh be serious for once," he snapped. "I'm scared because there are times that I don't want to know you any better than I know you now. I might start feeling more, and I'm not sure that I want to. We've been friends for so long, it could be disastrous. What if we lost even that? Our families know each other. Perhaps someday we'll meet again at a family function and you'll say "Oh hello, John," and I'll say "Hello, Esme," and you'll ask me how I'm doing and then you'll drift off again. I don't think I... nevermind."

"Go on," said Esme, who was now completely drawn in.

"No, nevermind," said John truculently.

"You know, you sure have a hard time finishing your sentences," Esme said waspishly.

They both were quiet for a moment.

"You know, you have a very nice bellybutton," he said. "On a scale of one to ten, I'd say it was an 8.5."

"My bellybutton is only an 8.5?" asked Esme, incredulously. "What would it take to be a 10? Who's got a 10?"

"No, no," said John hastily. "An 8.5 is good!"

"A 10 is better," Esme pointed out.

They were silent again for a short while. She concentrated on pointing her toes to the ceiling again while she turned things over in her head.

"What are you wearing?" he suddenly asked.

"Wrinkled pink silk yoga pants and a lavender spaghetti strap top," she answered. "Hey, I'm no fashion plate at night. What are you wearing?"

"Grey... wait a minute... Grey Calvin Klein boxers," he said. There was another moment of silence.

"Do you think I'm fat?" asked John.

"You're sure you don't get a dent in your legs when you do that?" asked Esme.

Esme & John, Part 1
Esme & John, Part 2

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Avon Park May Go English Only

The city of Avon Park may soon be "English Only". Their city council is poised for a vote on July 10th which will make English the official language, and will impose fines on anyone who houses or employs illegal aliens.

Opponents to this move speak of sending a message of hostility to the latin community. How ridiculous! Most legal latinos are vehemently opposed to their illegal brethren who come over the borders, haven't paid their dues, and steal their jobs from under their noses.

As most of my readers know, one of my best friends is Ozma. She and her family are former Mexicans who are now legal Americans, and proud of it. They worked hard to get out of the barrio and make something of themselves. They weren't sneaky. They worked for what they got. They didn't show up at hospitals for "free" medical care which cost the community. They didn't evade taxes by arranging to be paid under the table. They didn't have to pay for everything with cash, but established good credit and good names. When they eventually collect social security, it will be the social security which they earned.

Someone has the gall to question the legality of this ordinance. Gee, heaven forbid we pass a law banning something illegal.

If only every city in America made this same choice! Until we make the decision that we will not accept or condone illegal behaviors, we have made the decision that we will.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Flag Burning Amendment Loses

The Flag Burning Amendment failed by one vote. I have mixed feelings about this one. Of course it's offensive to see someone burn the American flag, but it's also offensive to see Mapplethorpe's "Piss Christ".

The truth is, in a nation where free speech is treasured, we need to recognize that flag burning is a minor bit of rebellion at best. It pales in comparison to 9/11 and the experiences we've had overseas since then. To say that burning a flag is spitting in the face of our soldiers is a little extreme. Soldiers aren't the only people which are represented by this flag.

Additionally, any amendment to the Constitution needs to be considered very carefully and approached with utmost care. Amending the Constitution to ban flag burning seems extreme, when there are more pressing issues (such as The Patriot Act, the current wars we're fighting, and even gay marriage).

And the problem is that when you open the door to amending the Constitution, you also send a clear signal that the Constitution is now free game. What's next? Incorporating the Patriot Act (which is anti-constitutional) into the Constitution itself? We would no longer be the U.S.A. And we are already in danger of losing our Constitutional rights (we've begun to lose them already). If it's OK to amend the Constitution now, where will it stop?

I'm shocked that this lost by only one vote. Our leadership is failing and we are left with people who are attempting to lead the country, but are not able to consider the repercussions which their actions could cause.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

America The Fat

We're a nation of fatties. And as obesity continues to rise, so do the studies. We now know that we stay slimmer if we get enough sleep (which is bad news to me, since I love staying up late and must get up early). We also realize all the basics: exercise, eat right, drink plenty of water.

This recent study also points out some additional factors: race, genetic inbreeding (fat+fat=fat kids), and a drop in smoking. I question the drop in smoking, however. I was one of the optimists that thought that the Surgeon General's warning on a pack of smokes would somehow help reduce smoking.

The truth is, that even though they're stinky, smelly, nasty, and expensive, cigarettes live on in the youth of America. You can't walk down a popular sidewalk without holding your breath as you go by someone who's blowing smoke in your direction. It's so natural to me that I almost forget I'm doing it.

I once heard a unique diet tip: snort cocaine, you'll lose weight. Thanks, I'll pass. And then there are always the wackadoodle diets such as The Lemonade Diet. My assistant, Zen Buddhist, swears by this one. You whip up a nauseous mix of lemon juice, maple syrup, cayenne pepper and spring water and that. is. all. you. drink. or. eat. for. days. I'm waiting for the next serial killer to use this diet as his defense for going postal. But, as we all know (but hate to admit) the only way to lose weight effectively and healthily is to diet and exercise. How b-o-r-i-n-g! I hate it as much as the next person.

Now, I've always been of average weight. Lately (thankfully) I've been losing weight and I'm back to the size I usually am. My next goal is to get a little below that. One must be prepared for the occasional drive-by banana split and be flexible about it.

But until we, as a nation, decide that Big really isn't Beautiful, we are stuck being fat. Right now, we are too busy justifying our weight to get out and get healthy.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Little Man

I was on the phone yesterday with Michelle when I heard (over our conversation) a little voice saying "blub blub blub blub blub."

"Well hello, Little Man," I said.

Michelle was stymied. "Is that Little Man?" she asked, surprised. "Little Man, if that's you, and I catch you, you're in a heap of a lot of trouble," she declared. She went into their garage (which also is their part time office) but there was only the phone. Little Man was nowhere to be found (smart kid!) It's just as well, because Michelle would've had a hard time disciplining the kid while she was still laughing.

"He's never done that before!" she told me later, amazed. I'm not surprised. I seem to bring out the worst in most men.

Yesterday I dropped SaurKid off after church so that he could hang out with Michelle's stepson. They had a great time doing what young teens do; PlayStation / XBox. When I went to pick him up, there was Little Man.

Michelle and I sprawled out on her gorgeous leather sofa, talking about our shared blog and her passion about school issues. Suddenly, there was Little Man with a beautiful, fresh-cut lavender rose. He held it out. "Is that for me?" Michelle asked. "Is it from you, or daddy?"

"It's for her," declared Little Man, thrusting his chin toward me.

Cute kid. He's gonna be a heartbreaker.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Today we go to Busch Gardens (where we have yearly passes) with Michelle and her family. Although I've lived here all my life, I never get tired of the Tampa Bay Area. We have it all here, and I love it!

I do wonder some things:

1. How do they control the mosquito population? I've never seen one there.

2. Why did they have to take away the monorail? It was my favorite ride! I know some people thought it was lame, but I loved riding smoothly along in it's airconditioned comfort while having a guided tour of the different wild animals that are housed there.

3. When do they clean the poop out? You rarely see much poop, and I can't picture someone running about with a shovel and a garbage bag while being chased by a wildebeast. I'm sure they must lock the animals up at night, and then do poop-patrol. But what time do they do it? How many people do it? Is there only one Poop Meister or is everyone in on the fun?

Friday, June 23, 2006

What Took Them So Long?

We can all breathe a sigh of relief, apparently, after 7 were arrested in Miami for plotting to destroy the Miami FBI Building and the Sears Tower. But as I read the details, I was struck by the fact that these men had been behaving in an irrational and bizarre way for a long time. Why didn't we catch them before this?

We are told the Patriot Act is in place to prevent this very sort of thing from happening. But was there any wiretapping or email screening of these nut jobs during all this irrational behavior? They'd been displaying it for about a year.

These men call themselves Muslims. Their leader claims they have "soldiers" in Chicago, too. During the last year, they have tried to recruit young men from a nearby neighborhood. "At times ... the men "would cover their faces. Sometimes they would wear things on their heads, like turbans."

"The men slept in the warehouse ... "They would come out late at night and exercise. It seemed like a military boot camp that they were working on there. They would come out and stand guard."

Hello? Shouldn't citizens have been beating on Homeland Security's doors? And shouldn't H.S. have caught onto this sooner if the Patriot Act is really working?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

How Much Should We Weigh a Candidate's Past?

All but one of Florida's candidates for governor share something in common: they've been divorced at least once. I fail to see why this makes news. Didn't we dispel of the Divorce Taint when Ronald Reagan was elected President?

Let's face it, whether it's ideal or not, most of us have been divorced at some point. My divorce was many years ago, and simply because I lived with someone more recently doesn't make it any less of a relationship either, although I'm happy there was no legally binding status. Let me add that my recent relationship mistake was much worse in some ways. Although I may be a good person, this would probably disqualify me from ever running for governor. But should a simple divorce cause us to look askance at these men?

I would say that it's all a matter of timing. If these men have gone through a recent divorce based on bad choices on their part, they should be disqualified. A lack of character in the bedroom can also prove to be a lack of character in the boardroom.

But, we all change and grow as people. If we didn't, then there would be no point to living. What other reason for the phrase "live and learn"? Why don't we keep a one-time offender in jail for the rest of their life? Because we assume that people develop. If we were a sure bet from the time we were born, we could be raised in sterile environments with little to no human interraction. Instead, we know that children are influenced significantly by their external environment.

I discovered many years ago that my parents continue to change and grow, even though they're now in their 60s. They are not the same people that held me as a baby in their arms. Shouldn't we also recognize that these candidates can do the same?

P.S. Update on Me: Other than having a bout with my nervous stomach last night, I'm hanging in there! I sent Jack flowers yesterday (Jack is Ozma's brother). He's been such a gentleman, and has willingly sacrificed a great deal of sleep to watch over me. The rest of their family has also been there for me, at all times, day or night. My own parents have tried to help as best they can, but my dad's in poor health and I am trying to spare them. SaurKid's thriving and having a ball!

Friday, June 16, 2006


I didn't always appreciate my incredible father. How many kids always do? But, I believe him to be an example of What A Father Should Be. And I am worried for our own children, because I don't see many men who are like that any more.

Although I was divorced from SaurKid's father many years ago, I think he's a very good father. Not great, but very good. And "very good" is more than most children have, from what I see.

Of course we have the usual deadbeat dads. These guys rob their children of both money and love. But even worse are the fathers who are nominally in their children's lives; just enough to screw them up for life. These are the fathers who are verbally or physically abusive, or treat their children as a mild inconvenience to be endured until visitation is over.

It's a shame that men can't be court-ordered to be good fathers. They can't be forced to put their children's needs before their own. They can't be told that they must interract with their children, and be supportive of their hopes and dreams. Instead, these men are allowed to willfully continue to selfishly put themselves first, and their children become a distant second, at best.

If you have a good father, tell him so this Sunday, and tell him why he is so special. If you know of a bad one, give him a swift kick in his rear. If enough men were despised by society for what they choose to neglect, they would be shamed into making better choices. And sometimes all it takes is one small voice that stops enabling the harmful father and calls him to account for his actions.

Thursday, June 15, 2006


I presently can't find my camera. So, I can't take a picture of Basil. Instead, here is a picture that is similar to what he looks like.

Basil is the newest addition to our family, as of yesterday. He's a "cinnamon/champagne" 4-month-old ferret.

Basil is a bribe.

Remember the momma rat who had all the babies around Christmas time? I was able to get rid of most of the babies, but kept momma rat and 4 girls. The problem is that they grew up into ornery, unsociable rats and none of us had time to play with them. The only one we liked was momma. *I* got the privilege of cleaning the cage, feeding and watering the rats, who glared at me balefully whenever I approached them and tried to dart out of the cage and to freedom.

My house is currently in the midst of chaos. Michelle's hubby, "The Handyman", has been over here for three days in a row, trying to finish projects which never had been followed through on. SaurKid is cleaning his room because we're hoping to have it painted and decorated within the next week or so. There are unfinished construction projects, I work full-time from home, there has been a recent domestic upheaval, and I own another business that is out of control. So, I don't have time for malicious ratties any more.

When I told SaurKid we were going to the SPCA to dump the 5 rats, he grew terribly upset. "Honey, you don't even play with them!" I said, exasperated. But there has been too much change too soon, I guess, and he started crying. (I should add that my son is very stoical most of the time but his dad has given away a couple of his pets in the last 6 months, too). The crying turned to hysterics and we ended up compromising: I would get rid of three, we'd downsize the cage, and he would play with them regularly and change their cage weekly.

Off we went to the pet store. We bought everything we needed to downsize, I paid for it, and we turned to go when we spotted the ferrets.

They were positively charming.

Remembering my pet ferret that I had as a child, I couldn't resist cuddling them and letting them wriggle all over us. Now they're descented and neutered, and bred for a docile temperment, so many of the problems that existed once are a thing of the past. SaurKid was immediately enchanted and that's when I realized that I was in the driver's seat.

"Tell you what," I said conspiratorially. "Your birthday's coming up. How about we get the ferret and clean up the large cage, get rid of the ratties, and we'll each benefit. I lose 5 rats, you do the maintenance and cleaning, and you have a cool new pet."

Starry-eyed, SaurKid nodded excitedly and left happily with his bribe.

Because this little guy likes to "ferret things out", SaurKid thought that he needed a good detective name. We tossed about Sherlock, Holmes, Poirot, and nothing seemed to work. Then I metioned Basil Rathbone (who played Holmes) and "Basil" stuck.

Basil is a sweet-natured, loving little guy who adores SaurKid and cuddled up with him all evening while SaurKid watched TV.

Basil. My little bribe.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


Ozma called me this morning to ask me to intervene with her boyfriend on her behalf. She wants to know The Great Relationship Question: Is this moving forward or not? She can't get an answer from him (obviously not a good sign).

She wanted me to talk to him because "everyone loves you, and you can get anyone to talk to you." And you know, that struck me as strange, because when I was growing up, I was hardly Miss Popular. Maybe that's what makes me likeable now: I learned some valuable survival skills.

From kindegarten through 8th grade, I only had one friend. No, not one best friend. One friend. I was The Class Nerd; scrawny with granny glasses and stringy hair, and a large vocabulary. Only one girl (The Class Fat Girl) was willing to hang out with me. "Pele" actually did (and does) have a fantastic mind and a wonderful personality. In our teens and twenties, she was never short of boyfriends. She's now happily married to a great guy.

The two of us were always on the outskirts. While the popular girls giggled and whispered behind their hands, we kept to ourselves and wrote stories, dreamed big, and created worlds of our own.

The popular girls have now grown out of their cheerleader outfits. They live their mediocre lives with little to no ambitions, perhaps because they got everything they wanted at an early age. But Pele and I live our lives to the fullest (in different areas) because we never lost the wonder, and the hunger, that we had in childhood.

When I was young, I thought I was eternally cursed. Now I know that I was eternally blessed.

As for Ozma's boyfriend, I don't know what his plans are. But I suspect that he is simply too young to settle down with Ozma yet, even though he cares about her. Sometimes people are put into our lives for a certain amount of time to enrich us in some way. Even the bad experiences are of value. And I'm certain he'll be a part of our future, in some capacity.

If we're smart, we take what we are given, and make the most of it. That's all anyone can do.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Lethal Injections Possibly a Thing of the Past

An article in the St. Pete Times today says that Florida's current lethal injection may cause sociopathic killers undue pain and distress. So the Supreme Court has ruled that these murderers can appeal their method of death. This will tie the court system up in even further appeals.

One of the reasons the current death penalty process is not effective as a deterrant is that there is not a short timeline between the criminal act and the punishment. It's not easy to take the death penalty seriously when convicted murderers are still sitting in Death Row years later.

I realize that some of you are anti-death penalty. But I still believe in justice and retribution. I also don't think that simply serving time among other reprobates is truly the way to punish any criminal when there are three square meals provided, a place to sleep in relative comfort, books, TV, other entertainment and luxuries, and no forced labor.

I've written before about prison reform and there is no doubt it's needed. But that goes both ways. We also need to reform this cushy lifestyle they have grown accustomed to. I truly believe that we need to bring back chain gangs.

As for the lethal injection, the primary argument is that it is alleged that it may cause the average murderer some torment as he dies. Just like his victims. Gee, my heart bleeds for him.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Universal Studios

Ozma (40 years old) and her hot 20-year old latino boyfriend (Julio) dragged SaurKid and I off to Universal Studios for the weekend. It was good to get away. I was still raw from last week, and needed the distraction.

SaurKid was thrilled! Because my ex-boyfriend had always been jealous of SaurKid, he had never been anything better than snide most of the time. Julio is a baseball player for the Phillies and a very nice down-to-earth guy. He loves kids, and is very personable. He and SaurKid hit it off, and everyone had a ball. I'm hoping he'll be my future brother-in-law. He seems to adore Ozma.

When we first arrived at Universal Studios, we had to hunt them down. We found them at an Irish-style pub, where they were eating chicken wings and fries. SaurKid and I ponied up to the bar, ordered a couple sodas, and watched the game on TV. The bartender was amazing; a very personable elderly guy who shook hands with every customer, asked their names, and never forgot it. Some customers wandered in, he would point to them, and say "Jim - gin and tonic again?" He was always right.

After the bartender served us our drinks, he paused for a moment, then leaned in toward me and said "You're incredibly beautiful, do you know that?" (I have to admit that he probably says that to all the girls but I really needed the ego boost at that moment). He even chatted with SaurKid about the soccer game on TV (SaurKid's a big soccer fan).

SaurKid himself was talkative and animated all weekend. He loved being able to speak freely (I'd never realized that he felt he couldn't) and he was sociable and funny. Our favorite show was the Horror Makeup Show which was absolutely hysterical. Sometimes an act seems to be so obviously cheesy that it's too contrived to be enjoyable. But this was just the right mix, and the actors were allowed to ad-lib just enough to give it the freshness you need (or an act will become stale).

Although the weekend was wonderful, it was tiring as well. It's raining here today, and I feel like just curling up in bed. However, it's the work day and it's time to dig in. I'm looking forward to going to be early tonight!

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. I don't want to get into details now, but perhaps someday I will share. I think it's sufficient to say that I am currently the titleholder for The Most Scandalous Relationship Ending amongst all my friends and family members. I intend to never have that distinction again.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

I'm Back to Writing on Monday

SaurKid, Ozma and I are going on a mini-vacation this weekend. Goodness knows, we need it. I'll definately be back to posting on Monday. Much love, and have a wonderful weekend.

- Saur

P.S. A special thanks to Michelle for helping out with BoBo and BugEyes. ;o)

Thursday, June 08, 2006

To the Rescue!

As most of you remember, I was adopted by Ozma's mexican-american family eight years ago. These people are loving, warm, and passionate about their family (and extended family). I have been very blessed to call them my own. I also have my friend/assistant Zen Buddhist and her family as well as Michelle and hers, and other wonderful assorted friends.

I haven't been alone for more than a couple hours, day or night, since 6/6/6.

And I am never lonely, since I am on the phone constantly with Michelle or my other friends who are calling to check on me. This is such a marvellous reminder of how loved I really am. It's almost as if there's been a death in the family and this is the ongoing wake.

Although everyone's worried for me, the truth is that I am fine. I had prayed for God to show me what was wrong, and make it so that I could safely and happily send my ex-boyfriend packing, and He answered my prayer (and how!) So, although I have at times wondered where God was, and if he answers prayer, I can tell you that at least sometimes he certainly does.

My friends, my families, my child, and my regained freedom. In so many ways, I am blessed.

P.S. Tomorrow I'll resume my writing.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


6/6/06 was either one of the best days or the worst days of my life. I caught my ex-boyfriend doing some horrible things. Although I'd ended it 6 months previously, I had let him stay these last 6 months. Now I wish I hadn't!

Perhaps some day I will share, but for now I am thankful for my family and friends who know me, love me, and care about me. With any luck, I will never see or hear from him again. I don't say this out of spite. I say it because even the thought of him nauseates me.

I am now resigned to it. The good news is that I know now what has been wrong and I can move on in my life without him.

So was this the best day or the worst day? Being a positive person, I am hoping it's the beginning of the rest of my life, which has been stagnant for many years because of him.

P.S. I'll say this much: when you sense something wrong or odd about someone, go with your gut instinct. I wish I'd gone with mine years ago, instead of dismissing it. Perhaps this is a lesson to us all.

Google: The Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread

One of my grandmother's sayings used to be "the greatest thing since sliced bread." This applied to any stellar achievement.

Google continues to earn that saying, and then some! Although it once was a simple search engine, it quickly outdistanced the others through superior service. As it grew, it created gmail. Although I pay good money for a private service, my primary account is actually a gmail account, which is free and online and easier to use than anything I've encountered.

Gmail then started it's own IM service, so that while I have it open all day (and it updates itself constantly, with no prompting from me) my friend Susie can get online and IM me with important messages like "I'm waiting" and "lalalalalala" and "where are you?" and generally cheer me up as I'm slogging through mounds of paperwork.

But today Google is launching an online spreadsheet that will let you load Excel files and share documents online. Up to 10 people can work on the spreadsheet at the same time - the names of people editing and reading it will appear in a chat window.

How amazingly cool is that? For small businesses such as mine, this is one of the most valuable tools we could get, and it's free! Think of how important this could be for sales teams, or company inventory, or other data!

At one time, everyone either had to share a common computer drive or send each other an update every time they added or subtracted something. But this unwieldy manipulation of data is about to become obsolete.

Although this is still in its test phase, if you click on the link above, you can add your name to the hopefuls on the waiting list. Who said that 6/6/06 was so bad?

Monday, June 05, 2006

Thoughts for Monday

1. has a news story titled "Conquering Cancer in Unusual Ways: What 2 Survivors Used: Prayer, Enemas & More." Funny how prayer seems equivalent to an enema here, and it's also a little strange that they'd think prayer was some exotic form of treatment.

commaAnd when, oh when, will people learn the value of a comma? I think we all know what they mean. It should read "Prayer, Enemas, and More." But the way this is written, it sounds like the treatment is either enemas and something additional, or enemas and more enemas. OK, that's enough about enemas for the first thing on Monday morning. The truth is, their editor apparently had a hard time coming up with a title.

2. The DaVinci Code. I finally bit the bullet and read the book because there are too many people asking me if this is accurate. Or worse, there are a lot of people that ask me if it's accurate, and then add that they suspected these allegations all along.

I was surprised, because I had heard it was good. I'd rate it as OK. The DaVinci Legacy by Perdue was a more enjoyable read. And as for Brown, his book "Deception Point" was a much better novel as well.

Perhaps I say this because I have studied much of what he addresses in the book, and I know that he has a mixture of fact, speculation based on fact, and outright fiction (which is a nice way to say he made some of this crap up). After a while, I could see why this book irritated some people.

There are too many gullible, naive people in this world to not be adversely influenced by the horsepoo that he merrily throws around. If they don't know world history, if they haven't studied secret societies, and if they don't know the scriptures (and the history behind them), it would be easy to snow them. And truthfully, how many of you (and you are the intelligent minority) have this background? As Brown so tellingly writes, "How dark the con of man."

Now I see why there are books coming out to refute Brown's assertions.

Here's one example of Brown's childish deception: In the beginning of the book, he has a note which reads "All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals in this novel are accurate." And I agree that it's true. What he doesn't tell the reader is that the rituals are inaccurately ascribed to groups that don't practice them. Additionally, his description of the artwork is certainly his own interpretation, at best. Although it may be true that he sees these paintings a certain way, that doesn't mean he's right.

It would be equivalent to my writing this book about the school system in Pinellas County: At the beginning of the book, I could put the same disclaimer that Brown did. Then in the book itself, I would talk about cannibalism and detail a cannabilistic ceremony, then allege that Superintendant Wilcox snacked on the leg of a third grader every morning. Then (as Brown does) I could shrug my shoulders when questioned about this allegation, and say that I leave it to experts to determine if this is correct or not. My attorneys would be hip-deep in lawsuits by sunset.

I could go on and on, detailing his mistakes, but I'll leave that to people who've written entire novels to rectify his gross negligence. If you're interested in pursuing it further, go to my post here and click on the links I've provided.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

What If

It's Saturday, a day of pure escapism for me. So join me in a little game of movie "What If".

If you could choose, what movie would you like to live, what part would you want, and why?

I'll start it out by saying that there are a number of movies I'd love to live but I am also realistic. Unless you live an unusually sheltered life, any time before penicillin would suck. So that lets out Sense & Sensibility. If I woke up at that time, I'd become an eccentric hermit.

One of my favorite movies of all time is Dead Again but I don't think I'd like to deal with some of the eeriness and past tragedies these characters have faced (although the Happy Ending is there, which is a requirement in all my faves).

I think I'll choose The Princess Bride but I won't settle for the part of Buttercup. She's a partially drawn character at best, which the other characters all react to. Don't get me wrong, I want to be the princess, but I want to be a princess with the spunk and intelligence of Katherine Hepburn.

Hey! This is my fantasy, I can rewrite the script! Oh yeah... and they have penicillin.

SUNDAY: I'm off to the beach, so I'm not putting up another topic. But I'll check and answer everyone tonite or tomorrow morning (early). ;o)

Friday, June 02, 2006

Net Neutrality: Your Probable Loss of Freedom

Bryan recently wrote a short article on the growing buzz about Net Neutrality.

In a nutshell, as it's summed up here: "On April 26, a congressional committee caved to pressure from AT&T and Verizon and voted for a bill that would allow large telephone and cable companies to control what you do, where you go, and what you watch online."

Here's another article from PC Magazine discussing a recently proposed alternative.

The truth is, there should be no alternatives. There should be no regulations. The internet is an exercise in free speech which should not be restricted by any government. To do so is to restrict our civil liberties.

If you blog, if you read blogs, if you value your freedoms at all, you must call your congressmen and women about this immediately. To get a list of your congressmen and women, along with their phone numbers and contact information, go here. Don't put this off! Call them today! And please let me know that you did.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

The Manatee: Not Endangered?

Get this video and more at

It looks like the manatee may be removed from Florida's endangered list. This could be a great blow to our attempts to save the manatee, whose population continues to dwindle. There are different estimates on how many manatees left in the wild now, but it ranges between 2,200 and 3,000 with 10% lost every year. The majority of their deaths are due to the carelessness of boaters.

Yet, the Florida alligator remains a protected species! The Florida Museum of Natural History may have it right when they say that this move is apparently in the interest of Florida's boating industry (there are over a million registered boats in Florida).

But you ask, how many boaters could (in good conscience) blithely run over and mortally wound these gentle giants? The answer sadly is, too many. If it's happening even now, it will only get worse when we send the message that this dwindling species is simply not a priority any more.

If you live in Florida, and want to do something to stop this, appeal to our state legislature. To find your Florida legislators, go here. Feel free to email them a copy of this page, if it makes it easier. Go to the bottom of this post and click where you see the envelope, then follow the instructions. You can make a difference!