Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A Blizzard Hit Birmingham

The 2014 Blizzard
  Yesterday Alabama was hit by a winter snow storm. We saw it coming, the weather forecasters knew that snow would be falling across the state, but where it would fall was not so well foretold.
  I live and work around Birmingham, AL. and our area was expected to only get a "dusting" of snow. Unfortuneately this forecast was off by a bit and Birmingham recieved about 2 inches. Also it came in quickly around 10:30 am and on a school day, so the kids were by that time in school and the parents and everyone else was either home or at work. Needless to say the timing of the storm's arrival put quite a monkey in the wrench for the people around Birmingham.
  The school kids, a lot of them, stayed in school overnight although many parents tried to pick up their children. And many people tried to drive home in the blizzard that was quickly setting in and putting the city into a deep-freeze. This recipe created a real problem with every road becoming jammed with cars that could barely move and many becoming stuck in ice and snow. Thousands of people were hopelessly stuck in their cars overnight still trying to make it home while others simply abandoned their vehicles and walked.
  I ended up stuck and iced in at work and couldn't make it home. I work for O'Reilly's Auto Parts doing deliveries and have 2 HUB stops on my route. I'd made it to my first store when the weather became too bad to continue on and so I relented to stay and spend the night there at the store. As time wore on other people walking by stopped in to get out of the cold and were welcome to stay to keep warm, which they happily accepted. About a dozen or so people thus spent their night with us.
  It was a rough night, but we made it through and today-with the help of my manager and his 4X4 pickup truck and some thankful melting of snow and ice on the roads-we managed to drive back to the HUB store. From there I drove my own vehicle back home, where I gratefully took a hot shower and settled in for a much more comfortable evening and wrote this post.
  I heard of many people who helped others in their time of need. I truely hope that no one died while sitting in their cars overnight or otherwise. I took a few photos of the snow yesterday. Here are some:

Monday, January 27, 2014

Who Came Close To Being Aborted?

Abortion: Who came close
In this country abortion has been legal since the US Supreme Court ruled on Roe v. Wade back in 1973. That's about 40 years. In that time millions of people who may have been born were not. I'm not really for or against abortion, I'm a guy so I'll never have to make that choice, but I was just wondering about it the other day and one thing I thought about was who wasn't aborted that went on to become important and memorable people. You know, those people who really made a difference to others and changed history.

Here is a list of at least some of them:
Andy Berlin                                       Anthony Williams
Aristotle                                             Art Linkletter
Bo Diddley                                         Buffy Sainte-Marie
Carl-Theodor Dreyer                         Charlotte Anne Lopez
Christina Crawford                            Clarissa Pinkola Estes
Crazy Horse                                       Dan O'Brien
Daunte Culpepper                              Dave Thomas
Debbie Harry                                     D.M.C.
Edgar Allan Poe                                Edward Albee
Eleanor Roosevelt                             Eric Dickerson
Faith Daniels                                     Faith Hill
Freddie Bartholomew                       George Washington Carver
Greg Louganis                                  Adolf Hitler
James MacArthur                             James Michener
Jean Jacques Rousseau                     Jesse Jackson
JESUS                                               Moses
Jett Williams                                     Jim Palmer
John J. Audubon                               John Hancock
John Lennon                                     Langston Hughes
Larry Ellison                                     Lee Majors
Leo Tolstoy                                       Les Brown
Lynnette Cole                                   Malcolm X
Mark Acre                                        Matthew Laborteaux
Melissa Gilbert                                 Michael Reagan
Nancy Reagan                                  Nat King Cole
Nelson Mandela                               Patrick Labyorteaux
Peter and Kitty Carruthers               President Gerald Ford     
President William Clinton                Priscilla Presley
Ray Liotta                                         Reno
Sarah McLachlan                             Scott Hamilton
Sen. Paull H. Shin                            Sen. Robert Byrd
Steve Jobs                                        Surya Bonaly
Tim Green                                        Tim McGraw
Tom Monaghan                                Tommy Davidson
Victoria Rowell                                Wilson Riles

This is a pretty dang impressive list. I dare anyone to say that there is no one from this list that has in some way affected your life. You'd have to live under a rock or something if this were true. Of these 70 people I can personally claim to have been affected in one way or another by about 20 of them. This makes me wonder too about all those people who were aborted. If they had grown up and become historically significant figures as well. Have presidents been aborted? Have movie stars been aborted? Sports stars? Singers? Mass murderers? Anything is possible, and we will never know. We only know of who lived and what they did. From Jesus to Adolf Hitler. There are quite a range of accomplishments possible when it comes to living ones life.
(source: http://www.topix.com/forum/who/TNSPH89CFKQGD6KSF )

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Bigger They Are...

  Recently I read a post by someone who could not understand why giants (like those protrayed in movies & TV shows) moved so slowly. He thought that they should be moving proportionally as fast as us normal sized people.
  Reading this I could understand his vexation because it looks as though the giants are moving in slow motion. Why would this happen one might ask. Well, I've thought about this before and I think I have a good understanding on why this is.
  Basically, the larger something is the farther it must move to equal a proportional move for us smaller folk. For instance: let's say I move my arm in a swinging motion and takes me 1 second. That covers only about 2 feet for me. But for a 100' tall giant the same move would cover perhaps 20'. That's ten times the distance. Since the laws of physics are the same for us both the giant should swing its arm at the same rate of speed, thus taking ten times the 1 second for a total of 10 seconds to make the move. Every move it makes covers more distance, but takes longer. It's just logical.
  Another example is the moon. The moon is a huge object and yet it looks like it is barely moving. Though we know that it travels around the earth at about 2880 mph. This is because it is so far away--about 1/4 million miles away from us. Thus, large objects far away, although moving very fast can appear to be nearly not moving at all. If the moon moved in the sky like say for instance the way a basketball bounces here on earth it might look more normal to someone who didn't understand that the moon is much much larger than a basketball and very far away, but it would be hard to explain how it moved like this unless it was just a hologram (or something with no weight)
  Perhaps one reason that some don't understand is because it is difficult to judge how far away something is if it is large and at a distance. For example, in UFO sightings where there are many witnesses it would not be unusual for there to be a wide range of accounts. Some might say that the object was 100 yards long and 1 mile away while others might say it was 50 feet long and 200 yards away. The human eye is not a good judge at distance perception especially when strange and unusual
objects are concerned. If you know what you're looking at you can judge better, but when UFOs are concerned this flys out the window. I say all this to try and prove a point. Our eyes are easily decieved and we must not jump to conclusions about what we see if we cannot be sure. To point this out also there is a TV show on the National Geographic channel all about this. It is called Brain Games. And it explores such things as optical illusions, memory, focus, etc.
  Below, for both entertainment purposes and also as an example of what giants might look like, I've included a clip from the video game trailer Shadow of the Colossus. This is a game where the hero-a normal guy, along with his trusty sidekick horse, must find and defeat I think 16 colossus in a barren wasteland. In the video you see that the colossus as expected move proportionally slower than the normal size person.
video

Friday, January 10, 2014

Revisiting Scumbag College

   The Young Ones aired back in the early to mid 80s and was a British comedy show featuring 4 college students living in a squalid house. It was notorious for its violent slapstick comedy, surreal puppet skits and heavy-metal band performances by groups including Madness, Motörhead, and The Damned.
   A friend of mine reminded me of the show, bringing up phrases uttered by some of its cast members, and this took me back to some fond memories I had when watching the show so long ago. MTV showed this and other alternative programming back then.
   I found a couple of ideal clips of The Young Ones on Youtube and have posted them below. I believe these are from an episode where the group goes to compete against another college in a kind of 'college bowl'. The first is where they travel to the competition & the second is the bowl itself.
video

video

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Wondering About My Viewers

 I was just looking at my stats page to see who's viewing my blog and saw something I thought was strange & unusual. I have just as many viewers from Malaysia as from the United States. I'm unsure why this is. Maybe Blogger is popular there. I dunno. This page isn't a huge hit at any rate. I've only had just over 5000 page views since I began writing it back in 2011. Though that's no surprise as I'm not a celebrity or anything. If I were Justin Beiber I guess I'd have millions of page views. At any rate keep it up Malaysia, I can use your efforts! LOL.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Getting Rowdy At The Sugar Bowl

Alabama and Oklahoma were in the Sugar Bowl last night. It was a great game, though unfortunately Alabama lost. One woman, an Alabama fan, got a bit too rowdy during the game and confronted some Oklahoma fans who she was sitting near. Apparently they had words and she felt that words just weren't quite enough. So this is what happened:
video
 
Supposedly she is from Sweetwater, AL. and the video has made it onto Youtube.


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

IT"S 2014! FIRST POST OF THE YEAR

A new year and a chance to start anew.
 So it's now the year 2014. Another fresh 365 days are ahead of us to work, create, enjoy, endure, etc. 2013 ended with a bang as the fireworks went off all around the world. I could hear them outside the house starting nearly two hours before midnight hit. People like to start the partying early I guess.
 I heard something funny: the police will, on New Years eve, park their cars under something, like a bridge for instance, to keep from being hit by bullets fired by revellers. Yep, people are still stupidly firing their guns into the air in celebration even though they should know better--the bullet's gonna come down & possibly hit someone in the head. I wonder how many people die annually from this ridiculousness. I guess there's a lot of things people die from each year that could easily be avoided if people would think about what they're doing before doing something stupid.
 I've begun work on a new book (taking a break from the Andy Brighton trilogy for the moment). My idea has evolved over the last couple-three months or so but it involves a female protagonist. My current idea is that she is Virginia Dare of the lost Roanoke Colony and is taken by a malevolent and nefarious character to live somewhere else and then learn the ways of witchcraft. He teaches her these things and in the end wishes her to be like him--an evil servant of Satan. Whether or not she does become such a thing we will have to wait and see. I've written the prologue (the part about when she is taken from her mother on Roanoke Island) already, and I've got an outline of the story drawn up, so I just need to get on into it. Writing the entire book will take a while, maybe six months to a year in my spare time. When its done I hope to show it to an editor I know and see what he thinks of it & what changes he suggests that could make it better.
 I had an idea for a cover too, of a girl's face looking in through the leaves. It would look something like this:
 I have a niece that would probably be perfect for the girl's image as she's the right age. My thinking on the cover is I want it to look mysterious and like the girl is looking at something amazing. (she would be looking through a grove of bushes/plants and into a magical portal through which is hidden a whole other world. My title for the book is Jenn Wytcher. The girl who becomes a witch.