Sunday, June 11, 2017

Glen Campbell's Swan Song

Glen Campbell's Alzheimer's has progressed to the point where he can no longer speak intelligible words, nor understand the words of others. This was the last song he ever recorded in 2014. Seems a fitting swan song:

Glen Campbell - I'm Not Gonna Miss You


I'm still here, but yet I'm gone
I don't play guitar or sing my songs
They never defined who I am
The man that loves you 'til the end

You're the last person I will love
You're the last face I will recall
And best of all, I'm not gonna miss you
Not gonna miss you

I'm never gonna hold you like I did
Or say I love you to the kids
You're never gonna see it in my eyes
It's not gonna hurt me when you cry

I'm never gonna know what you go through
All the things I say or do
All the hurt and all the pain
One thing selfishly remains

I'm not gonna miss you
I'm not gonna miss you

Monday, January 23, 2017


Whipping Flat Earthers Back to Their Caves
by C.W. Seper, January 23, 2017

Sick of seeing all these goofy Flat Earth videos and blogs? Here's a little ammunition in the fight against the unbridled stupidity currently sweeping the idiotnet.

1) As you travel in any direction on the planet, the stars behind you start to disappear while new ones come into view in front of you. For instance, you can't see a single star in the Southern Cross constellation from Chicago. Nor can you see Polaris or more than a couple of stars from the Little Dipper or Draco from Buenos Aires. The obvious reason is that the Earth itself (being round) is in the way.

2) If the Earth was flat, you would be able to see cities in Europe or China from the USA with a good telescope on a mountaintop. In fact, the Earth's horizon makes it impossible to see more than 50 to 100 miles away. Not only will you not see the Eiffel Tower from Indianapolis, you won’t even see the mountaintops of West Virginia.

3) Flat Earthers claim there is no video of the entire Earth rotating from space. Actually, it's done all the time. You see live time lapse views from weather satellites on the news every day. There is even at least one satellite that sends a live time lapse feed 24 hours per day from the International Space Station that you can watch online:

4) Flat Earthers claim that the real distances to the stars and planets are simply made up and that we're being lied to (apparently by every single astronomer in the world). In fact, we know the distances to stars by using the parallax method of calculation. It is not a theory. It is a calculation. One that any grade school kid can do. The distance to the moon is even easier to calculate by simply bouncing radio signals off it. They travel exactly at the speed of light, 186,200 miles per second. It takes 2.56 seconds for a radio wave to hit the moon and come back. Dividing that in half: 1.28 times 186,200 = 238,336 miles. (Truth be told, it’s not exactly 1.28 seconds. The total distance is closer to 239,000 miles.)

5) They claim you can't circumnavigate the globe by going south because the world stops at Antarctica. Actually, ships, subs, and planes circumnavigate the globe going north to south or vise-versa all the time. There's a no fly zone over Antarctica (simply because a rescue mission would be nearly impossible in most situations if you crashed), so they skirt just around the continent. Whalers have records going back centuries of traveling past Antarctica from South America (for instance) and back up past New Zealand and China through the Artic Sea and back down past Greenland to the Atlantic. Further, you can fly a tour around Antarctica any summer on Antarctica Airlines out of Australia. Sorry kids. No end of the world wall. Have none of these flat Earthers ever sailed the seven seas in the Navy?

6) Virgin Galactic will be taking customers into space probably by the end of next year. They already have 700 people signed up to go. If you have enough money, you can take your own video of the spinning globe from space before long.

7) 207 people from 11 countries have not only been to outer space but have performed space walks. Is it rational to think that all the astronauts from all these countries have lied to everyone on Earth since the late 60’s? If so, perhaps flat Earthers should ask Belgium, Denmark, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, Sweden, and Brazil why they bothered putting billions of dollars into the International Space Station if none of them have really even been to space to begin with.

8) Flat Earthers claim that the Earth doesn’t really spin. In fact, both wind and ocean currents move clockwise in the northern hemisphere and anticlockwise in the southern precisely because of the Earth’s constant rotation.

(Feel free to copy this and pass it on.)

Monday, January 16, 2017

Have You Ever Heard The Term ‘Piss Poor?’

Here is a great article I copied from

We can learn a lot about ourselves by looking to the past. History not only provides us with a nostalgic glimpse at how things used to be — like with these classic childhood toys — but its lessons can still teach us things today. Many of us fondly refer to “the good old days” when times were purer and life was simpler.
They used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pee in a pot. Once a day it was taken and sold to the tannery.
If you had to do this to survive, you were “piss poor.”
But worse than that were the really poor folks who couldn’t even afford to buy a pot. They “didn’t have a pot to piss in” and were considered the lowest of the low.
Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and they still smelled pretty good by June.
However, since they were starting to smell, brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor.
Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.
Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water.
The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women, and finally the children. Last of all the babies.
By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water!”
Houses had thatched roofs with thick straw-piled high and no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof.
When it rained, it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying, “It’s raining cats and dogs.”
There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed.
Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That’s how canopy beds came into existence.
The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt. Hence the term, “dirt poor.”
The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on the floor to help keep their footing.
As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entrance-way.
Hence, “a thresh hold.”
In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day, they lit the fire and added things to the pot.
They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day.
Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while. Hence the rhyme, “Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old.”
Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off.
It was a sign of wealth that a man could “bring home the bacon.” They would cut off a little to share with guests, and would all sit around and “chew the fat.”
Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death.
This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.
Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the “upper crust.”
Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days.
Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial.
They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up.
Hence the custom of holding a “wake.”
In old, small villages, local folks started running out of places to bury people.
So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave.
When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside, and they realized they had been burying people alive.
So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell.
Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (“the graveyard shift”) to listen for the bell.
Thus, someone could be “saved by the bell,” or was considered a “dead ringer.”
Now, whoever said history was boring?

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Canon Rebel T5 Video Stills

I thought I'd show some still grabs from video shot with my Canon Rebel T5. This is using the stock 18-55mm lens. This was shot with a tripod and manual focus, but everything else was set to automatic.

(Click on the images below to enlarge.)

A lot of videographers are going to DSLR cameras these days and getting out of traditional camcorders. You can get a DSLR with a very large CMOS chip and large lens for just a few hundred dollars compared to a few thousand for a comparable camcorder. And single CMOS chips have gotten to where they have color that looks every bit as good as as a traditional 3-CCD camcorder setup. The large sensor and lens makes them take great shots in low light, even candlelight. I shot the footage below with just a single 150-watt light bulb. Even at that I managed to blowout the exposure a little.

What I can't get over is how good this cam works in automatic mode. Most of the time I couldn't make the picture look much better if I set everything manually. Everyone says the stock lens isn't very good, but you could have fooled me. Of course one of the great selling points with a DSLR is that you can change lenses with it. To have a camcorder capable of interchangeable lenses costs upward of $5 grand. I can get a decent zoom lens for this Canon for just a little over $100. I only paid around $350 for the camera last Christmas, so even with the zoom lens and extra battery and a large capacity storage card, I'm still under $500.

Many TV shows and movies are being shot on DSLR cams now. Most are capable of 24 frames per second and of course you can fit a pro lens on them just fine. The first one I ever saw was the finale of the medical showHOUSE. That was shot using a couple of $2,500 Canon 5D Mark II cams. That's still a very reasonable price, and truth be told, the image quality is not much better than my T5 Rebel. It's a changing world. Some things are actually getting better.

Friday, August 12, 2016

BarCharts English Grammar & Punctuation Guide

I own a book formatting company, and one thing I I've learned from it is that people from all walks of life, from physicians to politicians, all forget most of what they learned in school about proper writing by the time they're thirty. Most people don't even remember how to use something as simple as a comma, what the difference is between a comma and a semicolon, and when to use either. I've kept a BarCharts English Grammar & Punctuation Guide by my desk for the past 15 years. It's just a 4-page laminated pamphlet that will quickly tell 95% of us everything we need to know in order to write properly. For less than $7.00 it can't be beat. And being laminated, it will last a lifetime.

Even if all you write is an occasional blog post, this thing is a Godsend. Can't remember when to use an En dash or an Em dash? Don't remember when to place punctuation inside quote marks and parenthesis or outside them? How many dots go in an ellipsis? Do you ever capitalize the first word after a colon? If you place the title of a magazine in italics, then how do you set off the name of an individual article within that magazine? All the answers are just fingertips away.

I got my copy at a local B&N years ago. You can also find them online all over the place. Don't be without a copy. For $7.00 you can't go wrong.