Thursday, August 28, 2008

Barack Obama

(I am doing this right after watching the debate, haven't listened to pundit analysis or anyone elses yet)

Well I was very impressed with Obama's performance are a couple adjectives to describe him during the speech...Powerful, Elegant, Presidential, Emotional, Inspiring, Pitch Perfect, etc...  He has a clear gift and it was on display tonight and very fun to watch.   Also when you watch it on a 42 plasma in hd with full surround you get to hear the sweeping bass of Obama's voice on full display.  

Now it is the Republicans turn, we know that McCain doesn't match Obama in the speech department, the debates are where I believe the election will be made or broken for Obama, and I think he will fare far better than he did at the Saddleback conference.    Obama was brilliant in undercutting the Republicans every attack, and undercutting McCain's case, with great skill.  Now we will see if he has that same skill at the debates.  Favorite parts of the speech...

You can't fight an enemy that operates in 80 countries by occupying Iraq.

We may not agree on abortion but can we at least agree we can minimize unwanted pregnancies.

Brillant rebutting of the celebrity attack ad by McCain.

Outlining traditional republican attack of "raising taxes, and attacking traditional values"  and saying why this is the attack and the reasons why it is used.  

McCain will say he has an independent record but he has voted with W 90% of the time, "I don't know about you but I won't take a 10% chance"

That's all I can think of for now.....remember folks, just because I am writing this glowing review doesn't mean I am supporting him.  

But as someone who has a college degree in Political Science this stuff is fascinating to me...And people who have natural political charisma are interesting to me....among other things.  

David Duchovny

David Duchovny star of one of the best shows in television history "The X-Files" and now star of the best comedy series on currenlty on television "Californication" has entered rehab, for sex addiction!!  I haven't heard this one before, I mean I knew it existed, but most stars go in for alcohol or opiod pills.  Duchovny's role of Hank on Californication is that of a sex addicted writer, life doth imitate art.  Get well soon David!!  Although the relapses won't be that bad if they occur (:

Ya I know the Dodgers lost 7 straight

What can I tell you?  Baseball is funny that way....they are still only 3.5 games behind the D'backs with about 28 games we are still in it.  They could roll off 8 straight wins starting tomorrow, so yes, you don't have to tell me that the Dodgers are doing bad now, I am acutely aware of it!  (:

P.S. At least they aren't 4.5 out like the Red Sox are!!

Happy Birthday Mike!!

Mike turns 19 years old today, and he celebrates his birthday from his new home in Boulder, Colorado where he is a freshman student there.   Too bad we can't be with you today Mike but we'll see you soon, happy birthday!

Reversal of Fortune

I am a huge movie fan who has seen quite a few films in my day...but I never saw"Reversal of Fortune" before.  It was a really good movie, better than I had expected.  Jeremy Irons won the Best Actor award for it and he deserved to win it.  So if you haven't seen it and you are at your blockbuster this weekend and you are thinking of getting "What happens in Vegas" or some other nonsense, do yourself a favor and rent this one.  

And it's Obama's big moment tonight!  How will the crowd react?  Will they be unruly?  Booing excessively, or cheering/booing at inappropriate times?  I can't wait to find out!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Happy Birthday Dad!

He's the old guy on the right..
Happy Birthday!!!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

In the Shadow of the Moon

Neil legend

We have "From the Earth to the Moon" which is the reference standard miniseries on the Apollo Space program...and Apollo 13, and the the Right Stuff...But there is a new documentary that came out this year that interviews some of the 12 men who walked on the moon.  All of them now are in their 70's and 80's....this documentary is extremely well done and gives us some great insights from the men themselves.  These men were the smartest and best pilots in the world, and it is still amazing what they have done.  So make it a point to get this documentary..the only bummer was the fact that Neil Armstrong declined.  I actually met Buzz Aldrin, but it was when I was 13 years old.  I didn't know I was meeting one of the most significant men in the world at the time!  Oh well....I have no picture with autograph...if I did I would have it proudly displayed in my house.  But if I could meet one man living on the earth, if I could shake hands, and get my picture taken....Paul McCartney would be a close second....but Neil Armstrong would be that person.   

Monday, August 25, 2008

Presidential Elections

With the kickoff tonite of the DNC, these next two months will be very interesting and entertaining.  On CSPAN they show the whole thing w/o the pundits, and I caught a video of this one gentleman saying he had voted in every election since Harry S Truman.  So here is how my voting has gone since I was eligible to vote

1992 Bush v Clinton.....voted for Bush
1996 Dole v Clinton.....voted for Dole
2000 Bush v Gore.......voted for Bush
2004 Bush v Kerry......voted for Bush
2008 McCain v Obama...will vote for McCain

So how bout you guys...whats your presidential election voting story/record.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Obama selects Joesph Biden for VP candidate

It's official ladies and gentleman, Obama has selected Biden...he will formally announce him tomorrow at a rally in Illinois, and text messages will go out soon.

Grabbagar celebrates 100 posts!!!!

Valencia, CA

Created  just four months ago, the popular blog "grabbagar" is celebrating it's 100th post today!  

"The posts are sometimes entertaining, sometimes thought provoking, but never boring"  says grabbagar creator and caretaker Garrett Riley.    "I thank everyone for their support"  When asked to recall the most memorable post Garrett had this to say, "Well there was that famous post about John Edwards that morphed into a tit-for-tat back and forth between my brother, a recently converted democrat, and Susan my aunt and lifelong Republican"  But by far the topic that most interests Garrett is relgion, particularly why people believe the way they do,  "I think most people have not seriously examined their beliefs, and that is what I am trying challenge people to do"  While this is Garrett's main interest he tries to temper his posts with more lighthearted fare, "I did a renactment of one of my favorite movies  'there will be blood' with my two boys, and we had  lot of fun doing that."  Garrett has also lampooned the long held christian belief that in order to be saved part of what you must do is have someone pour water on you while reciting a simple verbal incantation.  This was skewered in "Dog Baptism" a short video that in addition to the amusement of grabbagar viewers , was a minor sensation on youtube.   

"I try to have fun, and entertain my readers"  Garrett says.  A recent example of this was when Garrett went beyond the normal adoration of a movie star, he wrote that he has a "man crush" on Batman star Christian Bale.  "I'm not gay!  Garrett said, but I do recognize that some men are better looking then others"  

By all accounts this blog has been a success.  When asked how Garrett feels about the popularity of his blog he states simply.  "To have the adoration of my viewers is great, I thank each and every one of them I look forward to entertaining them in the future!"

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Here is the trailer for Religulous by Bill Maher who like me is an starts October 3rd and I will be first in line...can't wait

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Christian Bale

I have a man crush on Christian Bale.  He is one of the best actors of my generation.  We all know how great he was in Batman Begins and Dark Knight.  But check out "American Psycho" "The Prestige" "3:10 to Yuma" "Rescue Dawn" and the lesser known but fascinating "The Machinist"    Talk about screen presence, talk about handsome!  Christian has it all....  If you haven't seen any of the movies above, check them out, you won't be disappointed!


This picture is for anyone who doubts the evolutionary genetic link between our species and is a mother gorilla grieving the death of her baby. Very sad but also very fascinating.... Two million years ago our species and apes had a common ancestor whom we split from, the apes followed one branch of the bush, we followed another...

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Jesus so called sacrifice?

I want to talk about the supposed incredible sacrifice that Jesus made for us by virtue of the fact that he “died to save us from our sins” This central belief is the most sacred belief that Christians hold. They are drawn to tears upon reminiscing about this sacrifice and the incredible thing god did for them. But is it really a sacrifice? Consider this, god is omniscient right? Which means he knows the future. That means that he knew that his son/self would come back to life and be with him on his right hand forever. So there was no risk whatsoever. Don’t you see it folks? Really consider this. A single firefighter who saves the life of a child is a thousand times more of a sacrifice and risk then what Jesus/god did. That is because the firefighter does not know that he will live, he may die. How much easier would it have been for this firefighter if he knew that he had magic powers and could not be killed? Torture is terrible sure, but Jesus knew that he would be coming back to life soon, and the god part of himself sitting in heaven looking down knew it too. Jesus suffering pales in comparison to other suffering in the world. I love the quote that says “Jesus had a bad afternoon for our sins” Millions upon millions of people have suffered greater….cancer victims, the hostages in columbia, our brave soldiers in Iraq some who will live out the rest of their days with their bodies broken, and nightmares that no amount of therapy can put an end to….the list goes on and on. Countless numbers of brave Americans have given everything so that I can sit here on my state of the art IMac and type this stuff out, their sacrifice is real, it is tangible, and it does move me to tears at times. Once again because I want you guys to really think about this….lets take the case of a solider, where is the sacrifice of a soldier if the solider and his father knew that he was going to be killed and then 48 hours later he would come back to life because he had magic powers. There is not much sacrifice in that example folks, tell me how the Jesus sacrifice is different.

The Rick Warren Candidate Forum--and the abortion issue

Well when I'm wrong I'm wrong....I thought Rick "Purpose Driven" Warren was going to ask Obama and McCain inane questions like "what's your favorite bible verse" and "tell me about a time when you felt the power of the holy spirit"  So I told everyone at Mikes going to college party that I wasn't going to watch, but I did anyways and I thought that the questions were very interesting and for the most part pretty good, both candidates did very well, I thought McCain did better than I would have expected, and Obama did fine.  My biggest suprise was that Barack is in fact NOT in favor of same sex marriage!  He believes in civil unions, and won't support any ridiculous constitutional marriage amdendment.  Obama was asked if life begins at conception, and Obama side stepped that question saying it was "above his pay grade" Obama went on to say he is pro-choice and wants to see more education on preventing pregnancy.  

Here is the Garrett Riley belief on this issue.  The majority of evangelicals believe in abstinence ONLY education in our schools, studies have shown however that when you do not educate kids about contraception such as condoms, and birth control pills, when kids do have sex they are exponentially more likely to not use a condom, thus dramatically increasing the chance of an unwanted pregnancy.  Obama pointed out that abortions have increased since W has been in office, and I believe this could be an indirect result of the abstinence only dogma that Bush supports.  

Don't get me wrong, abstinence is a perfectly valid choice for kids to make, but it should be presented as only one of a variety of choices to stop an unwanted pregnancy, or dramatically curb STD's .   But telling kids not to have sex because it is "not gods perfect design for his creation"  is foolish because it does not stop kids from having sex in most cases.   And as I have already mentioned increases the likely outcome of an unwanted pregnancy.  

So where does life begin?  It is easy for people to say "at conception"  I would ask christians who have this opinion to consider why nearly half of all pregnancies spontaneously abort without the woman ever even knowing it.  If this is in "gods perfect design" it would seem that god really likes abortion would it not?  Also the use of birth control pills does terminate a wholesale amount of zygotes without anyone knowing it as well.  I do not think that life begins at conception.  What happens at conception is that one cell becomes two, and so on and so forth, laying the groundwork for a growing organism that has the potential to become a  human life, that is of course if it is not spontaneously rejected and aborted by the mothers body.  I believe life is fully formed somewhere around the second trimester I believe (I could be wrong on this and I reserve the right as always to alter my view on this specific question)  That is why abortion is only allowed in the first trimester.  

I agree with most all of the clear thinking pro-choicers on this very difficult and emotional issue..I hate abortion, I want them to be rare and have restrictions on them.  But I cannot restrict the right of a mother to terminate her own pregnancy if that is her choice.  I want to council her and educate her on how to stop the unwanted pregnancy from ever occuring.  

For everyone of my readers who is a strong pro-life christian...consider this.  If nearly fifty percent of all pregnancies terminate naturally that makes your god yahew the biggest abortionist that has ever existed!   Jesus never said anything about abortion.  Yahew killed hundreds and thousand of innocent babies and children in the great flood.  

I would love thoughtful comments on this one folks!  

P.S.  I am still voting for McCain

P.P.S.  I was impressed with the way Warren handled this forum.  As far as I can tell he is not a hateful man and does not not demonize people like my favorite sociologist, James Dobson.  That being said, this forum had no business taking place at a church.  Why not at a secular free thought center?  Or a Mosque, a Jewish temple, a LDS church etc.?  

Friday, August 15, 2008


All this swimming coverage on the Olympic channels has me in a mind of reminicinse.  There was a time ages and ages ago when I was a pretty good swimmer.  Swimming was a fun sport for me to do for many reasons, one of them of course was the fact that the boys and the girls were together practicing as well as competing co-ed at different meets all over the South Bay.  It was also an adventure completely shaving my legs once every four years, that was fun...but the most fun I ever had was during a race in Long Beach...we were in the Finals and I swam the Butterfly leg of our medley relay...that meant I was going first, and it was a big race..the biggest I ever swam.  I was swimming in a Varsity finals match and all of the best swimmers were in the relay..we had me, Jason Chung, Karl Haushalter, and Greg Wagner.  It was a big deal for all of us and I was ready.  I remember concentrating on flying of the starting block the second the gun sounded.  Once I hit the water I let my adrenaline take over and concentrated on swimming the Butterfly as fast as I could for 2 laps. (one hundred yards)   It was great, I don't think we won first but we came in 2nd or third and it was fun being on a team.  Leaning over into the lane and screaming as loud as you could for your teammates.  I thought of that when the Americans edged out the French by .08 seconds in the 4x100 Free.  It was a great feeling!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Happy 34th to Mark!!!

Seems like just yesterday our 8th grade teacher, ole Mr. Shoemaker introduced us, "Garrett, this is Mark Nowlin he's a new student from Connecticut"  That was 20 years ago folks......

Happy Birthday Mark!!

First Day of School

Today was Kevin's first day of 2nd grade, Tasha, Zach and I were at morning assembly kick off earlier this morning.  Kevin is very excited with his guitar hero shirt, and new batman backpack!  He is in a class of 20 students with his teacher mrs. salari, who by reputation is an outstanding teacher.   Tasha will post pictures soon.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

More "Focus on the Family" Lunacy

Focus on the family, (a evangelical christian organization led by USC Sociology grad James Dobson) put out a video calling on people to pray that their god create a torrential downpour  during Obama's acceptance speech at Denver's stadium.   His reasoning?   Abortion and gay marriage of course!.  Even though Jesus never said anything about this, they persist in their mania.    Again people actually give this organization money!  Can you believe it?  Why would anyone when given a choice between "Make a Wish" or other charities they give their money to this crap!!  

The answer is a this,  James Dobson stirs people up through scaring them about godless liberals who are taking away our "values"  If you believe him, you will home school your kid because all teachers are really closeted homosexuals who will make your kid gay and teach them satanic things like evolution.  You see there is a conspiracy out there perpetuated by people in the public school system to "take god out of it"   We are at war Dobson will say, give me money so I can fight against this enemy, and meanwhile, I will tell you what to feel, tell you what to think, and I will scare you!!"   There must be abstinence only programs in schools Dobson will say, even though statistics show that most kids who take "virginity pledges" and are taught abstinence only, are far less likely to use a condom when they do have sex, thus causing more harm.  

This is the same christian mentality that a missionary will have in africa on a mission to AIDS patients.  Instead of actually helping them not to contract AIDS which using a condom prevents in almost all cases, the people are prostletized to and told that god's design is that sex is reserved for marriage, so there are no condoms given out, thus no help given and major harm done!!  

Focus on the Family makes me sick, they are not for families at all, that is because if it were up to them they would take away the rights of gay parents in a loving stable home to adopt!  In Dobson's mind it is better for a child to be in a state run home until he is 18, then to be adopted  into a loving household.  Once again more harm is caused!!

And that folks is my Focus on the Family rant for today...if you want to see their ridiculous video I have it for you.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Twilight Zone

The Twilight Zone is the greatest television show that has ever been or will ever be.  If one surpasses it I will be the first to tell everyone.  It's children "The X-Files" and "Lost" come somewhere near it's greatness but Twilight Zone is number 1 .   Creator Rod Serling was a one of a kind visionary, an undisputed genius and a true pioneer in the industry.   The show is so clever, so thought provoking..I'll give just one example in "The monsters are due on Maple Street"  A suburban town slowly devolves due to a power outage...everyone starts blaming everybody else as the person being at fault.  Eventually someone is murdered, and at the end two aliens who orchestrated the experiment say to each other, "You see the pattern is the same everywhere, you turn off their machines, what they rely on, this is the result"   This subject was explored in the show, along with time travel, perception of reality, human vices, aliens, the nature of man, post tramatic stress disorder in war, and fear of death was a huge theme as well.  

There were also classic lighthearted episodes where ordinary people are given extraordinary powers like reading peoples thoughts, or superhuman strength..anyways at the end of each episode, a twist was revealed, or a moral lesson was in the one where 4 thiefs steal bars of gold, and then fearing they couldn't fence the gold because it was too hot, they put themselves in suspended animation for 100 years, and when they wake up (in 2061)  they find themselves in a world where gold is worthless!!  Or who could forget the classic where burgess merideth wants to spend his entire life reading but his wife dominates him and never lets him....there is a nuclear holocaust, only he survives...he has all the time in the world to read...but then his glasses fall off and break!!!

What are your favorite episodes?

Sunday, August 10, 2008


Coldplay is one of the only "new" artist/bands that I like listening to.  I have resisted this band for years and years, but only the past week I have started to put their albums on....they are much more than just their hit grammy award winning song "Clocks"   All four albums of theirs are solid.  The best one is "A Rush of Blood to the Head" and the latest one "Viva La Vida"  The band has a nice, interesting, pleasant sound.

Friday, August 8, 2008

John Edwards and his "Baby Mama"

"Hi, I'm a slimy weasel"

Edwards today publicly admitted the affair with his former employee, but said that he doesn't love her, and that he is not the father of her child....sort of an "I tried it, didn't like it, so I didn't inhale" admission.  We all know that Edwards is the father of that child, and that will come out soon.  Now it is my personal belief that 85 % of all politicians have a string of extramarital affairs all the time.  After all that is one of the great perks of their power right?  Interestingly democrats have hetro affairs (Edwards, Clinton, Hart, Condit, Spitzer)  And Republicans have homosexual affairs (Craig, Foley, and yes not a politician but lets put ole friend Ted Haggard on that list cause who can resist?)     All three of the above supported constiutional marriage amendments BTW

Anyways, ole Johnny boy has said this in the past..."I want to see our party lead on the great moral issues-yes me a democrat using that word-the great moral issues that face our country" "If we want to live in a moral, honest, just America and if we want to live in a moral and just world, we can't wait for somebody else to do it.  We have to do it." 
(Safe to say that hours after making this speech Johnny boy was in his love nest with one of his many women on the side, and apparantly the "morals" Johnny was referring to was betraying your wife while she is dying of cancer.

And that makes Johnny a hypocrite!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   Just like Rush Limbaugh was a hyprocite when he condemed irresponsibilty and drug use, while he was 200 pounds overweight, and taking so much oxycontin it temporarily cost him his hearing!   

Anyways I am definitely tuning in nightline this evening to see this weasel act all shamed and contrite.

P.S.  Props the the "National Enquirer" for breaking this whole thing....(I knew it was true because Johnny didn't issue a vehement denial and say he was suing for 100 million dollars)

***Update:  drudge just posted Johnny's "statement" in it he says that the affair took place for a short time in '06 and ended then....Uh question, maybe I am just dim but if it ended how come Johnny met her 3 weeks ago at the Beverly Hills Hilton until 2:30 in the morning?   I love how after these politicians get caught they dismiss the person they cheated with as "the woman" or "that woman" ....classic and endlessly fascinating.

****Update #2: Riel Hunter (Johnny's babymama) has nixed the idea of a paternity test....Johnny has funnelled her millions....he is worth about 40 million dollars, why not spend it on hush money?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Laura Ingraham calls out O'Reilly

This is exactly why I don't like O'Reilly, his program has a tried and true pattern of stories about our traditional values under attack by what he calls progressives.....thus feeding the fear machine and outraging middle american yokels who loved to be riled up!! 

 Then he deftly switches from that to a tittlating story, like teen girl fights and bikini baristas...thus amping up the titalation factor.  Here is Laura calling him out on the latter....(Never forget also how O'Reilly had to pay fox news producer Andrea Mackris 5 million dollars to shut her up about a tape proving overt and disgusting sexual harrasment)  

O'Reilly feeds on moral outrage, and displays of sex, a classic combination.  

Saturday, August 2, 2008

There will be Milkshakes!!

Here is my take on what I thought was the best movie of last year, Enjoy!!!!!!!
P.S. Yes I know I am a jackass

Friday, August 1, 2008

Sirius Xm

I have had XM satellite radio for about 6 years now and I am very happy with the merger with Sirius.  I chose XM initially because they were the biggest and the best, they had better hardware, and a better network of repeaters....then along came the addition of the Opie and Anthony show, which I became hooked on in January of 2005, and have been listening to faithfully ever since.  The big get for XM however was MLB (every game all season long) this gave baseball fans the ability to listen to every single baseball game played with a constantly updating score on the display..It doesn't matter if I am sailing on a boat in key west, or standing on the top of pikes peak, I can listen to the Dodger game on the radio crystal clear.  XM had a clear lead on Sirius until Mel Karmazin payed Howard Stern a half a billion dollars to join his company...this resulted in a couple million subscribers and Sirius was starting to catch up, they never caught up hardware wise though, as they never got anything like the Pioneer Inno.   
When people would ask me what service to go with I would always recomend XM, unless they were Howard fanatics.  The music channels are basically the same, the only difference was Sirius had Howard Stern, every NFL game, and every NBA game.  XM had Opie and Anthony, every MLB game and every NHL game.....Now however it is one big happy family!  I am excited about hearing some of the new channels and the fact that basically every new car made today will have satellite radio in it.  
To those who don't want to "pay for radio"....We spend almost 100 dollars a month to watch TV even though we can get TV for free.  It only costs 13 a month for satellite radio, why not try it?  Especially now that you can get everything!