Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Dexter


One of the great things about the new world of complete seasons and series on DVD/Blu Ray/Netflix on demand is that it allows you to discover shows you may have missed. "Dexter" is the perfect example of this. The first two seasons are on Netflix instant and so one evening I decided to check out season 1 episode 1. You see I am weird, I can never start watching any show in the middle. I must start with Season 1 episode 1 and work my way up from there.

"Dexter" got me hooked right from the start, it is the quintessential guilty pleasure show about a serial killer vigilante with a heart of gold. But here's what is really interesting: Tasha and I don't usually enjoy the same shows, she doesn't care about Mad Men, True Blood, and a few others that I love. But recently she checked out Dexter and now she is hooked!! She is halfway through season 2, and has stayed up late on a few occasions to watch "just one more episode" very unusual for her!

Season 5 just ended last night, and being as how it is the most popular show on Showtime, it has been renewed for at least one more season. And Tasha and I can't wait!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

My favorite of all time

As I'm sure you've all seen in previous posts I have quite a few musical artists/groups that I like. Now the greatest of all time will always be the Beatles, but there is one artist that I listen to and like more then even them....the man from Newcastle, Gordon Sumner, or as he is known to millions, "Sting" I've been listening to Sting and the Police since I was a few years older then Kevin. Here is a breakdown of every police Studio and and Sting solo album..

Outlandos D' Amour

Virtuoso Drummer Stuart Copeland discovered Sting and invited him to be the bass player along with Henry Padovani (later replaced by Andy Summers) Success came very quickly to the police as legendary classics like "Roxanne" and "So Lonely" came flowing out of Sting effortlessly. A musical genius Sting was just beginning to write a string of classics both for the Police and later his solo career.

This album is Ska Reggae Rock all the way. It is certainly the most reggae influenced of all five of their albums. I don't listen to it quite as much as I do some of the others...all in all I will rank this album #4 out of 5


Reggatta De Blanc

The groups sophomore effort features radio mainstays like Message in a Bottle and Walking on the Moon, Sting was in a zone of pure dynamism as the melody to message in a bottle came to him out of the blue. I was/am so obsessed with that song that I know that the group sings the refrain "Sending out on SOS" exactly 25 times. In fact I remember one swimming practice in high school I screamed out the song for to girls on my swim team (Coed swimming was fun) The track "Bring on the Night" is a true gem...Ranks as #3 out of 5


Zenyatta Mondatta

"First to fall over when the atmosphere is less than perfect, your sensibilities are shaken by the slightest defect"

This very singable album is one one of my all time favorites...A tour de force of pop gems, interspersed with jazz rock anthems features some great instrumentals it ranks as my #2 out of 5 in the Police Canon

Ghost in the Machine

Coolest album name ever, whenever there is any unexplained problem with any technology I always joke that it is a Ghost in the Machine..The reason why I have to rank this as #5 of 5 is because there are a few songs in the middle of the album that barely miss the mark and in this tight race I have to lend weight to that fact...on the flip side "Spirits in the Material" and the classic "Every little thing is magic" make this an amazing album...And then there is the hidden gem "Secret Journey" which I think is masterful.


Synchronicity

The fifth and final album by the group is the undisputed masterpiece. Except for the crazy "Mother" track...every one of these songs is gold...Every one is amazing...Synchronicity II was a rocking way to start their 2007 concert tour, and their live treatment of "Wrapped Around Your Finger" was my favorite rendition in the 4 times I was privileged to see the group in concert......The Hidden gem in this is the Hypnotic "Tea in the Sahara"


Solo Career

Sting is a perfectionist that needs to be in control of all steps of the process...after the Synchronicity Tour he broke up the band and set out on what I think was the most successful second act in pop music history. His first album would be heavily jazz influenced. (I'm gonna pick my top three favorite out of his 7 to date)



The Dream of the Blue Turtles

Begins with "if you love someone set them free" (the antidote to every breath you take) Jazzy, Loungey, and brilliant, this first of his solo records has such hidden gems as "We work the Black Seam" (if you don't know by now Grabbaggar considers hidden gems to be those songs that are not obvious in the amount of radio airplay they garner) Sting hired top Jazz musicians like Branford Marsalas to help him make this record.




Nothing Like the Sun

I wore this CD out in my room on Palomino, and have burned a hole in my HD listening to it as well...You really hear the beauty in Stings voice and the sonic perfection of the songs...every single one of them is brilliant....this is my second favorite Sting album. Hidden gem is his cover of "little wing" by Jimi Hendrix.


Soul Cages


Stings most personal album is also his best. Sonically perfect..beautiful..haunting...peaceful....brilliant...I could go on and on, the quintessential album to listen to when you relax or fall asleep, or do just about anything. It is an absolute marvel, a true masterpiece! (Ya I know what you're thinking, Garrett, why don't you tell everyone how you really feel? (:)



Ten Summoner's Tales

Many rank this as their favorite....playful....funny.. I remember thinking when I picked this CD up in Chico, "Can he do it again" that is write amazing songs? And when I played "If I ever lose my faith in you" I remember screaming in my dorm room "yes!!...freakin amazing, how does he do it?!!" I was a spazz.

Sting doesn't like to just use one style of music...often times he will fuse together different styles and experiment with different time signatures like the country song "Love is stronger then justice" in 7/8 time and he again changes the time signatures in "St Augustine in Hell" This is my 3rd favorite and like I said is probably his most accessible solo album.


Mercury Falling

Darker and more poignant then Ten Summoners tales it continues to meld musical styles and spawned "I hung my head" which Johnny Cash covered to Stings delight. Hidden gem here is "I'm so happy that I can't stop crying" A cathartic painful and ultimately somewhat redemptive song that talks about divorce..yes I have to fight back tears many times when I hear it.


Brand New Day


This album grew on me and is certainly one of his best..I think this one went 3x platinum, so many others liked it as well..We all know and love "Brand New Day" and "Desert Rose" (who doesn't dream of rain, a lay a lay?) There is a song here that starts out as pure country, then seamlessly transitions into gospel..and then at the end right into jazz...your homework dear readers is to tell me the name of this track...

And last but not least

Sacred Love

Stings last "true" solo album was released in 2004 (he has 2 since then, but they aren't really what I would call true studio albums) Anyways, for the first time we have some dance techno....soul..jazz..etc...and the hidden gem "Dead mans rope" and one of the funnest songs to sing along with "Stolen Car (take me dancing)"

Its been six years since Sting has put out his last album with true dynamic songs...does he have enough left in the tank? He will be 60 years old next October (Mark, Scott, and I saw him on his 40th b-day at the Hollywood Bowl) We will all find out...in the meantime..lets crank up the music!!!

Sting is my favorite of all time!!!!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Dodger

Did you know?:Kevins First word was "Dodger" he said it "Dod-Che"



Like Tasha wrote in her blog, we got Dodger almost on a whim just a few months after we were married..I was 23 and Tasha was 22. There were 8 chocolate lab puppies and 3 were female. We took Dodger because she seemed like the most calm of the bunch (:

We would take turns picking her up and holding her and looking at each other with an "oh my gosh are we really going to do this" face. We didn't make it out of there empty handed..we wrote a check for $200, and drove the 30 miles south back home to Chico. Dodger rode on Tasha's lap the entire way. I can still picture how cute both of them looked.

We loved having a new puppy in our house and as she grew older she was very hyper and playful, a typical Labrador.

Dodger was a born retriever and an excellent swimmer. We would take her to the creek by our house in Chico and watch Dodger go flying off the rocks diving in the creek and joyfully swimming around until she had swallowed so much water that she would then have to yak it back up on the walk home.

The 4 years we lived in Ventura were Dodgers Glory years. Since Ventura had (and still has) a look the other way policy with regards to dogs on the beach, Dodger thrived there. We would let her off the leash and she would stalk sea gulls and chase them...she would go charging after a stick when I would throw it in the ocean, leaping over the surf until she located it and then with a flick of her "otter tail" make a quick u-turn, body surfing the shorebreak and running back to Tash and I.

She was a natural frisbee dog. We had her special dog frisbee that I would throw to her on the beach I would try to time it so that she would leap into a small wave right when she caught it. A lot of times I would jump in the ocean with her and body surf right next to her. She never had to be trained to retrieve sticks, tennis balls, or frisbees. She was just so much fun to play with. She could run so fast.


If Dogs go to a special Dog heaven, this is where I think Dodger will always be, running in the surf, waiting to chase her next sea gull

7-1-97 - 11-27-10




Wednesday, November 10, 2010

"Social Network"

Ahh what a great movie...this one ranks among my all time favorites....I rarely go to the movies anymore because of my issues...(see previous post) But this one one was by far the best tech movie that has ever been made. It follows Mezrichs book closely and shows the creation of a "once in a generation idea".

You don't have to have ever used a computer to enjoy this one though...it is close to a masterpiece and will easily be nominated for Best Picture.

J Timberlake had one of the all time best lines..he plays Shawn Parker the creator of Napster...when told he didn't win, the record companies did, he replies, "Oh really? How many Tower Records do you see?"

I was giddy the entire time watching this one..FANTASTIC!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Quick take on the midterm election

The GOP as expected took back the house in historic landslide fashion. This is very similar to what happened in 1994 with Bill Clinton and the "Republican Revolution" But in 2010 instead of the "Contract with America" we have the Tea Party.

If Angel and O'Donnell hadn't run in the Senate, then most probably the GOP could have recaptured the Senate..instead they put up wacky out of the mainstream Tea Party backed candidates like Christine "I'm not a Witch" O'Donnell. 3rd partys always hurt the mainstream party that they are most affiliated with. Nader in 2004 took many votes away from John "Reporting for Duty" Kerry. And of course Ross "I'm not crazy, people are after me" Perot. The Tea Party will dissolve in a few years and re-assimilate into the GOP.

So we are back to gridlock just like Admiral Stockdale said in the 1992 VP debates. The best Obama can hope for is that the economy will begin to rebound and by 2012 he will be reelected, if it doesn't and the GOP can put up a good candidate then Obama is a one termer.

So this election I voted for

Legalization of Ganja...even though I have never smoked the herb in my life
Barbara Boxer
Jerry Brown
and the Democratic opponent to our lifelong congressman Buck McKeon

Looks like I better make it official and change my party registration from Elephant to Donkey.

I'm pretty much a Bill Clinton Democrat

P.S. Whoever put together that Whitman attack ad that showed Whitman and Arnold saying the exact same things....brilliant! One of the best political ads ever.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Enough with the Miners!!!!!

Last night at the Kings game the PA announcer made an announcement and they showed live footage on CNN of the miner rescue in Chile. The last time I was at a sporting event and a news announcement was made was in 1990 at the LA Colisseusm during a Raider Game (Operation Desert Storm)

I understand that this is a sort of uplifting story. What I do not understand is the crazy coverage of it..especially on my twitter feeds @breakingnews and @cnnbrk Why do they have to make an announcement about every single specific miner???? And why did they interrupt the Delware Senate debate on CNN for BREAKING NEWS another miner is out?

####Breaking news###as I write this blog..miner number 17 is out..his favorite color is blue, he likes long walks in the rain, and he is now happily reunited with his wife...please stay tuned as we break in to another of your programs to bring you ####Miner 18! And it looks like they have lowered a monkey down carrying a cheese sandwich to the rest of them. Or maybe 12 monkeys!!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

IPAD V Kindle

I love it, two of my most favorite gadgets going head to head.

Of course Kindle is a far better dedicated reading device.

Good thing I have both!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Apples Media Event Today


Look at those cool new multi touch Nanos!!

This morning a much healthier looking Steve Jobs rolled out all the new Ipods, Itunes, and Apple TV. I am continually struck by just how good Jobs is as a presenter, he is masterful and is my personal model when I have to talk about things in front of people. In discussing the Nano he had a great quote that went something like this "Its still so amazing to realize you can carry thousands of songs in a device this small" I couldn't agree more, Apple changed the way we buy and listen to music. I still use my IPhone as my primary Ipod because it is just one device in your pocket. The Shuffle I use to work out only as it is easily wearable and just clips on to my shirt and weighs like nothing.

The Apple TV is now much smaller and has features like the ability to send content wirelessly from your Iphone and Ipad, for example you can walk into your house with a ton of pictures you have taken on your Iphone and then instantly view them on your TV...and that is just one of the features....I love these Apple Media Events..can't wait for the next one which will probably be in January....

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The New Kindle

Watch the Video that Kevin and Zach made here

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Devils Music


In high school my friend Scott introduced us to Rush. The famous Canadian rock group that captivated me from the moment I heard the opening guitar to "The Spirit of Radio" Rush is known for amazing musicianship, as a power trio they create amazing intricate and "tight" music parts, they are characterized by "off time" signatures...the members are a fantastic Bass player, with a falsetto voice, the great "Geddy Lee" a virtuoso guitar player "Alex Lifeson" and then there is "Neil Peart" who many put as the greatest rock drummer to ever live (no argument here)

Although I haven't been as fanatical about listening to them as I once was, they are on the short list as one of my favorite bands.....I can put on pretty much any one of their albums today and every part of it is as familiar to me today as it was in 1991.

OK enough of that...here is what spurred me to write this post.....There were many in the RHCC youth group who objected to the "Pentagram" depicted on the 2112 album. Even though this had nothing to do with the devil...the 20 minute epic song talks about a totalitarian regime that crushes a young upstart who tries to start a revolution with a guitar....It ends with the ominous announcement "Attention all planets of the Solar Federation, we have assumed control" the Star was the symbol of the Federation...not the symbol of the Devil, Beelzebub, Captain Howdy, or any of the other nonsensical and ridiculous superstitions the group had.


Fast forward to this week and me watching the brand new Rush documentary: something struck me. These guys are extremely soft spoken and polite, Neil Peart, the person who penned the subject of the album is painfully shy. Geddy and Alex are extremely polite and nice to everyone, they are not devil worshippers. In fact Gene Simmons of KISS recounted how when Rush used to open for them he was amazed that the band members never partook of the abundant supply of female groupies. Rush preferred instead to quietly retreat to their hotel rooms and watch TV..Gene Simmons jokingly wondered if they were gay, and couldn't believe how square they were. But they aren't gay, they're just music nerds...obsessed with getting it right...and that is why they have lasted almost 40 years.

One could argue that Amy Grant is more immoral then Rush, after all she divorced her longtime husband after having a fling with Travis Tritt or some such country star.....Yet everyone was singing "Angels watching over me" at the church group.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Funniest Political Gaffe in History

Here is a little comic relief for everyone...remember this?

Monday, August 23, 2010

E-Books for Troops (yet again)


Uncle Dennis wanted an update on this great project...and here it is...Len Edgerly informed his faithful followers on this past Fridays "The Kindle Chronicles" podcast that

http://ebooksfortroops.org/

is now officially up and running as IRS approved tax deductible non-profit.

Again for those who don't know our troops in Afghanistan have a lot of downtime and they do not have a lot of space in their packs for personal stuff...they play a lot of cards...they play video games if they can...and they read paperbacks....soldiers oftentimes trade them around and sometimes they will read the same book six times because they don't have that many to choose from. The new Kindle(www.amazon.com/kindle) which releases this Friday can hold about 3,000 books, and can go for ONE MONTH (yes you heard me correctly) without needing to be recharged. The price has dropped to $139 dollars for the WIFI only and it has gotten smaller and lighter while maintaining the exact same screen size....(mine will arrive this Friday and I am incredibly excited!)

What could be better than to outfit everyone with one of these devices? No one deserves it more then the men and women over there.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Blockbuster and Barnes and Noble wont exist in their current form in 5 years

20 years ago it used to be an event, something exciting. Dad would bring us to the Wherehouse to pick out two movies, one for me and one for Matt. (so that we wouldn't fight) The stores were usually pretty crowded as people fought for the latest new releases. Sometimes we would browse the return pile anxiously awaiting if someone had returned a copy of "Rainman" or "Dragnet" We were satisfied whether we got our movie, or if we just rented "Raiders" for the millionth time.

Nowdays like many other families we have Netflix on demand, and Amazon on demand. We can browse the screen and pick out the movies that we want to watch. New releases we can watch instantly with a HD copy sent right to us. And that's me, Im 36 years old though. The younger generation grabs their movies and content right off of bit torrent and Pirate Bay for free. That is why Blockbuster videos are closing down. As an aside there is an interesting other reason called Redbox. I'm sure you have all seen these Kiosks around 7/11's and supermarkets. For only 1 dollar a day you can rent new releases if you don't mind the 30 day "windowing" period. I saw one of these Kiosks at the airport in Austin, for a buck you can grab a movie to watch on your laptop and then return it to any Kiosk in the country. And it's totally self service and convenient. Why would anyone want to go to Blockbuster and pay 5 dollars? or even 3 dollars? So price, convenience and selection are killing the "brick and mortar" Blockbuster stores. Hollywood video is already gone, and Blockbuster stores will soon only exist on the internet competing with Netflix, and for a while Redbox.

Barnes and Noble has not "gone under" but they have been put up for sale. I love books and I love browsing in Barnes and Noble. But they have been seriously hurt by the amazing company that is Amazon. People like Amazon for the ease of shopping on their site, the selection that B&N cannot match, and the entire experience. Also millions of people like myself are now choosing to buy their books directly on mobile e reading devices like the Kindle. B&N has tried to compete with Amazon by launching both their own e reading device the "Nook" and their online store at bn.com In both cases they do not offer nearly as good of an experience as Amazon does. I knew this would eventually happen with them, but I didn't think it would happen so fast.

And the bottom line is this, whether you think these changes are good or bad, it is what the consumer wants.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Albums everyone should have

One of the great things about Itunes is the fact that it tells you how many times you have listened to a song...and as such it tells you how often you have listened to a specific album.

(These stats go back as far as 1-31-07)

What is the number one album that I have listened to?

No surprise here...."The Soul Cages" by Sting. (51 times)

An absolute masterpiece...it's hard to put how great this album is into words, it is a sonic experience...I have been listening to it continuously since I got it in 1991.

Number two "The Joshua Tree" by U2 (49 times) The definitive U2 album...The classic of my generation.

Number three "Nothing Like the Sun" by Sting. (46 times) A truly great record, amazing musicianship, sonically beautiful, and as always the classic vocals.

Monday, August 2, 2010

I feel what I eat!!

When you are fat like I was, and then spend about 2 years at a normal BMI, you begin to notice a few things.

I stayed fat for so long because I was physiologically addicted to foods high in saturated fats, sugars, and empty carbs. I would eat those foods and a lot of them. If I didn't eat those foods I wanted to because they made me feel good. Oh yeah, I almost forgot, I drank too much alcohol too, lets not forget that little chestnut.

I didn't want to exercise or eat right because that made me feel bad. That is why I think half our population is fat. Everyone wants to feel good, and food is an easy way to make us feel that way.

The difference now is that I am physiologically addicted to working out. I really don't work out that vigorously, I only do 30 minutes a day on the elliptical, and light weights every other day. When I was on vacation, I swam 1/2 a mile every day when I could. I do this because I want to, because it makes me feel good. About a month ago I felt an endorphin rush after the elliptical similar to the rush of opiod pills. I have been chasing that natural dragon ever since! Now I know that when I eat things like In and Out I have a high, and then a crash. And the crash does not feel good, so it makes me somewhat less inclined to eat food like that now. But I still do, just not as much. And now its time for some ice cream!!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Winnepausakee


View and download a larger version here

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Genius of Steve Jobs

On Monday Consumer Reports (influenced by an overzealous media and after giving it their highest rating) said that they "could not recommend the Iphone 4 due to the Signal Attenuation issue"

Throughout this entire process I felt like Annie Wilkes in Misery...."Has everyone gone mad? What's wrong with you people! Don't you understand? This is the greatest Cockadoodee consumer electronic product in the history of the world!"

I knew what was going on here from the beginning, it is a case of overblown media hype. In Apple you have a company that has basically revolutionized the world in the last ten years and has put out products that are so far superior to the competition that it is laughable. They have overtaken Microsoft in terms market valuation, Their stock price has risen from about 50/share to 260/share. They changed the way we acquire and listen to music, they revolutionized the smart phone with touch screen technology, they made the personal computer fun and into something beautiful. With the exception of Apple TV, pretty much every single product since Jobs returned in 1997 has been phenomenally successful.

It is against this backdrop that we started to see youtube videos that displayed signal drop when you hold your phone in a certain way. It wasn't until last night that I was able to replicate this issue, and I was trying every day. But the issue is minor and it is not unique to the Iphone. So why is the Iphone singled out? Again it is because this "perceived" chip in apples armor comes against an amazing track record.

So today Steve Jobs comes out and says a couple things. And I am paraphrasing his lordship.....

"Guess what folks, every smartphone has antenna issues, and then he proved it by demoing the exact same issues on the Droid, Storm, Samsung, etc" ----I felt like saying Haleleuia! take that Consumer Reports!

"Just over 1 half of one percent of our Apple care calls have had to do with Antenna issues, based on what you have been hearing you would have expected it was at least over half!"

"Compared to the 3gs the Iphone 4 has reported about 1 percent more dropped calls....again based on what you have been hearing you would have expected it to be a lot more!...but even this is unacceptable to us and we are not satisfied"

"Everyone gets a free bumper case"

"If you don't like the phone return it for a full refund"

And my favorite quote......

"We love making products that surprise and delight our customers"

Nothing could be truer steve

Long live Apple!!!!

P.S. Oh yeah I almost forgot, Steve said today that in the three weeks since they've been shipping IPhone 4...they've sold 3 million of them (:

The Iphone 4 Antenna Song

Sorry this is in a bad format...but click through to the 16/9 version.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

My review of the Iphone 4

"This is the biggest advance to the Iphone since the original Iphone"
====Steve Jobs (Grandmaster of all things and bringer of light)


With the competition of the "Android" phone which is the second best phone on the market (a distant second in my opinion) Apple had to fill in a couple holes where the android had caught up. And folks, they did this and more, I got everything I asked for. HD video, a 5 MP camera with a flash, and a second camera. But to me the killer part of this new iphone is the "retina display" which is an amazing feature that really makes reading on your iphone like reading on paper. It is a serious competitor to "e ink" and even is superior to the Ipad display which I had raved about when I got it. To appreciate the display, you really have to see it for yourself..I still am not used to how pretty it looks, amazingly sharp, and yes I have not seen any pixelation!

In terms of the phone design itself, in a word it is beautiful, elegant metal with glass on the front and back. (There is never a need for 3rd party scratch resistant cover on your iphone guys...it's glass! Unless you carry sharp diamonds in your pocket, I think you'll be OK) The phone is very thin, making the 3g and 3gs look bulky by comparison. I purchased the bumper case from Apple and it is a great addition to the phone, making it easier to grip and protecting it to a degree from any accidental drops.

If I could only have one gadget in the world I would choose the Iphone 4 over everything else.

Luckily I can have all of them though (:

And finally here is my take on the antenna thing....it is a made up fake bogus story that the media glommed onto and is total BS

====Garrett the Apple geek

P.S. My only disappointment was that they did not double the storage to 64 GB

Iphone 4 32 GB
Iphone 3GS 32 GB (Tasha's Iphone)
Imac 2.0 GHZ
Mac Book Pro 2.2 GHZ
Ipad 64 GB Wifi only
Ipod Classic 160 GB
Ipod shuffle 4 GB

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Grabbaggar goes to podcast land

Hey guys please everyone subscribe to the Grabbaggar Podcast where in episode one we talk all about the evolution of how we get store and listen to our music.

http://web.mac.com/garrettriley/Site_2/Podcast/Podcast.html

Click the Subscribe button while Itunes is open and you will be all set!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Kevin is Nine Years Old!!!

Big Happy Birthday to Kevin!!

Check out Mom's Post

http://tasha-lifeoftherileys.blogspot.com/

Saturday, June 12, 2010

We have lived here for 5 years now!!


After counting down the days..we are finally free of Bakersfield!! This was taken the day we moved in and everyone helped us unpack.


Zach at 14 months just wanted to know that his toys made it safely to his new house

Since Tash and I got married 13 years ago..we have lived in four different houses: chico 6-97 -7-99: Ventura: 7-99-4-03 Bakersfield: 4-03- 6-05 and now Valencia..making this the longest we have lived in any one house. After thinking about moving down to San Clemente, we reconsidered and remained here...enjoying our comfortable, happy, roots. We love living in Santa Clarita...it is it's own oasis ringed 360 degrees by mountains and foothills...A great place to raise kids with great schools and great weather...it is only 30 miles from downtown LA but one never has to leave...and if it's roller coasters you like...well guess what boy...we got the best in the world right here.

(: Anyways...just wanted to mark our 5 year anniversary of living here on Via Elisandra

Monday, June 7, 2010

13th Anniversary


13 Years ago on a blistering hot Chico Saturday...two college lovebirds decided to tie the knot.
HAPPY 13Th To Tasha and I!!!

Friday, June 4, 2010

John Wooden

What a great life he lived


Thursday, June 3, 2010

Changes that made the game better? You be the judge

1876: Curveballs are ruled "legal" purists cry that this will wreck the game as baseball is a 'gentlemens' game and it is immoral for the pitcher to try to "deceive" the hitter

1920: Baseballs are now wound tighter and unlike previously the object of the defense is not to try to scuff up and blacken the ball...henceforth, a new white ball must be brought into play whenever an existing one if scuffed. Hitters now have a much greater advantage.

1969: The mound is lowered...no longer can Bob Gibson with his season long 1.12 ERA dominate the way he did previously...advantage hitter

1970: The DH is implemented in the American League only...a revolutionary and major rule change.

1992 and forward: The dimensions of the parks become smaller...with Camden Yards leading the way of the new retro parks....Hitters have a huge advantage....Dodger Stadiums massive foul territory is covered over with Dugout club and baseline box seats...it is unlikely that anyone will ever score again from 2nd on a wild pitch a la Kirk Gibson in 1988.

1998? Interleague play

2009: Limited instant replay arrives in MLB: utilized only on disputed home run calls


Expanding the use of instant replay will not hurt MLB...it will make the game better..no more 2009 ALCS where the umpiring was despicable...etc..etc...and expanding replay is no where near as drastic a change as the lowering of the mound...Where were you captain in 1969? Were you speaking out against the mound change then? It is akin to widening the distance of the plate right? Were you upset about it..was the change good? Has it hurt baseball? Why or Why not?






How to make MLB better (and make sure yesterdays disgrace never happens again)

A perfect game is one of if not the hardest thing to accomplish in professional sports. Only 20 have ever achieved it (Two earlier this season ironically) And yesterday we saw something that has never before happened in the history of baseball. The Umpire called the runner safe on what was a clear out and therefore the play was officially scored a hit, thus stealing the perfect game from Galarraga. Did this happen in the 4th inning? NO! It happened on the final play of the game!!

The Umpire immediately realized his mistake upon looking at the replay, and tearfully apologized to everyone who would listen. Today Selig the inept commissioner of baseball did not reverse the call.

This is 2010 not 1953...we have the technology to eliminate this kind of thing, and do it in a way which ironically will speed up the game. The NFL uses instant replay, so does the NHL, and Tennis has the most foolproof system of all...and it's great!! Here is what I propose...

  • Today two doubles were overturned in MLB ironically and called homeruns due to instant replay!! Time to expand it..
  • Utilize a replay ump to review these plays
  • Outlaw the silly arguments where the manager or coach flings his hat and kicks the dirt and jaws with the ump..(these take time)...instead..give each manager 2 challenges per game.....just like the NFL..these can be done quickly
  • In critical "game is on the line" situations...any close play must automatically be reviewed by the replay ump......
  • In closing...the great game is better than this...we are better than this....humans beings evolve, we get better.....I'm not proposing we change the distance from the mound to the plate..or make it 4 strikes instead of 3..I'm saying we use technology to make right calls to protect the integrity of the game!

While on the subject of MLB..here is another suggestion to help make the games come in around 2.5 hours..like Hockey does, and like Basketball does......

  • No more 7th inning singing of "God Bless America"!!!
  • No more batters stepping out of the box
  • No more pitchers taking a lap around the mound
  • Teach pitchers not to be "strikeout" pitchers
  • Limit team conferences on the mound to 3 per game (just like a timeout in the other sports---in Hockey each team gets only one 30 second time out!)
  • No more managers running onto the field of play to argue calls (this doesn't happen in the other 3 sports)
  • Make a foul territory rule where the field must be a certain size of foul territory...(The way Dodger Stadium used to be) This will increase the frequency of outs.
Thoughts? Suggestions?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

James Carville goes slappy go jacky on Obamas response to BP Oil Spill

Carville vents his disbelief and anger at Obama's reaction to the Oil Spill...very interesting....


Monday, May 24, 2010

It's Over




********SPOILER ALERT*******************

The Twilight Zone for our generation has finally come to an end. Lost went out last night in beautiful, poignant fashion.

From the very first frame of the pilot episode (Close up on Jacks eye opening) I was hooked on this show. I can't ever remember a show that has captivated so many, and frustrated so many. Shot on location entirely in Hawaii the show was beautifully filmed , and "The Island" held so many secrets that enthralled millions of people. But beyond the "mystery" what made the show great was that it was a great character study. Everyone, Jack, Hurley, Locke, Kate, Sawyer, Sun and Jin, Michael, Walt and Sayid had rich and fascinating back stories.

Have you ever read a great mystery novel? If you're like me you'll agree that sometimes whats the most fun about these stories is when you don't know the answer. Many times it is much more fun to use your imagination. I have read zillions of books that were let downs at the end once the bad guy was revealed. What was so great about Lost was that whenever a question was answered, a new one or new ones were introduced. This happened most famously in the series at the end of season 3 when the "Flash Forwards" were introduced and the entire series reshuffled itself in perfect fashion.

So on to last night...why did I like it so much? Because it didn't answer every question!! It left me feeling very satisfied at the end though...and here is the final scene.....as Jack collapses and is dying.....Vincent the Yellow Lab...runs up to him licks his face and then sensing trouble, he lays down next to him to comfort him in his dying breaths....Close up on Jacks eye...and it closes....fade to black.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

"Now that...is the right question"

New site I found..you can ask me any question you want and you can be anonymous about it......then I'll put my answers for y'all..

http://www.formspring.me/garrettriley


Come on...ask me a question already!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Remembering Kristin and Neda

On May 10th, 1984 two 12 year old girls were brutally murdered by a 16 year year old monster. One of the girls, Kristin MacKnight was one year older than myself and went to Riviera Hall with me and my brother up until 5th grade...I have a single memory of her playing in the playground, that I can recall. Her sister Brenda was in my grade and also was in my graduating class at Peninsula.

I repress this event....I've been repressing it for 26 years now....the date MAY 10TH is one thing that triggers the memory...another is a certain song that I cannot listen to anymore...it was one of the songs playing when I read the newspaper article about it the day after it happened. Last night I was up till midnight and when the date May 10th came on my Iphone..I started to feel sick and angry again...angry that the monster is still alive in Corcoran Prison....I thought about what their lives would have been like....Who would they have married? What would they be doing? They would both be 37 or 38 years old today.

I'll never forget Neda O'Sullivan or Kristin MacKnight.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Peter Gabriel Concert


"It’s all too easy in the age of “American Idol” to forget just how profoundly powerful music can be in the hands of an absolute master like Peter Gabriel."------La Times review of the concert


Part two of the Tasha and Garrett Hollywood Bowl summer concert series concluded Friday night with Peter Gabriel, backed by a full orchestra. He is doing something different this time out and forgoing all guitars and drums. The first half of the concert was all covers...in fact he played the complete track list of his new CD in order. Then a 15 minute break..then the second half was his classics (every song he has written is pretty much a classic) At 60 years old his signature voice hasn't lost that deep gravelness to it..and his range is intact. But for me I was longing to hear his signature rhythm parts and diverse electronic sounds that are his trademark. So the concert was for his standards a bit of a disappointment..most of the songs were downtempo and very soft.


So next month Tasha and I conclude with part 3 Sting.....who I will be seeing for a record 9th time (Four with the Police and Four solo) I have always thought of Peter Gabriel and Sting equal to each other in songwriting talent.....and the greatest test of all...how many times have I played "Us" or "So" by Gabriel...or "Nothing like the Sun" or "The Soul Cages" by Sting.....countless times folks...countless


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Because of the Arizona immigration law, I will lose money

Arizona is one crazy state, when I was there a few weeks ago, myself and my co-workers went out to dinner at a sports bar with this sign on its door: "NO Firearms allowed on the premises" Something you would never see here in the Golden State.

Illegal immigration is a tough and complex issue, and I want to point out something that happened to me today at work. For those of you that don't know, my job involves traveling around the San Fernando Valley and surrounding areas going into dental and vet offices. I've got some diverse areas, from the affluent Pasadena, Studio City, Sherman Oaks, etc. To the not so affluent: Palmdale, Lancaster, Panorama City, Van Nuys. About 15% of all my visits are to primarily hispanic practices. One of the best if not the best performing spanish speaking practice is in Reseda and the reason it is doing so well is because Ricardo the OM (office manager) is someone who knows how to sell dentistry and package it with financing to give the patient every chance to say "Yes". But no matter how good you are if you don't have patients then you are in big trouble. So today Ricardo and I are talking about things in general, our kids, schools, the craziness of the DOW today...how he is going to UCLA to take some more classes so he can get certified in some restoration procedures and so on. Then he told me something interesting...he said that the past two weeks has been extraordinarily difficult because people are not coming in. I asked why and he said "Because of what is happening in Arizona, people are scared" I didn't engage in a political discussion because I never do on any sales calls...but basically it comes down to this: Elective procedures that cost money are some of the first things to be put off when people are scared about a life altering event. They retreat, they do not spend....

So here is how that will effect me: for Q1 this year I finished at 105.5 % since I finished at over 105% I will get 105% of my bonus....because of this it is very likely that I will finish below 105% for Q2 and get 100% of my bonus...therefore causing me to lose money...and it will be a direct result of the Arizona immigration law.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Encouraging Physicians to write off label...an Insiders perspective

Today it was announced that Astra Zeneca will be forced to pay a fine of $520 million dollars for inappropriate marketing practices (read encouraging pharma reps to influence the docs to write off label)

Here's how it works...you have a drug company that spends gazillions of dollars to get their drug through testing and approval to be indicated to treat a certain ailment. Seroquel (Astra Zenecas) Anti-Pyschotic had a narrow indication: schizophrenia. By law the drug company cannot encourage a physician to write this drug for anything other then schizophrenia...But here is what is interesting...The Doctor is God, he can write any drug for anything he wants to...if he wants to try Seroquel out on a 6 year old boy who has ADHD, or write it to treat alzheimers in old people, that is within his purview.

One of the drugs that I sold was called Alinia...and it was indicated to treat crypto and giardia (2 nasty stomach bugs) there was another indication that they tried to but never got and that was for "C Diff" another bug you don't want to get. Anyways, it got around that the docs were writing Alinia "off label" for C Diff and of course the company was happy, and the reps were happy because the more a doctor writes a drug that we sell, the more money we make. So again, by law I was absolutely forbidden to encourage a doctor to write my drug for C Diff because it is not indicated for that. One manager at Cardinal told us "When a doctor asks you about writing for C Diff, we must tell them that it is not indicated for C Diff and leave it at that" But another manager said, "We might include that while this is not the indication, many doctors have had success writing it for C Diff" So off the record in a very 'don't ask don't tell' kind of way it was officially prohibited, but unofficially it was winked at.

So that ladies and gentlemen is the weird, wacky, world of pharmaceutical sales.

For more about this click here:

http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2010/04/27/drug-maker-to-pay-520-million-fine-for-illegal-marketing/

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy birthday to Matt!!

A big happy b-day to matt....hope the waves are breaking today, the beer is cold and you have a great day!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Zach is 6 today!!

Huge happy birthday wishes to our awesome son Zach! We love him and will have a great time celebrating Zachie Day today!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Sarah Palin Network

Yeah I am a little late in putting this up....Tina Fey, my favorite female entertainer ever does a great skit skewering our favorite Governor who quit her responsibilities to the people of Alaska to cash in on her fame.

Friday, April 9, 2010

E books for troops

This will probably be my last post on the subject.....we have great news........The website www.ebooksfortroops.org is now officially set up....it is a full non profit site with connections to a sergeant that is in afghanistan who is coordinating the distribution of the kindles.....here is a quote I lifted directly off their site

Additionally, an aspect of a deployed soldier’s life that is commonly overlooked is that he, or she, must also find ways to pass the downtime that inevitably occurs during a deployment. It probably comes as no surprise then, that reading has always been one of the primary activities of our troops as they rest and renew for what lies ahead.

With that said, there’s a problem – books take up a significant amount of space! For obvious reasons, it would be extremely challenging for any military to build or bring a “field library” during an overseas deployment. Instead, it is common for soldiers to rotate books from person to person and to read the same book multiple times during a single deployment as a way to pass the time and get a break from the stresses inherent in their profession.

And that’s where we believe E-Books for Troops has a tremendous opportunity to help.

While the soldier of yesteryear could ill afford to carry more than two to three books, today a solider with a single e-book reader has the potential to individually transport a library of 1500 books! With a device that weighs 10 ounces and is only slightly larger than a paperback, we can transport a massive library of books overseas and improve the quality of life of the troops who are serving our country in its defense. We think that is pretty amazing stuff
.


So please donate now.....to Dennis's good point on the previous post (all be it a downer). These devices last for 20 days on a single battery
charge ....the bases all have outlets and can be recharged while at base.........troops routinely carry around devices that last a mere fraction of the time----namely iPods...Sony psps...HD flips....and on and on....they will love this.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Reflections on my Ipad and Apple in general

"So Garrett are you getting an Ipad?"

I think almost anyone that knows me was aware that I pretty much had to have one of these things on day one. I remember when I finally made it into the Apple Store in Northridge after waiting for 5 hours in line to be one of the first to get the original Iphone the day it came out...I saw one of the staff members playing with an actual Iphone...(the first time I ever saw one in person). My reaction was a physical one, I got weak kneed and tingly at the sight of this amazing object in this girls hand, glowing like a luminescent jewel.

So on to the Ipad....It arrived for me at my doorstep last Saturday and I didn't get my hands on it till a few hours later because I was at the Dodger Game. When I powered it on and started to play with it I was hit by one primary thing...The Display. I have never seen a better display then on the Ipad...it makes everything: photos, web pages, e-mail, look amazing. It is like the transition from 480i to 1080p HD in television terms.

Now would be a good time for a disclaimer...I wanted to like the Ipad...for a few reasons...everyone wants to be right about the decisions they made...I am an Apple fan boy who has bought most every one of their products...etc. But this product actually exceeded my expectations..in a few areas...I didn't think it could replace the traditional laptop, but after a few days of playing with it and especially doing my company work and playing around with their "Pages" and "Keynote" apps for the Ipad...I was making killer presentations and great docs...(The mt. Whitney Doc for one was made entirely on the Ipad) And I realized "Wow! I don't need a laptop anymore.." It is easy to type on especially in Landscape mode with the large onscreen Keypad, and with the Blue tooth apple keyboard it is even better. The versatile case can be quickly configured to lay the Ipad on a flat service at a perfect angle for typing. Anyways it is even better than I thought it was going to be......

Is it as big a revolution as the Ipod and Iphone were? Probably not, but it is a revolutionary new device in so many ways.

On a practical note..here is how our computing life will go from now on....We will always have one large IMac....that is like the central hub of our network....all our stuff is on that...The Ipad will be the device that is carried around in the house and curled up with like a book to do e-mail, surf the web, read books in low light, etc...And the trusty Iphone will always be on my person wherever I go.

On another note....Apple is so far ahead of all of it's competitors in the category of smartphones, music players, and computers that I (no joke) cannot even comprehend when someone asks me what I think of a Blackberry, or The Droid for smartphones.....Or if someone has a "Zune" music player....or a Windows 7 based desktop or laptop...it is mind boggling to me!

P.S. Congratulations to the newest owner of a Mac Book Pro my brother Matt!


Garrett Riley

Iphone 3 GS 32 GB
IMac 2.0 GHZ
Mac Book Pro 15 in 2.16 GHZ
Ipad 64GB WIFI only
IPod Shuffle 2GB

Monday, March 29, 2010

All the Rage

Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword====Jesus
Matthew 10:34 (NAS)



Yesterday the FBI arrested a Militia group calling themselves "Christian Soldiers" or something like that. These are people who have so much anger in their lives that they wanted to murder policemen, they hate Obama because of his policies and his race
they hate immigrants, they hate anyone or everything who doesn't agree with them....they are on the extreme far right end of the spectrum.......These people are religious terrorists but this time instead of being muslim they are christian. They believe with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength that they are doing the will of God. The mindset of the religious fanatic is murderous...400 years John Calvin burned a man alive because of a disagreement over doctrine. Abortion doctors are targeted and sometimes shot in cold blood or have their clinics blown up, purely for religious reasons. Jon Krakhauer wrote a brilliant book called "Under the Banner of Heaven" that details the FLDS (Fundemental Latter Day Saints) a truer version of Mormonism and more like the original book of Mormon...where a mother and her child were murdered because God told the men to murder them.

This will not stop anytime soon......

On the flip side...I've never heard of this kind of conflict or strife occurring because people were thinking freely and using logic and reasoning.

Peace!!


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Kindle for Soldiers Update #3

My favorite podcast is "The Kindle Chronicles" done each week by a guy named Len Edgerly who is a Kindle and Ebook reader fanatic. It was through his podcast some weeks ago that I had the idea for e-readers for soldiers. What has been happening through the podcast is that a website is being set up and an official non-profit is being established...up till this point Len was taking donations via a paypal link on his site to collect enough $ for a few Kindles to be sent...but now it is going to be officially set up...once it is setup I will tell everyone how to contribute.....And I will make it a permanent link on my blog, facebook, etc

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Where would we live if we didn't live in Southern Calfornia

Well first off I can tell you it will be nowhere near the south san joaquin valley (Bakersfield) :)

We are perfectly happy here in the Santa Clarita Valley and have absolutely no plans or desire to move anywhere else...but if we did......

There are 3 Finalists, 1. The Pacific Northwest....2. Phoenix......3....Denver

And the winner is...Denver!! And here are a few reasons why....

I went there for the first time last August to hang out with my brothers and go hiking and attend a Rockies Dodgers game at Coors Field, and from those couple days there I really liked what I saw...I liked the following things...

The Mountains: I love being around mountains, it gives me a sense of perspective and security...(Santa Clarita is surrounded on all sides by mountains and foothills)

The best of both worlds: Hey what if you could put a world class city in the middle of an Alpine environment...You would have everything that is great about a City..MLB, NHL, NBA, NFL (only when the Raiders come (:) and have endless hiking trails and skiing all in one place.

The Quality of Life: It seemed to me that Coloradans enjoy a great quality of life and perhaps a slower pace...of course everywhere outside of so cal is a "slower pace" unless you live in Manhattan.

The Changing of the Seasons: Yes I know it is ridiculously cold in the winter but it would be cool to live in a place where it snows and you can ski all the time whenever you want to.

And that is the answer to the poll question...thank you for playing!

Where would you live if you weren't living where you are?...(you can't pick the same state)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Vicodin, Percocet, Oxycontin

"Painkiller Addiction" is one of the most insidious and prevalent addictions that exist today in America. Doctors prescribe synthesized forms of heroin, most commonly in the forms of brand names Vicodin, Percocet, and Oxycontin. The generics are Hydrocodone or Oxycodone.

Science has no better way of controlling pain then opium. Nearly all of my readers has been prescribed some form of these painkillers throughout the course of their lives. And you have all been no doubt very thankful for them. I know I certainly was 3 years ago when I had my lower wisdom teeth out...the oral surgeon had to slice open my gums and it was painful for about 2 weeks. Without my painkillers I would have been seriously hurting.

But there is a magical side effect to this pills, it makes you feel fantastic. I will try to describe the feeling for my readers....The first time I took one was for my vasectomy I believe. So I am in bakersfield recovering, I have my Johnny Carson Box set, my ice pack, and a bottle of Vicodin I popped the first one and here is how it went....

A peaceful feeling of relaxation gradually descended on me, almost like I was melting into my mattress, I remember feeling like I was on a cloud....Simultaneously a warm tingling sensation started coming up my spine, to my cranium, then shivering over my face, down my torso, my arms, and my hands "felt like two balloons" I was definitely comfortably numb. It was amazing folks, I can't sugar coat it. I have never done any drugs in my life other than Alcohol (which absolutely is a drug) and opiod pills prescribed to me. The pills were 30 times better than than two glasses of red wine after a perfectly cooked steak, and that's saying something!

And that is the reason why Elvis, Anna Nicole smith, Michael Jackson, Heath Ledger, Corey Haim died, and (Rush Limbaugh lost his hearing) etc. etc.

Please scientists, make a non addictive form of painkiller for us!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Zach Receives an award for Academics



Only four people from each class get an award...Zach was very surprised and happy .


Sunday, March 7, 2010

We're getting closer!!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

We Got New Countertops

Tasha and I got Granite countertops installed today in our kitchen..here is how it all went down...



First I went to slabyard in Van Nuys to pick out our piece of Granite...


Then the guys came out to demo our existing tile



And here is the finished Product!





We think it looks great and are very happy with how it turned out!!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Update on Kindle for Soldiers

****************Amazon has yet to get back to me on the question of "is there a way to give a gift of a "pre-loaded" Kindle, or does Amazon coordinate with carepackages for soldiers....

The way Kindle works is that it must be tied to an account with a credit card....one account can have 6 devices on it, but all devices have the rights to buy books, so I can do one of two things...

Give a soldier a Kindle and have he or she load up their own books while they are already in the field (bad)

...or

Give a soldier a Kindle attached to my account (worse)

But there is a third option! Target a particular soldier who is about to do their rotation, buy he or she a Kindle and ship it to them..with a $100 amazon gift card as well in which they can load their Kindle with at least 10 books (and of course there are 1 million free books as well--everything written before 1922 is free) And a hard plastic case with it as well...

So Mom, if you want to bring this up at Saddleback, please do, or maybe Jeff Barrett wants one, I would be happy to donate it to him as well.......


Sunday, February 28, 2010

My Oscar Picks

Nominated for Best Picture: (Ones I have seen are in Italics)

Avatar
The Blind Side
District 9
An Education
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Precious
A Serious Man
Up
Up in the Air

Allright, I feel the best picture of the ones I have seen is.......

Inglourious Basterds



Actor: Jeremey Renner of the Hurt Locker is my pick cause I haven't seen the other
four!


Supporting:

Chrisoph Waltz from Inglourious Basterds......gives an amazing performance

And all the rest of them I haven't seen! How bout that

Friday, February 26, 2010

KIndle for Soldiers

I have an idea that I am so excited about that I had to share with you all. Each Soldier stationed in Afghanistan or Iraq has about one cubic foot in their supply packs for personal items......they LOVE reading books in their downtime, but pack space is a huge problem. Each soldier can carry one maybe two paperbacks with them, and according to guys in the field, these are passed around and sometimes re-read 5 or 6 times.

An Amazon Kindle is thinner than a paperback and weighs less then a pound...each one can hold 1,500 books. Imagine giving a soldier this! These guys are going through hell for all of us while I get to relax on my 800 thread count egyptian cotton sheets reading whatever I want on my Kindle....This is the absolute least that we can do. I am in contact with Amazon about this, I want to get at least 10 Kindles out in the field, loaded with books for our guys. I am coordinating with existing care package groups and trying to get requests of what kind of books the soldiers would want....There are companies like "Medge" that make hard plastic waterproof cases, and the Kindle can go for a week on a single battery charge.

Amazon sells the Kindle off it's website for $259.......stay tuned....for updates here and for a new website all coming soon

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Shamu Strikes Back

Well as I am sure all of you know by now, a 40 year old female whale trainer was killed today by a 12,300 pound Bull Killer Whale at Sea World in Orlando. Apparently the trainer was involved in the show in front of a live audience when according to one witness, "The Whale swam up, leapt out of the tank and grabbed the trainer in its jaws by the waist and thrased her around" The woman died as a result.

I love Sea World and I love Killer Whales, but folks we are dealing with a 12,000 pound Apex predator and these sorts of things happen...These whales are trapped, tranquilized and sold to the theme parks for upwards of a million dollars a whale, all for our entertainment. Instead of swimming freely in the ocean, they are forever confined to a small tank and made to perform circus tricks. So it's not suprising when these things happen. According to one marine biologist the whale thought it was playing with the woman, and like Lenny in "of mice and men" the tiny rabbit died.

So yes I am hypocritical in that I will still gladly pay my money to Sea World to see these awesome animals...these trainers have to know that they are playing with a loaded gun. And while this is tragic, this blogger will not blame the whale for being a whale.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Accepting Optimum treatment for Dodger...ahh maybe not.

Yesterday the boys and I took Raven in for her booster shots, and I took Dodger in to get a cursory exam, and discuss some end of life care decisions for this loveable pet thathas been part of our family since 1997. I was willing to pay the 65 bucks for this exam for Dodger, after talking to the Vet about the 2 different scenarios of Dodgers death, 1. We find her dead one day or 2. We bring her in to have her Euthanized....here is how the conversation went..

Me: "Yeah she has definitely slowed down and has some stiff joints, like most 12 1/2 year old dogs. We tried OTC joint pills for a while, what would you recomend?"

Vet: "We need to do a panel on her so we'll need a blood sample, also we'll need to do XRays"

Me: "Uhhhh, how much would that be, and is it necessary in this case?"

Vet: "Well we need to diagnose her, it could be a number of things, and we really would need that panel, it would be around $300 for the xrays and panel, and $150, for just the panel, also I recomend prescription anti inflamatories which are $25/bottle"

Me: "I am thinking no on both the xrays and panel, can we give her anti-inflamatories that are OTC"

Vet: "Yes you can give her a 325 Mg aspirin in the morning and also at night"

Me: "OK I think in this case that is what I am gonna go with"

Vet: "Yes I can feel her spine is a little knotted here and she has arthritis"

Me: "OK I'll start giving her the aspirin"

Vet: "Her ear is gunked up so we'll clean that"

Me: "OK, thank you doctor"


So I saved $300 bucks, and only had to pay $122 for their care........Good ole Dodger though went on a 2 mile walk two nights ago and did OK so she's got a good nother year or so (:




Saturday, February 13, 2010

Uncle Dennis Kings Canyon Ukulele Slideshow

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Dodger Release Spring Training TV Schedule!

This is by far the most games they have ever televised! I love it!!!

DateOpponentTimeTV
Mar. 6White Sox1 p.m.Prime
Mar. 9Rockies1 p.m.Prime
Mar. 10D-Backs1 p.m.Prime
Mar. 12Reds1 p.m.Prime
Mar. 14Rangers1 p.m.Prime
Mar. 17White Sox1 p.m.Prime
Mar. 18Cubs1 p.m.Prime
Mar. 20Padres7 p.m.Prime
Mar. 21Indians1 p.m.KCAL
Mar. 22Angels1 p.m.Prime
Mar. 25Brewers1 p.m.Prime
Mar. 26Royals1 p.m.Prime
Mar. 27Mariners1 p.m.KCAL
Apr. 3Angels1 p.m.KCAL

Abortion

Fun topic right? This is a highly sensitive issue that sparks strong emotional responses from both sides; it is a very fascinating topic. Up until my "deconversion" I had always been pro-life, my reasons were simple and black and white. In short I believed it was murdering a baby. This opinion was of course held by me to a large degree because all of my friends held the same opinion and it was reinforced by my primary in-group, the church.

Why did I change my mind? Maybe my answer can be found in ex Rolling Hills Covenant Senior Pastor Gordon Kirk. When I was an eighth grader he was speaking to us about how bad abortion was because it was murder and against God's will. He fielded a few questions and than a particularly intelligent one "Pastor what if your daughter Christina was raped and got pregnant as a result? Would you abort the baby?" Pastor Kirk was silent, and then carefully and to his credit answered honestly, "I don't know"

And that is the crux of it for me. Of course abortion is a regrettable option and should be prevented at all costs. But do I have the right to take away that choice from my neighbor?

The overwhelming majority of people who are Pro-Life are so for purely religious reasons.(There are also atheists who are pro-life but not many) They believe that upon conception there is a divine spark created and thus an eternal soul. In the real world however nearly 40% of pregnancies spontaneously abort. In fact I expect there will be many Christians in heaven who will be amazed that in addition to their children they already know, will be a few kids who will introduce themselves, "Hi Dad, I am one of your kids whom Mom's womb spontaneously aborted! Anyways, you were gonna call me Richie, nice to meet ya! And here's Samantha and Jim, your other spontaneous aborts from that chick you met at the bar " Get my point here guys? God must really love abortions, because he chooses to abort 40% of all conceptions.

It is also very interesting to point out the actions of the abstinence ONLY movement serve to increase unwanted pregnancies. Barack Obama in the campaign said, "Lets make abortions rare, I wanna reach out to the other side to reduce unwanted pregnancies" Now of course in the religious movement there are fervent and frothing parents who lobby the school board to present abstinence as the only option, and this increases unwanted pregnancies. Obama was coming from a place of measured reason and logic; the abstinence only movement coming from a place of superstition. (Have sex and you will be tortured by the 'devil')

How does abstinence only movement increase unwanted pregnancy? Well if you think about it just makes sense; statistics show that when kids are presented abstinence as the ONLY option for birth control, they are much more likely to not use protection when they do have sex. And so viola, you have an unwanted Pregnancy!

And more then likely the poor girl will have to have an abortion..

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sarah Palin Reads Cheat notes on her Hand!!!

The teabaggers paid her 100K to dress up and show her legs and give a prepared speech. In this speech she criticized Obama for reading his prepared speeches from a teleprompter....During the hard hitting Q/A portion, Palin had written some notes on her hand!!!! The Youtube poster didn't know at the time what the words that Sarah wrote on her hand (like an 8th grader writing cheat notes) but Grabbaggar can report the words are "Energy" "Tax" and "Lift American spirits"...here is a close up of her hand

And here is the Youtube video...Classic!!!




Update ***********White House Press Secretary has just mocked Palin.....and I didn't see the embed codes so I couldn't directly post it, but if you want a devastatingly funny take on this debacle, google "colbert palin retard" to watch a clip from the "Colbert Report" Skewing how Palin said it was not OK for Rahm Emanuel to use the term "retard" but it was OK for Rush Limbaugh to use that same term.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Stephen King and "Under the Dome"


Stephen King has been writing best selling novels since 1974 with "Carrie" I first started reading them in high school with "The Shining" and continued on with pretty much all of them after that. Stephen King is so much more than "A horror writer" he is a master story teller who creates great characters and is a genius and coming up with unique "sayings" that his characters have, (Annie Wilkes in Misery calling Paul Sheldon 'Mr Man')

His new book "Under the Dome" is over 1000 pages, and I finished it in about two weeks (thanks Kindle!) Non readers are intimidated by a long book, but I say, if a book is good, it doesn't matter how long it is, you never want it to end! If you want to know what Under the Dome is about just google it for reviews, but reading a new book by Stephen King is like stepping back into a familiar place. It also keys a certain dopamine receptor in your brain that feels familar, this is the case with all good books but with SK I just get a familiar "feeling" that is hard to describe. Wow, how does Garrett read so fast you might ask? He must read for 5 hours a night! Well guess what folks, I don't, here is how I do it....remember I always have my book with me on my Kindle App for Iphone, so I am reading every day for 30 minutes on elliptical machine guaranteed....I am reading on the John, I am reading when I am waiting to talk to an Office Manager at a Dentist office, I am reading at lunch, I can do all of this because my book, whether it is 1 page or a 1000 page hardcover always fits into my pocket.

To Anyone who has never read a Stephen King book I would start with any one of these

Carrie
The Shining
The Dead Zone
The Stand
Salems Lot