Thursday, October 23, 2014

My love, my light

The great beast raised his massive wings, "And thou shall not pass."
"We shall see."
He stared down upon me with his fiery red eyes, gazing at me, seducing me.
"And what stand beyond you?  My love or my light?" I questioned.
"Come and see."
"Doth not matter, for each I will fight as equally."
"So you would fight just as well if you knew your only outcome were death?"
"Yes, you see.  Because my love is my light, and if she were to be taken from me then my world is filled with darkness anyway."
"I do see."
"So make your choice," I begged of the beast.  "Step aside or fall at my sword.  If I fail to overcome your treachery, then at least I know I am loved."
"Goodnight, sweet prince," and with that he spoke no more.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Ebola Hits the East Coast

Ebola Hits the East Coast

Presidential Press Conference
10/15/14 5:45 pm

Another medical worker, from Dallas, has been diagnosed with Ebola. The problem is that she is flew on a commercial airline twice in the last week. On October 8th the health care worker, Amber Vinson, flew from Dallas-Fort Worth to Cleveland. On Monday, October 13th, she took a return trip back.

Vinson is one of two medical workers who treated Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, who now have the Ebola virus themselves. The other employee, Nina Pham, is reported as being in an “improved condition” according to the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Tom Frieden.

The CDC is contacting passengers that were on flight1143 from Cleveland to Dallas/Fort Worth on Oct. 13th. They want to interview all 132 passengers. Since Vinson was not showing any symptoms at the time, they say that the risk of them contracting the disease is minimal. However, Dr. Frieden claims that she had a fever of 99.5 before she boarded the flight.

Vinson and Pham, both work at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, where they treated Ebola patient Duncan. Vinson is being transferred from the Dallas hospital to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, GA. Emory has successfully treated two cases of Ebola, are working on a third, and Vinson will be their fourth case.

President Obama held a press conference tonight to address the issue of Ebola in this country. While he tried to assure US citizens that we are at a minimal risk, he closed the conference by stating that if the epidemic in West Africa is not controlled, then “it will spread globally.”

He suggested that concentrating on controlling the outbreak in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone is “an investment in our own public health.” Some news reports suggest that if we do not stop it now, the entire world could be faced with outbreaks as soon as this December.

President Obama said that he has spoken to leaders in Japan, Germany, France, Italy, and Great Britain in order to develop a plan for dealing with the outbreaks in West Africa. He has also spoken with his cabinet about plans that could be implemented in this country. One of his suggestions is to have a mobile CDC unit in place within 24 hours at any facility in the country that has a diagnosed case of Ebola.

He went on to say that Ebola is not like the flu, that it is not an airborne infection. He reassured us that it cannot be caught unless you come in direct contact with the bodily fluids of someone who is showing symptoms. “Showing symptoms” seems to be a very loose term. A symptom such as a fever may not be very noticeable.

More stringent measures are being put in place in hospitals in case they are faced with dealing with an Ebola patient. Airlines in the US are also scrutinizing passengers more now, especially if they appear to be ill. If Ebola is detected, contained, and treated properly, it can be controlled, but if we keep having people traveling around, coming in contact with thousands of people, and disregarding proper health and safety regulations than we may soon be facing outbreaks just like the ones in West Africa.

“If the procedures are followed properly, they work,” stated President Obama. This may be true, but if the outbreaks in West Africa are not contained immediately the entire world may be in serious danger. Global leaders need to develop a plan to deal with it, protect their countries, and all the countries in the world.

WLM 10/15/14

Monday, October 13, 2014

Pizza Hut

Rarely do I review food or restaurants, which I actually find funny because I love a good meal. However, I felt compelled to post this in the hope that at least one person reads it and makes a responsible decision.
I live in NY, so there is no shortage of good pizza places around.  In fact, where I live, there must be at least six pizza places.  I do not normally go to Pizza Hut, because no matter how much they boast about it, it really is sub-par when compared to a real pizza.
If you live down south, and have not experienced Pizza Hut, it is comparable to Little Ceasar's. If you are in a hurry and just want something to satisfy the growling in your stomach, then Little Ceasar's is great.  It is hot, ready, and only 5 bucks.
The pizza I had today, from Pizza Hut, was lacking in several areas.  Maybe it was my fault, maybe I expected too much.  Perhaps it was seeing their commercial about the Bacon Stuffed crust for the thousandth time that it finally got to me.  Whatever the reason, I chose poorly.
It was saturated in grease and oil, I assume from the cheese and bacon.  It did not look appealing and it was small, about the size of a medium pizza.  I dove in, and the usual best bite, the first bite, was not satisfying.  It had a strange taste to it, like a smoky charred flavor. The pizza was not over cooked, so maybe it was the pepperoni.
I got the Bacon Stuffed Crust with pepperoni on one side, and Italian sausage on the other. The sausage was better, which normally I prefer pepperoni.  The pizza is now sitting in my stomach like a lead ball.  I don't feel well.  If you don't hear from me after this post, please avenge my death.
Seriously though, I thought the bacon and cheese stuffed in the crust would be so good, it was not.  It was alright, but overall the pizza was a big disappointment.  At $12 + tax it didn't even stand up to a $5 Little Ceasar's pizza.
I am thinking about writing an email to Pizza Hut to inform them of my dissatisfaction.  On one hand maybe it will help them improve their product.  On the other, they might send me a coupon for a free pizza and then I will have to endure this torture once again.  I mean, come on.  I can't pass up a free lunch.  On second thought, maybe I can.
Things aren't always what they seem.  Most people after reading this will probably want to go out and try one for themselves, just to see if it is really as bad as I say.  I don't know why people do that, though I know I have done the same thing in the past, usually with bad movies, and in those cases most people are wrong.
As I am typing this a commercial came on for the pretzel crust with cheddar cheese, mozzarella, and pepperoni from Little Ceasar's.  It looks great, but I am leery.  Luckily I don't have a Little Ceasar's around here or I might be typing a similar scathing review of their pizza. Has anyone tried the LC Pretzel Crust?
What are some of your favorite pizza places?  Have you ever had a real NY pizza?  What is your favorite topping?
Well, anyway, happy eating!

My pizza did not look anything like this.  Bacon in the crust, what a concept!
Don't be fooled by all the hype.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Annabelle/ IT

I went to see Annabelle this past weekend.  It was good, suspenseful, and it had a good ending.  The characters were interesting and it had a good pace.  (7/10)  What may be more interesting than the movie itself is the fact that it was based on a true story.  The real Annabelle was a Raggedy Ann doll acquired in the 1970's.  Ed and Lorraine Warren now have the doll stored in their museum in Monroe, CT.
As always, the drive-in has a double feature.  The second film I saw was A Walk Among the Tombstones with Liam Neeson.  This was a dark story with strong subject matter.  It was also suspenseful with a good ending. (8/10)
I also started reading IT this past week.  I have seen the movie, it is one of my all time favorites.  I may post a review or some comparisons between the book and movie when I am done reading it, but I may not finish it until Christmas, of next year.  It is over 1100 pages long.
Anyway, as we go into the Halloween season, which books or movies are you looking forward to?  What are some of your favorites that you revisit each year?
Other than IT, I have always liked The Shining, another Stephen King classic.  Some of my new favorites are last years The Conjuring, which was a lot better than Annabelle, and also Trick 'r Treat released on DVD in 2009.  Looks like Trick 'r Treat 2 is going to be released next year.  You can read more about the new T 'r T on Entertainment Weekly's website.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Ebola Outbreak

Sometimes real life can be much stranger and shocking than fiction. After reading a news article today about a man who came to the US, infected with Ebola, it seems clear that it may only be a matter of time before the gates of hell open open and engulf every one of us. How fitting it should happen upon us in this, our Halloween season.
I believe that once we get through this scare, if we do, that the zombie movies and books will now take a back seat to more real life drama. Think about it, what a great story, albeit it fictional at this point, but why not let someone like Stephen King take a crack at writing the aftermath of what happened once the disease spread throughout the states like wildfire.
Hopefully there are some of us still left around to read the tale, or maybe even tell it, but if you really want to spark some conversation try going to the grocery store and while on line cough and sneeze a bit. When people start looking at you because your cart is filled to the brim with canned goods and bottled water, try explaining to them that you feel a bit down, but surely it is nothing to worry about.
How long until the government and the pharmaceutical companies start cashing in on the outbreak? An offer of hope, and everyone starts running to the ER. Bold promises and misguided intentions lead us down undeveloped, unimagined, and previously undiscovered paths. How long do we wait until we take action? Do we stand by and let the disease fester inside each of our loved ones or do we put them out of their misery?
They will have you believe that you can not catch it. Only, and only if, you come into direct contact with an individual that has the virus. But if you were one of the people that were on that plane with the Ebola sufferer do you take comfort in the fact that he didn't rub up against you? Or are you sitting in a waiting room right now, knowing that you may be diagnosed with an incurable disease?
If you are a religious person you may want to start praying now. Not only for your friends and family, but for the entire world population. By simple mathematics, this disease could have spread to thousands, if not tens of thousands of people, already.
If you are someone who has stock piled ammunition and a year's worth of food and water in your basement, all I can say is good luck and you better get your ass down in the cellar now.

WLM 10/2/14

Ebola virus

The Confession by John Grisham

John Grisham is a thorough author. He writes his characters so well, and completely researches his material to make it very realistic. The Confession is no exception.
The protagonist, Robbie Flak, is a small town lawyer in Texas who is always fighting for the rights of the little guy. When his client, Donte Drumm, is convicted of murder and sentenced to death, Robbie does everything he can to put a stop to the execution.
The book leads you to a series of different emotions and the characters are well received, whether you love them or hate them. It also brings up the real life issue of the death penalty. No matter which side you stand on, you will enjoy this book. In the town of Sloan, where the story takes place, the residents are divided by the trial. It encompasses not only questions about the law, but also real issues of race and religion too.
The book is very well written, it is engrossing, and when you are finished, you will want to go out and pick up another story by Grisham. (4.25 out of 5 stars)

Visit Grisham's website to learn more or purchase your own copy of The Confession.

Also, check out John Grisham's homepage to win an autographed copy of his latest novel, Gray Mountain, and the chance to win an entire hardcover collection of all 33 of his novels.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Dead 'til Dawn Horror Film Fest

I went to the Hi-Way Drive In, in Coxsackie, twice this past weekend for the Dead 'til Dawn Horror Film Fest.  Each night is a different lineup of old B-movie horrors.  Some of the movies were pretty good, I enjoyed Nightmare in a Damaged Brain, Wonder Women, and Destroy All Monsters.  Destroy All Monsters had Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra, and a handful of other monsters.  Not all the movies were great, but the experience was nostalgic.  That was the first time I had ever seen a Godzilla movie on the big screen, except for the crappy new one this past summer.  I can recall watching Godzilla movies on TV when I was a child.  Overall, it was a great experience, and if you missed it this time you can check out the Hi-Way Halloween Hell Night on October 17th & 18th at the Hi-Way Drive In.

Here is the line up for the Hi-Way Halloween Hell Night:
Movie Block #1
A 4th "Secret" film to be announced at the show!

Movie Block #2
A 4th "Secret" film to be announced at the show!

Here are a few photos from the Dead 'til Dawn Fest...

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Big Bang Theory

Yaaaa!!!  That's all I have to say.  The Big Bang Theory is back on.  If you are not watching it, you might as well check yourself in somewhere, because that is complete lunacy.  It is well written, has a wonderful cast, and it is the only show that literally makes me LOL.  (5 out of 5 stars)
OMG!  Penny's golden locks are gone.  We can only hope that someday they return.  Penny is Penny, so obviously we love her, but much like Sheldon it can be difficult for some of us to accept change.
There was another OMG moment in the premiere, you'll know when you see it.  I gasped and grabbed my mouth.  Totally shocking.  I am so satisfied after seeing the premiere that I can now die happy.
As a bonus, there was one of the few vanity cards, written by Chuck Lorre, that could actually be read without pausing or having to look it up on the internet.  Sweet.

Monday, September 22, 2014

HV Beer Fest

This past weekend I volunteered at the Hudson Valley Beer Fest with a few friends.  The festival was held along the Hudson River banks at Riverfront Park, in Beacon behind the train station.  There were 90 different beer vendors, food vendors, live music, and other various local merchants.
The time passed by very quickly as the crowd swelled to about 3000 people.  I have bartended in the past, and just pouring a few different beers was relatively easy.  I was pouring two different beers from the Blue Point Brewery out of Long Island, NY and one from Great South Bay Brewery also from L.I.
The first brew, from Blue Point, was the Toasted Lager.  This had a great flavor, a bit nutty, almost like a toasted almond ice cream bar.  This was my favorite of the three.  Next was the Oktoberfest, a seasonal brew with a bit less flavor, but not bad.  Lastly was Great South Bay's Splashing Pumpkin.  I don't care for pumpkin pie, pumpkin coffee, or pumpkin beer so this was my least favorite.  However a lot of people did seem to like it, and it was the only keg I had that was kicked by the time I was done.
Overall it was an enjoyable event and I would like to visit more beer fests in the future.  The weather was excellent, the setting was beautiful, and of course I got to hang out with some good friends and have a few laughs.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

WotD: Wind

Today's Word of the Day (WotD) has many of us in the office perplexed. It seems to be a simple word, and initially I believed it to be a simple homonym, however that is not the case.
The word is wind.
How did you pronounce it?  
You could have said it two different ways:
The wind seems to be blowing fiercely today.
I need to wind my watch so that it keeps accurate time.
See the difference?  Of course you do.  There are several examples like this in the English language, but let's stick to our example.
When you Google the word it is like you arrived a few minutes late.  You look around the room and realize that Chuck Norris was here before you.  He happened to be in a bad mood and he took it out on the word wind.

You will notice that under the definition of the word, used as a verb and a noun, you will find that you can click to see more definitions.  Eventually you can find the definition you are looking for.  I was looking for wind, as in they were winding their way through the forest.
Not only did I find the many definitions and uses of the word fascinating, but I found it peculiar that Google Boy never rendered a pronunciation.  Is he not allowed to pronounce a word in more than one way?  This remains a mystery at this point, one which could easily be resolved by looking up other heteronyms, but I simply don't have the time for that right now.  In fact I have taken far too long to type out this post.  I have other, more important, pressing matters at stake right now.  
Hmmm, stake, steak...
Anyway, that brings us to the other point concerning today's WotD, it is a heteronym.  A heteronym is defined as: 
each of two or more words that are spelled identically but have different sounds and meanings, such as tear meaning “rip” and tear meaning “liquid from the eye.”

Google Boy will pronounce heteronym, if you'd like him to.
I don't remember learning about heteronyms in school, but I am sure we must have. Unfortunately for them, they don't get the spotlight like homonyms and synonyms (those two words have unique spellings, don't they?)  Ask your kids if they know what a heteronym is. Don't have kids?  Go find one wandering around on the street or at WalMart, ask them.
Hope you all enjoy your Word of the Day.  I'm outta here.
PS.  I am thinking about contacting Chuck Norris to go over to Google Boy's house and beat the pronunciation of the word wind out of him.  He's got some nerve not pronouncing wind.  Fyi... he will pronounce pronounce and pronunciation for you, if you so desire. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Utopia - 9/9/14

“Over 200 years of American history in under two weeks.” Please, give me a break. Shave that stupid mustache and lose the hat, Charlie. I wish they would drop a crate of guns on the island and just let them all kill each other. This is awful. 1987 called, Corey Haim wants his hat back. This series just perpetuates how stupid society has become.
What I want to see is them doing something productive, to actually build a utopia. Fox has an opportunity to do something unique, but we are ending up with another crappy reality show. Why not just watch Big Brother? At least we expect the rhetoric there, and they have some competitions. Now what we are left with is a bunch of lunk heads that can't agree on anything. Pathetic.
I am starting to think the casting was designed just to cast over the top personalities that wouldn't get along. Why not introduce a few people with half a brain. The few that are there now are not being heard and nothing is going to be accomplished. If we want to build a real Utopia it is not going to be done on network TV.
One last thought, please put Bella's head on a spike and display it outside the gates to ward off others.
I don't know how much longer I can continue to watch this crap.